Saturday, 27 September 2014

16 x 16 CELL MEDITATIONS : NOYZELAB


16 x 16 CELL MEDITATIONS : NOYZELAB

limited cassette


*WARNING* This cassette tape of electronically produced meditation drones has been precisely composed and engineered for listening, relaxing and formal meditation practice (movement or stationary). It is not advisable to play this tape while driving or operating heavy machinery, or any other activity that requires you to concentrate on the task at hand. No responsibility or liability is accepted for use or misuse of this material in any way whatsoever.

Instruments : Hinton Music Lab Modular (processing), Noyzelab Custom 4 Voice Microtonal Drone Oscillators (0.01Hz resolution sound source)


Recorded at Noyzelab Studio, September 2013

Coming soon on meds

In the meantime here is a currently unreleased electronic drone meditation by NOYZELAB :




Review of 16x16 CELL MEDITATIONS by Norman Records -->


8/10 from Jim (Staff) on 10 November 2014 




Noyzelab is basically David Burraston (aka Dave Noyze), a guy who, has spent the last few decades venturing ever deeper into the hidden complexities of electronic music. According to a recent two-part sprawling interview/conversation with his old mate, Richard James (aka Aphex Twin), Noyze explains how this current recording was created to address the dearth of decent meditational music tools using a bank of custom built microtonal oscillators. What you get on this C90 cassette is two sidelong tracks of pulsating electronic drones which are so mesmerising the label has issued a (tongue in cheek?) warning about not operating machinery etc. while under their influence.

The first side offers up a high energy drone based around the interplay of a relentlessly oscillating bass wobble and mid-frequency buzz. Over this there is the rapid flicker of a high-mid frequency tone along with higher frequency textures providing sizzle and crackle. Of course, the point with most drones, like their op-art counterparts, is not so much their individual constituent parts but the the effects produced by their relationships and interactions. This drone is particularly satisfying as it makes me feel that my needs are being met right across the audible frequency spectrum. The distinctly electronic quality of the sound has me feeling like I've been wired up to the national grid, the constant flow of the current strangely reassuring. Imagine a distillation of the most hypnotic parts of Spaceman 3 at their most abstract or Suicide if they just played one instead of two note riffs and you wouldn't be a million miles off imagining how this sounds. 

The second side features a different flavoured drone, fading in with circling, phase shifting crackle over a purring frequency arrangement that for some reason sounds to me like a shuddering boat engine. As with the first track, the interactions between the various elements within the drone are quite complex so that even the slightest movement on the part of the listener or shift in listening focus seems to affect how the track sounds. In fact, this factor is so much part of the listening experience that it's hard for me to say whether the tracks evolve at all during their 40+ minute span or whether any apparent evolution is just an aural illusion arising out of my shifting perceptions. Playing this on different cassette players will no doubt add their mechanical quirks into the equation. Recommended for drone connoisseurs or anyone really who is interested in the psychedelics of pure sound.          





Thursday, 18 September 2014

Zeus B Held (Music Producer) Interview - E&MM 1985 Tim Goodyer

Ultra rare interview with legendary German electronic music producer Zeus B Held (John Foxx, Black Uhuru, Alphaville). Held also produced the classic track No GDM by Gina X... Interview by Tim Goodyer, scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, July 1985. Have included the youtube vid of No GDM by Gina X at the bottom of this post.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Hinton Music Lab module closeup - Multimode Filter

A bunch of close up pictures of the Hinton Music Lab modular ML1502 VC Multimode Filter and some sound examples. This is quite a unique VCF module, and my Music Lab contains three of them. The filter cutoff frequency can be adjusted with ultra-precision using a 10 turn lockable potentiometer, usually only found on VCO's. The filter Q (resonance) is also switchable between normal (fully resonating) and limited.

The outputs are low pass, high pass and band pass with both level and +/- phase adjustable. The inputs are duplicated to nuclear physics spec Lemo connectors which connect to the virtual earth inputs on the module, allowing input signals to be summed directly on the Pin Matrix module. Also note that two of these modules are designated ML1501, although they are actually ML1502's underneath. The ML1501 panels have a slightly different layout which includes a voltage controlled Q input, although this is not connected internally and the PCB's are all designated as ML1502. I've included a set of pictures of the differences in these panels.

The Music Lab was built by Graham Hinton back in the mid 70's. I've not mentioned this in earlier posts, but the Music Lab is actually a prototype modular that never went into production. In some respects it is a pre-cursor to the current Hinton Instruments Eurorack synth modules, although the Music Lab format is a 4U rack frame size. There are a number of other differences that I'll hopefully get around to mentioning in future posts, as well as there being a lot more module types in the Music Lab.


I've used the Hinton Music Lab on lots of my recordings, but the VC Filter was the first module I ever recorded, as I bought this first prior to the getting the entire modular in 1997. The following Bryen Telko track HINTONE contains a main riff on the filter (recorded in 1996), also using a Roland System 100M modular and sequencing with a Roland MC4. Additional noises used on this track were recorded on my Korg MS20 in 1985 (a carbon granule telephone mouthpiece into the external signal processor for vocals) + also on this track are a tweaked up Roland TR606 + Doepfer A112 VC Sampler (more on my algorithmic/generative experiments with the A112 module here).



Monday, 15 September 2014

Ulamizer II Cellular Automata Sequencer - SOUND EXCERPT + more pix from 2006/7

Ulamizer II Cellular Automata Sequencer sound excerpt + more pix from 2006/7. See the earlier Ulamizer II post for more info.


The pictures below are from my studio in the Blue Mountains, Australia back in 2006/7. The main modular synth seen in this setup is my Hinton Music Lab Modular. The Hinton Music Lab is particular suited to my CA module tests as it has a completely unique 8 bit logic bus that connects its sequencer, switch and counter modules together, so I can drive that bus directly from the cell gate outputs. The Ulamizer II guts are in the black box & another small circuit board hanging off that in the flightcase under the Hinton Pin Matrix.

Rhodes Chroma Review - One.. Two.. Testing magazine 1982

Short review of the Rhodes Chroma + the colour advert in the same magazine. Scanned from my copy of One.. Two.. Testing  magazine Issue No1 1982 (no author was credited in the review).


Sunday, 14 September 2014

BBC Radiophonic Workshop Equipment List - 1985

BBC Radiophonic Workshop equipment list from 1985, including all the serial numbers for each piece of gear. This was an addendum to an earlier article on the workshop in Electronics & Music Maker called Aunties Playroom. This listing is scanned from my copy : November 1985.


disclaimer: i dont know who owns the copyright these days, at the time it was music maker publications ltd.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Hinton Music Lab module closeup - ML1812 Sequence Generator

Some close up pictures of the Hinton Music Lab modular ML1812 Sequence Generator. The ML1812 was built by Graham Hinton back in the mid 70's using wire wrapping! This module also has a logic buss at the rear for the 8 sequence bits, which I can interface directly to my MANIAC & Arthur prototype systems. This makes them particularly handy for being modulated by Cellular Automata logic patterns.



Here are some example recordings of the Hinton Music Lab in action :

 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Acorn Music 500 Synthesizer Review - E&MM 1984 David Ellis

In-depth review of Acorn's Music 500 Synthesizer for the BBC Micro. Article by David Ellis, scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, December 1984.

Erasure Interview - E&MM 1986 Tim Goodyer

In-depth interview with Erasure (Vince Clarke & Andy Bell) covering details of music tech gear used by the band. Interview by Tim Goodyer, scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, August 1986.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Dave Noyze - Jupiter 4 Mountain



Roland Jupiter-4 (my own custom CV/Gate mod) & MC4 + sundry synth clatterboxing + home built ring modulator

Recorded 2005 at Noyzelab Studio, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Bunch of studio pictures below taken around the time this track was recorded



How Vince Clarke made Yazoo's "Only You" synth sounds...

Five sets of panel layouts for the SCI Pro One synth by Vince Clarke, for the track Only You by Yazoo. Scanned from my copy of One.. Two.. Testing  magazine Issue No1 1982 (no author was credited in the magazine).



Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Hinton Music Lab module closeup - ML1302 Trapezoid EG

Some close up pictures of the Hinton Music Lab modular's ML1302 Trapezoid EG. This module also has a series of logic outs for the different stages of the EG cycle. Module includes audio in/out which is level controlled internally by the EG. Controls : Attack Time, On Time, Decay Time, Delay Time, Trapezoid +/-, Signal +/-, Switch (Gated, Cycle, Single), Manual Gate Switch.  The inputs are duplicated to nuclear physics spec Lemo connectors which connect to the virtual earth inputs on the module, allowing input signals to be summed directly on the Pin Matrix module. The ML1320 was built by Graham Hinton back in the mid 70's using wire wrapping!


