June 28, 2012

Roland's first product: TR-77

So, I picked one of these up last night. I really like it, I think it sounds great! Not being able to sync it up to anything is a problem... I guess I'll have to hone my beat matching skills a bit.

June 25, 2012

Busy Weekend

Peter and I went down to Maryland to visit our dear friends Justin, Joanna and Nathan for the weekend. We saw a play of The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe that incorporated acting, puppetry and ballet. A great time was had by all. But now I have a bit of work to catch up one. Sorry things have been slow around here. Peaks and valleys you know.

June 21, 2012

Please don't experiment, stick with the tried and true methods. If you must experiment, do it in private, hide it under a bushel.

June 18, 2012


Public transportation is such a wonderful thing.

June 16, 2012

New Fantasyland

I rarely get excited about modern developments; I'm much more interested in preserving the past exactly as it was. But there's something about the expansion of Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom in Florida that seems so right. It will double the size of Fantasyland and it's all basically locations from Disney's classic fairytales brought to life.

I'm especially especially excited about the addition of the Beast's castle from Beauty and the Beast. It might seem gratuitous having two castles in one park, but I just think it will be great! Now, if we could only get a Matterhorn mountain on this coast...

The Seven Dwarf's Mine Train coaster is also exciting, but it won't be opening until 2014.

The Sound of Your Dreams

This handy pyramid is from the Roland SH-09 manual. If you follow it careful you can achieve any sound you can imagine. Wonderful!

This gentleman is walking through a door that leads to another world.

June 14, 2012

The Elusive Roland Chord Shift Scale

I believe these came with the TB-303 Bass Line. I think they'd be rather useful in day to day life though... certainly with the way I use those CSQ sequencers, changin' keys all over the place.

Then there's this... I've had it for a while. Still haven't listened to it yet. Maybe I will next week. Light a lantern and listen to this record.

June 7, 2012

Delia's Lampshade

I forgot to mention the best part of the exhibit yesterday. It was a green, metal lampshade that Delia Derbyshire used to bang on to record sounds to manipulate electronically. Delia really was a rare jewel. She had the most amazing demeanor, the most amazing speaking voice.

And that's the last I'll say about Delia for a while. Don't worry, she gets plenty of press these days everywhere else.

June 6, 2012

Eventful Day

I didn't think I'd be in London at all this summer, which would have been a shame because there were two very interesting things going on that I really wanted to see. I did both of them today.

The first was a special exhibit at the science museum about electronic music called "Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music". With the star of the show being Daphne Oram's ridiculous Ormics machine. I've never quite understood or enjoyed this sort of early electronic music. It was just noise really. No structure at all. Of course I went through as phase of being completely infatuated with Delia Derbyshire (who hasn't?), but Delia did have a bit of structure --certainly in the Dr. Who and Tomorrow People theme songs. I do appreciate everything those early pioneers did though, we certainly wouldn't be where we are today without them, or where I am in 1983 for that matter.

The second thing was a live stage show in a 360 degree theater of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in Kensington Gardens. It was thoroughly enjoyable. I wasn't blown away, but of course the senses dull a little with age. And it can be hard to truly enjoy such a thing without your loved ones. I had as much fun as one could have sitting by himself in a theater. It was a good, full day.

June 5, 2012

Tascam 234

I think this is the perfect machine for a live synthesizer band.

June 3, 2012

Roland Juno 106 "Junior" with LFO Triggering

Some people were pretty outraged that this guy chopped his 106 up. Maybe I'm just not so precious about them (digital oscillators aren't very endearing in my opinion), but I think it's kind of cute this way. This effect, switching through the patches rapidly with an LFO, it's interesting but a little underdeveloped. When I was heavily involved with the 106 I used to do something similar, but I'd step through the patches at the same rate as a running sequence, so each note could have it's own unique sound. And sometimes just slight variations of the filter's cutoff frequency or the envelope settings. So rather than just randomly stepping through different sounds, it's more like sequencing the sound of each step as well as the pitch.

June 2, 2012

New Crayons

I feel like Roland's ads back in the day were never very kooky, at least not compared to most of the other companies (they used to get really carried away). This one is about as wacky as they ever got, and I think it's still pretty sensible.

Here is a lovely drawing of Reepacheep and Caspian on the Dawn Treader.

June 1, 2012

Jupiter-4 Prototype

I guess we're in a bit of a Jupiter-4 mode now. Check out these crazy pictures of a Jupiter-4 prototype! It looks like a System-100 style design, or an SH-7, or 5. These grainy pics also make it look like it's being held hostage in Iraq. But you can see it still has those colored buttons along the bottom.

Thanks to Sam for passing these along!

Modified Jupiter-4

Here is a nice picture of a Jupiter-4. I don't know if it's modified on the inside or not, but I think what they've done with the outside looks rather handsome. They've given it a nice big logo and turned the buttons all black and white. And the wooden sides have been made black. Well, here, see for yourself. Here's the original: