February 13, 2007

Things To Buy Real Soon Now...

by Chris Randall

I've got a mental list of things I'm going to get in the not-too-distant future. These first two will finally complete my Analog Effect:

Moog MF107 Freq Box. I don't know why this thing appeals to me so much, but I literally can not wait until it comes out. It occurred to me that with this, the ring mod, the LPF, and the phaser, I'm actually dangerously close to having a modular synth again, something I swore off semi-permanently last year. Well, as long as I don't buy a MIDI-CV converter, I'm still safe, right?

Eventide TimeFactor. I already have an Eclipse so this is somewhat superfluous, as there is literally nothing in this box that the Eclipse can't/doesn't do. However, it's an Eventide delay in pedal form, and it will finish off my Analog Effect nicely, and I even have the perfect spot for it, and it's such a pretty blue...

Waldorf Blofeld. Essentially a Microwave Micro Q in a desktop form-factor, with some extra shit, right? In any case, I like desktop units because I can just keep 'em all on a shelf and pull the one I need out, and they all occupy the same footprint.

So, those are the next additions to my lil' studio that you'll be hearing about as they become available. What's on your List?



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Feb.13.2007 @ 9:39 PM
Adam Schabtach
Comparing modulars to British motorcycles and model railroads is spot-on. Coincidentally, just last night I was looking at X-Y tables for my drill press with the notion that it would make it easier to drill holes in both PC boards and panels for my modular. One of the X-Y tables I was considering is sold by a tool company that seems to cater largely to model railroad construction.

I'm not sure that I really have anything on my List these days.



Feb.13.2007 @ 10:29 PM
Aenemone Carbuncler
when you look at something like the Evolver.... well, modulars are just expensive. I'm blown away by the the evolver but i like all the possiblities of the modular. Don't even try and compare modular price to the evolver... it's rough, but then why isn't there a patchable eveolver? As much as i love the evolver the modular is still a lot more fun to play with, and the possibilties a bit more open. It's only like trains and shit if your into the DIY thing... other than that it's about as simple as any synth to install maintain. And the same synthesis principles aplly for sound design, just more options. If only the evolver had cv/gate, heh! dave smith hates for you to ask that since he pretty invented midi... but, sadly never really anyone improved on.

Feb.13.2007 @ 11:01 PM
"One of the X-Y tables I was considering is sold by a tool company that seems to cater largely to model railroad construction."


(I'm a geek on so many levels.)


Feb.13.2007 @ 11:02 PM
Chris Randall
Mike: If you're looking for a little color/analog voodoo, you want to be looking somewhere besides the 747. The word "clean" doesn't begin to do justice to Avalon products. You get out what you put in, only louder. Keep in mind that with high-end pro audio, the "color" that you hear spoke of is largely imperceivable, and very subjective. A good mic pre simply doesn't color anything. That's why it's expensive. If you go in to your purchase expecting some magic dust to be sprinkled on everything, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Now, if you actually _want_ magic dust (i.e. color) I think the Cranesong HEDD is probably your best purchase, if you have the coin. Magic dust is its stock in trade, and it is a top-quality A/D/A besides. The API A2D looks like a fantastic deal, but again, you're not really going to hear things better. If you recorded something through low quality (e.g. MOTU) pres, then the A2D/747/whatever isn't going to fix that; if anything, it'll make it worse. However, the HEDD just might.



Feb.13.2007 @ 11:50 PM
penzoil washington
hmmm...the A2D, as you know is a pre & DI box, in addition to being a converter. it sounds like Mike is sequencing and/or playing hardware and printing it into the computer. since that can be done in multiple passes, running everything thru those API opamps & trannies and API AD conversion would be a big improvement over running the synths thru his MOTU stuff, don't you think? And if he ever goes to mixing OTB, he'll be better off capturing it with the A2D than a MOTU. I agree it won't spout "magic dust" but quality audio sounds quite a bit more magical than prosumer audio, no?

Feb.13.2007 @ 11:55 PM
penzoil washington
of course the first modular in a box was the oberheim matrix 12 & Xpander. That'd have been a room full of emu or polyfusion modules.

Feb.13.2007 @ 11:57 PM
mike kiraly
Thanks to those who took the time to respond. I try to have conversations like this with my girlfriend and it just doesn't work out so well.

Chris: I wasn't necessarily looking for the "magic dust" - I've been let down by that quest before, as I am sure we all have (although the UAD Neve plugs certainly come close sometimes).

Although I try to incorporate my beloved outboard synths and fx as much as possible, I am increasingly turning to soft synths and fx (a special thanks to my AD plugs!). I find that sometimes it's difficult to obtain separation in my mixes when using too many soft synths, and one of my cures (warning: subjective analysis approaching) for this problem is to take a part or group and run it outside of the box - maybe through an outboard compressor,eq or a synth filter. When it comes back in, it tends to sit better in the mix. Now this is probably just because I'm crazy and the D/A/D conversion is dirtying the sound, thereby making it stand out from the pristine tracks left behind.

I guess I was intrigued by the possibility of the 747 because 1.) it's a stereo unit and therefore would be better suited for my uses (processing stereo busses and groups) 2.) i was assuming that you could drive the tube stage via the input and add a bit of harmonics 3.) i've heard nothing but good things about it's eq section, basic and fixed as it may be.

The HEDD looks very cool indeed, although a pretty hefty price tag. I'll trade someone a bag of Twizzlers for one...mmmm Twizzlers....


Feb.14.2007 @ 12:36 AM
i'm finally giving in & buying a PT HD2 next month
partly cos i'm getting us$4500 trade on my (very) old
TDM system (as in Nubus PTIII)
& before anyone rails against the idea, I need the track count
plus 5.1 panning/routing as I deliver to a PT equipped film dub stage...

but next on the fun purchases list will be:

ringtone pedal
link [www.zvex.com]">link [www.zvex.com]

echolution pedal
link [www.pigtronix.co...]">link [www.pigtronix.co...]

& maybe on the mic list, if i ever get to test one
a core sound tetra mic
link [www.core-sound.co...]">link [www.core-sound.co...]


Feb.14.2007 @ 12:38 AM
Anyone on this list should own an Evolver. As Chris notes, the price/performance ration for the lil' desktop one makes it more or less free. It isn't a full-blown modular synth, but it contains worlds. Seriously. At least go play with one.

As far as my studio, my lust is to actually spend more time working with what I have - to make patches every week on the Evolver or Ion or Reaktor synths or Absynth or SOMETHING.

I find it all too easy to lust after gear - sure, I'd love me a Moog Voyager, or more likely I'd just get the Poly Evolver Keyboard - if I had some money - but I feel like I barely use what I have. I'd rather make more tracks/patches and have LESS gear.

Which reminds me - anyone know where I can get a sustain pedal for an old Fender Rhodes electric piano?


Feb.14.2007 @ 12:44 AM
An evolver desktop and a kp3, kp3 imo has stage mojo, plays drumloops and glitch style fx, not to mention it takes away from the no im not checking my email syndrome, I'll take 2 kp3's, and throw in an MFB SynthII while your at it. Minimal,effective,both synths have seq with banks and are portable, kp3 will do me for drum loops and mangling. Oh and a a new Fender/Roland Jammie with the midi pick ups. Than I awaken, should just save the coin for the Boomchik!

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