Here is an example (recorded March 2013) of this module setup with Hinton ML VCO's (more on these in a future post), the ML1890 switch and the ML Pin Matrix module :



Here are some more example recordings of the Hinton Music Lab in action :


Monday, 8 September 2014

Modes of Operation - Depeche Mode Interview E&MM 1986 (Paul Tingen)

Modes of Operation - A very rare Depeche Mode interview covering in-depth details of music tech gear used by the band. Interview by Paul Tingen, scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, August 1986.

ZX81 Polyphonic Sequencer Part 4 - E&MM March 1982 (Peter Maydew)

Part 4 of the four part ZX81 Polyphonic Sequencer articles from E&MM. This one covers the music entry program written in BASIC.

This article is scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, March 1982. Article written by Peter Maydew.

Note that at the end of part 3 there is an errata for this article series!! (nothing too heavy, but you best check it out first!). Part 1 is here & part 2 is here


Gallery of Misfits E&MM Sept 1985 (David Ellis)

Gallery of Misfits by David Ellis with some rare pics of obscure synths that didn't make it. Includes a picture of the rarely ever photo'd EMS Datasynth (also known as Datasynthi). The only other pic I've found of the EMS Datasynth is here.

Article scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Sept 1985.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Hinton Music Lab module closeup - ML1820 Counter

Some close up pictures of the Hinton Music Lab modular's ML1820 Counter. This module also has a logic buss at the rear for the 8 counter bits, which I can interface directly to my MANIAC & Arthur prototype systems. This makes them particularly handy for being modulated by Cellular Automata logic patterns. The ML1820 was built by Graham Hinton back in the mid 70's using wire wrapping!



Here are some example recordings of the Hinton Music Lab in action :



Emu SP-12 Sampling Drum Machine Review - E&MM Sept 1985 (Paul Wiffen & Annabel Scott)

Review of the legendary Emu SP-12 Sampling Drum Machine, successor to the Drumulator. Review by Paul Wiffen & Annabel Scott, scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Sept 1985.


ZX81 Polyphonic Sequencer Part 2 - E&MM Jan 1982 (Peter Maydew)

Part 2 of the four part ZX81 Polyphonic Sequencer articles from E&MM. This one covers the circuit for the I/O port that will allow D/A converters to be connected, or for directly driving synths with a digital interface such as the EDP Wasp or Maplin/ETI 3800 & 5600 (+ see here). Also included in this article is a little polyphonic sequencer program written in Sinclair BASIC!

This article is scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Dec 1981. Article written by Peter Maydew.


Note that at the end of part 3 there is an errata for this article series!! (nothing too heavy, but you best check it out first!). Part 1 is here


Hinton Music Lab module closeup - ML1890 Switch

Some close up pictures of the Hinton Music Lab modular's ML1890 Switch. This module is pretty special having a logic buss at the rear for the 8 switches which I can interface directly to my MANIAC & Arthur prototype systems. This makes them particularly handy for being modulated by Cellular Automata logic patterns. The ML1890 can switch both audio and control voltages and was built by Graham Hinton back in the mid 70's !  The inputs are duplicated to nuclear physics spec Lemo connectors which connect to the virtual earth inputs on the module, allowing input signals to be summed directly on the Pin Matrix module.



Here are some example recordings of the Hinton Music Lab in action :



Movement Percussion Computer Review - E&MM Jan 1982 (Dave Crombie)

Review of the ultra rare Movement Percussion Computer, as heard and seen in the Eurythmics : Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) video with Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. This review is scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Jan 1982. Review written by Dave Crombie.


Roland SBX80 Sync Box Review - E&MM Feb 1985 (Paul White)

Review of the Roland SBX80 Sync Box, a fully goes intta / goes outta box for synchronizing all kinds of stuff to all kinds of other stuff! Review by Paul White, scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Feb 1985.

Roland have now revisited this box in the form of the newly available SBX-1 Sync Box.


Step Time Sequencer for EDP Wasp Synth & C64 - E&MM Nov 84 (Jethro Hill)

Ever wanted to hook up your EDP Wasp to a Commodore 64 sequencer? This article by Jethro Hill is the very thing. Not only is there a little step time sequencer program in Commodore BASIC, there are simple instructions on how to interface to a Wasp synth without the need for any external circuitry or interface! Just a cable! + from what I can tell this is a simple version of the code for one of the Joreth Music Systems programs.

