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Kurt Ballou’s GodCity Studios

Kurt Ballou’s GodCity Studios in Salem, MA has pushed out some of my favorite sounding records in the past several years. I’ve never seen his studio and even after this interview from Metal Injection, I still seen too much.

Kurt Ballou discography

Trent Reznor in his home studio discusses the Oscar nominated (winning) score for “The Social Network.”

Electric Independence: Morton Subotnick

A new interview with the great Morton Subotnick through VBS.


Synths Don’t Care Either

Nordvargr iPhone Music Easel

Nordvargr has released a music application that, in theory, is simple – loops and one shots but since it’s Nordvargr creating the sounds it’s more like an instant nightmare generator. Think abandoned isolated buildings, peripheral vision shadows, dead forrests – perfect to sit and drone out with darkness. Or if you’ve haven’t been making progress with your new girlfriend, turn these smooth shadowy jams on and you’ll seal the deal.

You can get a feel of the general tones and sounds HERE – but the app version has a different soundbank than the web version.

Buy the App! (link opens iTunes)

Glitchmachines – Bent Circuitry Sample Pack

Glitchmachines is a company that is known for their customized circuit bent hardware instruments with hand painted geometric paint jobs. Everything from Speak & Spells to Roland Drum Machines; it was all fair game to the Glitchmachines aesthetic. While they might return to mangling hardware in 2012, the main focus is now on a series of sample packs, the first of which is entitled Bent Circuitry.

Bent Circuitry features 1100 unprocessed 24 bit 44.1kHz samples, comprised of sounds from the following circuit bent instruments:

Syntax Cataract
Substitute Teacher
Logic Bomb
Pixel Crusher XT
Pixel Crusher Omega
Ping Wheel
Rhythm Center
Rogue Calculator
Sit & Listen
Avid Reader
Chance Station
Talking Wizard Plus

BENT CIRCUITRY – Sample Pack – Audio Example by glitchmachines

Glitchmachines Bent Circuitry
Glitchmachines Flickr Porn

Drumcell, Studio Interview…


Moe Espinosa aka Drumcell, Droid Behavior Co-Founder and Droid Recordings Founder, discusses his introduction to electronic music and rave culture, his production process in the studio, some of the gear that’s crucial for the Drumcell sound, and the beginning of Droid Recordings.

Exexcutive Producer, Editor: Sam Allman
Director, Camera, Lights: Chris Parise
Interview: Alex Talan

Driven Machine Drums Samples

Since the Elektron preset samples don’t really cut it here is the best thing to load your Octatrack, sampler and hard drives with: Driven Machine Drum Samples. Here is a video using only one of his samples with the Octatrack.

A few friends have bought Driven Machine Drums and they insist its the best sounding electronic sample pack they ever heard and for electronic music, I’d have to agree. You don’t necessarily hear it when you’re going through the banks – previewing. But when the samples are loaded up and you start to sequence something – you can hear the difference immediately. The samples reach out in the mix and punch hard.

I visited Nate’s studio on the outskirts of Chicago and can say that these samples were made with one of the highest quality signal chains that I’ve seen and could tell that every sample went through high standards.

His story is pretty interesting and is a testament to how serious he is about his craft:
I started capturing 24-bit samples, urgently trying to capture lightning in a bottle. When I played back a sequence using ONLY the new sampled drums, my balls hit the floor. I wasn’t even equalizing, compressing, or limiting the samples! I HAD to show off to my friends, so I invited some producer friends over to listen. You know the feeling when you get something new and have to brag a little bit. I’m a helpful guy at heart, so I gave my friends the new sounds.

The damn fiends wanted more. And so did I.

Like any true addict, I decided to RISK EVERYTHING. I emptied my retirement account and bought all NEW drum machines and MORE coloration devices. I was determined to do whatever it took to create the library of our dreams. I went all out in a “no-holds-barred blaze of glory”

Included are the 24bit Wav files and 16bit Wav files. I’ve used a very good dithering algorithm for the conversion to 16bit to maintain the quality.

There’s a total of 4,100+ sounds and comes in two packages. Complete Beat Machine ($77) and Deluxe ($87) The deluxe version also includes EXS-24, Kontakt, and Structure mappings.

Elektron Machine Drum
Symbolic Sound Kyma Capybara
Eventide H8000FW
Korg ER-1
E-mu SP-1200
Oberheim DMX
Yamaha DX200
Roland TR909*, TR808*, TR707*, TR606*
Jomox MBase 11
Vermona DRM-1 MKIII
Acid Labs Miami
Serge Modular
Euro Modular
Jomox MBrane 11
Simmons SDS-1000
Drum Fire DF500
Elektron Monomachine

Thermionic Culture Vulture
Anamod ATS-1 w/ all cards
Neve 1073 Preamp
Atlas Pro Juggernaut Twin (Iron + Nickle Transformers)
A-Design EM-Gold (Steel Transformers)
Source Plus Tube Amp w/ 1957 NOS French Mazda Tubes
Moog Mooger Fooger
Empirical Labs Distressor
Mutronics Mutator
Schippmann Ebbe und Flut
Dynacord VRS-23
Valley People Dynamite
Avedis E-27

There seems to be a 25% off sale:

Driven Machine Drums
Free 144 Sample Demo

Octatrack: SuONOIO Sequenced Recording

Using the SuONOIO as the noise source, the Octatrack has no issues recording sequences in real time. I’d apologize for the horrible audio quality if I actually cared. *Brad Pitt Voice* WHAT’S IN THE BOX.

It’s saturday night – off to Black Ops…


Octatrack: Parameter Locks on Master Track

Received this guy today, also in the mail was a 32 gig card. I heard 3 of the preset samples and immediately wiped the card clean. Fortunately I’ve been planning for this by converting a ton of my samples down to 16bit, 44.1 kHz, .WAV by using an excellent audio manager tool called Audiofinder. When I found out that the “.wav” actually had to be in the file name, Audiofinder has a power re-namer that makes the process as easy as possible.

Anyways, I loaded about 7 gigs of custom samples onto the card and wanted to get my hands dirty and wanted to try out the Elektron favorite: Parameter locks.

I’ll try to document some things I find useful, like the interpolation between filter settings on the different scenes. Automating recording. Assigning LFO’s to …. everything. Also, if you need samples – I’m going to have a post soon about Drive Machine Drum Samples. They’re among the best I’ve ever heard. There’s a free demo sample pack.

Driven Machine Drums