Tuesday 2 December 2008


We've just finished an electro sample set for next months FM and decided to hire in that ultimate electro machine a TR 808.

Now we've wanted one of these funky beasts since being into early hiphop in the 80's and it was great to get our grubby mitts on it, even if it was only for a couple of days.

First impressions? Well it's funny how it didn't really sound like what we expected an 808 to sound like - just shows how many heavily processed or just plain fake sample sets/beats are out there. Don't get us wrong once you get a beat going it sounds chunky and warm, the (in)famous rimshot sound made us smile when ever we used it, which was a lot.

But here's the thing, would we pay up to a grand (looks like the going rate second hand) for one?

The answer is no.

Yep it's a great machine, and a real joy to use but it didn't totally blow some of our other drum machines out of the water and £800-£1000 seems too expensive to us. That said tho, it's still a wrench to give it back.

Here's a quick video of us mucking about with it.

Sunday 30 November 2008

Ho Ho Ho

We'd like to throw out a huge well done to Mr Hoodee for completing this years Bury ST Edmunds 2 km Santa run for the East Anglia Children's Hospice charity.
We're hoping this out of character burst of exercise will make him lay off the drum kit for a few days!

Wednesday 12 November 2008

The Good

Finally got our collective butts around to getting a full electronic drum kit installed in GCHQv2.0. Many thanks (as ever) to Simon Edgoose, from our percussive squadron, for making a custom rack to attach it all to (only had a limited space to squeeze it into) and helping us set it all up.

This means a fond farewell to our Drum Kat which is on it's way to another drummer contact and plenty of reasonably quiet practicing of our rather meagre drum chops.

The bad

Mood is a wee bit sour around GCHQv2.0 at the mo due to losing over half a months worth of work because of a single lousy email that never arrived at it's destination. Mr Hoodee was so furious that water was condensing around him from the air giving him his own cloud of steam.

As a team that makes it's collective living from the joys of technology, it can still be a bastard some times and perhaps not something to be totally relied on blindly all the time.

And The Ugly

Here's a quick preview of lensmaster Richard Ecclestones latest snap for Future Music.

4 Mr Hoodee's, oh how we shivered.......
Moog looks nice tho!

Thursday 2 October 2008

8 years is a long time in this business

We've been getting a bit nostalgic about the loss of GCHQ, or since the post yesterday, so though you might enjoy this.

Yes that's MR Hoodee with his low tech set up (even for then!) in the bedroom that GCHQ would eventually grow above - nice curtains we thought. The fact he managed to produce quite a few released records from that set-up still tickles us today, especially when someones moaning about a powerful plug-in or the 2 hours of sample time on their soft-sampler !-P

Quite a landmark for the Groove Criminals that interview, as it was the first time we met Eckie (who did the shoots) and Mr Sellers who wrote the piece and ended up getting MR Hoodee into journalism - although we have forgiven him finally.

So there you have it - slightly embarrassing but you gotta start somewhere !-)

P.S funnily enough MR Hoodee also got a tune on the Future Music cover CD a couple of years before we got together and started making samples for them - will see if we can dig it out....

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Goodbye GCHQ

Okay we didn't get to post before October (see post below)!

Things have been very busy here over the last month and we're just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel that runs through sample mountain. Of course such a large amount of concentrated studio time has left us all pretty much ill and grumpy but pleased with the amount of work we've managed to churn out under some pretty impossible deadlines.

Time also to finally say a proper goodbye to GCHQ or as you can see in the pic (from my camera so sorry about the quality) the loft space above Mr Hoodee (and misses) bed room in their now rented out cottage.

We finally had to shift the 2000 or so records that were being stored up there (not fun) and when it was finally clear it looked so cool we just wanted to move it all back in!

