Wednesday 18 November 2009

Cymbal Spoons

Hi all.
Just a quick one to let you know that our old mate and sometime stickman Richard 'Doc Spoons' Spooner has be beavering away at his Swiss HQ and has put together a few videos for his youtube channel. He's also done a few instructional vids for setting up a drum rug for Baskey.

Check 'em here and here

Wednesday 11 November 2009

The return, secrets and mountains

Firstly apologies for the lack of updates (again), we've had a pretty intense few months here at GCHQ and had a huge workload to slog through before finally grabbing a week off to recover, get ill and spotty, re-introduce ourselves to our family's and kids, that sort of thing.

Anyway as we're starting to think about getting back in the saddle work-wise here's a speedy update on what's been going on. on the sample front....errr...we can't tell you. Apart from the usual work for CM and FM (some rather good disco samples heading that way) we've been involved in a couple of top secret projects that we can't talk about until we get clearance from the powers that be. Seriously we'd have to kill you, then ourselves if we blabbed, so we wont gov. More details as and when we can let you know - boo, bad show, hiss, we know.

In other news Mr Hoodee managed to slip away to Switzerland for a few days to visit our old mucker Spoons, his wife Barbara and new son Jack (Also Mr H's godson) . Whilst there he managed to nip up a mountain (as you do) and then have lunch before walking down a third of it - we hardly ever see him out of his chair so who knows what's in the air over there.

Anyway here's a few pics of him mucking about up Stockhorn (2000+ metres above sea level) - pretty high compared to our base here in flat Suffolk, we normally get a nose bleed going up stairs around these parts ;)

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Brass Balearics

Just completed a Balearic-influenced sample set for FM issue 220 and as it was our turn to do the photo shoot to go with the samples.

Funnily enough there didn't seem any budget to fly us out to anywhere sunny for the pics, so along with our snapper Ecki we had to improvise.

So a couple of bags of builders sand and an attractive blue plastic sheet later and hey presto, errr, instant Mediterranean vibes in a rainy back garden in deepest Suffolk. Or not.

Still, as always it was a good laugh with some cool end results (see an example below) and a daft hat - which is always good.

Friday 2 October 2009

More Cosecha

As you may remember from our July post Mr Hoodee took part in a little project putting together a track from a single sound that was created from random parameters sent via twitter.

Mr Hoodees track and 7 more have been compiled together and released by the fab chaps at Public Spaces Lab. It's all free to download and can be found here with a little more background. Enjoy!

Thursday 1 October 2009

spanking the plank

Hi all, typically manic here at GCHQ as we've a few projects on the go this month and very little down time. That said I've grabbed 5 mins over a morning cuppa to fill you in on some of the guitar-based mangling we've just finished for the next issue of Computer Music.

This months theme was electric and acoustic guitars so we thought we'd really throw ourselves into our stack of stomp boxes and FX to coax some odd tones and soundscapes out of a nice range of guitars we blagged off various mates.

First effect up for mangling is the digitech talker, rather than a traditional talkbox with the tube to bung in your gob, this little box of tricks has inputs for both the guitar and a standard mic. Us being us we soon lost the mic input and instead fed it a beat from a number of our drum machines which when combined with the distorted guitar input (the plain stomp box in the pic above is a handmade vintage-style distortion made for us by our mucker Cyclick) gives a great array of robotic rhythms.

Next stomp that got loads of use was the above Barge Concepts feedback looper. Basically this nifty box sends the output signal from another stompbox back into its input causing a fully adjustable feedback loop that makes the stompbox go nuts. This can then be blended with the original and effected signal to create all sorts of feedback and self oscillation madness. Above you can see it used with the Line 6 delay pedal.

Of course the mooger fooger set up got a battering as well with the new control processor box binding it all together controlling various parameters like frequency sweep and LFO speed.

As usual we've uploaded a small taster of the sort of things we got up to for you to download here at our soundcloud page.