Also, the keyboard on the normal Wasp only had 25 notes, this sequencer allows you to access the full 33 note range, thats an extra 8 notes!

Article scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Nov 1984.


ZX81 Polyphonic Sequencer Part 1 - E&MM Jan 1982 (Peter Maydew)

I've done some further digging around in my boxes of old E&MM mags, and found out that the ultra minimal ZX81 polyphonic sequencer was a four part article series, and luckily enough I've got all of them. I posted up part 3 a few days back which covers the CV out interface & some polyphonic sequencer machine code, and its been pretty popular, so I am scanning the other 3 parts.

Here is part 1 which gives a good introduction to those unfamiliar with ZX81 and will help with understanding specifics of the other 3 parts (little machine code monitor, keyboard reading business & ZX81 hardware).

Note that at the end of part 3 there is an errata for this article series!! (nothing too heavy, but you best check it out first!). Part 2 is here.

This article is scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Dec 1981. Article written by Peter Maydew.


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Janko Keyboard Synth for BBC BASIC - One Two Testing Jan 1985 (Andy Honeybone)

Short article and two Janko Keyboard synth program listings in BBC BASIC (probably one of my favourite programming languages of all time). These programs allow you to play the BBC sound chip from the QWERTY keyboard layed out in the Janko arrangement.

They are both the same program functionally, one is easy to read, but the other one is more compressed and runs faster. Top stuff and not a GOTO in sight! Note : Raspberry Pi users running RISC OS will be able to type this in and get it running on their machines + this program should also work on any RISC OS machine running BBC BASIC.

Programs and article written by Andy Honeybone, scanned from my copy of (the ultra short lived) One Two Testing magazine, January 1985.  


Linn LM-1 Drum Computer Review - E&MM September 1981 (Warren Cann of Ultravox)

In depth review of the Linn LM-1 Drum Computer by Ultravox drummer & drum machine programmer Warren Cann. This review is scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Sept 1981.

 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Bradford Musical Instrument Simulator!

This one is a bit of a revelation... have never spotted this before, but while scanning the Laurie Anderson interview I was thumbing through Electronics & Music Maker magazine and came across an interesting letter on the letter's page. The letter was from Dr P J Comerford of the University of Bradford, UK, about an additive synth they developed called the Bradford Musical Instrument Simulator (BMIS), which can synthesize waveforms with up to 255 harmonics and have up to 512 waveform generators!

Dr P J Comerford, University of Bradford, UK

The letter was written in response to the Patrick Mimram additive synth article detailing the University of Bradford's synth, and I've scanned the letter and included it in this post below. Naturally this aroused my curiosity so I did a web search and discovered that the BMIS system is still being developed. It is now called Bradford Enhanced Synthesis Technology (BEST) and you can go to their website and check out the details. I'll quote a few parts here :


Principal technological features of BEST are:
  • A facility for specifying and playing complex multiple cycle waveforms, synthesised from individual partials with independently controllable amplitude and frequency envelopes which can change from cycle to cycle as required. 
  • amplitude envelopes for single cycle waveforms implemented as a series of hardware-controlled ramps instead of a series of steps, greatly reducing unwanted noise during amplitude changes.
  • 16 bit waveform storage and output resolution and 24 bit waveform arithmetic resolution preserved over a 48dB range.
  • 8 output channels per sound module (64 in total) each with a sample output rate of 42.7Ksamples per second.
  • a comprehensive graphical user interface for specifying waveform characteristics.

Envelope Studio for the current Bradford Enhanced Synthesis Technology (source: http://www.comp.brad.ac.uk/research/music/interface.htm)

Laurie Anderson : Making Music with Big Science - E&MM Feb 1985 (Dan Goldstein)

Rare interview with experimental performance artist Laurie Anderson : Making Music with Big Science. Discussing topics such as early samplers and her work with Jean-Michel Jarre. Scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Feb 1985. The article was written by Dan Goldstein.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Warren Cann (Ultravox) Interview - E&MM April 1981 (Mike Beecher)

Very in depth early interview with Ultravox drummer & drum machine programmer Warren Cann. Covers quite a lot of ground including information about his modifications to electronic drum machines. Also included in this interview is the sheet music to Mr. X by Ultravox. I've included a youtube of this track. This interview is scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, April 1981. Interview by Mike Beecher.


