Monday, 29 September 2014

Safita - Syria - The White Tower

This was a trip I made back in 1999.
I wonder if the tower still exists ????

Built by the Knights Templar during the Crusades. In French its know as Chastel Blanc (Arabic: Burj Safita or Safita Tower‎).

A page from my travel diary.

felt-tip pen sketch.

In 1999 all that remained of Chastel Blanc was the central tower or donjon.
Originally it was surrounded by two defensive walls which were typical in Crusader architecture.
When this drawing was done, the tower was a Greek Orthodox church dedicated to St Michael. 
I wonder if it's been converted to a Mosque, destroyed by ISIS, or bombed by who knows who???
All very sad.

 The White Tower was both a chapel for the crusader knights & a fortress. It's 28 metres high and has walls 3 metres thick.

Safita's location on the Mediterranean coast of Syria
This pic was taken in 1905 by Gertrude Bell

For more travel postcards click here

MONEST = MonoMachine + Tempest

This is a a remix of an earlier track using a elektron monomachine
& a dave smith tempest drum.
Many thanks to Paul A (Cobramatic) for the remix.
Here is a download link for the audio file

I've been playing around with some video manipulation.... using a Korg Entrancer
in this instance.
We are planning to use this in the future during our live gigs.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Roland 808 vs Jomox 888 Drums

Great sounding drums:

The JoMox XBase 888 plays loaded samples too.

The Buchla is triggered by a new module from Tony of Synovatron.

It's sending a rimshot to trigger a pulse from Tony's new Euro to Buchla trigger.
This is based on his CVGT1

TTSH - Arp clone - first impressions (video)

Not totally finished but I think still worth
recording a video.

The TTSH has been lots of fun to build and a great learning experiemce to boot.

A link to my build notes can be seen here.

And you can download better quality audio here.

Fairlight CMI IIx - first pics

After much anticipation my Fairlight is finally back home.
Many thanks to Peter Wielk of Horizontal Productions for the great care he has
put into it's restoration.

Peter Wielk has been working on Fairlights since the 80s and I highly recommend him if you have one that needs TLC.

 The Alpha-Numeric keyboard.

 The second disk drive (from the top) loads the operating system (system disc). 
The top disk is for your sound/sequence files.

 Unpacking the main computer. It's very very heavy, They don't build em like this now days.

 This is the rear of the mainframe.

Some closeups. Key start ignition.

And yes, the light pen works. Made in a time before there were mouses (mice) or ipads.
It still amazes me.

The Music Keyboard. It's constructed from white painted wood.
Very solid
 These are pics of the rear of the music keyboard.

I'll post more pics & info soon.

Analog Drum Porn

We were testing out Paul's new Jomox 888 against a vintage 808 and decided to take this pic.
One can never have enough drum machines. :-)

The Jomox has a great live performance mode. Very easy to
modify sounds on the fly.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

TTSH - ARP 2600 - Build notes - Index

I've really enjoyed building the TTSH.
It's given me a unique perspective of one of the greatest synthesizers of all time - The ARP 2600.
As my build notes are all over this blog I thought it would be good to put them into some sort of order
Thus this index:

1. Preconstruction Pics
2. 2047-1 VCO submodule
3. PSU - We have the Power !!!
4. VCO 1
5. VCO 2
6. VCO 3
7. 4012 Filter (DIY)
8.  The 4020 ADSR
9a. Transistor Matching.
9b. VCA  (4010 & 4019)
10. Ring Modulator (4014)
11. Pre Amp 
12. Envelope Follower 
13. Mixer & Reverb  
14. Noise 
15. Voltage Processors 
16. Internal Clock 
17. Sample & Hold 
18. Electronic Switch 
19. The Amplifiers 
20. Final bits 
21. First Impressions (Video)
22. Building the TTSH in 14 mins (Two Videos)

This order of building the TTSH can be changed of course.
I've basically followed Zthee's notes and found them to be very useful.
It's taken me about 3 months to put together, but I estimate that it can be done in about 20hrs
if you put your mind to it (giving up eating & any toilet breaks).
But if you take the long road this is a very rewarding experience. Studying the circuit diagrams and trying to
understand how the ARP engineers put this together nearly 50 years ago is so cool.
We have a window into the mind of Alan Richard Pearlman.

Thanks Zthee. :-)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Dave Smith Tempest & Elektron MonoMachine SFX6 keyboard

A Cobramatic & Jondent jam last Sat arvo. With lasagne in our bellies washed down with  a 1999 Aussie Red you can't go wrong.

DSI tempest drum machine with the Elektron monomachine. Two great instruments. This keyboard version of the MM is rather rare. Quirky & unconventional ... I like it. Only 500 of these exist so I think I'm lucky to have found one.

Two monomachines - rackmount & keyboard

The raw unedited wav file for the above video is here.
Feel free to remix this to your hearts content.(Creative Commons Licence).
If you do remix it do send us a link. We would love to hear it.
Jono & Paul. :-)

Buchla Percussion (& grunge) - 222e

Playing with the 222e is such fun.
Buchla make uber cool keyboards.

 Some pics of this setup: