Now for sale on Bandcamp — “What Month Is It?”, a track recorded on cassette in 1988 in a frumpy ground-floor townhouse rental in Davis, CA. I think this might’ve been one of the few things I worked on that didn’t cause the upstairs neighbors to bang on the floor.
A couple months back I traded in the defective Modal Electronics Argon8 for a Korg wavestate. The latter isn’t especially easy to learn, with a lot of menu-diving involved.
The stock “performances” that were oh-so-cinematic in the YouTube wavestate demos turned out to be, with few exceptions, not so alluring after a few listens; I spent last evening scrolling through program presets and making a list of favorites.
I’ve also been working on learning the ins and outs (and sends and inserts and returns and busses) on a new Mackie 1642VLZ4 mixer. Initial forays include incorporating blends from three different Buddha Machines, as well as continuing to digitize long-neglected Funharm cassettes dating back to the early-to-mid-eighties.
Today Bedroom Cassette Masters released a free (well, pay-what-you-like) compilation on Bandcamp entitled 1980-89 Volume X that has some very snazzy PDF liner notes.
It also has a contribution from Funharm — track 13, “Ideal Planes”, from 1985. A portion of said PDF snazziness is screengrabbed above.
Thank you to Bedroom Cassette Masters for including my song, tracking down highlights from 80s (and 80s-influenced) home-recorded electronics, and putting together an impressive package.
I still have my Poly-800, and it still works fine, right down to the noisy 256-note sequencer. My dad lent me the money to buy it in 1985 — I got one with the reversed keys, of course.
A lot of stuff was recorded on it that remains unreleased; “Ideal Planes” was probably one of the more listenable things I came up with, but I’m still going through cassettes from that era, and finding other segments and experiments that may be of interest.
I downloaded the the free version of the softsynth emulation this morning, though, because
“[It] raises the stakes slightly by offering two DCOs per voice – on the original, this was only possible when using the Double mode, which halved the polyphony. You can choose from two waveforms and each oscillator has additive harmonics ((16′, 8′, 4′, 2′).
Elsewhere, there’s a low-pass VCF, Noise, three envelope generators and a pseudo-stereo chorus effect. Enhancements in comparison to the original hardware include up to 64 voices of polyphony, and a ‘God Mode’ for real polyphony. The interface might seem a little fiddly, but MIDI Learn means that all parameters can be tweaked using a controller.” (from Music Radar)
Although I haven’t used the plug-in yet, I look forward to that extra DCO without the stolen polyphony. I’ll report back.