100SILEX, de 0 à 100 s: sounds.
1390 Estradin 230 sounds
1386 Retro Synth Ads: Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88, Keyboard 1982
Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88 drum machine 1-page advertisement from page 67 in Keyboard Magazine August 1982.
Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this ad. There just seems to be a lot going on.
For example, am I supposed to know who "The Rhythm Section" is? The fact that they include themselves in an already long ad title suggests they must be some kind of a big deal. And then you find their name again in the bottom left-hand corner:
"The SR-88. Another innovative product from The Rhythm Section by Sound Master Distributed exclusively by JTG of Nashville."
So, let me get this straight. JTG of Nashville is the distributor of the SR-88 which was created by The Rhythm Section which is somehow owned or operated by Sound Master.
That is waaaaay to much information. Sounds like something political is going on there, and readers unfortunately get stuck in the middle of it.
There also seems to be a lot of ad-copy which actually doesn t give me much information. Reason #4 gives readers the most info including instant stop/start, variable tone and output switches, and a write/play mode indicator. The most I glean out of the four other reasons put together is: 16 rhythms, clock pulse and a price of under $200.
The actual specs that are probably most important to potential buyers are inexplicably shoved into the bottom right-hand corner.
Luckily for me, there are a few resources on the Web with more information about this beast. Unluckily for blog readers, as soon as I started looking for more info, I got swept up in a certain SR-88/Boss DR-55 controversy.
Comparing the SR-88 and Boss DR-55
One of the first Web sites I hit while looking for info on the SR-88 was Dubsounds.com. The site includes a great little write-up on the SR-88, but, more interesting was finding out about a little controversy about whether the SR-88 or the very similar Boss DR-55 came out first.
The two do seem mighty similar in functionality. For comparison purposes, I did a quick search on MATRIXSYNTH to find more photos. . A great photo of a gray SR-88 can be found in this December 2005 SR-88 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the less common, but definitely more cool, blue SR-88 can be seen in this January 2011 MATRIXSYNTH auction post.
Comparing the two to the Amdek RMK-100
Interestingly, it s not just these two machines that look and function similarly. In this May 2009 MATRIXSYNTH SR-88 auction post commenter "PAC" notices:
"Interesting. I have an Amdek RMK-100 (sold as kit), very similar!"
Never heard of it, so I Googled "Amdek RMK-100" to see just how similar it was to both the DR-55 and the SR-88. Turns out (according to the Internet) that Amdek products were made by Boss/Roland back in 80s, and, not only that, but that the RMK-100 is actually the kit version of the Boss DR-55. Makes sense on why it would also be similar to the SR-88.
I found an ebay auction for an Amdek RMK-100 going on right now with a great photo of the front panel (see below), and indeed it does share a lot with the DR-55 and SR-88 - but definitely not identical to either one.
For example, it looks like the Amdek and SR-88 share a similar filler function that as far as I can tell is not available on the DR-55. And the DR-55 and the RMK-100 share a similar accent function that I don t see on the SR-88.
Now where does the Electro Dynamics Corporation Programmable Rhythm SR-99 fit in?
I also came across another machine with similar features - the Programmable Rhythm SR-99. No - not manufactured by Sound Master, but by Electro Dynamics Corporation. And, it too resembles the others in functionality, and especially the SR-88 in design also.
I ve included a row of photos below to help make the comparison between the two. The SR-88 photo is from the 2005 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the EDC SR-99 photo is from the excellent BigBlueWave.co.uk site. I ve also thrown in a photo from another recent E-bay listing that included both - plus boxes and manuals! Sick!
Obviously, Sound Master and EDC are somehow connected, although I can t find any info on the Internet concerning these two companies. I do know that they were both advertising separately in Keyboard Magazine in late 1983, making it unlikely that one of the companies changed their name to the other. Anyone know anything?
And then there is the Clef Master Rhythm...
Now, I m going to throw in a late entry. It s Sunday night, and I just came across this August 2010 MATRIXSYNTH auction post for the Clef Master Rhythm. It not only shares part of the name of one of the other units ("Master"), it too has many features of the other rhythm machines, and identical innards as the DR-55, but is expanded to include even more sounds:
"This is essentially a fully expanded Boss DR-55 feature-wise and tone-wise. The circuits are identical (schematically and tonally) to the Boss DR-55, but the Clef Master Rhythm gives you way more instruments than the Boss DR-55..."
Interestingly, according to the post, it pre-dates the Boss DR-55 - and also came in a kit form like the Amdek.