That loft, boiling in the summer (you can see the hole we knocked through the roof to blast the hot air from our air con) and freezing in the winter was really the place we turned from doing this stuff as a hobby into doing as a job - notice I didn't use the the word 'professionals' there !-) and as such will always be looked back upon fondly.
Still, upwards and onwards, GCHQ mk 2 (currently under the working title of 'the beat bunker') continues to grow and due to the current financial climate has become a much more permanent dwelling than we were expecting. Next job is to get a new workspace (Thomann have a cracker on their website) in there, new command chair and sort out our rather overflowing rack space. no doubt some pics and frustrated words about having to rewire everything for the 3rd time in a year will appear up here before Xmas.

Before we go we'd also like to extend a welcome to the Groove Criminals extended families' 2 youngest members -
William Nathan Edgoose and Daisy Olive Rose Seelig, both born within the last 2 weeks and doing well, as are their respective proud dads! Well done guys !-)

Wednesday 10 September 2008

It's art you know...


Just a quick post as we're up to our necks in loops for pretty much the whole of Sept!

Had a great week away and managed to catch 7 days of sunshine - fab! Back to the grind however.

Here's another great pic taken for FM by our mucka Eckie.

Strap-on action baby - yeah!

Cough - that's enough of that, got some new toys and other bits and bobs to tell you about when we get more time (hopefully before October!).

Til then GCHQ out.

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Chilly Summer Hols

Can it really be a month since we last posted - we do try to keep things up to date, honest.

Well, we're nearing the end few weeks of the summer (already!) and it's still raining! Still work carries on here at GCHQ with the usual monthly commissions plus a new download pack of chilled out beats for Sample magic. We put in a huge chunk of the beats to their successful Sunset Sessions chillout sample cd and these beats are more of the same style loops. You can find the pack here.

In other news, thanks to a visit to the DR expo in London's Earls Court by Mr Hoodee and daughter, we have a new addition to GCHQ.
You wouldn't have thought a 4ft inflatable Dalek was essential studio furniture would you?
Anyway, we've a couple more projects to finish off before heading out of the country next week for a few days R&R, and who knows maybe a bit of sun as well.....
GCHQ out

Thursday 24 July 2008

Summer and stuff


Been a couple of weeks since we last checked in so time for a quick update.

Summers hols have now begun (even the sun has put in a brief appearance) which leaves us with the annual juggle of looking after our kids and trying to bang beats out all day. This normally leaves us with 6 weeks of guilt for working long hours in the studio and imposing children on Granny, when we feel we should take the whole 6 weeks off and do bike rides, picnics, tree houses and other self-imposed famous five-type activities. On the flip side working from home (well MR Hoodees) does mean we see more of our kids day to day than most full time working parents, but the summer holiday guilt still stings a bit, but gotta earn a dollar I guess.

On the work front we're putting together a chilled out beats download pack for our friends at Sample Magic, and have just finished rincing our (and any available mates) sizable digital drum machine collection for another drum hits pack for DMS.

The monthly work also carrys on, so we've commissions to start on for both FM and CM, which we'll blog about (with vids) if we get time - got to fit a couple of weeks away with the family in Aug as well!

The issue of Future Music containing the circuit bent sample collection should be hitting the stores very soon and features another fab pic by our good mate Eckie, something like the one below...

Kinda sums up the normal audio nuttiness of working around here rather well. With the added bonus of having to gaffer-tape Eckie to the ceiling to take the shot.

He's still up there somewhere...

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Bent Beats

Another month, another set of samples.

This month for Future Music we've been happily abusing drum machines and children's toys all in the name of art. Yep it's circuitbending time again! For anyone not in the know, circuitbending is the term given to modifying electronic toys or machines to basically short circuit the sound chips so they let out streams of glitches, squawks and other strange noises.

Now we're a little parcel to a session of circuit bending here at GCHQ so have a few modded bits and pieces laying about, including our bent TR 505. Anyone not on personal terms with the 505 (and even if you are) might find this description taken from http://www.circuitbenders.co.uk/ amusing.

"The Roland TR-505, a classic piece of kit! This Drum Machine is an essential feature of many studios throughout the whole world. Wherever there is a studio door that needs to be wedged open the 505 finds its true purpose as a door stop and does the job with a simple elegance which we can all admire. Never has a piece of music kit been so vastly overrated".

