Friday, January 21, 2011

Signature SP1200 project

I've been quite lucky in salvaging a couple of things that were getting thrown out at work. Deemed surplus to requirements - one of them was an original SP1200 sampling drum machine. Killer 12-bit angry sampling, drum noises go in weedy and come out like a lump hammer. It's not hard to see why it's popular.

Then, in the course of an office clearout, I discovered that I'd also come in to possession of the full service manual for said SP1200...

Which was even more interesting. Component lists, circuit diagrams, engineering troubleshooting - everything that went into making this machine the legend that it is.

But then at the end, it got even more interesting - the credits page, not present in the end-user manual (not the end-user manual I have anyway).

I pondered over that list of people responsible for this most legendary of machines. Then I realised that I had buried in the house at home (another thing I got in trouble for bringing home!) - an unused overlay for the SP1200.

Never before stuck on a machine. Virginal. Still with the sticky back ready to go.

So this has me thinking. What if I could rustle up everyone on the list of original SP1200 credits? I know where to find four of them right now, another guy I'm sure I can track down through the first four - and I think I've located another four, which would leave only four heads to find.

What if I could get the overlay to them all individually?

What if they all signed it, and got it back to me, and I pulled off the overlay on my SP1200, and stuck the signed overlay on it?

Would I then have an SP1200, signed by the entire original team that put the machine together?

Is it just me, or would that be not only unique, but a physical piece of music and sampling history?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lykke Li - "I'm Good, I'm Gone"

It's Portuguese Government Bond auction time! But more about that later.

I've liked Lykke Li for a long time. Really, really good tunes, good singing, and catchy without being infuriatingly annoying. Music that (hopefully, probably) will still sound good in 10 years - and that's the trick.

It's also great to see someone who can *really* actually do it - who has real musical talent. You can tell the difference - the people who are trying less, and still producing more. The people who can do it without any technology fixing their mistakes and polishing out the human element. The ones who can just sing, with no amplification, and convince you.

Here's Lykke Li, in a toilet, no amplification, and again the song just shines through. I'm not sure about the need for the spoons, taps, etc, but when you're a kooky Scandi, you can get away with anything.

Happy New Year!