"The Clef Master Rhythm came out a little before the Boss DR-55 in late 1979/early 1980. It was sold in two versions and available in greater quantities in Europe than in the United States. One version was a kit that the user put together and another one was a prebuilt machine."
A photo from the MATRIXSYNTH post really helps show the similarities in functions with the others:
What does it all mean?
So, looking at all five machines, its almost like there was a rhythm machine salad bar of some sort in Japan, and each company stepped up to it and picked out which features they wanted to include in their product.
And that begs the question - since we know there was a kit form available and there are claims that the Clef Master even has the same circuits as the DR-55, could all five products (and probably others) have used the exact same internal parts - each company choosing which features to include and then customizing in their respective rhythm machine? And if so, were those parts supplied by Amdek, or did all five get their internal parts from some other manufacturer?
And if that is the case, then the question of whether the SR-88 or DR-55 came first doesn t really matter much, since it is likely that the kit components would have been available first. Plus, we have that one auction post with the claim that the Clef Master came out before the DR-55 - making it all even more confusing to figure out.
Or, am I totally off the mark on all this? Were they all created separately? Maybe I ve just been fixated on this a little too much...
I ll keep on looking for more info on these companies and any connection they might have, but if anyone want to buy all four and open them up to take a look - it would be muchly appreciated. :D
Posted by RetroSynthAds at 12:05 PM
Labels: 1982, amdek, clef master, dr-55, drum machine, electro dynamics corporation, keyboard magazine, rmk-100, Sound Master, sr-88, sr-99
Here s a funny thing - I seem to remember Clef in the early 1980s as a British company that made electronic pianos (touch-sensitive ones!) in kit form. Deep in the back of my mind I recall seeing them at a music fair in London with a couple of their pianos and some drum machines including a prototype drum/bass/chord sequencer called something like a "Band-Box". But it WAS a long time ago.
February 12, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Looks like (for once) my memory didn t fail me. Here is a 1982 ad for Clef Electronics showing all the products I mentioned, plus a natty-looking little monosynth! BTW, I owned an EDC SR99 drum machine in the mid-1980s, but replaced it with a Yamaha RX-21 a couple of years later.
February 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM
987 Alesis Micron
This is one of the cutest, smallest, yet most powerful synths I've ever put my hands on! The Micron is the sequel to the popular Ion, and while it can be considered as the Ion's younger brother, it actually has a few enhancements that are absent on the big bro.
This is a very clean, precise, sparkly and definitely virtual analog (or analog modeled) sounding synth. Eight voices of polyphony are plenty for these types of units, but we would always want more. The synth engine is the same as the Ion though, but extra and welcome features include sequencing, arpeggio, and great on board percussion, and the ability to build patterns.
The Micron really sounds bigger than it looks: while personally I feel that the character of its synth engine leans on the more digitally precise DSP side of virtual analog technology, it's certainly capable of huge, warm and fat sounds.
The main panel is logically laid out and easy to understand. At the very left, a big red knob offers volume control; the two "m1" and "m2" sliders provide useful modulation control, typically (but not always) vibrato and filter cutoff. The three knobs labeled "x", "y" and "z" also offer way of modulating sounds, and can (ought to) be assigned to your favorite parameters. Two octave buttons, and other useful commands such as tap (tempo) and latch (sustains the notes) occupy the space at the left of the two-line backlit green display. Finally, a multi-function matrix with push-down knob serve as the central nerve system of the machine, letting you easily access programs, setups, configurations, patterns and rhythms. You do the programming by turning the knob to view the various editing pages. In all, it's simple to program, and the manual does a fantastic job of being easy to follow and easy to understand.
967 Anarchestra: www.anarchestra.net
Anarchestra is a group of exerimental musical instruments and the people who play them. The instruments, built by Alex Ferris, are predominantly steel with a few adapted parts, such as tuning machines and mouthpieces. The instruments were built to encourage non-musicians to explore the making of sound, to allow experienced musicians to make sound unconstricted by their technical habits and preconceptions, and to provide an alternative vocabulary of musical sounds.
Musical Instrument Construction,Musical Instrument Design,Experimental Musical Instruments,Experimental Music,New Music,New Musical Instruments,Avant-Garde Music,Improvisation,Collective Improvisation,Free Jazz,Anarchist Music,Anarchist composition,Anarchist Aesthetics,Aesthetics of music,Music theory,Alternative Music,Alternative Tuning,Steel Musical Instruments,Welded Musical Instruments,Punk,Noise,Noyz,21st century music,post-modern music
878 Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch
This is a program for stretching the audio. It is suitable only for extreme sound stretching of the audio (like 50x) and for applying special effects by "spectral smoothing" the sounds. It can transform any sound/music to a texture. The program is Open-Source and it's released under the version 2 of the General Public License. You can download the source code for Linux or the Windows binaries.