A bit harsh perhaps, but it is true that the humble 505 isn't exactly the most inspiring drum machine Roland ever built. Anyway we own a couple so sacrificed one upon Mr Hoodees alter of solder and screwdrivers. What we added was a 16 way mini-jack patchbay that mucks with the sound in all sorts of odd ways. And by the magic of the interwebnet here's a little vid!

Although enthusiastic dabblers we're also not too proud to call in the experts sometimes, and had our new mate Shane at Minority-Zero add one of his shiny Destruction Matrix patchbay's to our old Yamaha DD6 drum machine. Using RCA leads to patch some crazy burps, squeals and screams out of this down at heel preset drum bank is a joy to behold, with the added bonus of it looking great as well. The whole 'making it look nice' part of bending really passes us by, due to lack of skill and Patience to be honest.

And what a beauty she is, we're well pleased and will hopefully post a video of her in action when we get a min. If you do a search on Ebay for minority-zero you might see some of Shanes other fab creations - highly recommended.

GCHQ out

Monday 30 June 2008

More hard sell

As any regular visitors to this blog will have guessed, we've a bit of an analogue drum machine fetish here at GCHQ.

To spread the love of these great machine a little we've teamed up with the guys at DMS to produce a download pack chokked full of totally analogue single drum and percussion hits from our collection of vintage and modern drum machines and synths.

400 sample in WAV format (16 Bit 44.1) for the bargin price of £5.49

Machines used include

Jo Mox airbase 99 (rack mounted 909 clone)
Elektron machine drum
Moog Little phatty synth
Boss DR110
SoundMaster SR88
Amdek Percussion Synth
Doobie Rhythm Master
Electro Harmonix Rhythm-12
Selmer Auto Rhythm
Korg KR55
Korg KR77
Acetone Rhythm Ace
Boss Dr55
Roloand Cr8000
Roland CR78

Head this way if you're interested.

GCHQ out

Thursday 26 June 2008

To sell or not to sell

Hello again.

Two posts in one day, unheard of!

As you can probably guess there's not much work going on at GCHQ today, due to MR Hoodees daughter being ill and currently mooching around in her PJ's not looking half as under the weather as she did earlier....hmmmm.

Anyway, it's a good time to put some more thoughts (okay, ramblings) down about recent goings on here at the lab. Due to having a Moog to pay for, we've been sifting through the gear list and letting go of a few bits and bobs (physically having to prise them from Mr Hoodee's tearful grasp normally).

We've tried to be honest about gear we don't use/have upgraded from, but still find actually getting rid of stuff a bit of a shock to the system. Like most people who chance a hand at making music we've had a fair few bits of kit pass through our greedy grasp but nothing much from way back that we REALLY regret letting go of...Well except for a Novation bass station and our huge early hiphop record collection, but it was a long time ago (10 years maybe!) and we needed the money. A painful memory not helped by the fact we were done over on both by some skillful shop owners in the west end - the 'good' old days before Ebay.

What made the cut this time was our Emu Mo'phatt module, A-station synth and Sherman Filterbank. The first two are solid (if not particularly exciting) bits of kit that served us well but never really got hammered usage-wise. As for the Sherman, it was a V1 filterbank and a great bit of gear but one we never really got along with (it says more about us than the unit to be honest). Non-muso's may laugh, but some bits of gear you 'bond' with (okay, that's actually making me giggle in it's arty-farty pomposity, but there you go) and others you just never get on with and tend to leave standing around (looking cool) until circumstance forces you let 'em go.

Of course this new found 'ifwehaven'tuseditsellthebloodythingwe'renotexactlyrollingincash' attitude hasn't stopped us from wading through Ebay in search of goodies, oh no....

Shelves...how very rock and roll

Well thanks to some fine media scare-mongering and the general slowdown around buying/selling houses it looks like our temp home (GCHQ v2.1) is going to be a touch more permanent than we were expecting. Not the end of the world as it's a pretty good space to work in, although as always a bit more room would be nice - of course not filling it with vintage drum machines and huge synths might help.