Friday 18 September 2009

Mo cables

The welcome arrival of a Moog CP-251 yesterday (a voltage control unit to mangle and generally help take charge of the moogerfoogers and little phatty) has thrown up another slight cabling issue as my 5 'foogers were scattered around the studio (3 in the rather nifty rack mount kit) and they all really need to be together for patching.

Sooo another quick swap around, re-patch, crawl about and swear-fest in sued to get all the little wooden-cheeked wonders together and all within a short patch lead of the the Little Phatty (on the tier above in the photo below).

We'll try and sort out some sounds and stuff when we get some time for a proper fiddle ;)

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Boom Boom

To help us in a forthcoming sample job that's going to need a pretty hefty amount of drum hits we picked up a Jomox Mbase 01.

This rather nifty fully analogue little box makes kick drums of the 808/909 variety and can be triggered from a button on the front, midi or an external bass drum or pad. It uses the same synthesis engine as our rack mounted Jomox Airbase 99 but is a bit more hands on and quick to program.

We uploaded a few examples of what the Mbase 01 can produce on our Soundcloud page - check it out here.

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Snap, crackle and pop.

Bit of a manic few days here at GCHQ, after leaving the window open over night last week (in whilst it was raining of course) our faithful mackie mixer (32 line input rack mounted jobbie) developed a very noticeable amount of noise on both the outputs to the monitors and on the headphone socket.

Things got so bad over the next couple of days we had to revert to our back up smaller mackie to finish off the sample work we were in the middle of producing. Not ideal.
Limped to the end of the job (top tip here - always, always have a back up system) and stripped the mixer from the rack. After taking some advise we took the back off and gave the mixer a full 15 mins with a hair dryer to make sure there was no moisture inside. After letting it cool we tried it again and touch wood snap, crackle and pop has gone - phew!

Although we're using a temporary home for the studio at the moment (hence the curtains in the pic below ;) we thought it might be an idea to strip down everything in our 2 main racks, sell of some gear we don't really use and re-wire everything back up again. horrible job but one that needs doing every now and then, the mixer had to be reconnected in to the rack anyway so....

After a few long hours sweating and swearing, connecting and cable tying, testing and reconnecting the right way around, our 2 racks and mixer are back in business. Neater, cleaner and stripped of anything we really don't use enough.
In more gear porn related news, we've had a couple of tasty bits of gear drop into our grubby hands - more on that later this week with some pics and hopefully some samples.

Thursday 27 August 2009

strings and things

For this months Future Music sample collection (FM219) we've been all about synth strings - analogue, digital, hardware, software or a mixture of all four, it's all been fair game.

On the Analogue front this month has given us a chance to show some love to our Roland RS-09 organ/strings machine. Although not exactly a classic, (the organ side of things hardly sets the world alight sound-wise), it's still possible to coax some lush, vintage sounding strings out of this machine.

It also has a sticky key, a D, that miss-triggers when released. Rather than this being a problem we tend to treat these little quirks as part of the instruments unique personality. A quirk that shows up in some of the chord samples included in the collection.

Of course synth strings just love modulated effects, so the Moogerfooger phaser pedal got some use as well as an 80's boss rack mounted chorus unit we've had knocking about for a while.

As a bit of a bonus we've uploaded an exclusive 4 octave multi-sample (sampled at C, D#, F#, A) taken from the RS09 run through an Electroharmonix Small Clone chorus pedal to our Soundcloud page for you to download as a taster of the FM 219 samples.

Check it here

Friday 21 August 2009

Back from over there.

Apologies for the lack of input to the blog over the last couple of weeks, we locked up GCHQ for a couple of weeks break in the sun to re-charge the ol' beat batteries.

All back and raring to go now with a few rather tasty projects in the pipeline, some we can blog about and a couple we can't...ohh the suspense, stay tuned ;)

Monday 27 July 2009

Just a touch of self promotion

Although we're not ones to exactly force the ol' hard sell on anyone, we thought we'd let you know about a couple of projects we've had a hand in.

First up is Sunrise Sessions from Sample Magic, sequel to their successful chilled out sample library Sunset Sessions, once again sees us on rhythmic duties providing some laid back drum loops and hits.

