This is a list of the synths, modules and other musical bits and bobs I use, or have used over the years. Included is a bit of blurb, mostly first impressions typed at the time of each purchase.
Have a listen to my music to find out how some of these things sound together.
If you are looking for a 'How To' or 'How Do I Connect midi devices' guide take a look at the midi connections page or ask on the dancefix forum. Chances are I've come across the same problems you may be looking for an answer to so just ask and I will answer.
28 April 2011 £279 Dawsons
I could have eventually got this on ebay, but as usual I wanted it now so was prepared to pay the full price, it was selling for just under £200 second hand so the difference wasn't really that much. This may have been another impulse buy, but this time I think I made the right choice. Last week I really wanted the Roland Gaia until I saw a video of this thing in action on YouTube.
This cool effects unit is playable right out the box and after unpacking I set it up and plugged in an old microphone just to see what it could do. Not only can it add excitement and warp the sound of an incoming sound, it also lets you record up to 4 separate samples from an incoming sound source including from the microphone. The samples can be either one shots or loops. Loop samples can be sliced up into 8 equal length parts, good for remixing your tracks on the fly! If four sample slots are not enough for you, you can resample the samples! This can be acheived by arming one of the four sample slots for recording while simultaniously playing back an existing sample and incoming sound source together. Any effect you create on the pad will also be recorded. Samples can be stored on an SD card and you can copy samples from the card to your computer or vice versa via the USB connection.
The Kaoss Pad 3 is programmable by midi messages and is capable of sending them so you won't have to remember all those finger movements or program changes.
Initial thoughts: A fun little box of tricks well worth the cash.
21 August 2010 £749 Dawsons
After failed bids on ebay my impatience got the better of me so I went out and bought one brand new.
I carefully removed it from the box, as you do, and spent the night flicking through the manual and scrolling through the demos and factory sounds.
It looks nice and appealing and comes with an 80's stylee headset microphone for use with the built in vocoder, but it's not as inspirational as I had hoped. To be fair I haven't really given it the time and effort it deserves, which can also be said for some of the other bits of kit I use.
At first glance - yes. Value for money - maybe not. These things go on ebay for half the price.
20 July 2009 £850 Dolphin Music
Spent 5 minutes playing with this in a shop and two days later I bought one! Some of the preset combinations are amazing allowing you to play drums, bass and a keyboard line all at the same time on differet zones of the keyboard. It may not look like it has enough buttons and sliders, but the touch screen allows you to access every parameter you need. It even has a built in sequencer allowing you to create patterns and songs over 16 tracks. You can use your patterns in songs or trigger them by assigning them to individual keys.
28 February 2009 £285 classified ad
I gave up trying to get this for a decent price on ebay so I turned to performing-musician.com, Sound on Sound's sister site. It took about a week to find one within driving distance. Good old cash on collection. It had OS 4.07 installed so I did what anyone would do and spent most of a night upgrading it to OS 4.9. Now it's got 1024 sounds instead of the standard 512. Tip - don't try upgrading it through a midibox like a midisport, it kept failing when I tried it that way. It looks good in the rack, lots of knobs and flashy leds, suppose I should read the manual and find out how to get the best out of it.
12 December 2008 £299 rubadub.co.uk
I can't remember where I first spotted one of these things, though come to think of it, it was probably on Ebay. By the time curiosity finally won me over, I found the price had increased by £30 on all the usual sites. It became a real mission to find it at the original price... ...until I stumbled upon rubadub.co.uk :o)
This unit produces some really useful sounds as well as the weird and wonderful. It would have no problem recreating some of those classic trance and ambient masterpieces and as you can probably see from the picture, it's fully tweakable.
At just over three quarters the size of a Novation Nova desktop synth, you can't use lack of space as a reason not to get one!
17 July 2008 £250 Ebay
I've been after this module for years so it was a nice surprise to see it on ebay again. This time I couldn't resist.
19 April 2008 £106 Ebay
Just how many keyboards do I need?
9 February 2008 £489 Dawsons
A groovebox capable of sampling. It can house 512MB of sample RAM and a 1 GB Compact Flash card.
It uses a USB connection to transfer samples to/from a computer. The USB also works as a midi port.
20 June 2007 £358
This groovebox is easy to pick up and you will soon be
creating some complex sounding tracks thanks to the arpeggiator ribbon and the
knobs that instantly tweak the sound of the music.
This will change the way I create music.
Pop / Dance / Rock
Pop / Hip Hop