and ) : C

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sex toy or boutique audio gear... can you tell the difference?

I'm not sure what Michael was looking for when he found this page (NOT at all SFW) specialising in 'Electrical Fetish' gear (for people who are turned on by receiving small electrical shocks in unlikely places), but he saw some stuff which looks like it should be on these pages. Without cheating, can you tell which of the items above are naughty and which are from the Analog Haven catalogue?

RIP Daniel Hansson of Elektron, father of Machinedrum, Monomachine and SidStation

Very sad news from Sweden: Daniel Hansson, one of the founders of Elektron, who make the coolest, best looking and most imaginative synths and drum machines in the world, died in a car accident on 19th August. Details on the Elektron site including where to send messages, and a nice note at Die Monster. (Thanks, Mikael and Brandon, pic via Matrix)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New from Line 6 - the Pod X3 and Pod X3 Live

Vettaville gets the scoop on the new Pod range from Line6. There's a new Pod X3 to replace (presumably) the XT and a Live version. There aren't many details although Line6 forum speculation and leaked specs suggest it can do two amps at once, but isn't a whole new modelling system. It may also have guitar and bass models in one unit. I think it's remarkable that Line6 persist in making weird-shaped, weird-coloured things with plugs in strange places...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dude builds wah-wah boots from boots, wah-wah pedals, gaffa tape

John writes: "Howdy, Dano from Beavis Audio Research sponsored a small d.i.y. contest over the weekend. My entry was a pair of d.i.y. Wah-Wah Boots (with sneaky cable pants)." There's not really a lot I can add, is there? (Thanks to Gary, also)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Prophet '08: The first picture

Here it is, from the DSI holding page. My thoughts: 1) Black case trumps Blue case. 2) Red LEDs trump Blue LEDs. 3) Dave Smith's taste in fonts remains remedial. 4) There's a limited version coming with Leopardwood end panels. Leopardwood is u.g.l.y. 5) Love the Prophet 5-style silver-topped knobs. 6) Nutters on the internets are saying it looks like a Sequential Six Track. They're wrong. It looks exactly like an updated Prophet 5. 7) I wonder if he is going to do an updated Pro One next - could it be any cheaper than a MEK?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stealers Wheel dude gets his guitar melted by plug-in air freshener

From The Sun: "EX-JETHRO Tull member TONY WILLIAMS [who also played bass on Stealers Wheel's 'Stuck in the middle with you'] has blasted an AIR FRESHENER firm for 'ruining' his £2,000 guitar.

"The bassist claims he left his pride and joy near an Ambi Pur plug-in in his Blackpool house but the fumes melted its paint and varnish.

"He says the instrument, a mid-70s Fender Stratocaster, is damaged beyond repair.

Tony, 59, who was in the prog rock band in 1978, is now warning other musicians not to do the same thing.

"He said: 'I stood the guitar in the corner of the room near to an Ambi Pur plug-in unit. The next day, the paint and varnish had melted and dripped on to the unit.'
Sara Lee, the firm that makes Ambi Pur, said: 'Our initial response is the product has not been used according to the guidelines.'"
Remember folks: be careful with your gear...

(via the always splendid Guitar Blog)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Octopulse: Stupid analog art bagpipe noise box

I can't see anything to suggest that Octopulse is a prank, but it certainly looks like a joke - from the straight-faced Yoko Ono lookalike in the video to the corporate funding (from Yamaha) to the five abandoned blogs to the blurb on the site: "She challenges us to rekindle the lost art of happiness—using neo-analogue playpower.". (Thanks, FMass)

Artec Big Dots Tuner: "a 70s light show that tells you whether you're in tune"

Last week I was in Treblerock Music in Bristol playing this absurdly cheap but really not bad guitar and the guy showed me a Big Dots SE-PTN Tuner which is cool. The LED matrix displays the note you're tuning and the letters zip in and out very pleasingly. It's also very cheap (about £45) and, as this review says: "Basically it's a 70s light show that somehow tells you whether you're in tune or not". It's nice to see a Korean company making something original and clever (although I'm braced for someone telling me it's a rip off). Artec are also the company who make the chip inside the ModBoard analog delay, which I've now wired up and will post about soonest. (Pic via Blog of doctor Music store manager)

Prophet 8: Prophet 5 reborn by Dave Smith Industries?

Dave Bryce is a DSI staffer who regularly pops up on the Vintage Synth forum to drop rumours about new products (just like he did for the launch of the Mono Evolver Keyboard). At the moment he's holding court with an announcement sure to bring a tear to eye of the most hard-hearted synth geek. DSI is about to release the Prophet 8 - a 30th anniversary re-release/remix of the Prophet 5. Of course, Matrix Synth has a good summary of what we know so far: 8 voice, all analog, patch memory, sequencer, arpeggiator, none of the digital stuff from the Evolver, street price of $1,999. Exciting stuff. There are sound samples from Stefan Trippler here and a teasing video here.

If you need any reminding of how cool Prophet 5s were, I strongly recommend this wonderful YouTube clip of Talking Heads playing in Rome in 1980 with two Prophet 5s, one Prophet 10 and Adrian Belew on strat and RE-201. There's a torrent of the whole show on Trader's Den (some registration required, I think). (Thanks Aaron, picture via BDU, Heads link via BoingBoing)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Dude plays really enormous home-made Flying V guitar

Is it a really small guy, or a really big guitar? Only you can decide (another clip). I know what you're thinking. 'Dude, that's a really big guitar!' But wait: this guy in Portugal has made a really, really big guitar, and this guy made two, and is working on a Les Paul. However, if you see this really big pink guitar, call the police, because it's been stolen. ps: I know you've had a lame couple of days of posts. That's because my Modboard arrived, so I'm learning to solder. (Thanks, Dave)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Building a Robot: alarming robot + Moog modular video

Like me, I'm sure you'll enjoy this video featuring dancing robots and enormous synths, before expressing concern that the producers aren't being sufficiently gentle with their patch cords. (Thanks, Sandro)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Scary hacked animatronic robots sing Fergie's 'London Bridge'

The mighty Retro Thing (and many other people) reports on the work of Chris Thrash, who bought three stages worth of vintage animatronic robots from a Chuck E Cheese restaurant, then reprogrammed them to play terrible pop songs like the gem above. This clip explains how the programming works, and there are tons of great videos on his YouTube page.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Splice has absolutely the finest 404 page ever made

I won't say any more so as not to spoil the surprise, but Splice's 404 page is far more fun than you can possibly expect (warning, it makes noises and uses flash)... I'll post about the rest of the site in a bit.