Also from the GCHQ vaults are a couple of download packs for DMS - analogue and digital drum hits and some synth fx, each pack for around a fiver.

Last but not least don't forget about MR Hoodees Electronic Kick 1p Lucky Dip - still available directly from us at GCHQ are 500 heavy kick drum samples for £5 (inc UK P&P) all on funky vinyl-look cdr. Drop us a mail if you're interested in some low end rhythmic goodness.

Finally keep an eye on our SoundCloud page as we upload some free samples to download and abuse as regularly (and randomly) as we can. Check it here

Thursday 16 July 2009

Drum machine abuse 02

As well as the more involved effects chains we also went quite simple and really indulged our love for really cheap, bucket brigade , delays and reverbs.

The beauty of these boxes is alongside the crusty, dirty sound, once you start maxing out the feedback level they start to scream. Normally this just makes a racket (not a bad thing around here by any means) but when a percussive loop is sent through, the howling feedback starts to latch on and pulse along with the beat (normally the hi-hat patern). Of course this doesn't happen every time and you have to keep an eye (and ear) on the levels but with a bit of luck you'll get an interesting effect.

Perhaps our favourite box for this kind of abuse is the good old Realistic/Radio Shack reverb. Really more of a tight slapback delay effect than a true reverb , we own 3 of these beauty's, two we circuit bent into howling monsters, but the one above we've left untouched. Dig those faders!

To give you an idea of what we mean here's a short video of our Korg Rhythm 55 and the Realistic doing their thang.

For a few down-loadable example sounds head over to here and of course the full sample collection including loops and NI Battery/Kontakt kits will be in next months issue of Future Music magazine.

Drum machine abuse 01

As one set of samples hits the news stands another set gets made so we've been busy finishing off the samples for Future Music issue 217. And this months theme is a good 'ol dollop of drum machine abuse.

We took a few of our vintage machines and threw them through a chain of hardware effects and stompboxes. Some of the chains were quite complex -below is a pic of a Boss DR220a (bit rubbish 80's machine) being put through a Snarling Dogs overdrive, into a cheap and cheerful delay (forced into self feedback, more on that later), into a bass synth wah. The output of the synth wah is then fed through a feedback looper pedal that feeds its output back into it's input for some sonic madness. Oh and the chicken lamp is optional (although every studio should have one).

Other chains included a Korg Rhythm 55 into a radioshack reverb into the Moogerfooger low pass filter. The Envelope out votage was taken from the filter and patched into the gate-in of the Moog little phatty. The output of the little Phatty was then thrown through a Moogerfooger phaser and mixed with the Korg/lowpass signal at the mixer - phew! Basically this results in the drum machine rhythmically gating the Moog as well as its output being filtered by the Moogerfooger.

You can check out some examples of the results of all this stomp chaining (and some more free samples to download and abuse) at our soundcloud page here.

Monday 13 July 2009

MR Hoodee’s Electronic kick 1p lucky dip

Roll up roll up

For your economic downturn-busting sampling pleasure:

500 kick samples in WAV format (16 or 24 bit) on white label vinyl CDR plundered from our percussive vaults. Sampled from a wide mixture of both analogue and digital sources, the 1p kick lucky dip is suitable for all shades of electronic music from house to hip-hop.

Go on get yourself a good kicking for just a fiver (including P&P- UK only for now).

Don't delay, email GCHQ now -

Sunday 5 July 2009

Cosecha - the random sound

One of the things we love about Twitter is how it can introduce you to new and interesting people, ideas and projects.

One that really caught our eye was this. Masterminded by all round good bloke Kieron James this twitter based idea involved tweeting numbers that were used as programing parameters that in the end made a sound. Named Cosecha (harvest in Spanish) the resulting sound is available to download and use. Not content at leaving it there Kieron then put out a challenge to create a track from just the Cosecha sound, of course this could be chopped, sampled, mangled etc but no other sound sources could be used.

