Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
Archives: January 2014
January 25, 2014
by Chris Randall
Another January, another winter NAMM. Thoughts, in no particular order:
1. Once again I'll state the obvious: Anaheim hates you if you're not there to go to Disneyland. I will again propose that NAMM move to the LA Convention Center, where at least if we have to put up with bad food and no parking, we can do it somewhere we don't have to drive two hours to get to.
2. The little synth pictured above. This is the Murmux Semi-Modular, a new product from Freaqbox, who are nominally guitar pedal people. Bog standard, mediocre silk-screening, a case that is way bigger than it has to be, and tweed, of all things. Somehow, that combo works. There is also a non-modular version called The Initiate, and one with a big ol' foot-pedal keyboard, if you're in to that sort of thing. There is zero shortage of simple analog desktops, and this is one of them, but the filter is to die for, and the big-ass knobs... PEW PEW PEW!!! No idea what the MSRP is, or availability. But me likey.
3. The Waldorf 2-Pole. Mono I/O, no MIDI, no USB, no runs, no hits, no errors. Another box that is way bigger than you'd think. It sounds farking awesome. $250-ish. Outstanding.
4. Bitwig Studio. I'm now running this jank. Haven't dove in to it in detail yet (i.e. made a track with it) but it shows promise early on. It's good Ableton has some competition now. All consumers benefit.
All in all, NAMM 2014 was exactly like NAMM 2013, only more so. A good time was had by all. Anything you see in the firehose of social and normal media that caught your eye?
January 15, 2014
by Chris Randall
Strange days are here. In no particular order...
1. The video above is me giving a little workout to a prototype reverb module; same DSP platform as our current products. It is, given the constraints of the platform, a mono 'verb very much in the style of the reverbs you find in the 90s IDM that comprises the majority of my listening habits. I kited the original algorithm from a Csound sketch that Sean Costello put out about 15 years ago, but it has been altered for context. I've been working on this on and off for about a year now, and I think it's to the point where it could be a commercial module. I'll keep you posted on that.
2. We have been updating our current product line at a punk rock clip, removing the DRM, updating the graphics, and generally tidying things up a bit. Dubstation, Replicant, and Eos have been done so far. Discord3 is next out the chute, probably early next week.
3. NAMM is upon us. Looks like Roland might give the people what they want, finally. I would prefer these companies with gigantic R&D departments spend time inventing new interesting tools than making permutations of old stuff, but I'm in the minority. In much the same way that 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 were "THE YEAR OF ANALOGZZZ!!!" we can expect the same in 2014. Just keep in mind that the vast, vast majority of NAMM announcements are workstation synths, MIDI accordions, and relic-finish Strat copies.
4. For reasons passing understanding, I have been hired by Phoenix College to teach their Electronic Music 3 class. Several students will get the joy of trying to keep up with my Catcher In The Rye level digressions ("SQUIRREL!!!") for the next few months. Wish them luck. That starts tomorrow.
All of these different things are occurring because Adam is building the hardware prototype for a new Euro module, and Eric is building the hardware prototype for another new module. So there's nothing for me to do but fuck with our existing IP, as is my wont when they're not wiggling strings to distract me. So, next week you'll get my usual NAMGLA posts. I'll be attending Friday and Saturday, if you'd like to meet for some reason. And then a return to our regularly scheduled zaniness.