Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Sunday, September 27, 2015
REMEMBER SAFETY FIRST. To avoid electric shock, injury and death be sure to ALWAYS unplug your sampler before any work.
The Akai S900. Question: Why would anyone want to mess with these dinosaurs that only have 11 seconds of memory at maximum bandwidth?...Answer: because, like the MPC-60 and S950, THEY ARE THE KING OF LO-FI CRUNCHY SAMPLERS. Filthy never sounded so good!
Unfortunately these dirty little gems are taking a beating. Their power supplies are going out, I presume killing RAM chips along the way. When RAM chips develop 'bad ram bit' errors, it can result in nasty little click-and-pop sounds on your samples....and not the good kind either. Replacement RAM chips are hard to find. It sucks because you feel there is nothing you can do about it, all the while your S900 sits in a corner collecting dust.
BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE IT ANYMORE. With a little persistence, some electronics tools, and experience you or your technician CAN take your S900 all the way back to a crunchy beat party in no time.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Doing something a little different this time. I have packed ALL 64 of my original Sub 37 patches into a 4-track MEGA DEMO, a cornucopia of basses, leads, arpeggios, and otherworldly sound effects. Everything you hear is ALL SUB 37, I wanted something true to the tone of just the Sub 37 and nothing else. You may see other effects and things in the background, but NONE are used here.
It took two weeks to compose, film, and edit the video.
The patches are free to download on my download post as a system exclusive file, AKA sysex. If you do, be sure to FIRST backup your own sounds to a computer, and confirm they are saved. If you need guidance be sure to check out my post about uploading sysex patches to a synthesizer using a MIDI utility program like MidiOX.
About the patches. Most of the patch names are self-explanatory.
01-04 Don't Go There, inspired by a Yazoo track.
01-10 Memory Stack, sounds just like the Memorymoog I used to have.
01-13 Dream Electric, inspired by Blade Runner
02-16 Trakker, there are a few patches that make use of FM modulation via the LFO at audio rate. The key is to track the LFO speed across the keyboard. This produced a similar FM sound I've been able to get for the Matrix-12/Xpander.
03-07 DNA Cygnus, the Cygnx was a prototype synthesizer by spacehardware.co.uk. I was fascinated with the demos of this phase-modulated wavetable digital synth. Alas, it never went into production. However they did collaborate with Pittsburgh Modular in a product known as DNA Symbiotic Waves. Fantastic module, this patch reminds me of those kinds of sounds.
03-08 Coinage, Nintendo Mario coin-pop sound
04-03 Hymne, inspired by Vangelis track of the same title.
04-04 Melt With This, I was going for the lead synth from Melt With You.
04-09 Fanfare, ...for the common man.
04-11 TX37Z, more FM tracking fun like on the TX81Z synth.
04-13 Xenophobic Pulse, have you seen the movie Contact?
04-14 So Easy, ...a caveman can do it? Reminds me of a sound I heard in a Royksopp track
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
ELECTRONICS REPAIR HAS THE POTENTIAL TO INJURE, CAUSE FIRE, AND DEATH. ALWAYS TURN OFF AND UNPLUG ANY DEVICE BEFORE ATTEMPTING REPAIRS. Do not attempt electrical repairs unless you are qualified and have adequate skills and experience. ALWAYS exercise safety first. This video was generated for educational learning purposes only. There is no shame in taking your instrument to a qualified professional for peace of mind.
Today I'm repairing a vintage string synthesizer. All the G# notes were dropping out due to some intermittent problem. Intermittent issues, due to their nature of coming and going, can be difficult to track down. Luckily for me the String Melody II is relatively easy to service, even without any schematics, with a little background knowledge in how string synthesizers work.
Normally I would start at the power supply, but I have already serviced that area and know it is functioning properly. Since all of the G# notes are experiencing problems, I begin investigating the Master Oscillator. The Master Oscillator, similar to organs from the 70s, generates all the notes for the top octave. These frequencies are generated all the time regardless if keys are pressed. These top octave frequency voltages are wired to another large PCB located under the keybed, which is responsible for dividing down the notes for all the lower octaves.
Feel free to post suggestions in the comments section. If this video was helpful be sure to click the like button, and subscribe to my channel. Thanks for watching!
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Follow-up of the MS-20 mini bass excursion demo w/ some SQ-1 sequencer madness, modulation weirdness, and a patch that will make you wonder if the mini is having a meltdown. With a special appearance from a Boss DR-110 drum machine, the Accent Trigger Out is going to the SQ-1 Sync In. Again I have framed the shots so hopefully you can see all the settings and patch cable connections.
All sound taken raw from the mixer, no additional effects were used in capturing the audio.