April 29, 2012
April 27, 2012
April 26, 2012
Checking out the service notes for a Roland TR-808, it's amazing to see all that goes into making just one sound. Here is a break down of what the Cymbal sound consists of:
six square wave oscillators going through five filters (two band pass and three high pass), three envelop generators and three amplifiers. If you don't believe me, see for yourself:
Ever since acquiring my 808 I've been adding white noise to the cymbal sound to make it sound more synthetic. I thought I was being redundant and that it must already contain some noise, but it turns out that it doesn't and my ears knew what they wanted to hear!
April 25, 2012
I don't know if I've really said so but the truth is that I don't like very much electronic music. I love the possibilities that electronic music present us with and what I imagine to hear when I close my eyes. I'm really hopeful for the future, I believe the best is yet to come! But of all that has been made thus far -- I'm not very keen on any of it. Anything reminiscent of Vince Clark I can't stand. Taking away the beautiful space around a sound (reverb) and having these pure electronic tones going straight into your ears makes me feel sick to my stomach.
That very thing happened to me today. Listening to Boards of Canada (a band I know I'm meant to like but I just can't get into) and a long drive up north was a particularly sickening combination. Once again I switched over to the Innocence Mission and instantly felt better. The song Going Away felt particularly appropriate for today. How long until an electronic song is made with this much humanity?
There is a line that says "Some other time I wouldn't care so much about being understood as I do now". It's one of my favorites. Why is it so important to feel understood? I don't know. Sometimes I feel like it is the most important thing, and other times I don't think it's so important at all. In my old age I think i've settled on thinking it is important but only on a small scale.
April 22, 2012
April 20, 2012
April 19, 2012
"I think it's the fate of the illustrator," she would shrug. "Look at Ernest Shepherd. He was so brilliant and did so much fine work, but people only associate him with Pooh and Piglet, and Toad of Toad Hall. It's the penalty of hitching your wagon to a star."
She believed Lewis to be rather indifferent to her work. "I think he saw them as just a necessary part of a children's book." The author and illustrator only had a couple of awkward meetings in all the years they worked together but apparently Lewis once told George Sayer "Pauline is far too pretty.".
Here's a lovely article about her: http://personal.bgsu.edu/~edwards/baynes.html
and here is her obituary in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/aug/06/booksforchildrenandteenagers
April 18, 2012
April 17, 2012
"Any synth is able creation of huge sound with very little effort. So the new challenge is to move step presets flashy, instant gratification and to create a sound and musical style that Is unique to you. Think about what you want to say musically first and then dive in to all the toys"
That was translated from French and done so poorly that there probably shouldn't even be quotes around it. There were better translations but this one struck me as funny and I think the sentiment still comes through. He goes on:
"On one hand, it's always nice to know that the music you do is appreciated by your peers in this strange but exciting world of electronic music composition. On the other hand, listen to participants and other parts of the chance to win or lose will help you learn more about the effect of music on your audience. This is an important feedback, no matter the outcome"
April 14, 2012
I feel as though I'm able to say some legitimate things about this synthesizer. I've been using it pretty intensely for the better part of a year. The Roland ProMars is sort of the monophonic, "special friend" of the Jupiter 4. It does have the obligatory cv & gate ins and outs (see previous post). It is, I believe, one of only a few (and only Roland) truly analog (and by that I mean voltage controlled oscillators) synthesizers that has patch memory. This makes it ideal for live performance. It's "compuphonic" memory bank holds eight user patches and has ten preset sounds. The preset sounds are a mixed bag. The Brass sounds (trumpet, trombone and sax) are wonderful, the Strings sound is nice, the Piano and Clavi sounds are fine and the Voice sound is incredible! The Synth I and Synth II sounds are useless.
The patch memory is great, but you are unable to edit a patch after it's been saved (unlike a Juno-106 or Jupiter 8 for instance). So after a patch is saved, if you try to change most of it's parameters you're out of luck. Except! There are some performance controls that do still effect the saved sounds. Most notably: a little knob called Brilliance, that is essentially just another way to control the cutoff frequency of the filter. There's also an octave switch that can be rather useful. The one thing that ends up being a bother is that the envelope settings are completely fixed once a sound is saved.
All in all, I think it's a great synthesizer. If you're interested in a set, this along with the Jupiter 4 and CR-78 drum machine all have the same sort of design (1978).