Nu Muzik Toyz

I’ve added a few new items to my musical arsenal. Two of the three are capable of all sorts of sounds and rhythms, while the third offers some really fun control options. They are, clockwise from upper left, The Elektron Model:Samples, the Arturia Microfreak, and the Arturia Keystep 37. They will, at least initially, be teamed up with my Korg Kross 2 61. The idea is to start again to create some of my own music, probably similar to the old UgotaWanit efforts.

In the earliest days of UgotaWanit, we used an Ensoniq VFXsd music workstation, a Yamaha SY-35 vector synthesizer, a Roland/Boss drum machine and an Oberheim Perf/X Drummer rhythm controller, and a crappy little Yamaha Keytar for kicks. We recorded everything in real time, and it was highly organic. When we came back to it several years later, much had changed, and we replaced the workstation keyboard and the drum machine with computers. A pair of Alesis QS6.1 synthesizers were used for some sounds as well as keyboard control.

Fast forward to today, and I’m going a little bit old-school. The Model:Samples is, basically, a sample-based drum machine on super-steroids. The MicroFreak is a really cool wave-sequencing synthesizer, and the Keystep is a controller/sequencer/arpeggiator. The Kross 2 will be a source of non-lead sounds. And while all of this may seem fairly basic, each component, as well as some that I’d like to add as time goes on, have unique properties that make them special.

If all goes to plan, I’ll have a nice little workstation set up and functioning in the next month, in time to give me something to work with while I recover from my neck surgery. I’ll post updates now and then as things progress. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a short snippet I threw together on the Model:Samples.

Sample from the Elektron Model:Samples. Sharp-eared readers might recognize this rhythm and bass part as a take on an earlier UgotaWanit piece. Rob programmed the original using the Rebirth RB-338 software synth by Propellerhead Software.