Electronic Dream Plant - Gnat Synthesizer Ad - E&MM Sept 1981

Electronic Dream Plant - 2 page Gnat Synthesizer Ad - Scanned from my copy of  Electronics & Music Maker, Sept 1981. For in depth details & schematics of the Gnat check out Tim Stinchcombe's page here. Interestingly this advert mentions the Flea Sequencer, including a retail price, although this never made it to market. The ad also includes images of the Wasp Synthesizer, Spider Sequencer & Caterpiller Keyboard.

The Gnat cost 99 quid in 1981 (pretty much the cheapest synth on the market as I remember), so for your average schoolkid doing a paper round delivering newspapers (like I used to...) earning say 2 quid a week it would have taken 99/2 = 49.5 weeks to get the cash together for this highly desirable box...! this time could be reduced if the christmas tip period was included.

 

Kraftwerk Revealed - E&MM Sept 1981 (Mike Beecher)

Ultra in depth interview with Ralf Hutter of Kraftwerk during the 1981 tour, including full details of the live setup of Kling Klang Studio. Note this interview also includes a computer program in Sharp BASIC to display Computer World track names & band members with hyper-minimal graphics. This interview is scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Sept 1981. Interview by Mike Beecher.


PAIA 8700 Computer/Controller Review - E&MM April 1981 (Dr David Ellis)

Ultra rare in-depth technical review of the ultra rare PAIA 8700 Computer/Controller. This review is scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, April 1981. Article written by Dr David Ellis.

The original PAIA assembly/user manual is available from the Cloned Analog Gear website (part1 & part2). A corrected circuit diagram is available via The Old Crow (Scott Rider) website here.

 

Generative Music on the Roland MC4 MicroComposer Part 2 (more pix) - Cellular Automata Sequencing


Part 2 of a post about making generative music with Cellular Automata (CA) sequences with the Roland MC4 sequencer. With well known works from composers such as Vince Clarke & Aphex Twin the musical applications of the MC4 cover a lot of ground. Over the years I've been playing around with different ways of working with this box since I got my first one in 1997, and I started integrating it with my algorithmic / generative composition processes.



The method I used to generate the data values was adapted from an Australasian Computer Music Conference paper I presented in 2005 :

Burraston, D. (2005) Composition at the Edge of Chaos. Proceedings of the 2005 Australasian Computer Music Conference.(Brisbane, July 2005). PDF -> here 

The idea of using CA values is also valid for any type of algorithmic / generative data that you can scale to the MC4 parameter ranges (or any sequencer that takes number values e.g. MIDI). 

For more details please see part 1 post. This post is more of a picture fest of the setup, photo's taken in 2007 at Noyzelab.

Korg Trident Review - E&MM Feb 1982 (Mike Beecher & Peter Maydew)


Early review article of the classic Korg Trident analogue polysynth. This article is scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Feb 1982. Article written by Mike Beecher & Peter Maydew. Also included is a bonus B&W ad of the Korg Delta string synth from the same issue.



Monday, 1 September 2014

Powertran Digital Delay & MCS-1 - Automata 52 setup

Some gratuitous pix below of the setup for the track A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Feline Activity on the album Dave Noyze : Automata 52. This track also features field recordings kindly donated by Chris Watson. This CD was limited to 52 copies, but you can now get it in digital format from Cataclyst.


The setup shows a Powertran MCS-1 sampler which features both MIDI and voltage control (& all manner of other weirdness), and a Powertran Digital Delay Line with some additional modifications to allow for external pitch and trigger control. More info on the Powertran Digital Delay Line modifications can be found here & here. Both of these Powertran machines were designed by the now legendary Tim Orr and published in Electronics & Music Maker magazine.



Keen eyed spotters should note the more recent additional modification on the Powertran Digital Delay Line, which is a little mod I devised especially for the Automata 52 album. This is the little switch hanging over the front panel. The details are classified at the moment, but the upshot is that I can change the sample rate in realtime from my own external clock modules, and both underdrive until sampling halts & overdrive the sample rate until the converters can't handle it! Also in the pictures is a prototype cellular automata oscillator module with an OLED display, which was used to drive the pitch input on the Powertran Digital Delay Line.



Roland TR-606 Review - E&MM Feb 1982 (Tony Bacon)

Early review article of the classic Roland TR-606 Drumatix drum machine. This article is scanned from my copy of Electronics & Music Maker, Feb 1982. Article written by Martin Christie.