Anyway, in keeping with our mad, rock and roll, muso lives we've been putting together B&Q metal shelves to try and cut down on some of our gear-clutter. as some of you may have guessed typical manly activities like DIY aren't exactly our strong-point, so some time later and much swearing......

We have an orderly collection of stomp boxes, drum machines and synths. Ahh the sense of achievement is quite intoxicating, we might even go and cut the grass next.....

Tuesday 24 June 2008

FM video footage (pardon the pun)

Thought I'd put up the link to some old Future Music video of us (well Mr Hoodees foot) mucking about with some stomp boxes and a Stylophone and a BugBrand audio weevil (the insane yellow box).

Check it on my myspace page here

Wednesday 18 June 2008

The Godfather

Check the Godfather of soul ripping it up with his bad self (and band) here

Monday 16 June 2008

Moog baby Yeahhh!

Okay, we're pretty one dimensional when it comes to our interests, so when we decided that a prezzie was in order as a plain and simple bribe after a hard couple of months work it was going to be something for the studio.

We kinda had our eye on a Moog of some sort and when this little beauty popped up for sale locally we just had to have it.

It's a Moog Little Phatty (Bob Moog tribute edition), in fact it's a ltd edition one with DVD and poster - number 1054 of 1200.

Yes we've always wanted a Moog

Yes we love it

Yes we've been like kids in a sweet shop (or mobile phone shop nowadays)

Yes it's sounds sooo fat and warm

And yes we're worth it !-)

.....Well kinda

Saturday 14 June 2008

Tired ramblings

A bit of a gap since our last post so lets get up to date.

Been a very busy couple of months here at GCHQ and we've been pretty much working 24/7 on several sample commissions. Now we've finished (for the time being at least) the results of the work load have hit us firmly around the head and we've been good for nothing for the last couple of days.

It's an odd feeling to have pretty much forced over 3000 sample loops out in the last 60 or so days without any real time off. It does make us wonder (and worry) where it all comes from and if one day all this forced creativity that is required on a daily basis will dry up - lets bloody hope not.

Don't get us wrong we're not complaining, we love our job and know it doesn't involve and hard physical labour or monotonous day after day office/factory slog (although we have done our share of these jobs in the past like most musos trying to earn a living), but it does get worrying when turning the studio on makes you feel physically sick - time for a break i guess.

I think like anyone who is lucky enough to do a job they love (and have chosen), we can get a bit blinded by the daily workload to the fact that we're actually really fortunate to be able to do what we do - work from home, see our kids grow up first hand rather than being away at an office all day, no direct bosses or company politics to deal with, no uniforms or bulling supervisors...the list goes on.

Of course this isn't to say we sit about all day doing nowt, we work bloody hard for what is at the end of the day a pretty modest wage, we'd certainly be better off financially being plumbers or electricians.

But this is what we do and to be honest the only thing we've really found we're any good at which isn't a bad situation to be in at all.

P.s for anyone passing by expecting the usual audio gear-porn, service will be resumed very soon with something a bit special.

GCHQ out.

Friday 16 May 2008

Alesis twins and New Gunian rock

In our (seemingly) never ending quest to collect as many drum machines as we've got space for, we've perhaps unsurprisingly stalked and captured a few more that were running free out there in ebay/secondhand land.

First up is this pair of popular Alesis beat machines - the HR-16 and HR-16B

Although not rare or analogue, we like the HR's and their chunky sounding samples. Out of the two we definitely prefer the HR-16B, due to it's more electronic sounding content, it also helps it's in much better nick than it's twin. In fact we're considering giving the the grey wedge up for circuitbending, turn it into a glitch monster! We'll let you know.

On a more unusual tip we have this little beauty

It's an analog, preset rhythm box simply laid out with three dials and an on switch. The presets are your usual waltz, bossa fare (although they do sound good), although there is the intriguingly titled New Gunian Rock pattern - a first for us.

Sound-wise it's along the lines of the standard bloop/crack analog vibe, but like so many of it's contemporaries it still sounds punchy with surprisingly little noise.

