Goldbaby, the New Zealand retro perfectionists behind the Tape 808 sample set, just released Tape Drum Machines Volume 1, with a bunch of fantastically kitsch vintage gear like MPC's The Kit, Companion's Four In The Floor and the very cute Yamaha MR-10. All of these are then recorded on four different vintage reel-to-reel machines and sampled. For $24. If you're too cheap, the free samples page has a lot of goodness.
New from Goldbaby, the NZ samplists behind Tape 808, is Analog Autorhythms - a $24 collection of preset loops (+ individual hits) from old school drum machines like the Korg Rhythm 55B. Even if, like me, you already have tonnes of badly sampled, badly labelled, rarely used folders of 'old school' sounds cluttering up your hard drives, it's still worth giving this a go, because it's done properly.
- My new favourite Wikipedia page is Unusual types of gramophone records. (Thanks, Steve)
- Bleep Labs BitBlob is the only thing to buy this Christmas. A patchable synth encased in a pyrex glass jar complete with glowing monsters. $216, limited edition of 30...
- Another xmas essential is Benge's Twenty Systems album - a lovely booklet/CD package with twenty tracks recorded on twenty different systems, from Moog Modular to NED Synclavier. (More pics here at Hardformat)
- New synth #1: Dave Smith Mopho, tiny yellow all-analog synth for $399 (from Analog Haven). Like the button marked 'push it', don't like the lack of knobs.
- The Trons are a robot band from New Zealand (MySpace) (Thanks, Louis)
- Totally Wired is an interesting-looking obsessive documentary about the Berlin synth store Schneiders Buero. Trailer. (Thanks, Luka)
- Wonderful podcast #1: Welcome to Mars, the series about sci-fi and the cold war is now a book and CD (and Simon James, who did the music, has an album on the way)
- MT Reader (and MPC1000 JJOS guru) Nym got ADSR tattooed on his stomach.
- Where's the party at is a great-looking sampler module kit on a single PCB, complete with dozens of breakout points for circuit bending.
- New synth #2: Moog are re-releasing their Taurus bass pedals, in a limited edition of 1,000. $1,695, all analog, based on the original circuitry but with midi and proper memory. People have been asking for this in forums for years, but I'm amazed they've actually done it.
- David Dewaele from Soulwax (another MT reader) explains their extremely fun-sounding live setup to Future Music mag - a mix of Ableton and analog gear. Unfortunately, it's an audio slideshow, so rather than scanning through the article you have to listen for 8 minutes...
- Most people in Scandinavia now hate Goodiepal, apparently.
- Goldbaby just released a nice set of drum samples sampled through an EMU SP1200
- Yamaha released a bunch of stupid music-themed concept phones (thanks, Matt)
- Wonderful podcast #2: Us and Them is a genuinely mind-blowing collection of Cold War propaganda music - you can download all seven episodes from the sidebar of the Clerkenwell Kid blog
- New synth #3: Korg Microkorg XL - very long awaited follow up to the absurdly successful Microkorg (if they'd only sold the actual synths that appear in music videos, they'd still be rich). Gone are the wooden end cheeks and light up buttons, replaced by an interesting-but-ugly look slightly reminiscent of the Micromoog.
- Steim is now safe. The Dutch Council for Culture has agreed to help fund the Amsterdam home of strange clicky music and gestural interfaces. The blog-inspired letter writing campaign apparently helped. (Previously...)
- The Indamixx Laptop is a $499 netbook loaded with Linux music apps
- Such a shame this live audio to sewing machine interface is nothing more than a concept and a mockup. (Thanks, Fab)
- In the not-awesome-but-understandable camp, the Chimera BC16 is currently off-sale as they catch up with back orders (finally). Shortly before that was announced, they put up the price of the wonderful BC16 to £280.00. Still a good price, but not the astonishing bargain it was at £116, when it was first announced. (Previously)
- Korg Nano controllers are now also available in black. Not sure if that's an improvement or not.
- During brain surgery, "Banjo player Eddie Adcock was kept awake to perform while surgeons poked and prodded different areas of his brain." (With picture) (thanks, Samuel)
- In October, someone claiming to represent the New Yorker got in touch, wanting to buy paid links...
- Great clip of the Monkees and a big Moog Modular
- Eric Archer's 'sound cameras', hacked from old 8mm movie cameras, seem certain to become 2009's essential hipster accessory.
New Zealand-based Goldbaby have quietly become the coolest sample factory in the world. They get vintage gear, play it through more vintage gear, then sample it in super high resolution. Their commercial products include Tape 808 and Tape 909 (Vintage drum machine into valve Ampex 1/2" tape machine, into 24bit samples), a range of old Roland drum machines sampled onto a MPC60, then re-sampled) and Vintage Home Keyboard Breaks which is classic breakbeats replayed on old casio keyboards. In the exceptionally fine Free Stuff section, you'll find a 606 which has been through the Ampex treatment, an 808 recorded on cassette and various impulse responses (including an MPC60)...