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 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