A Trio of Unique, Colorful Effects Boxes from OTO Machines, Coming Soon

It’s not enough to just release sound hardware. You want something different, something with character. French builder OTO Machines did that with their Biscuit, a gorgeous combination of 8-bit crunch and analog filtering, then later turned it into a synth and step sequencer with nothing but firmware. But now it’s time for a follow-up, and instead of one sequel, we get three. There’s a 12-bit delay unit, a digital reverb inspired by some 80s classics that never get old, and an analog compressor/”warmer”. That neatly covers three bases of things many people want, and seem to target a nice space …

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King Britt, in the Studio: Fhloston Paradigm and Making Music Like It’s 1983 [Video]

We’ve heard the new Fhloston Paradigm; here’s an up-close look at the studio setup on which it was made. Making music can be about collecting the best, not just the newest, finding what’s inspiring to build your own tradition. Perhaps that’s why so many artists increasingly turn to vintage analog gear not just because they idolize the sound, but because it opens up working techniques that move their music forward. After all, digital emulations get better by the day at copying sounds, but it may be less a matter of old and new and more unlocking some personal creativity. In …

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Millioniser 2000: 80s-tastic MIDI Harmonica Whose Time Has Come?

“It comes from tomorrow …but it’s here today.” Well, now it is tomorrow. And yesterday’s tomorrow still looks futuristic. Try this test: show someone the video above for the Millioniser 2000, a MIDI harmonica designed by Ronald Schlimmer. Tell them this is a 2009 video designed to go viral, a fakery of 80s cheese. After all, the instrument itself looks impossibly futuristic. Surely this wasn’t really designed in 1979. Surely the close up thigh shots of the backup singer girls in the back are tongue-in-cheek parody. Your friends will believe you. Of course, you’ll be lying.

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Analog JUNO-60 and What JUNO’s Labels Should Really Say

Octopus transmute! I can’t in good conscience fail to mention the JUNO-60 video uploaded to the Roland How Do You Juno contest. The work of UTM, you have love that (a) it’s a video of the legendary JUNO-60, the original, analog JUNO, and (b) all those gorgeous flying imaginary graphics. Clarification: I should say that the JUNO has an all-analog signal chain. That is, the oscillators are digitally-clocked DCOs and get digital patch storage, but everything else is analog. So it’s more analog than the JUNOs sold by Roland now. And by “original,” yes, the 60 was an update of …

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Roland JUNO Contest Ends at Midnight; A Viral Ad for the … Alpha 2!

Getting DIY ads out of YouTube is all the rage these days, but when it comes to certain time-tested synth names, let’s just say the audience is a little different. You love the gear, you make music with the gear, you praise everything that’s brilliant and you’re unafraid of criticizing what’s not. We covered the Roland “How Do You JUNO” contest launch back in April with a look back at the JUNO line through the years. Check out comments for some frank, nostalgia-immune commentary from synth geeks about the high points and low points of the various models. And so, …

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Camp, Remixed: Free Halloween Music Compilation Samples Horror Films

It’s campy horror sounds, remixed into digital music — the perfect way to celebrate the holiday! From our friend TRASH_AUDIO’s Surachai, who’s on the compilation: We have teamed up with Cock Rock Disco to compile a horrific compilation of the very best campy 80’s horror movies ever made, remixed by some of the greatest digital grind, metal, breakcore, and electro artists from around the world. Artists including Silon Fist, Terminal 11, Vytear , The Teknoist, Sgure, Toecutter, Duran Duran Duran, Eustachian, Bong-Ra, Captain Ahab, Surachai, Dead Noise, DJ Floorclearer, Droon. Enjoy the ride into hell, because this will be your …

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Music Tech History Day: Fairlight CMI in Videos, and the Computer You Can Play

$26,000 at the time, the Fairlight CMI was the commercial product that really launched the notion of computer as musical instrument to the general populous – along with various electronic cliches in its wildly-popular preset bank. Our friend James at Retro Thing alerts us to the fact that none other than Fairlight co-founder and co-designer Peter Vogel has been uploading vintage videos to YouTube. There’s a behind-the-scenes tour of the Fairlight factory, circa 1984, and below, a demonstration of the Series III instrument by Greg Sneddon: There’s also this charming 1980 appearance on "This Week" on Australian TV. What about …

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Music Software Memory Lane: Vintage IIGS Apps (And 80s-Chic Covers)

From the commentary on historical music software interfaces prompted by the colored bars of the Music Animation Machine, you won’t want to miss this: The Apple IIGS Anachronistic Application Ring: Creative Aural Applications

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