Thursday, 17 August 2017

Glad to be not doing...

... reviews of the 'new' Roland stuff. I really struggled to think of anything interesting to say about the TR-09 and there's a TR-08 now for someone to evaluate. Seems that now I've 'let go' I can be content and realise that there is almost no new stuff emerging that interests me. Even a bit. Talk about lack of imagination... yet there are cool things out there. The Lyra-8 continues to delight me every time I touch her thanks to possessing all the necessary attributes of a classic electronic instrument. I wonder if Tony's machine, which will be more powerful, flexible and have a wider sonic palette, will have quite the same wonky magic? From what I've heard so far it will have more qualities associated with a regular analogue synth but with a whole set of alternate thought processes over the top. I'm pretty optimistic it will be groovy. Saving my pennies, fortunately an easy task, although buying the odd little thing, such as the OP-1 aerial.
(I may delete this and incorporate into collection 'the night hours' which I seem to have accidentally created from recent ambient stuff)

Wheee - we have a floor! Can't stand on it until tomorrow though. Will have to levitate.
Wheee2 - the finishing off guy is here! Sadly he noticed that some of the plugs that have been fitted don't work. I never tested them all...
Wheee3 - Tony brought my Synthi (and Smallstone) back. Itching to get into the studio and try but I'm waiting for workman dude to be done.
Sent in a review (the only module one I have left) this morning. Got a couple more ready to be sent once I get approval for doing them. Could take executive decision I guess...

OP1 aerial is great - sampled some Radio 3 and made a groovy new instrument within minutes.

And I started using my Instagram. 

Friday, 11 August 2017


You know, finally, I'm getting there. Minimalism I mean. Not totally, still too much hands on and messing, but finally forcing myself to obey my will rather than my whims.

Recorded a mellow demo of Tony's SRE chorus. Inevitably I added Lyra and the looper caught it. Eventide Pitch Factor in there of course.

The bandcamp version is longer and has had some Pro 2 overdubs. You may consider the video to be the pure one pass version and may prefer it on that basis. Begorrah

Weird that these last few days people have started buying stuff from my bandcamp site. One guy has bought so many individual things he could've got the bumper set for the same amount, but I feel like I shouldn't leap in and tell him since it might seem odd or pushy. Good when someone does that though, suggests they get it, all this stuff, and I'm not just some madman. Well.

rejected for obvious reasons, experimenting with different light levels.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Musing for a brew zing

I often ask myself: is this creativity? Or is it simply what any being, finding itself alive, might do? How am I to answer this? Or anything else for that matter.

Wow, that's the kind of gibberish I write when Pat's away and I'm on the sauce! Definitely overdue starting a new novel - but 'the book' must come first.

I got a Pressure Points. Considered getting a pair but will see how I get on with one. I realised today that I could really use it with Morphagene - it will let me preset combinations of slices, tunings and start points, with the pressure part controlling the gene size, at least that's the plan. Could sequence that stuff but a direct selection seems more desirable. Oddly, the 3 fixed voltages for each pad seem to fluctuate. Wonder if that means my power supply is close to capacity?
In other news, dunno if related, my Synthi died. Took it to Tony who pointed out the fried part which sadly he didn't have. Dunno what other damage might have been caused at this stage or the cause - have some suspicions but let's see what Tony discovers before I voice them. Had a cool demo of a beast in progress. Very exciting to see it growing.
Ordered a MakeNoise skiff because it was heavily discounted due to not having an AC adapter. Sorta gambling that I can get one. Got an update to say they don't know when they'll send it as it depends on them being able to find it. Sigh.
Tomorrow it's the door men. Supposedly tiles on Friday but we'll see.

Oh, I weakened and bought the FM aerial for the OP-1. Thought the carry case too expensive though.

Not mine but pretty all the same. Slightly jealous of Tim's System 100m. The new BSP looks fab too.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Small Victories

I have whined here before, like a total old saddo, about my encounter with UPS and their stubborn insistence that I pay to receive a part for fix my synth. Well, I stuck to my guns and sent in a claim to HMRC ... which seems to have prompted a full refund from UPS. Yay! No apology mind you, but since DSI completely refunded my payment too, my little adventure trying to get the Pro 2's filters to work properly has only cost me in time, energy and possibly grey hairs.

In other news, went for my 'random health check for old gits' and was pronounced fit and hale. I think my pulse was 60BPM so I'll be trying to record something at that tempo today. The nurse didn't offer to stick her finger up my bottom and I didn't ask (even thought it crossed my mind). She did look into my ear though and I'm off to see the doc next week to start investigating my tinnitus.

