Thursday, 30 January 2014

TB 303 - Edge of Motion - Set Up 707

This is one of my favourite old acid tracks.
Released in 1992 ..... I still had pimples on my face back then.

Dutch Duo Dylan Ermine & DJ Madskillz (aka Gert -Jan Schonewille) teamed up to become Edge of Motion and released this dance floor killer.
Gert -Jan was behind the 707 and Dylan behind the 303.

My take of it:

There are two parts to the 303 bass line.

Part 1

Part II

Monday, 27 January 2014

TB 303 - New Order - Confusion - Pattern

Just mucking around with my old 303.
I still love it after all these years.
So decided to try a remake of  an old New Order track - "Confusion".
It dates from around 1995.

Gear used:
Roland TB 303 (Acid Bass)
Roland TR 707 (Drums)
Roland RE-201 Space Echo (Reverb)

The remix I really like was done by Pump Panel and was used in the opening of the
cult vampire flick "Blade" from 1998.

I've tried to keep this mix close to the one used in the movie .
The pattern is very simple. It uses just 2 notes: G & A#

Step   Note     Transpose     Accent     Slide    Time

01      G           No               No           No      Note On
02      G           No               No           No      Note Held
03      G           Down           No           No      Note Held
04      G           No               No           No      Note On
05      A#         No               No           No      Note off (rest)
06      A#         Down           No           No      Note On
07      A#         Down           No           No      Note On
08      A#         No               No           No      Note Off
09      A#         Down           No           No      Note On
10      A#         No               No           No      Note off
11      A#         No               No           No      Note on
12      A#         No               No           No      Note held
13      A#         No               No           No      Note on
14      A#         No               No           No      Note on
15      A#         No               No           No      Note off
16      A#         No               No           No      Note on

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Acidic ARP 2600

Sequence #2 created by mixing a ARP 2600 with a Cyclone Analogic Bass Bot (TT 303).

The Arp sequencer of course sequences the 2600.
The Doepfer Dark Time sequences the TT 303.

The Dark time doesn't have the "accents" or "slides" that the 303's native sequencer
possesses.... Gives the 303 a different character I think.

Some pics of the setup:

Monday, 20 January 2014

Morley Serge - Final restoration pics & notes

The Morley Serge restoration is 99.99% finished.
I can't wait to have a play with it.

Here are some recent pics of the Serge kindly supplied by Ken Stone.

Here a test run video:

According to Ken there are a few quirks. Osc 1 and 3 track each other relatively well.
The others not so well. They are all very very very early (1st Generation) Serge oscillators ... not 1V/Oct
and we are actually lucky to have any tracking at all. :-)

Whether the VCOs track or not is not a problem.  It's all part of 
having a vintage paperface. They are fun VCOs all the same.
One Neg Slew is WAY slower than the rest.It was decided to leave
it at that speed because it is of more use for clocks and so on. 
More info regarding the Negative Slew can be seen here. :-)
The chaos bank has two inbuilt mixers. One mixes the 8th outputs of each of
the three generators. The other mixes steps 5,6,7 of the bottom generator only.
When nothing is plugged into them, the Black inputs of chaos bank pull high,
while the red ones pull low. That means if you don't plug something into the
black jack, the exclusive or gate is set to invert. 
Patching any of the outputs into the red jack then creates a divider, so you 
at least get a square wave out of the generator.

Friday, 17 January 2014

ARP 2600 - groove sequence

Experimenting with an old ARP 2600.

I've forgotten how great it sounds.

The ARP 1601 sequencer controls VCO pitch
The Doepfer Dark Time modulates the ARP's filter and clocks the 1601
The Doepfer Dark Energy provides some LFO action.

All sounds are live, unprocessed and from the ARP only.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Morley Serge - Phaser & Reverb repairs

The Morley Serge has two early reverb and one phaser PCB.

The VC Phaser has three separate outputs : 1080 degree, 720 degree, and 360 degree of voltage controllable phase shift.
Here is the Phaser data sheet from the 70's
Ken Stone has a great explanation of this circuit here: 
Serge Phaser

The Reverb uses 2 spring tanks mounted together in the upper right compartment.
These were originally found to be magnetically cross-talking as each tank's pickup was too close to the other's drive coil.
Here is the Reverb data sheet from the 70's

Testing of phaser & reverb after repairs. (Ken Stone video):

"VCO to mixer.
Phaser out to mixer.
Mixer to reverb.
Reverb to phaser in.
Phaser modulated by second VCO".

Sherman Chaos Bank restoration - part 2

Herman Gillis , aka Sherman - the man behind the famous Sherman filter bank made approximately 9 Sherman CHAOSBANKS back in the early 1980's / late 70s. This chaos bank may be one of them.
(If you have any info regarding this do shoot me an email).

The bank is almost 50 years old and is being restored.
In this interview, Herman discusses analog vs digital.

It was decided to re-arrange the panel. This is always a dilemma - the conflict between preservation of history and returning something to a working state.
So after much deliberation the final panel art chosen was:

The earlier designs were changed in favor of something more "classical" ... in keeping with the rest of the synthesizer artwork, and special aged paper was sourced to blend things into the whole.
I love the final result. Thanks heaps Ken. :-)

I especially like the dual reference to the unicorn. This mythical beast that is Ken Stone's symbol has also been used countless times in medieval Flemish (Belgium) tapestries. Belgium being the birth place of  Herman Gillis..........The unicorn is a link between the two.

Here is a test video of the Chaos Bank:

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Sherman Chaos Bank - David Morley's Serge

This vintage Sherman Chaos Bank is part of the David Morley Serge, currently being restored by Ken Stone. Ken describes it as " basically a random pulse and pitch generator".

I understand that the Chaos Bank was originally designed by Herman Gillis - the man behind the Belgium firm, Sherman (famous for the Sherman filterbank).

This is a very early example of a Chaos bank... extremely interesting  from a historical perspective.
It seems that Herman later built 9 Chaosbanks (if any one has more info regarding this please email me so I can correct any errors or omissions).

Prior to restoring the panel these are some of the sounds Ken managed to coax out of it:

The panel layout is unusual especially as much of it was unused.

These +40 year circuits --- are they a short circuit waiting to happen ???

So a decision had to be made --- to leave it as is, or to rebuild.

It was decided to create a new paper panel (without replacing the existing paper), rejack, re-arrange as needed, and  finally put that mixer PCB to good use.
The problems with this approach are of course
a) it will change how it looks
b) modern jacks & knobs would have to be used (I would like to keep the components
as original as possible).

Regarding the paper panel. Here are a couple of ideas Ken & I considered:
It was decided to add 2 three-knob mixers to the lower half of the panel. These are to be hard wired to random outputs from the chaos banks. They should allow the creation of some interesting CVs.

Version 2:
Below is an initial test video: