Wednesday, 25 January 2012
As soon as we get a min we'll sort a link or upload to the footage of MR H blabbing on but for now you can check out some more details of the current issue here.
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Happy new year and all that, another year's sneaked up on us when we weren't looking and kicked us up the arse before beginning to sprint away again.
We were kept busy leading up to Xmas making a little gift for our mates at FXpansion to give away over the festive period - a circuitbent expansion pack for their sampling drum software monster Geist.
We've a fair collection of bent drum machines so sampled off a huge chunk of both hits and loops for the expansion pack. A new and most welcome addition to our glitch-ridden armoury is our trusty Akai S01 sampler which has been modded to now include a 5x5 switched glitch/grind/audio madness matrix. The work was done by those twisted boffins at www.circuitbenders.co.uk who have modded a few things for us in the past. And I have to say it's bloody fab!
Geist users can find the circuitbent pack waiting for them once they have logged into their FXpansion account. For non-Geist users you can check out some of the bent drum loops on our soundcloud page here
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
We've just finished putting together a set of classic digital synth samples for a forthcoming issue of Future Music magazine concentrating on a couple of synths from the (in)famous Yamaha DX range - a Dx7 (Mk2D) and it's smaller cousin a DX100.
Oddly enough this was the first time we'd really used either of these synths and although we knew broadly what to expect sound and programming -wise, we still found them quite an unusual experience to geet our heads around compared to the feature-rich soft-synths or knob-heavy analogues we usually use.
Out of the two we actually preferred the smaller Dx100, which although under-powered and armed with rather horrible mini keys has a charm of it's own and still retains that very distinctive DX/FM feel and sound.
Of course you can find some samples taken from both synths at our soundcloud page here and a more extensive set will be available on the DVD of Future Music issue 247.
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
360 Systems Midi Bass Samples by groovecriminals
Friday, 9 September 2011
A quick glance over this blog will show that we're lucky enough to be sat on quite a horde of hardware drum machines, both vintage and modern, including a few hip hop classics including the Oberheim DX and DMX. Both of these machines are punchy beasts and capture those early Run-DMC style beats perfectly.
As well as the drum machines we also used lots of live drum breaks recorded especially for this project. We're great believers in simple being best so often we used a basic 3 or 4 mic set up (kick, snare, and overheads) and then either chopped the loops up and fed them into the 12 bit samplers or just took single drum hits from different breaks just as if we were digging from records. We also dug through years of DAT tapes of our own recordings, demos, and sample sessions treating them like a sample source (which of course they are). It's a handy exercise and it's amazing what audio gems turns up in long forgotten projects or sketchy ideas.
Of course we also used the hardware sampling sequencers (MPC2000
/EMU SP1200) for putting beats together in a traditional hip hop manner but we also used a drummer playing electronic kit triggering gritty samples and the more modern DAW drum grid as well as Geist itself.
One sequencing/sampling trick that many overlook when aiming for that elusive 'MPC swing' is that lots of movement in oldschool beats was as much down to badly cut samples as it was to any swing settings. The older sampling machines didn't have the visual tools to cut the start points of drum samples quickly and easily and we suspect most users couldn't be bothered. This meant that often drum samples had milliseconds of noise, crackle or silence left on their beginning or end which affected how fast they sounded when triggered in a sequence which can lead to their own form of 'swing'. It's one of those little tricks we've been using for years ;)