Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.

Archives: September 2005

September 30, 2005

Hard-Core Gear Porn Friday!!!

by Chris Randall

Okay, it's the moment you've all been waiting for. Now, let me state from the outset that these photos have appeared on the internet before. They were put in the MOTM Yahoo group for a brief period, but they were removed; in the time they were there, word got around quickly. (Which is why they were removed, of course.)

However, I fly in the face of convention, and put them here for your enjoyment. An anonymous donor provided them to me, and I will remove them if asked, because the owner of this system isn't exactly known for revealing the tools of his trade. So, without further ado, I give you Hans Zimmer's Wall Of Modular, which is, without a doubt, the World's Most Ludicrous Synth. Each picture is a link, which will take you directly to the full size model.

Moog #1

This is the far left of the Wall, and is, by and large, original Moog modular, as far as I can tell, of various vintages. There seems to be some non-Moog stuff on the second row of the left panel. Any thoughts?

Moog #2

This is the other side of the Moog Alcove, showing the third panel.

Misc #1

This is the next panel, and is made up of miscellaneous synths. There are two Studio Electronics SE-1s, a Cwejman S1, several racks of Doepfer (which have a couple Analog Solutions modules stuck in 'em, for balance, I suppose), and a pair of Midified and racked MiniMoog. The black panels are all CMS, as far as I can tell.

Misc #2

This is another angle on the same panel.


Between Hans Zimmer and Vince Clarke, I'm surprised that any Roland System 100m modules are left for the rest of us. This is one of the largest there is, with 58 VCOs, 37 VCFs, 32 ENVs, 12 VC Phase shifters, and 9 Sequencers. I think somebody needs to organize an intervention. This man must be stopped.

The Whole Shebang

Two different angles of the entire system.

September 29, 2005


by Chris Randall

Pictures of this bad boy were floating around the Intardwebs not too long ago, courtesy of our friends at Analog Haven, but now it is up on the 'bay. In a nutshell, it is a 606 where every possible mod has been done to it, and broken out in to the Euro-Rack modular form factor. I covet this greatly, I'll admit, but I imagine it is going to go for well over a grand (probably more like $1500 to $2K) and that is simply out of my price range for what is a relatively shitty drum machine, no offense intended to the obviously incredibly talented person that pulled this off.

September 28, 2005


by Chris Randall

If you're an auction-a-holic, you probably know about this site, but for those of you that actually _don't_ have all the free time in the world on your hands, this is kind of fun to browse. GL is one of the several companies that is contracted to unload all the useless shit that the US Government pays far too much money for, never uses, then eventually stacks on pallettes for disposal back to the American public.

(Yeah, do that math in your head: you now have the opportunity to buy something that, technically speaking, you paid for in the first place. You gotta love the government.)

There are some really good deals to be had; the caveat is that you usually have to go pick the shit up at whatever huge-ass supply depot it is sitting in. You want a whole pallette of Carvin bass amps? Look no further. You need a patchbay the size of Delaware? You've come to the right place. The prices are low, and about 4 times a year there is a specific auction for music gear (which is what the first link is.) You really never know what the hell you're gonna see there. Worth taking a browse now and again, I suppose. That is, unless you actually have, like, a life or something.

September 28, 2005

New boutique audiophile quality microphone!

by Chris Randall

The web page says it all:

"HIGH ROLLER" microphones are sonically right at home when
used to record drums regardless of the type of preamplifier utilized
in the process.
these hi definition microphones boast an astonishing dynamic range
with a signal to noise ratio well above
500 db you can record anything while still capturing the soul of
the performance.

That about sums it up. This handmade beauty (apparently available with six different color schemes) is only $30.00! I mean, what else can you get for $30 that will enhance your creativity this much? Okay, besides a quarter gram of cocaine and a case of Mickey's Big Mouth.

While you're on the site, be sure to check out the one-off Sleepdrone analog synth/opto-theremin/rat's nest of wiring. Like wombats fucking, that one. I, of course, have never actually seen or heard wombats fucking, but I bet they sound like the Sleepdrone when they do.

September 28, 2005

It's got salsa, rhumba, cha-cha, disco...

by Chris Randall

Man, my mom cracks me the fuck up. I go over to her house today, and she presents me with a Casio CTK-411, which is your typical home keyboard drum-n-chords magical music machine. Now, I have to preface this with a little bit of back-story. To my parents and grandparents (and I imagine this is true for most music pros), it seems unfathomable that someone can make a living making music. Even though I've been doing it for over 15 years, it still hasn't sunk in. My grandfather's now-traditional opening salvo whenever I see him is "got a job yet?" My mom put the "hip" in "hippie," but even she can't seem to grasp the concept that one can get paid (in the long run) for this.

So my wife and I moved from Chicago to Oregon a couple months ago, and have in the process gone from living over 2000 miles away to literally being just down the street. A side effect of this is that my mom has finally seen my studio, and once she got over the cognitive dissonance that was created by seeing two monitors attached to one computer, she began to take stock of the other contents of the studio.

I was unaware of this course of events until presented with this Casio today. I tried my hardest to not be snobby about it, and I think I failed when I asked "why do you think I need this?" It turns out, she saw my controller, which is a brandless, buttonless black thing that has nothing but 5 octaves of keys and pitch and mod wheels. She decided I should have a keyboard with "more stuff on it."

So, go ahead and yuck it up. This bad boy has MIDI in and out. I'm gonna one-finger-chord my whole next album, and then who will be laughing? Are there any circuit benders in the Willamette Valley that want to make this bitch, like, cool and stuff?


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