The long and short of it all is that as we contributed to the creation of the sound MR Hoodee thought he's like to have a crack at making a tune from it.

You can read all about the project here (Kieron describes the whole thing much better than we just have) and also have a butchers at MR Hoodee's effort 'Open handed punch' (as well as some other fab Cosecha tracks).

Saturday 27 June 2009

Chimera bC8 random knob-twiddling

Quick video of a random knob-twiddling session on our Chimera bC8.

The bC8 was set in single-shot mode with the button at the bottom triggering the envelope. Although this doesn't really plumb the depths of what this little white wonder can produce, it should give you a taste.

Also we've sorted around 50 (count 'em!) sampled loops, bleeps,bloops and droid incontinence samples taken raw from the bC8 for your downloading and sampling pleasure. Find them here - enjoy!

Friday 26 June 2009

Mic madness part 04 - the rest

We finished off the collection with some general recording of stuff around the house, not so much foley sounds as we've covered that before a couple of times in Future Music, but more interesting textures to throw through some FX. We also sifted through these recordings (made with the M-Audio Microtrack again using a couple of different mics) and took the most percussive sounding and made a Battery/Kontakt kit which was fun, and sounded surprisingly good when we knocked some example beats together using it.

It was our month for the sample pages photo so here's another sneaky shot showing what we get up to in MR Hoodees back garden on a normal working day!

Well that's about it for this months FM sample collection - been a fun one that's for sure. If there's anyone out there (hello.......hello.......) who would like this sort of write up done on some sort of regular basis get in touch, otherwise we'll assume no-one's reading and go back to the usual rambling and gear-porn photos!

Mo shaker box

A short video of one of our shaker boxes in action.

This is the plastic box filled with plastic BB shot run through an old, battered 80's Ibanez rack mounted delay, then into the moogerfooger phaser and moogerfooger MuRF. Perhaps not the best example of what these boxes can do but you get the general idea...

Mic madness part 03 - shaker boxes

Continuing with our spot of rough and ready DIY, we finally got around to making a couple of passive shaker boxes.

Basically all there is to it is a box of some kind, we used a plastic one and a metal one, with a piezo contact mic glued inside. This is then wired to some sort of audio output, we used an RCA (Phono) out put as it's small, simple to fit and we had a few knocking about.

We then covered the Piezo and wiring in glue to give them some protection and filled the boxes up with plastic BB pellets. So armed we then threw the shaker through as many stomp boxes and effects chains as possible.

A really simple little tool to make, a passive shaker box can be a source of lots of odd, ambient or just plain crazy sounds depending on which effects you throw it through. It's also not constricted to just shaking -tap it, scratch it, drop it, shout through it, use it as a mic in front of a guitar amp - it's all good. Of course changing the contents also affects the end result - rice, marbles, fishing shot, use your imagination and all this for around a fiver!

As a taster before FM216 hits the stands there's a few samples (along with some hydrophone stuff) here.

Wednesday 24 June 2009

Mic madness part 02 - Thunderwonderverb

After getting wet with the hydrophone we turned our attention to contact mics and a little bit of DIY. As they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing so let me introduce to you..... the Thunderwonderverb.

Pretty hi-tech huh? Basically what we did was take an old speaker (from a home keyboard originally I think) and wire it to a 1/4" jack. This was then clamped and pointed down the sound hole of a spring drum (sometimes called a thunder tube) whose small drum head was miked up with a contact mic.

A spring drum is quite a basic percussion instrument - just a tube with a thin diaphragm/drum head at one end to which a metal spring is attached. As you shake, or tap the tube the spring vibrates, in turn vibrating the drum head making a thunder-like noise.

The blue cable you can see is attached to the 1/4" output of the contact mic that is masking taped to the body of the spring drum to stop it getting in the way.

Okay, we sent a variety of sounds through to the small speaker, which in turn vibrated the drum head and spring which was picked up by the contact mic. This signal was mixed with the original sound and hey presto a strange spring reverb effect.

