November 19, 2013
There’s some pretty relevant stuff going on in the minds of modders and hackers around the world. By simply experimenting with that is actually possible, they have created new ways to fabricate gear altogether. When gear is made at a big name headquarters, there is a team of engineers and designers working together to figure out how to make a new item. Sometimes the idea comes from the top down, by recognizing what a person will immediately do once they are given the right set of tools. Other ideas come from the bottom, where the gear immediately draws you to it.
The independent hacker sort of differs from these methods completely. Sometimes an idea need only come from experimentation. While it may seem useless in its early stage, it does have some potential to become something useful. Patchblocks sort of resemble toy legos, except that these can all be wired …
August 1, 2013
I think that only a few of us in the world will ever have the chance to see the madness that goes on when a modular synthesizer is used to create live music. There is nothing about the unit that tells you, “This device produces music”. You look at one of these large patch bays and think that it is either used for connecting telephone lines to each other, or that it is used to somehow communicate with satellites. I seriously doubt you could actually tinker with one of these instruments and figure it all out from just toying around with it. Most videos of these modular synths aren’t very fun to watch – but this one is different. The man actually explains what he is doing.
Surprisingly, there is a lot of work that goes into just creating a simple beat that continues to loop as it plays. But …
May 23, 2013
Music lovers and those who are interested in synthesizer music will be hard pressed to purchase a large synthesizer for many reasons. Disregarding personal reasons for now, consider the fact that some are buying something that is completely unknown to them. They have no idea how the object works and they are only left to tinker with the settings until they find something they like. It’s not the same for a turntable and record where the user can visually see what is happening and understand where the audio is coming from.
This is one of drawbacks of modern complicated synthesizers. Who the hell knows how they work. If we could take a class at school on synthesizer technology it might helps us understand what each button and knob is doing. How about if we broke it down the basics, once piece at a time? This is what the Lego Synthesizer …
April 21, 2013
There is a very necessary visual side to making music that we tend to ignore these days. Even contemporary music is written in bars and staffs that make it understandable, even if you aren’t technically skilled enough to play what is written on the sheets. Modern music making programs like Ableton make use of skillfully designed icons and buttons to help even the most experienced user understand what this effect with do to their music. One of the most important visual cues is the two dimensional graph that use to displays the slopes of a musical effect. This helps us understand things like attack and decay, for without the visual cues – it would be hard to understand that any of that even means.
The thing is, once it’s all boiled down, all of these signals and impulses are converted into binary and computer language at some point. This is …
January 8, 2013
Our exclusive Moog Factory Tour takes us to one of the most celebrated and widely used analog synthesizers, the Minimoog Voyager. Jim Debardi takes us on a guided tour of the Minimoog by providing a little history as well as guding us through how the Minimoog Voyager is constructed at the Moog Factory.
The original Minimoog Model D was designed by Bob Moog and manufactured throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s. It was the first time that musicians were able to have a compact and affordable means of producing analog synthesizer sounds that were beginning to dominate a lot of the popular music of the day. The Minimoog was highly regarded for its fantastic filter and oscillator sounds as well as its analog circuitry which defined the way synthesizers were constructed throughout the decades following the Minimoog’s release. In 2001 Moog Music announced plans to update and release a new version of the …