Friday, September 26, 2008

Firewire audio interface

In the past I've reported that I tried to order a Focusrite Saffire interface, to be able to record in a higher quality as currently the case. That purchase didn't work out as the company I bought it from went bust, but at least I got my money back through the creditcard company. I've now ordered another interface, and I changed to a TC Electronic Konnekt 6 desktop Firewire interface.
Why the change? I don't need as many inputs as the Focusrite offered, but the Focusrite was at the time the best sounding interface for the budget in my view. The TC electronic Konnekt has stolen that crown recently by a small margin , and has a nicer cleaner design, with sufficient inputs for my use, hence the change, it's even cheaper than the Saffire, so that money can go towards another module in the future :-)


UPDATE: UPS just rang the door bell, and it's here, great little compact unit, and feels really sturdy :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

TDFZ again

My friend Rene is on a roll, once again a track of his will feature in the Tangerine Dream Fan Zone podcast this coming saturday.
The podcast is available via "this link.
It will be a track of some earlier work of his, likely featuring his beloved SCI Pro One.
There is plenty of electronic music going on during these podcasts, from various artists and styles, many of them not very TD like sounding, but covering a much wider area, there's something for everyone there, so I recommend it highly. And that's one of the reasons why I've reported on it a few times, and of course to plug my friends music, which I happen to like too :-)


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The new case

My new case is starting to take shape: It's a much simplified design. Just a straight 3 tier 19" wide wooden case.
I've put the case together, using some furniture bolts I had left over from an old 'flat pack' desk kit. It makes the case very rigid, even before the modules are fitted. I am going to mount the modules "in" the case by using wood strips and black wood screws, but I've temporarily fitted the 19" rack rails to the front of the cabinet to make sure everything will fit and I didn't make any measurement mistakes. As you can see from the pictures, it all fits fine. For those of you who haven't seen an MOTM up close, one picture has my head inside the case, to give you a sense of the size of the modules, not a bad looking guy, but the modular is sexier :-)


Monday, September 22, 2008

Case two:

Today, I made a start in building a new case for my synth. I reported before that I asked a friend to do it for me, but he has no time, so I'm going to do it myself. (I've made sure the first aid kit is stocked up :-) ).
I've bought the wood, and I've taken the synth out of it's make shift case, and I hope I can start cutting the individual panels to size tomorrow. I'll hope to have more to report on it in a few days from now.


MOTM update:

Hardly a week has gone past, and Paul releases another update on the MOTM status, read below:

"a) Analogue Haven has some MOTM-1800 Frac EGs in stock (will be getting more ~ 15 days) and I will ship them some MOTM-1485s by Thursday.

b) I still have a lot of kits and some MOTM 2.0 orders left to ship. I will be able to ship quite a lot the next 4 days. Probably 30 kits or so.

c) I am due the assembled MOTM-650 pc boards on Thursday. So, I will be able to start shipping those Oct 1st. with the current V1.3 code. Still no word on a V1.4, Jeffrey is aware of what needs to be done.

d) Now that all previous sheet metal orders are in-house, I will be able to order the 'straggler' panels to finish off all the module orders, and to 'bring back' all of the modules but the '510. If I decide to redo the '510, it's going to be DSP-based anyway because those ICs are $10 versus $54 for the current part.

e) leftover kits: there is a *chance* that when all the backlog is shipped, there will be a few kits left over. These are due to orders being cancelled, and I just went ahead and made them anyway :) If so, I will load them into the cart and send out a notice to the group.

Paul S."

It was mentioned before, but from the above you can conclude that the MOTM-510 Wavewarper is discontinued for the moment, and may be re-issued sometime in the future as a DSP based module, probably vastly enhanced too, still I'm glad I got one of the last batch of analog based 510's.
Now I only need to wait for my MOTM-490 and 3rd MOTM-800 to ship, in the next few weeks perhaps?


Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Bumblebee effect

I've had several responses on my 'Flight of the Bumblebee', both on this blog as via the Yahoo MOTM users group, and it seems to have sparked musical responses too, Kenneth Elhart has released Waltz of the Flowers after Paul Schreiber challenged him to do so. :-) I'm not sure if it is all MOTM or not as it didn't say, but I'm sure there is a portion of it in there :-) Enjoy!

Update: Apparently this recording was an old one, and Kenneth was hoping people would recognize it, and had a second version available, which is available here

Saturday, September 20, 2008

NEW MOTM 730 demo by Mike Marsh

Mike Marsh has created a new demo using the prototype MOTM-730. As you may know production versions of this new MOTM design are on the way, the front panels for the first batch have been received by Synthtech, the wait is for the SMT circuit boards to arrive back from the assembler.
Mike writes:
" Hey All : There's a new demo I did with the 730 in the Files Section (ed: of the Yahoo MOTM users group) (730 Demo a1.mp3). Basically used the 101 S&H output through a MiniWave for quantization, then sent that to 5 oscillators. The LFO controlling the rate of the S&H also went to the 730 and the /2, /2, 3, /4, /5 outs of that went to control EGs which in turn went into various filters and also VCAs.
Toward the end you'll hear something else come in: I sent the square out of one of the oscillators to an Oakley VC Phaser and used the Stepped out of the 730 to control the phaser's LFO.

