Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cold Wave

The Machine Zeta spinoff - some old style coldwave industrial:

Gilgulim by soulofthemachine

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Many, many "music apps" seem to be coming out by the minute. Some that have stood out to me, in addition to the aforementioned Moog app -




These things make me want to be a developer.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Moog Gear


To every synthophile, the name Moog strikes equal parts reverence and lust. The last 3 new products have left me in no less ecstatic state.

The Voyager XL is everything that no other manufacturer would have the audacity to create.

The Filtatron is that piece's polar opposite, putting the concepts of analog in your hands for just a few dollars. I've been toying with it on my first gen iPod Touch and have to say that it's the best analog emulation I've heard.

As if these weren't enough they dropped the Slim Phatty, which instantly brought to my mind the desktop Sherman Filterbank. Except better.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Soul of the Android

Soul of the Android, originally uploaded by soulofthemachine.

Customized Soul of the Machine website inspired Android skin - using LauncherPro, tajm and BattStatt.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

PG200 edit map (single preset)

Since the Roland GR-700 and MKS-30 don't have the ability to sysex out your presets and back them up, I am doing it the old fashioned way with this.

Thought others might enjoy having the option as well. Just print them off and copy to your heart's content.

I think having something like this also makes it easier to translate between what the digitally stored parameters are and how that looks on the straight analog style knobs of the PG200, and therefore if you want to take a preset from your GR700 to your rack MKS30, you have an organized way to do so.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Saving private music

So here's how it needs to go down:

This is the "Lost Horizon Night Market." Awesome idea. Just make it this but in shipping containers instead of trucks, and make it a huge LAN party with an open wifi network for gaming/sharing/being awesome, and have bands play.



Via Wired

The day the music(al innovation) died

So here is an excerpt from a private correspondence I had reconnecting with someone from years ago. It got me talking about vintage gear, and my appreciation for it and I think I came kinda sorta into maybe the vicinity of articulating whatever "it" is about this stuff that gets to me:

"...Through it all I got really MIDI and rack gear obsessed, and have been working on getting some vintage pieces that really strike me. There are certain intangible vibes I get reading up on certain pieces of gear, where it's difficult to explain but especially in the 80's it was just this very innovative and forward-looking period for engineers and they just came up with certain ideas where I just feel like they were really onto something or got something really right. The vintage 24 pin guitar synths are one of those times/pieces (which I somehow feel like the Johnson amp prepared me for). Reading how a lot of people don't like them for tracking issues just goes back to what I was saying earlier about lowest common denominator. Yes, you can't play Pantera songs on the GR-700, but there is just so much more out there to do. It seems like these days people aren't innovating like that much, though there are exceptions, one of which is Starr Labs. You heard of them?

And on the non-guitar front, there are a lot of DIY type things with open source software like what is being done with the Arduino or the Monome grid controllers, and obviously I am really into recycling old gear and getting more use out of things people dismissed as irrelevant or obsolete, and the new music/hacker thing leads the way to doing that these days. I really like the idea you were mentioning about going back even farther into antique gear. I am such a technofetishist that I probably would miss the potential in them, but in the eye of the right beholder such as yourself, you could see all sorts of potential, which comes back to seeing a certain item of whatever sort and perceiving the idea and thought behind it and really connecting with it. I guess the 80's are really my "thing" but it's not in a "retro for retro's sake" thing for me, it's that whole time/culture of innovation and just wondering where that went in today's gear. I guess it's not just gear, it's Hollywood as well, just rebooting everything but not connecting with that original idea/intent or even feeling. We could probably get pretty philosophical here about the post 9-11 era, but without going there, basically I like getting more out of neat old things, or using old things in a new way. That's kind of informing my whole motivation really with the current project(s)..."

It just breaks my heart to see people making instruments totally playing it safe. I mean, I love DIY to pieces, but without the means that a larger company has there is only so much that can be done, and the monome is a prime example of something that has to be inaccessible just by its nature. I do really like the Roland VG-99 and hope to get my hands on one someday, but the old guitar synths were an entirely new instrument, and unfortunately not one many people were able or willing to play. Even beyond that, all the different things and types of synthesis being attempted and invented have just dried up. I mean, an arduino being used to trigger a bunch of scissors is cool and all, but these days you just aren't seeing things that inspire just by sheer boldness. Blame it on regulation and restriction of commerce, or on "hard economic times" or some other abstract, but I just want to see that era pick up where it left off.

Also, on that tangent, I think the 90's was the worst decade. Namely because it stopped the 80's.

"woah this guy is all out."



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Guitar themed midi control

Some really nice ideas going on here. Touch interface is certainly exploding as an expressive way to get involved with tech. I would love to see things like this but essentially merged with the iphone/android app concept, so that the screen could take on all sorts of aesthetics and tasks.

I can't believe that for so long, coming from a guitar player background I just had no concept of MIDI at all. And it's sickening if you read any of the comments on youtube flaming this invention the level of sheer ignorance of people equating technology in music to "Guitar Hero" and the like, although at least the people who do this also sort of stereotype themselves in just a few words.

I wish that my Casio DG20 had even one knob that was expression based and could send out CC messages. I love that thing none the less because it is still a guitar in the sense of having strings you pluck/strum, but it still feels like the future. Here is where I get to criticism of the MISA: one area where the MISA fails for me is that it really doesn't need to have a guitar form factor if you aren't going to have strings, even virtual ones on the touch screen. It is basically just a Kaossilator touch pad, and for that reason the flashy light up screen is a waste. If you can't customize or change the graphics on it and the way you are interacting with the instrument, it is pure form with zero function. Not to mention the guy is astronomically increasing the cost of the production and needlessly complicating the unit for what amounts to very little payoff. Basically, if you have this, and you're going to be using MIDI, the chances that you wouldn't have an actual computer involved in the setup somewhere are very slim. So the guitar should just have a touchpad and have the "flashy" graphics on the computer screen. Or again, make the screen more dynamic, and let people write "apps" for it to change the content and interaction (and give yourself some virtual strings!).