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

Archives: 2005

November 24, 2005

Behold the mighty Wurlitzer 112!!!

by Chris Randall

I'm posting from Fountain something or other, Arizona today. (It's a suburb of Phoenix. Fountain Hills? Something like that.) I drove over to my good friend Mike Fisher's house to pick up a Wurlitzer 112 electric piano. Man, this thing is a joy to play. Other than a slightly scratchy volume pot, and some wear on the corners, this bad boy is in top form. I can't wait to get home and start laying down tracks with it. Between the Wurlitzer Sideman and this, I have most of the tools an electronic band c. 1959 would be rocking the proto-rave with.

Tomorrow, I'm picking up a Matrix 6. Don't know what's in store with that, but it'll be a good start for my six-voice CEM synths collection I spoke of the other day. That should be ridiculous.

November 21, 2005

Vacation Time...

by Chris Randall

Well, not a vacation so much, but I'll be gone from now until Tuesday next. My wife and I are driving to Phoenix for the Thanksgiving holiday, so I'll be posting infrequently for this week.

For my readers not in the United States, Thanksgiving is an American holiday where we rejoice in the fact that Indians were quite succeptable to smallpox when we caucasians first got here. And the second half of that thought is that, for those of you that live in smaller countries, the distance from Western Oregon (where I live) to Southern Arizona (where we're going) is about 1270 miles, or 2040 kilometers. The interesting thing to note here is that both states are in the Western part of this great nation, and there is only one state between Oregon and Arizona.

America is a large country.

A spot of fun news, though: I'll be picking up a Wurlitzer 102 electric piano in Phoenix. It is in minty fresh condition, and will become the Hub of my Analog Lifestyle. Pictures and such when I get a moment.

November 21, 2005

Here's something you don't see every day...

by Chris Randall

It seems that a new company called Bricasti Design is actually releasing a hardware reverb, the M7. It is rather unusual for a hardware 'verb to come from someone besides TC, Lexicon, or Yamaha, so I thought it worth mentioning here. The website has the specs and it looks pretty tasty. Obviously, we're just pissing in the wind until someone actually hears it, but the specs look nice enough. No price yet, but according to them, the first units will be available in January. I'm going to guess around $1500 or more, just from the tooling on the front panel. Perhaps they'll be at NAMM and I can check it out there.

Apparently, the lead designer of this bad boy is the guy that designed the Lexicon 480L. So the company has some cred. The unit will be $3000+ when it is released, so it better be God's Own Gift to reverb, because I could get two Eventide 2016s for that.

November 20, 2005

Live 5 Caveat...

by Chris Randall

Since this seemed to start a dull roar in my inbox from all my peers who think I'm hitting the pipe, let me state for the record that there is no way one could possibly record and mix "real" music in Live 5. For starters, the meters are nearly useless. There's no phase button, which implies that all Live users only own one microphone. The built-in EQ is whack, and the program and its various plugs are much heavier on the CPU than equivalent shit in Nuendo.

Also, I don't know how to explain this, but there seems to be some second-order distortion in _everything_. Every sound I record or import seems to develop soft edges and fuzziness that I can't explain. I thought it might be the audio interface, so I put it on my Big Box (Death Star) as opposed to my laptop (Tie Fighter), and it's the same thing. So all the above, plus the annoying manner in which Live handles presets for its built-in stuff, would keep me from ever finding it useful for writing "songs." But as a really sophisticated part of my modular, it is great fun. And I imagine it would be good live, as the name implies.

Your mileage may vary, of course. It's no Nuendo, but then again it costs a fifth as much.

November 19, 2005

New Metasonix Anal Tube Vortex (or something like that)

by Chris Randall

Pictured is the latest from Metasonix, the S1000 "Wretch Machine," hot from the floor of the Vacuum Tube Valley Expo. It will have an MSRP of $2500. According to the literature, it is all-tube, all discrete, Hz/V operation, with an optional MIDI-CV interface for another three bangers. No info on the Metasonix site yet, but I'm sure some incredibly foul imagery will be forthcoming shortly.

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