The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'samples'
For a while in the 1980s and early 1990s, you couldn't turn a radio on without hearing something containing the Funky Drummer break, a short length of drumming taken from the eponymous James Brown B-side. Then PolyGram got wise to it and started shaking down anyone using this idiom for licensing fees, and it disappeared.
Now some modular synth hackers have taken up the challenge of replicating the Funky Drummer with a Nord Modular G2. A discussion thread is here (containing downloadable patches but little other info, so people not owning Nord Modular G2s are out of luck), and a MP3 of the reconstructed Funky Drummer is here. It sounds definitely recognisable as the Funky Drummer, though also noticeably different; perhaps one should think of it as the No-Brand Funky Drummer?
Now if someone could port this to, say, Pd or SuperCollider, and/or do versions replicating the Amen break or such from first principles, that would be even cooler.
An interesting and comprehensive documentary about the Amen break (QuickTime video), giving examples of its history from The Winstons' B-side Amen Brother to its influence on hip-hop and jungle, its appropriation and fetishisation by pretentious people with PowerBooks, and its subsequent ubiquitification into the wallpaper of consumer culture, and the (increasingly paradoxical) issues of copyright.
(One of the claims made is that The Winstons do not defend their copyright of the Amen break, though that hasn't stopped sample-CD companies from releasing their own versions of it and claiming copyrights on them.)
(There's also one on the cultural history of the Roland TB-303, though I haven't seen that yet.)
Penguin (the publishers) are having an audiobook remix contest (Flash required, unfortunately). They provide a few samples from 30 audiobooks (including Alice In Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Kerouac's On the Road, several James Bond novels and the most recent Nick Hornby) for downloading, and allow participants to upload their entries, where they will be made available for streaming. The handful of entries presently uploaded vary from quite decent ("Spot's Urban Dub Mix") to boring arrangements of loops with samples spread over the top. Unfortunately, though, it's only open to UK residents.
Hmmm... I can imagine a few approaches that could work... the Dracula samples could lend themselves to Dr. Mabuse-style euro-synthpop (or, obviously, anything describable as "goth"), Casino Royale could work with a sleazy cocktail lounge sound, and Moby Dick could be done with crackly blues loops and a Korg M1 synth preset.
(via bOING bOING)
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.
SampleSwap is a new(ish) sample-sharing site by San Franciscan electronica d00d Canton Becker. It's the latest incarnation of his Ontology site, only rather than using a proprietary, Mac-only file-transfer system, everything's web based. Users can upload samples and unfinished songs, download others' contributions, and talk on the phpBB-based message boards. The categories under which the samples appear are interesting as well; for example, under "vocals and spoken word", you have entire subgenres like "male rastafarian", "robotic", "evangelists and preaching", and "female dirty german words" (and who doesn't need some of those for at least one musical project?).