Sunday, July 31, 2011

Manchester Week!

This week, I'm very excited to present a set of interviews with 4 talented producers living in Manchester, England for Monday-Thursday of this week.  If you're like me (and much of the rest of the world), you first think of the Manchester United Soccer  (Football) team, the most famous club in the world, when you hear the name 'Manchester'.  This week's DJs will clue you in on the awesome nu-disco/ electro scene happening in Manchester today.

For this week, be prepared to sit back and enjoy hearing great clubby tracks, influences, and hearing some exclusive tracks and learning some patch programming.  Check back tomorrow for the exciting start of MANCHESTER WEEK!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Moog hints, Champions, and more

Hello everyone, hope your Friday is going well.  A couple of things to mention before we all escape to the weekend...

Moog is showing off a "special project" that's "the first of its kind", which is said to rhyme with Rogue Door.  Speculation on their Facebook Page has guesses such as "Moog Door", "Moog Gore", but my guess would be between "Moog More" and "Moog IV".  Nothing in the picture indicates polyphony, but there are Mooger Foogers lined up across the top of the Voyager XL, implying there's way more to this than just a standard 5 grand keyboard.  Only time will tell...

EDIT: Today, Moog revealed the Moog Store.  Not quite a polyphonic synth...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

AIMES - Every Time When I See You (Radio Edit)

Hey everyone, hope you're enjoying your Thursday.  I was recently introduced to a new artist called AIMES.  AIMES has got a nice fresh approach to synth pop-- his vocals nicely straddle modern and the soft spoken 80s.  Combine that with a funky beat and some nice analog synths, and you've got yourself catchy dance music.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Visitor Interview

VISITOR is a new duo out of the UK bringing back the pop flavor in the synth pop scene.  Their beautiful pop vocals and dance beats are some taking the dance scene by storm.  With their debut album just around the corner, I was very excited to have a chance to talk to Lucas and Kyle about their synth choices, working with Diamond Cut (a guest a few weeks ago) and what's to come from their debut album.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Starsmith - Lesson One

Just a quick post for you guys-- found out this video came out today for Starsmith's new track, 'Lesson One'.  SoundCloud version below.

On the subject of Starsmith, I think he's a really great producer, and he is pretty much Ellie Goulding's sound.  It's a shame his album was sidelined, because it had promise to be one of the best dance records of this year-- it was supposed to feature the likes of Stine Bramsen from Alphabeat, among other guests.  It is nice though that this track and its b-sides will give us an insight of what could have been.  Hopefully that record isn't lost forever-- hey Vulture, what about a 2012 release?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Mix

Monday Mix!  What is Monday Mix?  Why is this happening today and not any other Monday?  Well if you guys love it, I'll do it every Monday, or try, but I thought I'd try something new since I'm going to be on a plane all day going out to California.

I've snatched up 5 tracks from 5 talented producers this Monday.  It's a mix of old and new, but I still listen to Daft Punk's discovery and that's 10 years old.  Groove on, peeps.

Friday, July 15, 2011

She's the Queen - The Way

The Way by Shes the Queen

Very excited to show of this new gem by She's the Queen, just released today on SoundCloud.  I watched much of this track progress and got to enjoy the heavenly vocals Emily laid down live.  This track also features some great shimmering guitar-- a less common feature in synthpop, but it fits beautifully in this track to accompany the catchy synth hooks and punchy beats.  She's the Queen is part of The Night Moves collective, which was featured today on Fear of Tiger's new podcast which I referred to in the last post but didn't post yet-- check that new podcast here.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday Round Up

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Alesis Andromeda A6

Ah, the Alesis Andromeda A6.  One of the true modern analog beasts.  Boasting 16 voices of analog grit, this synth is raw power.  While it's not the prettiest looking board (maybe one of the ugliest even), it's really just telling us not to judge a book by its cover.  The Andromeda boasts sine, triangle, square, saw up and saw down waves (one of the very few analogs to have sine waves), as well as 32 total filters.  No wonder this thing cost more than 3 grand USD.  That may seem like alot of dough for a keyboard, but keep in mind that Moog likes to charge 3.5 grand for a Voyager, and 5 grand for a Voyager XL (that has the same amount of keys as the Andromeda).  The engineers behind this beast were brilliant.  You can turn off the automatic tuning of the keyboard to give it more vintage warmth, or snap them in to place for a nice tuning.  The synth also has some nice digital effects-- don't see those everyday on an analog either.  I highly recommend you click this picture to get a better look at all the great features it has.  Alesis does wonders in getting so much in for the cost.

