Category Archives: General

Native Meetup London

Had an excellent time at the Native Meetup today at London’s Point Blank studios. Lot’s of really interesting tutorials throughout the day and great to meet so many talented and friendly London based musicians and DJ’s.

Highlight for me (apart from the ‘Breakfast in Bread’ lunch by the canal with my fellow attendees Colin and Rob) was trying out the new Native Instruments Maschine Jam and it’s brilliant. Particularly like the touch strips and the way you can use them to ‘strum’ instruments. It’s really intuitive and lots of fun too – will definitely be getting one of those soon!

They are planning to run these sessions every two months or so and the next will be on Sunday 4th December. More details will be on their facebook page…

www.facebook.com/groups/1168432673181443/

Modular Update 1

So I stripped all the modules out of their rack and made a start on adding the additional 3U space. Nice to finally find a use for all that ridiculous Amazon packaging!

modules

Here’s what the empty rack looked like before I started.

empty rack

Next, I created a cardboard mock up, just to get a rough idea of measurements.

mock up

Then, using some left over MDF and plenty of polyfilla, I added the new, sloped front to the existing rack.

sloped front 1

sloped front 2

Next step will be to sand and repaint it, then add a few little bits and bobs such as an XLR connector for the PSU. I already cut some internal access holes to pass the cables through for the spring reverb tank and bus rail which should both be arriving any day now. The MFB Seq 01 is delayed until early Feb though 🙁

Have also had a slight rethink about some of the other modules and will likely get an Intellijel unity mixer to give me space for more tiptop drum modules. Also, seriously considering a XAOC Moskwa sequencer which I researched last night – looks fantastic, but will have to rejig the bottom row a little to fit it in 🙂

Welcome (back)

Hi there and welcome to my new website!

I decided to go for something a little more simple and easy to maintain, so this should hopefully mean I can blog more often.

I’ll also be posting some demos and rough mixes to my Soundcloud page as I record new material. Will also dig out some archive material to put up there too so start following me now! 🙂

New EP preview

I’ve just uploaded a new track ‘Casiotonik’ to Soundcloud from my forthcoming ‘Woodland EP’.

This track features sounds programmed on my Casio HT-700 synthesizer, a lovely little digital synth from the late 80’s which I recently added to my collection and which influenced the track name.

Castle Update

Slightly later than anticipated (2 months later than anticipated actually) but I finally took delivery of my log cabin a couple of weeks ago. What ‘delivery’ actually meant was several hundred pieces of wood and a 30 page installation manual!

Construction has been pretty swift considering I’ve only spent 2 days on it so far. Walls and roof are up, the outside has been painted and we got the felt on the roof last weekend. Just need to put the glazing in tomorrow and the underfloor insulation and floorboards then I can set about wiring up my solar panels. All very exciting 🙂

The Englishman’s Castle

Just thought I’d give you a quick update on what I’m currently up to. The last couple of weekends have been spent digging, pruning, levelling and visiting the local recycling centre followed by the delivery of a ton of ballast! This ballast was then turned into the concrete base for what will be my new studio… The Englishman’s Castle (Ok, a log cabin then if you prefer).

Anyway, as I don’t tend to do these things by halves, the extra dimension to this particular home studio is that I’m hoping to have it partially solar powered! So, it’s been a few evenings swotting up on all things solar and working out what the energy consumption is of all of my equipment. Funny enough, studio equipment doesn’t actually use that much power as long as you steer clear of big power amps and mixing desks, neither of which I use any more. So for a fairly modest outlay, I’ve already bought myself some solar panels, a regulator and an invertor which will provide the 240v for my equipment. All I need now is the log cabin itself (which will be arriving any day soon) plus a deep cycle battery to run it all off.

Of course, once the outside and solar is taken care of, it will be time to kit-out the inside, and for that I’ve been looking at the excellent Ikea Hackers website. It’s really inspiring to see the weird and wonderful ways in which people bend and shape the Ikea furniture. I’ve alreadly got my eye on some modular shelving complete with angled shoe racks which will be great for racking up my old keyboards.

Anyway, no point in showing you any pictures of the concrete base (unless you REALLY want me to), but hope to have something to show in the next few weeks.

In the mean time, if you want to see a really cool renewable energy studio, look no further than Thomas Dolby’s Nutmeg of Consolation, a wind and solar powered studio built into an old lifeboat!

Well that was fun!

The live set was fantastic. Very nervous for the first couple of minutes, but once I got into it, I loved it! Think I was a little overambitious trying to play live drum parts on the opening track, at the same time as handling the usual Ableton clip triggering stuff, but managed to get through without any technical hitches! Although the Korg Kaoss Pad I’d rigged up didn’t even get used! Doh!

The music seemed to go down well with the crowd too, considering most of them would have never heard it before. Even had a few drunken Australian girls dancing in front of me at one point. Would have been even better had it been to one of the dancier tracks 😉

Other highlights include the guy to my right who insisted on whooping and hand clapping every time I dropped the beats out and brought them back in again and a chat with one of the other acts who said afterwards “Are you sure you’ve never played live before?” which made me feel a whole lot more confident.

Anyway, I loved it, the crowd seemed to as well and the organisers have given me an open invitation to play again in the future (although I think my two boys being home for the 6 week School holidays might scupper that for the time being). Maybe next year 🙁

Set list for those who are interested in that sort of thing was :-

It is Forbidden / Strands / Krafty / Energy Storm / Thud Funk / Noisy Acid

For an encore, I played my Guillotine remix, complete with operatic vocals and glitches. And funny enough, that was the one that got the Aussie girls dancing the most! You live and learn 😉