Please note that this is suitable only for extreme time stretching (e.g. if have a melody of 3 minutes and you want to listen it in 3 hours). If you want "less extreme" time stretching, you can use a program which contains the SoundTouch library.
860 Dubsounds Korg Mini Pops SR-120P Samples
KORG: MINI POPS SR-120P
552 Highly Liquid: MIDI Retrofits: MIDISpeak: Speak & Spell MIDI Retrofit
Talking Toy MIDI Retrofit $42.95 - MIDISpeak 2
In Stock. Assembly Service: $29.95 Qty:
Support Forum - Blog Entries
For installation service, contact Class A Electronics or Alien-Devices.
Use MIDI to trigger thousands of soundsâ€”words, word fragments, garbled speech, percussion and bizarre sound effects
Trigger sounds in a controlled, repeatable manner
Works with Speak & Spell (American or British), Speak & Read, Speak & Math, La DictÃ©e Magique (French), Grillo Parlante (Italian), and Buddy (German)
Use toy's headphone jack or speaker for audio output
User-selected MIDI input channel
Assembly service optional
Sounds triggered from Speak & Math using a midi keyboard
Speak & Math percussion loop
Speak & Math loop repeated at increasing tempo
Speak & Math sounds
The phrase "say it", looped repeatedly at decreasing tempo
The word "answer", using normal synthesis, then slow synthesis
Trigger synthesis with MIDI notes. 128 banks of sounds.
MIDI notes 50-89 control keypad buttons; notes 90-92 control "glitch" triggers.
Printed circuit board
All required components
Standard MIDI jack & mounting screws
Adhesive foam pad
Sound synthesis and sound design
Music has brought pleasure and entertainment to mankind throughout the whole of history. Each person is by nature equipped with one of the most elaborate and emotional musical instruments; the human voice. Whenever people feel good music seems to fit the occasion, and it is considered quite natural to hum or sing a song. Musical instruments have brought their own moods to music and at the current moment in human evolution there is an enormous variety of musical instruments available. The twentieth century has seen the development of a range of new and exciting electronic musical instruments. These electronic instruments are very flexible, they can produce a wide range of timbres and can be amplified to whatever loudness level sounds best for the occasion. Most of these electronic instruments are played by a keyboard, but in essence the keyboard can be replaced by any electromechanical device that is able to transform a movement caused by a human interaction into an electrical signal that can drive the sound generating core of the electronic instrument.
All sorts of technical and scientific developments have helped to create electronic instruments and the human interface to play them. Still, music is an art and not really a hard science, although music and sound have for a long time been subject to various scientific research. An important realization is that science can not really explain why much music is such a pleasure to listen to and such a joy to make. Which is not a bad thing, as probably no one is waiting for science to take the fun out of music by applying formalized rules and templates on what is also subject to â€˜feelâ€™. So, although this book covers techniques that lean heavily on scientific research, the application of these techniques will in general be aimed at creating fun. There are a lot of professionals working with sound and even more people that make music for their personal enjoyment. Mastery of sound synthesis is valuable to all of them. Still, it wonâ€™t be easy to please everyone with one single book, as some people will be more interested in how things work and others might want practical examples that just work. The aim of this book is that it can at least be used as a practical guide in workshops and courses in electronic music, covering some essential basics that are needed to operate the equipment used in sound synthesis in a way that makes some sense. Additionally it can be used to explore techniques to find out how they can help in the development of oneâ€™s own musical style.
Sound synthesis is the art of creating sounds by using suitable electronic means, using either analog or digital electronic devices. Sound design is the art of creating particular sounds using sound synthesis techniques. The definition of sound design as used here might be confusing to some, as the name sound design is also used in the discipline in industrial design that occupies itself with how mass produced objects should sound. Examples are how the sound of cars or ladyshaves are â€˜designedâ€™ to sound pleasing while in use. Which of course has nothing to do at all with music or sound synthesizers. This book puts the emphasis on the various synthesis techniques for musical purposes and how to setup sound synthesizers to create a large range of characteristic musical sounds. The art of musical sound design is left to the artist.
119 Dubsounds Sound Master SR-88 Samples
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