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Re: aleatory analogue in the house

On Tuesday, July 15, 2003, at 10:46  AM, goddard.duncan@mtvne.com wrote:
> but there it is: "if you dig to the next layer..."

Right.  We live in a culture that encourages laziness and being a bully 
to get what you want done.  Not sure how to fix that.  Look at our 
president.  Sad.  I used to hate him, then I realized that even though 
he probably wasn't really elected, enough voted for him to get him that 
close.  So I live in a country that's mostly idiots.  All I can 
seemingly do at this point is not be that way and continue on.

> you've got "oh just use the library sound" on one side, because 
> editing is such a pain- like painting your hallway through the 
> letterbox, as one musician friend put it.

Heh, that is a good analogy.  I remember trying to program the DX line. 
  It hurt my head.

> and on the other side you've got people like me who want to edit the 
> sounds while they're playing. whatever the module costs, there's going 
> to be a lump extra for a midi controller that can get at the stuff 
> hidden away in the menus, and then only if the box supports such 
> remote twiddling.

Funny how that is more and more becoming the trend in synths, but not 
guitar related effects.  As a former Juno 106 and DW8000 owner I surely 
know the joy of knob twiddling, but I also know it can lead to only 
that.  It's probably how I transitioned from pop music into more 
abstract forms.  I know that a lot of time I don't want to have to 
tweak a sound for hours.  Like being a carpenter, I want to buy a 
hammer that's right for the job and get to building.  Sometimes I need 
a special hammer that I can't find and then I abandon my ROMplers and 
go for something like my Korg MS2000.

> see, my idea of gratification is to create original textures and 
> sounds, where someone else's idea of it is to combine established 
> tones in new ways. both are valid, and anything in between, but the 
> latter is too much of using your eyes and ears instead of your 
> imagination for me.

It's just another way of thinking about it.  You surely can't call 
piano players unimaginative because they don't make their own sounds 
(though many use prepared pianos to get new tones).  You can do a lot 
with a little or a little with a lot and every permutation of every hue 
in between.

> and to achieve this gratification, I'd like a good solid hardware 
> interface in order that, traditionalist that I am, the musician can 
> interface with the instrument as god intended, with musicianly body 
> parts and not some poxy little lcd window or (worse) a damn 
> windows-box.

I love the KAOSS pad, Alesis AirSynth and AirFX for these exact 
reasons, even though you can't tweak the effects themselves, the 
interface allows you to really play the parameters like an instrument.  
Very nice.  If I were a keyboard player (which it seems like I'm on the 
verge of becoming!  Woops!  Maybe I am!) I'd pick up the new Roland 
V-synth.  It's got great controller options and really interesting ways 
to make ROM sounds your own via performance controllers.  This control 
of a sound rather than creation of a sound is almost more important to 

> you want to be able to alter timbres while you're playing- onstage, 
> even. (I've tried this) poking around in a 16x2 backlit requires 
> laserium and dry ice as a distraction if you're going to get away with 
> it.
> does that make me a bad person?

Nope, I like you.  O'oh.  I'm a bad person so maybe that does make you 
a bad person too.

> when you complain to the manufacturer, they point to examples of 
> companies that went bust because the front panel had too many knobs on 
> it. and that, sadly, is where my own instant gratification went, along 
> with moog, SCI and latronic (makers of the notron). it's a good job I 
> bought some of this old stuff anyway and learned how to look after it

I think they're all eating their words now as the trend goes back to 

> but those of us who want to try that little bit harder are up against 
> it with some of the bigger manufacturers and media conglomerates, both 
> in making what we make and in shifting it out to an audience. that's 
> why the folks on this list have ended up using such specialised tools, 
> some or all of which were made in short runs and are now pretty much 
> unsupported. the irony is that a suitably equipped magpie turntable 
> jockey would have had a ball with a repeater. if only the thing had 
> been shaped like a technics 1200....

Right.  Like I said in a previous post, if the Repeater's functionality 
had been built into a DJ mixer I think it would have changed that world 
forever.  They tried too hard to appeal to different worlds.

That said, I love this area we're moving into now where the resolution 
and interface of digital gear is starting to approach old analog gear.  
I spent an hour yesterday playing with a Denon CD player that had a 
spinning platter and behaved just like a 1200.  I'm sure a real 
turntablest could pick it apart, but it dawned on me that I could burn 
samples of my own music on to a CD and manipulate it and I could not do 
that with vinyl.  Very liberating tool for that reason.

Mark Sottilaro