Friday, April 29, 2011

Magic New Wave Time Machine #2

I think I'd rather have my mom walk in while I'm masturbating than get caught watching this video.

It's ghastly. Just ghastly.

The dancers alone could turn Camille Paglia into a misogynist.

That said, "Dancing In Heaven" by Q-Feel is still fairly well known in new wave circles - especially considering it was a 1982 finalist in the ever-cheesy Eurovision awards.

Enjoy with the door locked.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hot As Hades - Now available on Beatport

While sound design is a major passion of mine, music is my first love and the core of everything I do.

One track I'm particularly proud of is my latest remix for Josh Gabriel's Winter Kills project with Meredith Call. Their newest single - "Hot As Hades" - was released this week on Beatport and there's a lot of tasty synth programming in my remix, along with a throbbing subsonic low-end, a la "Yin/Yang".

The advance promo is getting support from rockstar DJs like tyDi, Dave Dresden and Kristina Sky, which has made me quite proud indeed.

Here's hoping you like it too - and if you do, please buy it instead of searching the blogs. We artists really do depend on your support. 'Nuff said :)

Preview "Hot As Hades" at

Monday, April 25, 2011

Production Tips From The Pros

In the past year, I've done a series of Producers' Roundtables for Keyboard Magazine - much like my Production Master Classes for Beatportal back in the day.

For Keyboard, I queried some household names like Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode) and Wolfgang Gartner, a bunch of Beatport gods like Josh Gabriel, Jaytech, Boom Jinx, Richard Dinsdale, Patch Park and former students of mine, Tritonal. Dan Kurtz from Dragonette and veteran sound designer/remixer, Josh Harris also make appearances.

Only a few of the pieces have made it online so far, but I thought I'd share them anyway. If you want to stay on top of the series, you'll simply have to subscribe to Keyboard, I guess.

Links after the jump...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Slim Phatty Loop Six-pack

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. Moog's new Slim Phatty has become one of the cornerstones of my sound for 2011. Oh sure, I'm still madly in love with my Oberheim SEM for its raw aggression, Vermona Mono Lancet for its versatility, and Doepfer Dark Energy for its micro modulararity, but for rafter-shaking bass and in-your-face leads, the Phatty is my go-to synth.

I just reviewed it for Keyboard and the details are in the current issue, but if you want to know why I'm head over heels for this beastie, check out this six-pack.

Six loops. All yours. Royalty free. Have fun.

Links after the jump...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Billy's Discount Robot Emporium

Fellow Sentinel and kick-ass DJ in his own right, Billy Jay, just released his Spring 2011 Podcast - the aptly named "Billy's Discount Robot Emporium". It's a treasure trove of tasty techno. Promise.

While we're on the topic of Sentinels, it's worth mentioning that our debut remix - for William A's "Alpha" on Academik Records - will be hitting Beatport in mid-May.

2011 is turning into a big year, so get a taste now.

Here's the Soundcloud link to Billy's Discount Robot Emporium.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Free Bootleg: SpaceBalls (Gartner vs WhoDaFunk)

Holiday parties are always a source of strange inspiration when it comes to bootlegs.

Last Christmas, I was hanging out with William A in the studio, listening to Wolfgang Gartner's "Space Junk". When the first breakdown hit, William said "You know what acapella would sound amazing over this? 'Shiny Disco Balls' by Who Da Funk"

Fortunately, I had the acapella catalogued and handy. (Oh, the joys of OCD.)

I needed more cool bootlegs for my 2010 New Years Eve set with Gabriel & Dresden at Hollywood Palladium, so I threw "Space Junk" and "Shiny Disco Balls" into Ableton Live and KABOOM! It worked flawlessly.

The next night, I spent an hour or so getting the vocals arranged and mixed. Probably the fastest bootleg I've ever done, actually.

For a while I called it "Shiny Disco Junk", until another dear friend - Austin videographer, Seabrook Jones (who incidentally shot the Winter Kills "My Friend" video, but I digress...) - blurted out, "That's DUMB. Call it 'SpaceBalls'!"

Ah, teamwork. (Download link after the jump.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Magic New Wave Time Machine #1

New York, London, Paris, Munich... Everybody talk about...

"Pop Musik" - M

While this little gem from 1979 was a massive worldwide hit, you rarely hear it anymore on radio or the Interwebs, so here's a little reminder that Electronic Dance Music is over 30 years old.

Everything about the track is cheesy as fuck, but you can still hear echoes of those analog synths on Beatport today.

(And the one chick looks kinda like my mom, back in the day...)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Winter Kills "Hot As Hades" (Francis Prève Remix)

My remix for the new Winter Kills single, "Hot As Hades", will be released next week.

Here's a preview...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ableton Preset: Gillette

This month's preset is an homage to my favorite new softsynth, NI's RAZOR.

Yeah, yeah, I've been going on about RAZOR incessantly since it came out, but savvy readers know that I just don't gush unless a synth is incredible - and RAZOR is truly incredible.

So I got to thinking... How do I capture some of that magic in an Ableton preset that's compatible with Live, without using Operator as its core?

The result is a simple additive instrument called "Gillette".

For starters, I created four single-cycle waves: fundamental (1st harmonic), odd harmonics, even harmonics, and prime-numbered harmonics. Then I placed each in its own Simpler and placed those Simplers inside an Instrument Rack.

From there, I added the following macros:

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 2011 Podcast

A few days late, I know, but here's an hour's worth of tracks that have been rocking my floors for the past month.

Download away!

Musikmesse Gear That Grabbed My Ass

When it comes to synth exotica, this year's Musikmesse was one of the best I've seen in years. No, no, no... I was too busy with Academik to make the trek, but considering I've already had my grubby mitts on a couple of these delights, I can safely say that the world of synthesis has been going through a bit of a renaissance lately.

Here's a rundown of my favorite products of this show. It is by no means comprehensive, it's just the stuff that I plan to either buy, review, or recommend.

[Update: Some browsers are having problems displaying this piece's layout, notably Safari. Not sure what's going on, since I've posted numerous YouTube videos in the past without incident. Looks great in Firefox, for what that's worth... Apologies...]


With three months of teasing and rumors, Roland's Jupiter-80 made one of the biggest splashes in tradeshow history - and I'm not just saying that because I designed a fuckton of its presets.

This performance-centric synth sports a three-oscillator analog-modeled synth, Roland's new SuperNATURAL modeling/sampling technology, massive array of world-class effects, and a whopping 256 voices, making it worthy of its $3999 price tag.

How does it sound? Well, having had one in my studio for nearly four months, I can tell you first-hand that it's a true beast of a synth with a VERY Roland vibe. Kind of like a menage a trois between a Jupiter-8, D-50, and Fantom X8 - but targeted directly at live performance.

Howard Jones also designed a bunch of the Jupiter sounds and gives his take on the beastie in the YouTube video above.

Hella cool.

More gear porn after the jump...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tyrell Nexus 6 - Free Softsynth from

As you're probably aware by now, I love free stuff.  Especially free synth stuff designed by Urs Heckmann (creator of Zebra).

I haven't had a chance to play with it personally, but it looks rather badass and I'm gonna give it a whirl this weekend.

More info (in German) and download links here.

(I'd post the Google Translation, but it's a bit more nonsensical than usual...)

Have fun!