Tuesday 13 May 2008

Junk drums

Just finished another interesting sample commission for Future Music magazine - we made a junk/pots and pans drum kit. Roping in our good mate (and honouree Groove Criminal) Simon Edgoose, we knocked up a kit of watering cans, buckets, plastic bins ect.

We had a bit of trouble getting enough high end on the kit so we had to compromise a touch by including a single, frankly mullered cut down crash cymbal as a bottom hi-hat (a round backing tin was used for the top) and a crasher - a percussion thingy made of strips of metal.

The snare turned out to be another problem as all the buckets and pots we had put aside sounded okay but wouldn't cut through when the rest of the kit was being bashed about. The end solution was an unlikely Ikea lampshade, upended on a snare stand. still did the job with a nice sharp, cross-stick crack.

Luckily getting a good bottom end was no problem, in fact after we miked up the plastic dustbin with a Yamaha subkick it sounded too good! We rectified this by adding a dynamic mic and harder kick drum beater to bring out the 'bin-like' qualities.

After mounting it all on cymbal/snare stands Simon gave it a thrashing.

This is our job you know................!-)

Saturday 26 April 2008

And bend two three....

As some of you (if there's anyone out there !-) might have gathered we like a bit of circuit-bending or modding here at GCHQ.

As we were luck enough to find ourselves with a few hours to spare (okay we should have been working but hey), Mr Hoodee got his tools out (ohh err) and got to work on our Realistic reverb.

For anyone who's never come across this beast, it was made and sold in the UK by Tandy (Radio Shack in the US). Although it says reverb on it, it's much closer to s slapback delay unit. It's rough, sounds a bit odd and we love it. We're not the only ones because those clever types at audio damage (one of the best plug-in makers we've found) made a software emulation of it.

Anyway Mr hoodee had a poke around and added 5 switches, which you may be able to see to the left and right in the photo above). The unit now squeals and screams on it's own, goes into mad feedback loops like a tape delay and also will crunch up, distort and add very strange reverb/delays to whatever you throw through it.


Friday 25 April 2008

Heavy boom bap!

We've never been very good at the whole self-promotion thing but here goes.

We've just finished a HipHop/Urban beats download pack for The Loopmasters.

If you're interested you can find more details here


Monday 21 April 2008

Something old, something new(ish)

We've forced ourselves to have a couple of days off here at GCHQ. Well our bodies have anyway as we've been beavering away for the last 3 weeks pretty non stop, doing dance samples for quite a large (and top secret - okay not really but we can't tell you) project.

The result is pretty much bad tempers, yawns and aching ears - none of which is good for a creative atmosphere in the studio. Sooo a few days off seems in order before we start on the next commission in the que.

To raise spirits ( and make the drum machine geek in all of us here at the lab wet 'emselves) we've just got hold of an Oberheim DX drum machine. A true child of the 80's and smaller brother to the mighty DMX, the DX is big, brash and yet very funky. It uses gritty samples written to Eprom chips and is built like a brick privy.

Almost as large is the us/uk step down transformer needed to run it - good ol' Maplins. We've got a downloaded manual for the V2 of this machine, but ours is the V1 (pre midi) model - so if anyone out there has a copy of that manual get in touch.

Because (as you may have noticed) we don't really like to do things by halves, we also got hold of a Jomox airbase 99. This is a now discontinued, rackmount, totally analog (save lo-fi samples of the clap, and hats) drum synth - really a great 909 clone. Although we haven't really had the time to plumb it's depths yet, it has some heavy punch and a huge kick drum.

So at least we are rhythmically content.

For now at least.......

Friday 11 April 2008

Tape delays and daleks

As we post this blog the latest (and 200th) issue of Future Music has just hit the shops.

For this issue we did a highly enjoyable collection of samples harking back to the early days of sound design and the work of the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

To emulate the basic sorts of tools the workshop had to hand, we cut down on all the modern (and vintage) sound sources available to us and tried to strip it all back to basics.

