The mountain did not come to Mahomet.
I suspect that I have yet again thrown heart and soul into a bucket too small to hold them. That’s my fault; I look at what ought to happen and work towards that. I then meet with what will happen, somewhat less than the lofty goals I set.
There’s only so much you can present to schools in one hour. There is only so much you can explain about visual music, synthesisers, composition… maybe I didn’t really need to use 86 channels of audio in case there was a question about number 37.
But I also suspect that over the last year I was led to think it was going to be a bigger push. Something about plotting being easier than delivery. There was much plotting but when it came to the last moment I seemed to be carrying the explosives.
There’s a bunch of high school students that are now playing with video and music… who knows how many, but they’re there. Something moved a little.
The odd thing about Image Line’s Groove Machine is how much it reminds me of Fruity Loops of about 8 years ago. It’s a drum machine and a few synthesisers wired together – which is pretty much what FL Studio used to emulate. When you run it inside FL Studio it’s like a Russian doll set. Will Groove Machine get an even smaller plug in?
As I grew up on an 808 + 202 + 101, it’s familiar (if a bit rusty) territory. Could be a good way for me to go back to my roots and … nah who am I kidding? I’m utterly spoiled.
They’re not actually the same. GM is a tweakable groovebox much like KORG’s Electribe (of which I have the iPad version). ‘Much like’ here meaning Apple VS Samsung ‘much like’. It’s there for repeated phrases and much real time knob twiddling. FL Studio is happy enough with the twiddling but has never been a successful live instrument – believe me I’ve tried. When FLS can’t manage to render in time bbababababbabababad things will happen. GM seems to have well set limits – it won’t do what it can’t do. The version I tried had problems inside another host – in Live it needed latency raised to accommodate what I guess is the added signal chain. An updated version has since been posted which is said to fix that.
It sounds quite good, as in it does what most people would want. My whole time in 808 land was spent trying to get around what most people wanted. I think that’s the advantage here, you would have to return to old methods of thwarting the intentions of the equipment, the way that people managed to turn the 303 into something other than the worst bass accompaniment box of all time. The issue then is whether you can find that hidden versatility. In the case of the MC202, very much so. In the case of the TB303 I never managed to find much inspiration. Fruity Loops suited me because it was that kind of thing taken to a high art. An Akira sized drum machine.
Is this what people want now? It was all you got in the 80s, I can’t see people going to the trouble of fighting the limitations now. The Electribe is hardware, that makes it a different animal straight away. Groove Machine is either a crutch or a challenge depending on how you respond.
Not a gift but certainly some kind of bribe is Moog’s new AniMoog. Like RoboCop I’d buy that for a dollar, but that’s faint praise. The “first professional polyphonic synthesizer designed exclusively for the iPad” is just a rompler with 6 zones from a menu of pre-generated wave forms. A little ball thing spins around between these zones and you get wave sequences a la the KORG Wavestation. (Funny how many KORG ideas keep showing up). It sounds good, is pretty, and has fuck all to do with their expensive hardware. I think the authors of Crystal, Alchemy and a few other iPad synthesisers are pretty annoyed right now, or wishing they had that kind of arrogance.
Mind you, compared to the wretched Fairlight App, it’s a harbour cruise in heaven.