SonicState.com has been around forever and features a weekly audio podcast that is definitely worth listening to. They touch on a lot of different topics but, so far, my favorite episode is number 65A. In this, Richard Evans carries a portable recorder with him to capture and share his experience of touring with Peter Gabriel.
This weeks episode is extra special as they mention Trash_Audio and cover the topic ‘Workspaces and Environments’ Check it out here!
Our friend, Richard Devine, will be performing along with several other musicians in a one off show based around analog equipment on Friday November 16, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. Also, another guest in our Workspace series is included in the performance, Alessandro Cortini. If you live around the area, I highly recommend checking this show.
You can more information about the event: here and here.
Peter Grenader from the Plan B User Group Forum: As far as the equipment we’ll be using, we’ve put together an orchestra of oscillators: Off the top of my head – three rather large Plan B systems, a Doepfer/Plan B/Livewire system, Arp 2600, two cabinets of Aries, one nine panel and a medium-sized three panel Serge fitted with a custom Plan B model 13, the largest Wiard system in the world, an EMS Synthi-AKS, the EAR Performance system, a Buchla 200e, Nord Modular, a Novation, a Waldorf Wave, two tcelectronic reverbs (a 2000 and 60000), tons of delays and a Yamaha SPX90. Controller include a C-Thru-Music Axis, a Continuum Fingerboard, a Doepfer PK88 and MAQ 16/3, Roland A-33, a Fatar workstation and an Analogue Systems French Connection.
Along with a wall of effect racks, Chas Smith will be bringing two of his own instruments: the Guitarilla and the Towers. Guitarzilla is a steel guitar made of machined aluminum and welded titanium tubing. It has a 12 string neck tuned to a diatonic scale and an 8-string bass neck. It is also fitted with a small waterless Waterphone-type instrument which is bowed. The Towers are eight 1 1/4″ diameter grade 9 titanium rods with titanium plates welded on the ends which are both bowed and struck with a variety of mallets. The longest Tower is109″, standing over 10 feet tall in it’s hanger, and the shortest is 55″. They have been cut to form a scale which can be obliterated by the complexity of the sounds that the plates generate. They’re sonically and visually majestic, bordering on astonishing. Go here for a photo:
We will be performing six pieces, one each from the six players, all of which performed by the ensemble – it’s not a series of solo performances. Three of the pieces will be world premiers.
One reason we’re not doing too many reviews of equipment at the moment, is primarily because of James Cigler. James has several reviews of current modules from Livewire and Plan B and I must say, they are the most informative and easy to follow reviews I have seen for modular synths. I have also managed to trick him into joining our Workspaces and Environment series.
If you’re considering buying modules but are halfway confused on their true functions, here are some examples of his reviews:
More than a few people have been unreceptive to the fact that the transport bar at the bottom of new arrange window in Logic 8 can not be removed. Well, now there is a way to remove it thanks to someone smart on the Sonikmatter Logic forums.
So, if you’d like more space on your arrange page, try this: Open Key Commands (Option + K)
Search for “Open Trash” command
Set command to a key or key combination (Mine is Control + Shift + =)
Once that is done, try the new key command while you have an arrange page open. Now a new arrange page will open on top WITHOUT the transport bar stuck to the bottom. It will even work with screen sets!
Background: After playing with Justin McGrath’s Cwejman S1 semi modular synth for months, I had to find a way to get those deadly envelopes into my modular setup. Daily, I tortured myself by going to Analoghaven and through some soul searching, decided to sell some gear. Things I weren’t using were piling up and I didn’t want my modular setup to become out of control. I already have so many modules laying around (so sad) and I travel way too much to have an insane modular setup. Richard Devine convinced me to grab the Livewire Dalek on our retarded talks about metal and modular gear. We seem to go for the most aggressive and violent sounding modules with some sort of intelligence. I check Analoghavens used section like a crack habit and have never seen Livewire or Cwejman modules there. When I saw them on the page, I didn’t think, I just started clicking. Afterwards I realized what I’ve done to my financial situation though I didn’t care too much. My priorities are a bit backwards.
