sound design

muse sports a buchla and more

via gerald:

"Some nice modular photos from muse's latest recording session here:

Funny how I find myself watching their live DVD HAARP, waiting for the few moments of 200e goodness."

Note the E-Mu modular, MacBeth M5N, ARP 2600 and Synton Fenix.

EMS VCS3 MK1 with DK1 vintage analog synthesizer

via this auction

"Mk1 EMS VCS3 Putney synthesizer. I'm also including a DK1 Cricklewood keyboard and cable."

Simple ribbon controller for V/Hz synth

via nicolas3141 on this thread: "Continuing my simple synth series. Design goals: simple and educational circuit, 9V battery powered. V/Hz with CV output of about 1-5V giving at least two octaves of reasonable linearity. Stripboard layout shown with no cuts required. If you have a 5 or 6V reference voltage already available you can use that instead of C1 and U1. If you are building it into your synth you can use the main power supply instead of the battery and you won't need the stereo socket with the power-on-when-plugged-in earthing arrangement. Multiple output sockets on this can be very handy in a modular synth.

Finding suitable tape is the hardest bit. I have tested quite a few video/audio/computer-backup tapes and found that pro-grade tapes from the 80s or earlier are the most likely to be suitable (amongst older pro-grade tapes I found I needed to test about a dozen tapes to find two or three suitable ones). Modern consumer grade VHS is not so likely to be suitable. I think you want somewhere between 10K and 100K per 10cm of tape. Most tapes are more like 1M or more over that distance which is too high to be useful. I have found one oddball that was about 3K per 10cm.

One thing to note is that the contact resistance can be quite high. For example if you get a reading of 100K over 10cm, 25K of that might be the probe to tape contact resistances. So 1cm would read about 30K. This doesn't usually matter too much with a three wire voltage divider type circuits like this, but will affect the linearity slightly.

I have some quarter inch tape from a computer backup cartridge and some half inch tape from professional TV betacam that both give me a reading of just under 100K per 10cm. Both work well with 25-30cm of tape as the ribbon, but the betacam tape seems to wear out much much faster. I stick the tape down with double sided sticky tape. Long and high resistance ribbon controllers are more likely to pick up hum and noise. C3 is there to quite that down, but does slow the response slightly. You may need to adjust the value of C3. Use the smallest value that still kills the noise.

You only need to find one tape that works and it will supply you and everyone you know with ribbon controllers for the rest of your life including regular replacements of the ribbon if necessary. So if there is anyone in Christchurch, New Zealand who needs some suitable tape, feel free to contact me.


Be sure to see the thread for updates.

Synths in Den Haag Art Museum, Holland

via adrian

"I'm just back from den haag in holland (I was playing in the jazz festival), and, while visiting the art museum, I found some interesting stuff. there are some rooms about music, and instruments. There was a clavia G2, but also a sort of small synth made of 5 modules oscillator, filter, enveloppe, lfo, and effects. each module had a button, to trig the sound, and make people understand the use of each module (of course, vco switch trigged the pure vco sound, on filter module, it played only vco + filter .....). There also was some touch screen, where you could sequence some sounds, and you had choice among many sampled instruments.

I was really amazed to see Ondioline among these instruments (I doubt samples I heard where really coming from an ondioline, I could not recognize its special character). There also was among many other instruments, minimoog and philicorda samples"

Metasonix TM-1 Vacuum Tube Waveshaper Ring Modulator

via this auction

"This is one is serial number 21 and has a slight blurring to the silkscreen.(it came from the factory that way)"

via brian c

The Hammond That Never Was

The Laurens Hammond

"The company left the music market and was never afforded the opportunity to showcase the never to be famous Laurens Hammond. The instrument was to have been available in two styles, the 346 and the 350. These products would have topped the fine line of Hammond products available at the time of the demise of the company."

"Located in the upper right end block, Realistic timbre and authentic attack is achieved in the 13 computer-controlled synthesizer voices of the instrumentalist. Actual digital recordings of each instrument are reproduced authentically by a sophisticated digital playback system. The sounds can be activated one at a time and are playable from either the upper, lower or pedal keyboards. Separate volume and delayed vibrato features are available to the player." Click the link above for more images and info. via Organgrinder010

Touch Screen kit for playing music here with Usine

YouTube via tikitpok4Usine
"Just to show you how it's easy to install and use a touch screen kit , here to use with Usine . a music program from
a little demo to show you the great possibilities to built your own graphic interface to play in live situation .

"Usine is a universal audio software especially designed for live or studio utilisation. Usine is made by musicians and audio engineers to respond to their specific problems in a lot of domains like live sampling, effect processing or sound design. Usine is a real musical instrument, flexible and powerful if you like to transform, resample the sound on stage (not only push the play button of your sequencer!), improvise and create unusual effect."

Scarborough Fair arr. Gazdatronik

YouTube via Gazdatronik
"The audio quality is not so good. For better, visit:|pe1|S...

Another song I have wanted to do since I was ten. Played from memory by hand, I tried to take this song from its simple English roots and turn it into a landscape. No live version-the production was far too intricate.

Yamaha TX81Z on ostinato
Roland JX-3P on staccato bass
Roland VP-330 choir
Korg DW-8000 as Polymoog harpsichord and Vangelis CS-80 lead
Oberheim Matrix 6 on reverb harmony
Behringer Virtualizer Pro and Alesis Wedge provide effects
Mackie 1202 on Blinking Lights
Emu 6400 as Playback Unit"

Treat Yourself :)