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

Archives: 2006

December 16, 2006

Force Majeure

by Chris Randall

For those of you not in the know, we had a bit of a storm here in the Pacific Northwest on Thursday night. The only reason it wasn't a hurricane is that we don't have hurricanes in the Pacific Northwest. However, the net effect was the same. We've got trees down everywhere, and haven't had electricity since Thursday around 4:00pm.

What a hoot.

In any case, don't expect anything from me in the near future. I had to drive 40 miles to check my email and post this, and the drive itself was problematic due to trees on the highway. If you write the Audio Damage info line, don't expect an answer immediately.

December 14, 2006

Hard-Core Gear Porn, AH Edition...

by Chris Randall

As I mentioned, I stopped by Analogue Haven last week on our vacation, and took a bunch of pictures while I was there. Here's some highlights:

This is the main room; all the keyboards are live, so you can diddle away to your heart's content (much to the dismay of my wife.) I spent some time with the Lil' Phatty, and found it good-sounding, well laid-out, and generally up to the standard of current Moog products. The music in the store was playing from the Korg Radias, via some crafty programming. A nice touch, as it wasn't the usual demo suckitude. The Radias was running through the newest Kaoss Pad, and that's a nice piece of work, too. I didn't play with the Radias at all, because I find synths like that to be especially annoying. But the in-store music sounded nice.

There was a MacBeth M5 on display. These things are gigantic. Like "huge as fuck" gigantic. It reminds me of the control panel from some mid-40s hydroelectric project or something. To use the phrase "built like a tank" would be giving too much credit to tanks. Tanks would be better served by being built like an M5, I think. Only people in the UK make things like this any more, and that's a shame.

They have a whole wall of guitar pedals, all ready and waiting to be fooled with. All boutique, for the most part, and just tasty as hell. I drooled over this wall for some time, and fondled the Moog delay pedal I'll be buying as soon as I'm not broke.

The money shot for all you Euro-Rack fans. They're tiny and white. I don't care for this format, and I've kicked my modular habit for good anyways, but if you're one of the Faithful, here's your picture.

The modular room had a bunch of other stuff in it, in addition to the M5 and the Eurorackstravaganza. Here are the Metasonics ass reamers and what-not, and to the right, you can plainly see that AH now carries Blacet products, along with the MOTM Frac-Rack series. I didn't play with the MOTM stuff, as time was pressing, but the build quality seems to be up to Paul's normal standards.

I took a picture of the large MOTM form-factore Modcan system they have, but it didn't turn out, unfortunately. That stuff looks nice as hell, though. There's another room that has all the Studio Electronics stuff, as well as the MonoMachine and MachineDrum, the Adam stuff, and the high-end kit they carry. That room was my home for the next hour as I got the MachineDrum and Schrittmaker demos. But I didn't think to snap a photo, sorry to say.

In any case, there you go. It's a great store, and well worth the visit. Thanks to Antonio for taking the time to lead me about, and thanks to my wife for putting up with the stop.

December 14, 2006

How 'bout that?

by Chris Randall

I rolled in from our long-assed drive yesterday to discover that our 914 Fixed Filter Bank plugin has won a 2007 Remix Technology Award for "Best Software Value" from Remix Magazine. (Remix, if you're not familiar, is Mix with more turntables and less Ikons. Literally.) This is cool, of course, and we can place the provided icon next to our stacks of little pictures from Computer Music and Future Music.

We have other industry kudos of a similar flavor that I can't talk about, since the dissemination of information is embargoed until NAMM. But on the whole, Audio Damage is rolling right along. While I was on vacation, Adam got the AU version of Replicant in a working state, so we should be entering our serious test mode in short order. I might have a release date for you here soon.

December 10, 2006

Still AFk...

by Chris Randall

Just a quick update. We're in Tucson right now; our trip is halfway over. It's back to Phoenix and the 'rents for the next couple days. I had planned to be home on Tuesday night, but it's looking more like Wednesday some time.

We stopped at Analogue Haven (the store, not the website) Pomona on Friday, and that was actually quite a blast. If you're in the L.A. area for any reason, and you haven't been out to the store, it's really worth a trip. As far as I know, there is no other store, at least in this country, that has so much synthy goodness on display to fool with as much as you want.

I spent some quality time with the MachineDrum, a device about which I'd only read to this point. I can say without qualification that the MachineDrum is the Shit. It does have a particular sound to it that may remind one of the SP1200. But as long as you don't mind that particular sound, I couldn't find anything bad to say about it, other than its price, which is lofty.

The other piece I got an extended demo on is the Manikin Electronics sequencer, the Schrittmaker. I think this is one of those things where, if you don't ever see it or play with it, it's hard to justify buying. And I still don't know if I could be coaxed in to paying $1.7K for one. But that said, as sequencers of this type go, they've nailed it on the head, and then some. I couldn't actually provide you with a review or anything, as what I was shown would be difficult to write about, at least for me. But let me just state that for certain types of music, and for someone that liked to take the time to program things, it could be an incredible tool. I can't say for certain that I make that kind of music, and I'm not particularly fond of programming, so it'd be a difficult purchase to justify.

But I sure as fuck do want one now.

Anyways, I snapped a bunch of pictures, which I will put up when I get home. It's a nice store, and well worth the visit. Anyways, I probably won't have interwebs again until I get home (my wife's parents still use a modem, and I don't even go there), so if you have any questions about AH or whatever, don't expect me to answer them in the next 3-odd days.

December 6, 2006


by Chris Randall

I'll be out of the office from this evening until Tuesday next. It's highly unlikely I'll be posting in the interim, as we'll be doing a bit of travelling. L.A. on Thursday, Phoenix on Friday, Tucson on Saturday, back to Phoenix on Sunday, then home on Tuesday. Vacation is just like tour, except that we don't have to fight with promoters about the merch percentage every afternoon.

In any case, don't break anything while I'm gone. Be nice to your sister, and don't let her drink anything under the kitchen sink. Oh, and if I catch you having a party in this house, you'll be grounded until your 21st birthday, mister. Don't think I won't do it!


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