One Day, One Track, 3 Roland AIRAs: How They Sound, Would We Buy Them?

It’s probably the greeting I’ve heard most in the past couple of months, apart from “Hello.” Sometimes even before “Hello.” Everywhere I go, people are asking me what I think of the Roland AIRAs – particularly the TR-8 drum machine. There are now reviews everywhere of the AIRA TB-3 and TR-8 (and some of the VT-3, as well). For CDM, we’re planning some additional detail, but we’re still awaiting our review hardware. Fortunately, I got to spend an action-packed day with the trio of AIRAs with Benjamin Weiss. So, I can do what I’d do in a bar: I can …

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Build a Classic Synth, Reissued: Hands-on with KORG’s MS-20 Kit [Gallery]

Call it the MS-20 “Biggie.” A year after remaking their classic 1978 MS-20 synthesizer in a hugely-popular “mini” version, KORG surprised everyone by unveiling a second reissue this year, the limited-edition MS-20 Kit. Its innards are entirely identical to the MS-20 mini; component-by-component, the sound circuitry is the same. And since the MS-20 was a fairly convincing replica of the original, inaccurate mostly in that it can’t reproduce the aged components we’re now used to, that’s a good start. Now I’ve had the experience of assembling and playing the kit, following up our debut with the mini last year, and …

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Mexico Meets the World, in Superbly-Diverse Mixtapes from Static Discos [Free Downloads]

If you wondered where your musical inspiration would come from in the waning hours of 2013, or the early hours of 2014, we’ve got some ideas. In lieu of top-this-and-that lists, we have a motherload of musical listening and discussions for a series we’re calling Music into 2014. Eclectic and electronic, Mexico’s label Static Discos has become a nexus for artists from around the globe. Now, you can tap into that network as a listener, free. The new Dimension Series – a massive collection of free mixtapes from some extraordinary international artists – joins a year-end mix from the label …

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Weekend Listening: Sounds from the Mindpirates Silo, And DIY Music Scene’s Underground Nooks

Off the commercial radar, playing often for the joy of it, the bedroom producers and music DIYers are now making their noises live and in person. Secluded in “home studios” no more, production is real-time, in the basements and abandoned spaces at the corners of the music scene. And yes, Happy Record Store Day – but that’s even more reason to cap off an afternoon of record shopping with an evening of live music, wherever you are. And we can offer some sounds direct from artists to discover here. Our friends at Mindpirates can help. We visited the archaic concrete …

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