We wished we had a bigger speaker, as this one was very toppy but the whole thing worked well enough for adding an unusual, cheap-sounding, low-fi, tight reverb effect to whatever we blasted through it. In the end it sounded better on drums so we fed a series of our vintage (and not so vintage) drum boxes through it.

Monday 22 June 2009

Mic madness part 01 - Hydrophone

Hi all

Just completed a couple of weeks of audio nuttiness for Future Music and thought we'd cover what we'd got up to in a bit of depth here.

First up we grabbed a hydrophone off Ebay -basically a piezo transducer (or contact mic) covered in waterproof liquid rubber, a hydrophone picks up vibrations in liquid rather than in the air (like a normal microphone).

With the blue wonder in hand alongside our trusty M-Audio Microtrack field recorder we headed out into the local countryside to chuck it in the river. Okay, okay, we did flush it down the bog first, as you would. Although this isn't as easy as it might seem as clonking the mic on anything (like white porcelain) causes nasty spikes/clips in the recording - so basically you have to have your hand down there as well....

Anyway back to the great outdoors and after dangling the mic into a slow-moving from a low bridge we hit on the first slight problem - there's not alot going on under the water, so there's not alot going on in the end recording either.

This was soon resolved but heading to the local weir just down the road from GCHQ and dangling it in the fast flowing water. Because of the long cable we could also throw it in and record it going over the weir and into the bubbling current. These more interesting results began a quest for bubbling streams, mini weirs and fast runs of water - resulting in Mr Hoodee standing knee deep in a stream being watched by an interested swan and the whole of the local playgroup out for a walk!

When we'd exhausted all our local rivers and streams we moved on to more experimental mucking about. Like the submerged tambourine in the plastic dustbin of water to the right. Marbles (an old GCHQ standby) were then thrown, dropped and flicked into/onto the bin. There was also a few minutes of utter madness involving an electric whisk which definitely carry a DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS warning.
This was then followed by glasses of tonic (gin-less I'm afraid), splashing about in the bath, the washing up bowl and British summer weather. All good fun!
If you'd like a quick preview of the sort of sample we came up with using the hydrophone head over to here where there is a couple of downloadable tasters.

Saturday 30 May 2009

more pics

Here's a pic of the Gakken when it's put together - hopefully get some sort of video together at some point, I know we say that a lot but we do try...kind of.

And here's a pic of yet another addition to our collection of vintage drum machines. This is a DR-55 which is very similar to our Soundmaster SR88 but the hi-hats are restricted to 8's, 16th's or 12th's, rather than being programmable on the SR-88. This one had the addition of a couple of modds, one for the tuning of the kick and the other for it's decay, which makes this little machine even more interesting.

single strings, dancehall, primary percussion and import duty

Hi all.
Ooops been over a month since our last log, and we were doing so well!

Been a busy few weeks with interesting sample sets for CM and FM. CM wanted sounds of the carnival so we went for some booty shaking dancehall twinned with a load of latin percussion loops. We've a huge box of various percussion here at GCHQ but we surprised to find ourselves without a cowbell and our deadline looming. Mrs Hoodee ended up saving the day with the suggestion of asking our local primary school if they had any percussion we could swipe for an afternoon - the school turned up trumps and supplied us with a selection of pristine cowbells to thump merry hell out of. At least they look used now.

FM was all about bass this month so we fired up the synths and got all low end on their ass (sorry). Just to mix things up a bit and inject the usual GCHQ flavour we had a crack at making and playing a tea chest bass. With no tea chest in sight we used a varity of boxes and bins but found that just a humble cardboard box gave the best results when recorded with a sm57 poked in a roughly cut sound hole.
Apart from being a good giggle, perhaps unsurprisingly our string bass was an absolute bugger to play and pitch without a few weeks (if not months or years) practice. We had around an hour, so ended up running an output from the mixer into a guitar tuner and sampling off as many good. clean pitches as we could before stretching and re-sampling them to make a really warm sounding Kontakt kit. We also have renewed respect to all the skiffle players out there who can play the bloody thing!

