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................!-)