Friday, 29 January 2016

ARP 2500 - Vintage Brochure

A cool brochure.
I picked this up the other day and thought I'd share.
It's a useful summary covering the main modules.


1004 - VCO modules.
All these ARP oscillators seem to use the same basic circuit and the main difference is the arrangement of inputs & outputs and the type of switching between waveforms.  The 1004-T indicates that a toggle switch is used to switch between inverted and non-inverted waveforms. The 1004-P indicates a pot (just non-inverted waveforms) and the 1004-R a rocker switch.
Each VCO has the following waveforms: Sine, triangle, square, saw, pulse.
The 1023 VCO is not mentioned in this brochure.

1005 - The Modamp Module

1006 - The Filtamp Module

1016 - Dual Noise/Random Voltage

1027 - The Sequencer
The internal clock on this sequencer is similar to the pulse waveform of the 1004 oscillator. It's width can be controlled by the "% pulse width" or by using an external signal for pulse width modulation. The clock out appears to be more a "gate" than "trig". You may need a gate to trigger converter to drive external sequencers.
Something like Ken Stone's CGS24 may work.

1033 - Dual Delayed Exponential Envelope Generator.

In the ARP 2500 universe, there are 3 envelope generator modules: the 1003, 1033, and the 1046 (see below). The 1003 which is not mentioned in this brochure is identical to the 1033 except that it contains no "Gate Delay" (the top two pots). 
The output voltages range between 0 to +10V.

1036 - Sample & Hold/Random Voltage.
Cabinets - The different choices available.

1045 - Voltage Controlled Voice

1046 Quad Envelope Generator

1047 - Multimode Filter/Resonator.

The 1050 Mix Sequencer.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Roland 303 acid with a Korg Volca drum

Testing out the modified Korg Volca Drum.
We modified the snare and added Midi out.

Sounds great.
Everything I play the TB-303 I marvel at the filter. It's really what makes this instrument so special.
It is described as a ‑24dB/octave filter diode ladder (built with transistors) but it is actually made up of  four ‑6dB/octave stages connected one after another. The sound cascades from one stage to the next producing a rounding‑off of the initial filter slope. The sound takes a bit longer to travel to the last stage which makes it sound brighter.

 The unusual decision to build the diode ladder with transistors adds to its unique sound. Roland chose to use transistors wired up as diodes.

for more info

You can see the drum mods here:

Vintage Telephone Exchange

My mate Ian and I discovered this in a pub in New Zealand while downing a few beers.
It's an old telephone exchange.

I understand these use bantam jacks. They are spring loaded so when not in use fit back into their home socket. Nice and tidy.
Of course the idea of using patch cables in the modern modular synthesizer comes from telephone exchanges.

 I think this was once part of the "dial" mechanism

Monday, 25 January 2016

Metro - Cobramatic remix

Some Buchla & Euro sounds.

This new track features the random out custom mod to Mutable Instruments 'Grids' module. Grids plays some of the TipTop module drums and the random out triggers the bass synth gate played by a Verbos Buchla format 262v Harmonic Oscillator.
There is a Intellijel Metropolis sequencing the lead line. An additional sequencer line comes from the Buchla 208.
Everything is remixed in Ableton Live.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Electric Gardens Music Festival - Sydney 2016

Electric Gardens Music Festival.
Australia Day weekend Sat January 23rd, 2016.
Centennial Park, Sydney
A much smaller line up than your average EDM (Electronic Dance Music) festival
though I kinda like this more. - Just 3 stages.
The BIG Festivals I feel are getting too big & possibly out of control.
Smaller festivals and old school clubs are returning electronic music to it's roots.

Pachanga Boys

I really enjoyed this festival and I think that part of the reason was the smaller crowd. There were fewer dickheads who were off their face on drugs and alcohol. Everyone that was there wanted to listen to the music. Don't get me wrong, I still love the big festivals but maybe the spectacle has taken over. Have the fireworks & special effects made the music secondary?

Nic Fanciulli
Nic's Facebook is here.

A great set Nic!

As I left the Electric Gardens, I started chatting with a random reviler who made very much the same comment about the demise of electronic music.
He quoted Fatboy Slim's statement that."EDM will crash & Burn".
I think that what FatBoy is referring to as "EDM" is the current Music Festival System. EDM used to be an underground movement but it is now mainstream and this popularity is corrupting it's soul.

John Digweed

My personal feelings are that electronic music & DJing is all about complicated rhythms, evolving baselines & leads. For me it's exciting to hear new mashups done on the fly. This requires a deep musical knowledge and experience that can't gained just from the studio. You have to play lots and lots of gigs to live audiences. All this requires a deep musical database.

Every performance should be different. Experimentation, improvisation & the odd mistake are all
part of the course. I suspect that many people at these big festivals just want to hear what is on the radio.

Dubfire & John Digweed

I'm hopeful that much of the audience at the BIG festivals will learn that real electronic music is more that just pressing a button and letting the special effects do the work for you.
Maybe they will migrate over to festivals like Electric Gardens where the DJs have to concentrate, count beats, and use primitive devices like records & 808 drum machines.


Erick Morillo

Fatboy Slim's computer asks the question: "Are we having fun yet?"

Eat Sleep Rave Repeat.

Right about Now.

FatBoy Slim pays homage to greats of the past.

Psycho Killer

Thursday, 21 January 2016

ARP 2500 DIY cabinet

Some more pics from the mysterious Japanese ARP2500 DIY cabinet.

Andrew of  NLCs is working on some of the modules.
They will eventually be reunited. For the moment I thought it would be good to document the case in its current state.
Before this system arrived we had no idea what to expect.
Five of the DIY modules are just a panel with no PCB behind.

So far Andrew has identified (from right to left):
1.  Reverb (extreme right) - the one with the big black dial.
2. Matrix mixer ??
3. DIY module - dunno - so far a mystery (3rd from the right)
4. Fixed Bandpass Filter (4th from the right)
5.  Clock (5th from the right) - this one uses numitrons.
6. Empty module A - just a faceplate with 20 pots & 8 sockets
7. Empty Module B - faceplate with 22 pots & 10 sockets
8. Empty Module C - Current meter
9. Empty Module D -  faceplate with 26 pots & a simple meter.
10.  ??
11. Empty Double Module - 39 pots, 25 switches, 3 lamps.

6.  Empty module A
     Twenty pots & Eight 3.5mm sockets

     Wonder what it was intended to be?

7. Empty Module B - faceplate with 22 pots & 10 sockets.

8. Empty Module C - Current meter

9. Empty Module D -  faceplate with 26 pots & a simple meter.

10. Empty Double Module - 39 pots, 25 switches, 3 lamps. 
      This is a monster of a module.
      I wonder  what it was intended to be.
      The pots seem fine, though most of the switches are Kaput.

If you the viewers have any suggestions as to what to turn these empty modules into please let me know.
This is going to be a long term labor of love.