In other sample related news, we've just finished a set of drum and percussion loops for the guys at Sample Magic for their Sunset Sessions 2 sample library that should be out in a month or two. really pleased with what we came up with so think the release will be something special.

On the audio toys front we had delivery of a Gakken mini synth-thingie from Japan and a monotonic labs N37 synth pedal-sequenced square wave-whatsit from the states (let us know if we get to technical).
The Gakken is a screw together kit that makes a sort of stylophone-like synth with cut off and is played with a metal probe-like thing on a carbon ribbon. There's no notes laid out like a stylophone but it does make some great sounds and comes in some fab Japanese packaging, complete with a synth mag (in Japanese). These are pretty cheap but be careful as due to some skipping of the small print from the online shop where we got it we got stung for a lump of import duty (although the processing fee from parcel forge ended up more than any duty/vat we had to pay!!) so it turned into a rather expensive bargain. Is great tho.
On the cards this month is a set of nu-gaze samples for CM (don't ask - look it up), a trip to switzerland to see our mate Spoons, if MR Hoodees passport gets back in time (really don't ask) and an interesting set of samples for FM, which we'll blog about later in the month.

Monday 20 April 2009

broken glass everywhere...

Been a busy week catching up with sample work after our mini break. Set of DnB samples done for the next issue of FM plus it's our turn for the photo shoot. So it's off outside with a laptop, sh101 and our mucka and fab lens-smith Ecki.

Disused railway bridge not far from GCHQ looked grimey enough for an atmos shot, so up went the lights and Mr Hoodee begins to look uncomfortable !-) The shot above and below show the set up for the shoot, will post the actual photo used when we know which one FM used.

The next half an hour or so involved them both sitting or laying amongst the broken glass and dirt, with Mr Hoodee trying to keep his face out of shot. To be honest they make quite an entertaining double act on a shoot and the moaning and insults aside, get the job done quickly - Mr H is turning into quite an experienced model! For bookings just drop us an email..(THATS ENOUGH OF THAT!! - Mr H)

Anyway samples done and turned in, so we thought it'd been a while since we got anything for the studio so we've ordered one of these little beauties from Chimera Synths (also based in East Anglia) - couple of weeks waiting list but we'll shove up a video as soon as we get it.

Tuesday 14 April 2009

video naughties

Just finished uploading some videos to you tube. Some have appeared in this blog, a couple never made it.

You can have a butchers here

Saturday 11 April 2009

Bit of an ebay find, no work today then!

Another reason for our lack of progress today (see post below) came in the form of a surprise from Ebay. We knew we were getting a Korg MR-16 midi drum module with some kind of pitch mod but when we fished it out of out blue wheelie bin (been away for a few days - don't ask) it appears to have been circuit bent to hell (a good thing).
With no manual or instructions (the unbent unit needs neither as it's pretty easy to use and contains 16 sampled drum sounds you trigger via midi) we had a fun couple of hours trying to work out what the 16 switches, single pot and rca patch bay did.

Of course we still don't really know as random effects and sounds are the real beauty of circuit bent instruments, but had a great time mucking about with it. Would hve uploaded a video but were a bit dissapointed in the quality of the earlier one (below) so didn't - just crap film makers I'm afraid :-/

Android Fx, Ipod and Murf

Okay so we should be working on some drum and bass loops for next months Future Music, but sometimes we just get sidetracked (sorry Will !-)

In the video (sorry about the quality, it goes a bit mad for a few sec's for some reason - hey we're sound men not film makers !-) is the Android FX app on the ipod touch thrown through a moogerfooger Murf filter.

Nothing really planned, just a couple of mins of knob twiddling with the sound sent straight from the mixer into the PC - might be a few milliseconds out with the video but hey bite us!

Saturday 4 April 2009

Another fine messe (sorry)

This week saw us pop over to a very sunny Germany for this years Musikmesse. As usual we stayed with MR Hoodees brother-in-law Paul and were joined by GC drummer and old mucker Richard 'spoons' Spooner who drove in from his new home in Switzerland.

We were glad to see the usual big turn out for the messe, with the usual suspects all there and only a slight reduction in the size of some of the stands pointing towards the global economic woes. As usual there was a fine display of knob-laden toys to lust over (and fiddle with) and we also had a couple of planned meetings that went well, including a very interesting one with the guys from Steinberg - more on that at a later date.

Amongst the things we really liked the look of was Doepfers Dark Energy mono synth and the usual array of goodies from Jomox. We were also a bit puzzled by the sheer amount of people who wanted to strap on Rolands new keytar and strut around in an 80's style!

In other news we're having a few days break for easter next week, then striaght back into our next Future Music commission in double quick time. It's also Mr Hoodee's daughters' 9th (where does the time go!) birthday tomorrow, so a house/studio full of kids is expected, which should be fun, planning to dig the BBQ out as well, so it's sure to rain!.

We've also finally sorted some server space for the possibility of posting up some free samples to download, and we're working on some kind of limited run sample cd (working title of "Mr Hoodee's phat kick lucky dip" at the mo) to sell on Ebay/direct from us -more news on both of those when we get some time to sort 'em out.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Game Boyz

In accordance with a promise to ourselves to blog a bit more frequently, here we are in the middle of a sample set for Computer Music. Deadline's tight as we're away at the Mussikmesse for a couple of days next week.

The theme is computer game/chip style samples so we've broken out the game boys (didn't realise we had so many laying about) and the Nanoloop and LSDJ sequencing carts for some bleepy goodness!

The DS is running the rather fab DS10 cart which although great in it's self, is a bit too clean and shiny sounding, so we'll probably not use it on this particular set of samples - 4 bit all the way !-)

Tuesday 24 March 2009

touchy touchy

For all you gadget heads with restless fingers, we thought you might like to know we've contributed a few kits to the rather fab digidrum app on the iphone and ipod touch.
We treated ourselves to a touch for Xmas and can honestly say it's one of the few essential gadgets we've owned (this is big praise from us as we're not the most avid of Apple fans, far from it) - we've ended up checking our email on it, bothering our twitter followers, watching films, but funnily enough not really listening to a lot of music !-) Also you can get a direct port of the Amiga classic Pinball Dreams, which is just class...

Monday 23 March 2009

Timing is everything

Another busy spell here at GCHQ as we've sample commissions flying all over the shop at the mo and limited time to get it all done... Hey, but what's new.

Just finished up the dark dubstep set for FM, quite enjoy that dark slower style, nice excuse to get out the tape delays and spring reverbs - and to put pics of 'em on our blog!

The dusty bit of pipe to the left here is a 'Great British Spring Reverb', which I know we've mentioned before in our blog but after crawling around behind our rack and mackie mixer, we finally got around a problem we were having with our aux send/returns, so the bloody thing is finally up and running as it was meant to be - and great it sounds too!

We also finished off the hiphop samples for CM by completely changing our mind and doing some auto-tune vocals after all. Many thanks to Nat Edgoose for stepping in and doing a session of ohhs and ahhs for us to treat. Think we might be hearing a bit more from Nat in Groove Criminals sample sessions from now on.

On the gear front, we've been quite happy to cruise along with our current set up but when we heard that all production has finished on the Korg Microkorg (to make way for the V2 which we thing is bloody ugly), we managed to get hold of one of the ltd edition reverse key models.

We reviewed one of these when it first came out (for some mag or other) and really liked it, although the keys do feel like they are from the cheapest casio kids keyboard you can buy. Not quite sure why we never decided to get hold of one until now, but that's just us and timing.

As one sample commission gets sent out another replaces it so we're dug into some chip/computer game/8 bit style samples for CM - a grand excuse to get the gameboys and sequencing carts out - more on that in a later blog.

Only other real news is it's almost time for the Frankfurt Musikmesse again, we're all ready in plenty of time for once, with flights booked and show pass sorted. We'll be staying at our brother-in-laws again and will attempt to blog anything interesting either whilst we are there or when we get back.

That's about it, catch you later.