Enjoy! Mike."

Here is a direct link to download it : MOTM 730 demo Mike Marsh.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Flight of the Bumblebee

as promised, I'd let you know if I thought I'd managed to record a relatively decent version of "Flight of the bumblebee", a famous classical piece of music. I've recorded it in "Wendy Carlos style", track by track, carefully constructing polyphonic parts layer by layer, as my MOTM is monophonic.
All sounds on this recording is my MOTM synth, recorded directly into Logic 8, using a few build in fx and processing to 'sweeten' things up a little, but nothing fancy.
You can download it at my download site.
UPDATE: have refreshed the recording with a newer version, that doesn't cut off, and has a slightly better defined melody line.

Hope you enjoy it.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Yet another update

Paul is keeping busy, and has the following update to report:

"Hurricane worries are over (except all my family down in Houston without power, may be 2 weeks until restored).

a) finished MOTM-820 and MOTM-830 kitting, will make up 1 more (MOTM-490s) then start shipping kits again.

b) also will ship 10ea MOTM-1800 Frac EGs to AH by Tuesday and 10ea MOTM-1485 VCFs by Friday.

c) I got in 50pr of MOTM-19A mounting rails, so there are a few orders I was holding up until they arrived that will ship this week.

d) still no MOTM-650s, waiting for assembler.

e) Supplier is shipping the front panels for the MOTM-730 VC Divider tomorrow, so all that I will lack there is (again) the SMT stuffer to run my boards. But that will be in early October after they move and set back up.

f) I am redesigning the MOTM-1300 Frac VCO this week and the plan it to have them in stock at AH in late October. I'm going through a bit of cost reduction/fewer manual operations to keep the final cost as low as possible.

g) I'm also going to order the remaining sheet metal now that all the current orders are shipped.

I'm busy as ever, by the end of this week another 40 or kits will be shipped out. Then I will start on the 4 'big ones': 300, 310, 480, 320s.

Paul S."

So there you have the latest, hope you are one of the lucky ones receiving orders soon :-) I'm still waiting for a 800 and a 490 myself. Keeping an eye on my mailbox to look for that all revealing Happy E-Mail....


Thursday, September 11, 2008

TDFZ Podcast

Hello everyone,

This saturday will mark yet another broadcast of the TDFZ (Tangerine Dream Fan Zone) Podcast. This broadcast is weekly, and recently featured an interview with Johannes Schmoeling. The show is presented by Chris Newman, and this weekend will again feature a (classic) track from my friend Rene Splinter, of Studio 35D fame.

The podcast is available via this link .

For those of you interested in electronic music, and/or like Tangerine Dream, then this is the Podcast for you.
And as I mentioned before: Get your cape and platform heels out :-)


Monday, September 08, 2008

Synth tech update

There seems to be some movement on kits and other shipment, Paul has been working very hard to catch up with the backlog, and it looks like the end is in sight (the backlog that is, not that of SynthTech of course :-) )

Here is his latest update:

a) kits have been shipping steadily every day this week. I am taking 2 days "off" to work on Frac modules, then will resume the kits on Wednesday. I am making up 820/830/490/390 kits this week. The 300/310/480 will follow in the middle of the month. This is a LOT of time-consuming work, but I am upbeat that these are FINALLY out the door.

b) I am out of MOTM-19A rails but expect a shipment of 50pr by Friday.

c) I am out of MOTM-940 panels, ordering more tomorrow. I still need to order 700/380/890 panels will do that ~ 10 days. These will be the last 3 kits to ship out.

d) I'm also catching up on assembled modules, my part-time tech Shane is assisting me. Together we have to build 21 (!) MOTM-300s, 10 MOTM-440s 12 MOTM-800s and a few more others here and there. It's going to take us into November to get all of these out. This is why I am delaying the 520/521 a bit, in order to gave the time available for backorder completion.

e) My SMT assembler is backed up with his #1 customer (military encrypted radios) and I don't expect to see the MOTM-650s CPU boards back to me until the 22nd. He is then moving to a larger building, this will take 1 week to set up the machines and get going again. So, the last week of Sept I will send over the MOTM-730 boards (I should have 60 front panels delivered by then as well).

If you have not got a 'happy email' yet about your kits, it won't be much longer.

Paul S.


Monday, September 01, 2008

MOTM Flute Patch

This time , courtesy of Kenneth Elhart, found on the MOTM users group, comes a patch sheet for a FLUTE , using motm modules, but would work for any other modular with similar modules used of course.
A lag processor is incorporated, to overcome "stepping " when used with some midi controllers.
He writes: "Years ago when I first hooked up a Midi breath controller to the MOTM, I had a similar problem. All the stepping came through into the sound. I made a point to be sure to let others know that you need to smooth it out with a lag processor (as Paul S. pointed out). You can see the 820 lag processor in the upper right of on this patch sheet:"

If you have checked out demo's on the Synttech website, you may have found how the above patch actually sounds, but if not, check out this link.

Hope you find this useful. click on the picture for a larger version :-)