Because we didn’t have access (or the time - we have quite tight deadlines to work to) to an audio test oscillator, the main source of early Radiophonic tones, we ended up using our battered Akai S01 samplers’ built in test tone as our main sound source. This Innocent enough sine wave was then sent through all the vintage effects and transposed up and down in pitch by hand on the fly.

Of course to really get the right feel we heavily lent on our two tape delays, a Watkins Copycat and our Roland Space echo, including feeding the output of one into the input of the other to get some really abused delays

As well as the tape delays and spring reverbs we heavily used the moogerfooger ring mod as both a sound source and effects box. Pretty much everything got shoved through it in the end.

We wanted to do some cheesy Dalek vocal samples as well, the current DR Who uses the moogerfooger ring mod, but it was only after a couple of hours that we realised how important the voice of the actor was in making the whole thing sound right (and not crap). Unfortunately we didn't get beyond crap so they got binned.

If we'd have had more time it would have been fun to try getting into some tape loops and such like - maybe next time.

Friday 4 April 2008

Frankfurt Knobs!

As ever apologies for the slapshot regularity of our posts but 2008 has started off in quite brisk style work-wise, so it's been all hands to the wheel to get our deadlines done.
Anyway we've a few things to post about so will try and get 'em up here as and when.
First up we had another enjoyable trip to Frankfurt for the Mussikmesse, we ended up going on public day rather than blagging in on press day (as normal) and it was a bit mad.

We sat a dreamed at the Moog stand and caught a sneak peak at the new Linn drum 2, being put together between Rodger Linn and Dave Smith - looks very tasty, if only we thought we could afford one when they get released - sorry for the quality of the pics, our phone's not really up to the job.

Everything else that caught our eye was distinctly retro - like the monster modular above. No we wouldn't have a clue how to get a sound out of it either.

One great stand was put together by a German synth mg (whose name escapes me) and it was the biggest collection of vintage synths we've seen for a while -all there to be played with (a brave move on their part we thought). Great fun and a chance to fiddle with some synths we've not had the pleasure of abusing.

Anyway we rounded it all off by watching our good friend Simon Edgoose demonstrate Yamahas new electronic kit, whilst trying to fight off punters attempting to put his in-ear monitors in their dirty lug-holes.

Finished a long but fun day by watching Hoodee's brother-in-law (who lives in Frankfurt) play in his Status Quo cover band (fab) and drunk too much German beer. Much like last year then....

Wednesday 12 March 2008

Come on in

Just a quick hello to anyone blown into this site from our www.groovecriminals.co.uk site. The page was so old we've finally pulled it down and everyone gets re-directed to here for the foreseeable future.

I'd like to say we'll have a new site up and running soon but lets be honest the last one wasn't updated for 4 years...so I wont.

Anyway welcome.

Only a couple bits of Groove Criminal news; Firstly we're working on a very interesting collection for the 200th issue of Future Music - a total back to basics set inspired by the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop, will blog about it next week.

And secondly we're off to the Frankfurt musikmesse at the end of the week - will try a grab some photos of anything that catches our collective eye, if we can shake the Bitburger hangover we'll have that is.

Later tater

Friday 22 February 2008

Dub, springs and retro-leanings

We've recently finished a dub commission for Computer Music magazine. Although dub's not really our thing to listen to, we really enjoyed making the samples as it gave us a fine excuse to dig into our couple of spring reverbs for that 'boing' rhythmic sound on the drums.

As well as a rack mounted stereo spring we've also got a Great British Spring Reverb - the pic on the left. If that looks like a length of plastic drain pipe it's housed in to you, err that's because it is. Hi-fi it's not, but it does sound great.

We've had the unit for a while and initially thought it may have some loose wiring and stored it away. With the studio move, out it came again and this time we gave it (and our mixer) a proper look over. Rather than anything being wrong with the reverb it turned out to be a balanced/unbalanced connection problem (DOH!) which was easily fixed.

Strange thing is although we are children of the digital/computer/software age, (in fact with out these things we would never have been able to begin our production career, let alone make samples for a living), we do seem to be hankering for vintage gear, with all the problems and character that brings.

