The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'casiotone'
Limor Fried, the designer of the home-made Altoids-tin MP3 player and television-sensitive sunglasses, has done it again, with a honest-to-goodness DIY analogue TB-303 clone. The x0xb0x, as she calls it, is apparently as close to a real 303 as one can get; Fried and her collaborators actually took apart a 303 and analysed the characteristics of all the components. Where it differs from a 303 is that it has USB and MIDI (and can be, literally, computer controlled), can control external synths, and has extra modes in the firmware. The unit will be available in kit form for around US$300 (about £160 or A$400); additionally, the designs will be released as open-source, which means that if you can source the exotic transistors used in it (and a list is given), you can make your own.
Site of the day: miniorgan.com, an online museum of toy electronic musical instruments from the 1970s and 1980s, including Stylophones, toy organs from Yamaha, Realistic and Casio (and one "Cesio"), and oddities like the Mattel Bee Gees Rhythm Machine. Some of the devices are said to sound brilliant (the Mego Muson, after which the glitch label was undoubtedly named, is described as "kind of a Roland TB-303 but much cooler & cheaper"); alas, there aren't any sound samples provided. (via MusicThing)
Local home-keyboard cabaret artist CasioNova on How to Make Music. Mostly ignores the use of computers and software in favour of budget hardware (such as Casiotone keyboards, asuming that their prices haven't yet been bid up to TB-303-like levels by a new wave of post-Ninetynine bands with major-label advances, that is). (via Rocknerd)
I was walking past Manny's in Fitzroy today, and stopped in, finding that they had a few items on sale. Hence, I ended up buying a copy of Waldorf Attack, the VST analogue rhythm synthesizer plug-in. (Something I had been meaning to get my hands on for a while; though the fact that it was on sale sealed it.)
It's pretty doovy; one can make all sorts of sounds with it, from analogue drum sounds to the sorts of bizarre noises found only in German laptop electro and Warp CDs, and miscellaneous odd burblings, hisses and insane ring-modulated cacophonies. And the fact that one of the preset kits it comes with is comprised of video-game sound effects is encouraging.
I laughed out loud when I heard the start of the "Beat Box 3" sample song, though; there it was: a perfect knock-off of the Casio VL-1 "Rock 2" pattern (that's the one from Ninetynine's Wöekenender).
My musical instrument collection grows slightly: I was on Sydney Rd. today, and at one of the pawn shops there, I picked up a Casiotone MT-45 keyboard. (That's the one with the laughably thin imitations of instrument sounds, and the 8 built-in rhythm loops that you may have heard used by everyone from Ninetynine to Sealifepark to Lacto-Ovo.) I'll probably use it for experimenting, and possibly in recording as well; and if I figure out how to get into live performance, it may come in handy (being small, for one).
I went to see Lacto-Ovo tonight at the Empress; they rocked. They started off without their regular drummer, but improvised with one guy playing with the "scratch" sounds on his Yamaha keyboard, a guitarist playing thene-from-Shaft-style wah-wah licks, and them reciting lyrics from random songs over that. Then they did their proper songs, which were in a new-wave-meets-Casiotone-indie-meets-surf-rock kind of vein; the rendition of Bingo was inspiring.
Later I found out that one of the members lives just down the road from me. That's the cool thing about living in North Fitzroy: you may well be living next door to the people whose albums you have in your collection...