Wednesday, 18 November 2009
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
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Friday, 2 October 2009
Thursday, 1 October 2009
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Thursday, 27 August 2009
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
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
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
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.
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.
Monday, 13 July 2009
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, 5 July 2009
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
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
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!
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...
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
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
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).
Saturday, 30 May 2009
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.
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.
Monday, 20 April 2009
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
Saturday, 11 April 2009
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
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
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
Monday, 23 March 2009
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.