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segunda-feira, 13 de março de 2017

If you are a fan of Autechre, you probably should check this ;)

Fact Magazine published a very interesting article some weeks ago about 7 pieces of gear that helped define Autechre's sound!

If you want to check what gear it was, you can find that article in the following link:

I haven't tried most of the gear mentioned, but as you have noticed, I am a big fan of Clavia gear!

Despite I never had the original Clavia Nord Lead / Rack that is mentioned in this interview, I have a Clavia Nord Rack 2 which I really really like and is pretty similar to the original model (at least feature-wise, with some nice enhancements)!

To me, these are fantastic synths for performance, which is why I have kept mine despite I have 2 expanded Clavia Nord Modular G1 (a keyboard and a rack) and a Clavia Nord Modular MicroModular available in my studio setup!

In case you were not aware, there are actually patches available that recreate the architecture of the Clavia Nord Rack 2 in the Clavia Nord Modulars G1s.
These two synths are from the same era and they have a pretty similar sound (I haven't tested them side by side, but that's an interesting idea for a future post!).
But as you know, you can do so much more with a Clavia Nord Modular than you can with any of the Clavia Nord Lead / Rack synths.

However, the interface you find in the Clavia Nord Lead / Rack series is one of the best ever for VAs, which makes it much more interesting for performance than the Clavia Nord Modulars, that is, if you don't need a very complex sound.

The architecture of these synths is definitely quite limited when compared to other VAs from the same era (Access Virus, Novation Supernova II, Waldorf Q, and some others), but the interface is just amazing!
They might not sound exactly like an analog synth, but the feeling you get from playing with them, is quite similar to those old machines, with a very simple interface with minimal to no menu diving!

And if you have a look at the Clavia Nord Lead / Rack 3, you'll find what was probably the best interface ever in a synth (I still have one in Oslo and it really is amazing in every aspect), but all elements of the series have a really friendly interface that makes it really fun and intuitive to tweak your own sounds as you play!

From what I could read online, some people say the original version has an even nicer sound than the second version!
I can't really comment on that, but can say I would definitely like to get an expanded Clavia Nord Lead as those edges really look cool ;)

The amazing Clavia Nord Rack 2, simple architecture with a simple interface, but great sound!

The only unit from the list that I actually owned is the Roland R-8, despite I didn't really clinch with it...

I only tried to use it as a drum machine, not as a sequencer for other gear like Autechre did, but the way you program beats on it, just doesn't really fit my workflow...
I'm more into step sequencers that I can edit in realtime to make my groove more alive, so this was really not the machine for me and is the reason why I ended up selling it...

I can say the same thing happened to me with the Boss DR-110, Casio RZ-1, Korg DDD-5, Yamaha RX-5 and Yamaha RY-30.
I can't complain with the sounds of any of them (and am really happy I actually sampled some of those), but don't think I would get any of them again to actually use them as a drum machine or sequencer in my setup...

I would say the same about this Roland, despite this mention makes me wondering if I really missed on something special, but I guess it's just one of those machines that just doesn't really fit me...
Still, I wouldn't mind getting it again, to sample it on my Akai S6000, but I think that's the only use I would give to it...

Roland R8, not really missed by me, but pretty well featured!

About the other gear, I can't really say much, as I never tried it (despite I once had the chance to buy a very cheap Ensoniq EPS rack, but wasn't that much into sampling back then... big regret...).

But I can tell you that, despite they mention Max/MSP, Autechre also used a Symbolic Sounds Kyma, which I added to my setup recently (but am still very inexperienced with it to actually tell you much about it...)!
Some years ago, as I was searching for a Symbolic Sounds Kyma Capybara 320, I was actually offered one that used to belong to them!
I ended up not going for it and fortunately ended up finding a better deal later on, for a unit that had a "famous" previous owner too!
But it would have been really interesting to try the sounds they made for Kyma (despite I'm not actually sure those were included...).

As a funny story, to finish my post, the first time I heard about Autechre was when I showed a track I made using the Clavia Nord Modular G2 (which they seem to have used as well) to a friend of mine.

He told me it sounded a lot like Autechre, despite I can tell you really wasn't trying to emulate their sound, as I never heard about them before.

I am still to listen to quite some of their music, but definitely the pieces they present to show off the use of the gear they picked is worth listening to ;)

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