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.

 
 
 

15 comments:

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Dec.17.2006 @ 9:24 AM
Black-Man
hey CR... I would really like for your to expand on your machinedrum thoughts. i get mixed reviews from reading AH on it - probably because its *gasp* digital - and the online samples just don't seem to do it justice.

After delving into drum loops w/ recycle et.al. I am ready to go retro and go drum machine. mpc/jomox/md - thanks.

 
 

 
Dec.17.2006 @ 9:41 AM
Chris Randall
Okay. You have to realize I was in knobby overload the whole visit. I generally formulate my opinions on a piece of gear in the first couple minutes, and it's unusual for me to sit through a demo of any length. But Antonio knew his way around this particular piece of gear, and gave me a reasonably good overview. You can easily find all the technical details in the various usual sources, so I'll limit my comments to subjective impressions.

1. The sound. The audio of the unit was coming through an Adam S3A system with the sub, so my impressions are based on an incredibly flat source that went all the way to the bottom of human hearing. With that in mind, I think I can say that it would be difficult to get that 909 Underworld dancefloor smasher sound from this box. If you do house music more or less exclusively, you might want to move along, because there's nothing to see here. The usual 808 and 909 sounds in the unit sound a lot like SP1200 samples of same. The unit is tilted towards more agressive styles, I think. As a drum synth, it is very capable, though. If you want some more esoteric or new sounds, you've come to the right place. A lot of the synthesis, no matter what the method, sounds like Waldorf's Attack plugin.

2. Programming. Obviously, I didn't nose around the unit at all, but rather watched someone else do it. There are some neat features I hadn't really seen expounded on in the press before. First off, it has the usual x0x programming method, which we all know and love, plus it can also be programmed in the Korg DDDx method if you prefer that. But as far as I can see, every single parameter is per step, not per pattern. You can set an overall sound or effect or whatever per pattern, then you can grab a step and twist a parameter, and it is only for that step, no matter what the parameter. This is a cool feature, to be certain, and reminds me of the ability of the R8 and Studio 440 to do similar things; however, it is far more sophisticated than either of those boxes. The other nice addition is a roll feature like on the R8, so you can do the skittering IDM shit with ease.

So, in short, it sounds great as long as you're not trying to emulate other boxes. It isn't terribly good at sounding like a 909/808. It _is_ terribly good at sounding like a MachineDrum. It seems to be, on initial inspection, to be quite easy to program, and well built. Perhaps someone that owns one would be better suited to expound upon or debunk my statements.

-CR

 
 

 
Dec.21.2006 @ 9:15 PM
Adam Schabtach
Hopefully the craftspeople in the UK won't be slowed down much by the RoHS conversion.

--Adam

 
 

 
Dec.28.2006 @ 4:57 PM
Adam Schabtach
Hopefully the craftspeople in the UK won't be slowed down much by the RoHS conversion.

--Adam

 
 

 
Dec.28.2006 @ 6:19 PM
Adam Schabtach
Hopefully the craftspeople in the UK won't be slowed down much by the RoHS conversion.

--Adam

 
 

 
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