Sadly, it's already out of production (I'm assuming the reason is because of the hefty price tag).  Hey Alesis, do you want a million dollar idea?  Take what you've made here, scale it down to 5 or 6 voices, give it a more vintage style of control, and do whatever else you need to to make it cheap as possible.  Hell, you can even break it down further than that for a 1 voice, 3 oscillator analog keyboard as well.  I KNOW that Alesis is capable of that-- their engineers are brilliant at packing value into tight spaces.  Making something smaller and more entry level would appeal to analog fanatics and newbies alike, and in turn might even give DSI and Moog a run for their money!  Let's not forget that Korg is slowly amassing research to enter the analog market again as well... perhaps in another 5 year we'll not only have DSI and Moog, but Korg and Alesis with great analogs of their own!  Now, if only someone could whip Roland into making new Jupiters and Junos, we'd all be happy about our keys like we were in the 70s and 80s. 

But in the mean time, Alesis, about that smaller analog synth?  Pretty please?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Prophet 5: Analog vs Digital

I was checking out these videos yesterday, and found them pretty interesting.  This Youtube user is comparing the patches found in the original Prophet 5 to the Arturia Prophet 5.  Some of the patches are almost identical.  While it's unfair to truly judge due to the sound quality Youtube offers (I'd love to see someone do this and upload it to SoundCloud), it does show that you could probably get away with certain plugs in mixes, especially for background sounds.  It would also be interesting to compare these to the modern Prophet 08.  While Arturia's plugins are of the most demanding CPU wise, they are among the best.  Check out the videos and try to hear some differences yourself.  Of course, don't get me wrong, I'd take real analog any day...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: Tempo Rubato's NLogPoly Synth

Last week, I was lucky enough to get a review copy of Tempo Rubato's NLogPoly Synth.  This is one of the few synth apps available from the Mac App store, and is currently priced at USD$24.99.  If you're like me, you are a bit shocked at the prices of everything in the app store due to how cheap mobile apps are on the iPhone, but 25 bucks isn't bad for a softsynth, especially considering it can be used as a standalone as well.  But is it really worth it?  We'll delve in below.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Patch Breakdown: The Prophet Piano

Today I'll be breaking down a patch for you guys.  This was one of the original intentions of the site, so hopefully this will happen more often from now on, since patch building is essentially the heart of synthesis.  You can have a great synth with crap sounds if you're not careful.  I didn't create this sound but I'd like to start with it as a template to what the future of this will look like.  Above is the Prophet Piano patch (No. 77 on my DSI Tetra) playing Mozart's Sonata in C (MIDI from this website).  I think it's a decent stab at the sound of a real piano, and should be easily recreated on any number of synths.  Hopefully this tutorial will give you a really great understanding of what is happening in this sound.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Diamond Cut Interview

Diamond Cut is a rare breed of a producer.  While his remixes are catchy enough to blend with the best producers out there today, you'd be hard pressed to find much about him besides his fantastic SoundCloud page packed with some of the best tracks you've ever heard, and his recent interview on Fear of Tiger's podcast.  I got a chance to talk with the analog specialist on his gear, his tips for creating great tracks, and his patch building philosophy.  They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but you'll find that Diamond Cut is your DJ's soul mate for a great club set.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Reader Submission - Biosynth "Primordial"

[A quick note-- there are some NSFW sounds at the end of this track (last 3 minutes)-- nothing too graphic, but I wouldn't recommend playing it in front of your boss, parents, children, or strangers...]

This one comes from Biosynth, our first reader to submit a track!

From the artist: