Korg Poly-61, Akai S612 & Tape Echo improvisation

An improvisational piece with my recently refurbished Korg Poly 61, Akai S612 sampler and the Replicator Modular Tape Delay.

Not easy (and new to me) to be cameraperson and player/knob twiddler at once. I did this video to demonstrate what amazing sounds you can get out of these often forgotten vintage machines – both are about 35 years old: The Akai S612 and Korg Poly-61

They’re not the most sought after gear, so you’ll often find them broken or put aside somewhere in cellars, thrift stores and the like.

But once repaired – in my case the Poly61 due to a leaking battery – or just refurbished (S612) you’ll have fun and lots of creative potential at your fingertips for a long, long while.

The S612 sound is just my voice, sampled with an ordinary SM58 directly into the Akai. As you can see /hear in the video, it is shaped entirely by the analogue Start/Splice sliders and the LFO and Filter/Output controller knobs.

I should add that my beloved T-Rex Replicator Modular tape delay adds a lot to the overall sound character.

For those who have further interest in the S612, this video from Espen Kraft is recommended:

New (single) track featuring ExoMars rover sounds

Sounds from the ExoMars rover

It’s been a while since my last release. Meanwhile I devised and implemented a human exploration mission communication campaign (with one of my personal highlights being this concert with Kraftwerk -> read more: 1 2) and also found the time to record new music. While I’m continuing to record more elaborate material for a new album, I’ve just finished this new track, recorded on the go.

It makes quite extensive use of a set of sounds Peter Kirn and I recorded at ESA ESTEC in 2015 – well, actually it was me opening doors while Peter did the recording. Anyway, these sounds stem from a model of the ExoMars Rover being tested in ESA’s ‘Mars Yard’. More info here, including the set of sounds, all free to use for your own creative endeavours.

Peter Kirn recording the ExoMars testing rover disembarking the surface platform. Image: ESA/M. Trovatello, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Production notes:

Arranged on an iPad Pro running on iOS 12 with Garageband and the following AUv3 instruments:

Why am I doing this? First, I love making music and it’s fun. Second, there must be a way to produce more music inspired by space exploration that is free of clichés. There is quite some, but unfortunately still far too little.

Some examples:

Have fun listening and imagining the rover taking its first drive on the red planet … Yes, I know that I now sound clichéd myself : )