First Impressions: The Cwejman VM-1 has a nice weight to it and it’s constructed beautifully. There is a plate on the back for protection and its incredibly thin/shallow (like its big brother, the S1) compared to doepfer modules. I believe it is safe to say that the Cwejman modules are among the best constructed modules on the market. The back plate has some holes where you can calibrate the oscillator. The knobs themselves are easier to turn than Doepfer pots.
The Livewire Dalek is like any standard Euro rack module but at first glance, the knobs and layout are different. There is some strange dark adhesive on the sides of the boards, I decided I’m not going to bother cleaning as i dont have to look at it in two minutes ayhow. The module is deeper than Doepfer modules and probably 3 times as deep as the Cwejman and it barely squeezes in the case.
The Video: I thought I knew how I wanted the setup to be. I mean, I thought about it day in and out for months but when it finally gets down to it, I crumble. I hate taking out modules i will use and my other g6 case is in another state. I unplugged the power cord from the back of the case and unscrewed all the modules I would be replacing.
After reading about the Cwejman modules power supplies I had to be sure of the correct way to install it before turning it on. so i called Analoghaven and got in touch with Antonio who is always helpful. There is a red stripe on the power cord and it has to be facing up. You can see me finding a bent knob on one of my modules and I keep fingering it. I have never seen that knob bent before but realized I took this box around with me Europe and its had its share of abuse. Airplanes, trains, cars, drunks, drug addicts, and worst of all, other musicians. Some asshole even spilled beer on it in Madrid, but thankfully the lid was closed and it didn’t get through. Either way, I don’t recommend you even try. I always get confused with how to hook up the A-155 sequencer to the A-154 controller, so you can see me fiddling with that for a while. trial and error for a good 10 minutes. Which I don’t recommend. You should probably read the manual that has diagrams. Eventually things start working and you can see me breaking in the new modules.
Afterthoughts: After playing for 5 minutes, I’ll share some thoughts. The Cwejman VM-1 is exactly what i thought it would be, a self contained synthesizer with great thick oscillator with 7 waveforms, a standard multimode filter, and an envelope generator/vca to kill for. the envelopes are the sickest I’ve ever played with, creating a extremely aggressive and sharp synth. the multimode filter is white bread, but the q-peak adds extra grime to the mix and having all the parameters cv-able makes it versatile. There is one downfall with the layout, which happens to be 3 switches caught between the knobs. It’s a strange place to put them, but I couldn’t really think of a better location on the face. The Livewire Dalek modulator is sick as hell. I can’t even explain what it does right now, but I can tell its used mostly to mangle your sound through two vco’s that can be used to ring modulate your sound into oblivion. The vco outputs are interesting to listen to alone as they don’t simply rise and fall, but I’m not quite sure how I will use them yet. Cosmetically its very similar to Doepfer gear, but I prefer Livewire layouts as they are a bit more interesting to look at, and a major plus is different sized knobs. All in all, I’ll be starving this month for these two modules and of course its worth it. If you have any hard questions, dont ask me. Check out Felix Inferious’s review of the Dalek Modulator! Read the proper review on the Cwejman VM-1 here.
After having a brief freak out about my Juno 106’s ‘hanging notes’, I thought something was wrong with the envelope section but with very little investigation, it seems like its something more common: a bad voice chip. Apparently Juno 106’s blow their chips regularly/inevitably and this guy took the time to clone the Roland chips as they don’t make them anymore. Hes on the second generation of clones and they’re only 40 euros. Visit this guy as well if you want some additional information on the clones and replacement procedures. Also, if anyone has bought a space echo replacement tape loop from these guys or if you have any alternatives, let me know. seems like a few sites have their own spin on it, so if you know of something reliable, comment away.
We stopped by a friends house who sold all his old gear for a killer Buchla system. Team Trash, go!
“It is important to note that Don Buchla and Robert Moog simultaneously invented the modular synthesizer in 1963, Moog in New York and Buchla in San Francisco. While there had been previous synthesizer experiments, Moog and Buchla’s major developments that made the synthesizer portable and flexible was that of using control voltage to manipulate the various elements of the circuits.” – Wikipedia