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).