Saturday, May 12, 2007

EML 101

Every good instrument has it's own personality. The EML 101 has definitely got a special thing to it. Mine was in the Caribbean at one point and later a closet in the US. it's not a perfect example and "needs some work" like the range knob on OSC 2 but as it is I'm tempted to leave most of it the was it is.

I remember reading about how Brian Eno would mark his VCS3 to make sure certain things were not repaired because the flaws appealed to him.

The EML is not a pretty looking instrument, nor does it have as much hipster cashe as other semi modulars like the ARP 2600 but what is does have is an extra oscillator and enough routing choices to make patching less immediately important in searching for interesting sounds.

Here's a little clip of it making some noises

Friday, May 11, 2007

Max/MSP ASCII Sample player: post 2

It's pretty amazing that with about 45 minutes of dicking around over two days I was able to made a simple patch that bares a vague likeness to what I'm actually going for.

If I was doing this with a MIDI trigger in instead of ASCII, I'd be done and working on bells and whistles. ASCII is probably perfectly easy but I haven't had the slightest experience using the computer keyboard as a controller with Max.. That's kind of going to slow things down.

There are a few objects for ASCII conversion, "key" & "key up" are two that may work. Right now I'm leaning on the former. I may look around and see if someone else has already mapped out the keyboard into pitches so I don't have to.

Having added pitch control and variable echo on one channel is helping the patch actually sound like it's doing something fun already.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I never could view Ableton Live which I love as a software sampler as some folks do. The same could be said for the Electro Harmonix 16 second Delay (NOT THE REISSUE) looping and sampler are not the same thing.

I miss hardware samplers. In fact I can safely say that I basically stopped using samplers when I stopped using my Akai S950 Although I do use the Doepfer A-112 which is both a wavetable Oscillator and Sampler, it's still not the same as stretching twisting and tweaking something until it makes you laugh like crazy.

Another thing that's lacking is that slightly offbeat triggering of sounds in late 80's Hiphop. That still has it's charm. I actually plan to settle this missing mojo via Max/MSP and build a simple sample triggering patch that just has the basic functions like reverse and looping but triggered by the ASCII keyboard on my ibook

Should take no time at all. Max/MSP is so great for getting stuff like this done and in all of the years that i have used Max, I can safely say I have yet to get to a point of being an expert but I still manage to get my ideas done without errors or crashing. Great program.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

925 Voltage Controlled Reverb

Mike Bucki just sent me my 925 reverb.
9-2-5 you ask??
You mean 9-0-5!

From my understanding this got as far as prototypes in the custom shop at Moog, mine indeed has a smooth finish panel instead of the flat mat finish that we usually see on Moog modules and is old stock.

Mike spent a great deal of time matching output transformers to different reverb cans and tweaking it with caps until he was sort of satisfied and then I said "come on Mike it's time.. I can always tweak it myself or run it through the fixed filter bank"

Mike is not a guy who likes to let work go that he isn't 100% happy with, which as he would say is "a good thing". He and I have built up a trust where he knows I'll tell him the truth and we are usually in agreement.

To this day I don't know that our two sets of ears have disagreed yet on anything Moog. Although our musical tastes are as far away as Asia is to Motorhead.

So how does the 925 sound?

I plan on writing a full thing on Mike for this blog pretty soon and I'll see if I can find out some of the details behind The String Filter, Ring Modulator, Sample & Hold, VC Reverb, Dual VCO Rack and some of the other less common Moog products which Mike has continued to build.

In the maentime, if your vintage Moog needs a tune up give him a ring at 716-438-0756