Pat away for weekend now so I'll be getting the beer in soon, once electrician has been and done a very tiny bit more. Work now stalled until we find a replacement for the tiles we'd chosen. Yes, I'm fed up. Also about to spend more money getting wall sorted/rerouted and extending the garden to make up for the lost area of lawn. Last SOS payments should come in handy after all!

Hardly any time to play with OP-1. Been cracking on with book chapters. Not today though.

I'm reading the Wind in the Willows, which is marvellous. Not sure why I never did before, missed it as a child in favour of Willard Price books, oddly enough.

I resisted doing a video. Instead I took the OP-1 and recorded my recent tape noodles into the Morphagene. That's enough for a new process and it produced this:


Monday, 31 July 2017

Keira, Keira, draws a step nearer

In the January 2012 review of the OP-1, I speculated that the slender and elegant machine was, like a certain actress, out of my reach. More than 5 years later I finally find myself in a position to own an OP-1. It has revived my hopes, slightly, of a chance liaison with the lovely Ms Knightley. I do not, of course, live in the real world. And you can't make me.

It seems to have grown a lot since my review, especially in last year's update, which I guess could be the last. Why did I buy it, you ask? Well, I expect to be spending time pottering around outside the sweaty studio, maybe recording in foreign climes. It follows that a portable instrument full of groovy options to assist the Electribe Sampler and Microgranny 2 is worth having. Yes I could have used my iPad but I want to have fun...

OK it arrived. Wasn't entirely happy that it didn't arrive with box, cable and overlay - so screams 'second hand' rather than 'B stock'. Not too impressed with Gear4music. For the sake of £50 I could've had a new one. Might still return it actually even though it's wonderful. Didn't take long to get back into but some cool new stuff since I reviewed it. Might need the FM aerial at some point. And since I don't have the box, the carry case! :(

Builders did a couple of hours today. No idea when plasterer or electrician comes. Pat off visiting on Friday so binge planned, might do an ambient noodly video using the OP-1. Already started recording some freaky sequences to the tape recorder (tape recorder still my favourite thing).

Crashed it too, in less than an hour.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Nearer and nearer

I mean our conservatory is nearly done. Well, it's up and has windows in. They're using some powerful sealant or glue that's making me quite high.

Turns out I do have a book to read, I bought Wind in the Willows having never read it before. I also have some David Gemmells we got because we lost our old copies.

Unusual for a Friday but at a loose end. I bought an OP-1. A B-stock one, still expensive but something I always thought I might buy one day. Good for Headshock beach sessions and hanging in the conservatory when the studio is too stuffy. I'm making excuses to myself for spending money unnecessarily. Mind you contemplated selling both my Elektrons. Funny how that happens. Now the desire to play live has gone, they seem to merely occupy space and demand too much time to use compared to other, faster gear.

Work continues on 'the book'. Think it'll be launched officially at Synthfest and I'm increasingly optimistic about how it will turn out.
Getting so many Facebook friend requests I'm considering only accepting them from folks who send a photo of them posing with one of my novels. ;)

Right, it's Friday and time to make noises.
Bloody hell, the Synthi is ill! All it will do is scream and get hot. Not something I usually aim for in a synth. Arse! First the Morpheus and now this. At least the Synthi will be fixable.

Saturday morning, listening to a free download from Brendan Pollard. Good Berlin stuff, I should seek out his bandcamp and actually buy some. Oddly enough now I have my USB stick mentality sorted for music it doesn't seem quite so pointless to buy downloads. Who knew? Everyone I guess.

 Tim's Aira Green shot

Pat's happy

Did this mostly to try and use the A4/OT and reassure myself it would be daft to just flog cos I'm temporarily fed up. Probably does need a remix but have lots of separate tracks thanks to new mixer.

Just seen Greg Doran on TV, reminded me of choir days.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Finished Hyperion. Very good, had proper ending too with all the kind of elements people associate with a story well had. If it has a weakness (and it has) it's the god-pandering that never quite goes away, the dripping justification for submission to a higher being, even if the apparent theme is seeking freedom from thrall. Still, the strengths outweigh the weaknesses by a long way and the shrike is a good faceless, emotionless baddie. Some great points about humanity and its current state.

Can't bring myself to tackle the Dark Forest. Written in Chinese, translated by someone else, it reads horribly. One rainy day maybe. So I'm out of books again.

Building meant to start again tomorrow. We currently have thunder and lightening and a very black sky. Sigh.

And the bloody Morpheus died.

Had hardly used it too.
Tomorrow I'll finish the two Eurorack reviews (they're done actually but I like a last read). Up to date with book edits, at least for now. Spent a happy hour this afternoon just playing piano. A little glimpse of what I expect retirement to look like ;)

Decided to do the COS gig using the Lyra-8, Pro2 and some effects. Should be plenty. I'll inevitably take the Microgranny 2 and looper but a nice change for me.