Of course it's also meant learning a whole new set of skills to deal with the more traditional ways of working vintage hardware - which I guess can never be a bad thing.

Wednesday 20 February 2008


It was recently Hoodee's birthday, an event that didn't put the old man in the best of moods.

To celebrate we all went off on a shopping jolly around the wilds of the Soho record shops for whatever caught our eye (mostly odd covers, soundtracks and some grimy funk as it happens). We also keep a sharp eye out in the bargin bins for anything we've had a hand in, finding something would be rather cool in a strange kinda way.

Anyway that's all well and good but perhaps the most surprising thing was how the shopping spree has triggered off our hunger for wanting to make records again. With most of our time spent making loops and samples (which isn't the most lucrative living to be honest) we really lost the urge to make music for ourselves, sad but true.

Whether this new found desire to make some music will last or what form it will take, who knows? Might be interesting finding out though.....

Monday 21 January 2008


We're currently busy finishing off our latest commission for FM.
This month it's focusing on sound manipulation/processing and we've gone guitar stomp box crazy.

Being quite avid collectors of the guitar pedal (despite being very poor plank-spankers ourselves), we've a few on hand to shove some synths and drum machines through. The sharp eyed amongst you might notice a few bent/modded stomps nestled away in out pic - just for that extra sprinkling of chaos.

Only problem we've got at the moment is not falling over all the patch leads strewn as far as the eye can see, well all around our feet at least.

Friday 18 January 2008

Bye bye GCHQ v1.0

Part of the reason the Xmas period last year was so busy (and not to say stressful) was due to having to move studio. Never a particularly fun experience at the best of times, when it also goes hand-in-hand with moving house it's a bit of a bugger.

We have a lot of great memories from GCHQ (v1.0) , some fantastic sessions, literally thousands of samples produced, not to mention the odd released tune or two.

Of course change comes to us all and stripping out the old gear allowed for a good long look at how we work and some major re-arranging in our new temporary home.

A couple of new rack units, patchbays, lots of cables and a frankly huge 80's A-frame stand for the synths, later............

Welcome to GCHQ v1.1
It's only a temp home for us poor sampling souls until the all new GCHQ v2 is built (hopefully this year, but who knows).
Still, we've settled in and have been knuckling down to some hard(ish) graft and have already become quite comfortable.
we've even got a window - ahh natural light at last....

New York New York

As we mentioned below, Mr Hoodee was lucky enough to bag a trip to New York last November. Despite having only a couple of days notice before flying out, completing on a new house whilst away and the small matter of 15 music students, he had a great time.

As it was his first time to NYC it really did live up to its reputation as a city that never sleeps (nor did Hoodee for nearly a week due to not being able to adjust to the time difference).

Great place to visit, eat out and shop of course (there seem to be many more pairs of trainers knocking about the studio these days) but Hoodee thought it was a bit too full on to live there

Ahh he's just a quiet country-boy at heart.

Saturday 12 January 2008


Due to those nice chaps at Future Music still asking for our (well Hoodees - serves him right for being in charge) ugly mug in the magazine every other month - you would have thought it would hurt sales, you really would, we have to pile on the old slap and lippy and get dressed once in a while.
These shoots which we really don't look forward to being shy (okay, ugly) souls, are made bearable by our old friend Richard 'Eckie' Ecclestone being behind the camera.
A cracking snapper (and a not bad singer-songerwriter either), Eckie has developed a perfect mixture of threats, abuse, foul language and occasional 'glamour-style' praise to coax Mr Hoodee out of the shadows and into the (flash)light.
Anyway, we really liked this one !-)

We're still here!

Happy New Year!

Oh crap, was it really way back in October when we last posted?
We have an excuse, no really.....errr...dog eat our blog?

Okay, bad jokes aside the last few months have seen some pretty drastic chances here at GCHQ: moving house (and studio!!), a surprise trip to NYC not to mention being snowed under with sample work. Oh we've got hold of some fab gear as well !-)

Anyway now we've kinda recovered from Xmas/new year and the new house, we'll be back on track updating the blog much more regularly.