“Think of a sound. Now make it. Any sound is now possible.”

FirefoxScreenSnapz001Contributor T. Fine recommends these excellent pieces on early electronic music.  First, a really fun circa 2006 Australian documentary film:

…And a reminder that the MOMA is still running its “Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye” series:

Moma_Aria_radioIn describing some of the musical objects in their collection, the curators write, “…MoMA was the first museum in the world to collect such objects, beginning in 1932, (and) also pioneered the live presentation of some new music technologies. For instance, Russian émigré Vladimir Ussachevsky performed the first tape-music concert in the United States at MoMA in October 1952. And though the Museum’s collection does not include a synthesizer, it presented the famed Moog synthesizer as a live performance instrument for the very first time on August 28, 1969, changing the course of music history and influencing decades of future instrument design.

moog_in_the_Garden Herb_at_moogLearn more about this historic event at the MOMA’s blog.

LINK TO LISTEN: Live Radio Show: A LIFE IN MUSIC with Peter Katis: WPKN 89.5FM and WPKN.ORG

PKmix02Updated: this program has already aired, but you can listen to the full show at this link

We are very excited to announce that this coming Saturday April 18th WPKN FM will air the first live episode of: PRESERVATION SOUND: A LIFE IN MUSIC, a series of conversations and listening parties with notable individuals who have enjoyed long careers in the recording industry. Our April 18th episode features producer Peter Katis. Best known for his work with rock groups like Interpol and The National, Katis will discuss the changing landscape of pop and rock music over the past 30 years, reflecting on changes in technology, aesthetics, and the industry. But most importantly, we’ll be listening to a ton of great music from Katis’s career of over 100 albums.

The circa 1983 Yamaha MT44 4-track and CS01 synth: examining advertising claims

MT_and_csYamaha used to run these great ads in the 80s featuring their MT44 4-track and cheap lil CS01 synthesizer.

Yama_prod_seriesThey called it the “Producer Series.”  Since I had a CS01 and an MT44, I decided to see what was possible to do with just these two machines.  The MT44 is a regular-speed-deck, so fidelity is not great, but here’s what I whipped up in an hour.   I did not use the dolby cos,,,, i hate dolby!   There are 6 tracks (snare, bass, and bell line were bounced) and the only other piece of kit is a $25 behringer “Analog delay” pedal that’s fkkn awful.  Enjoy!



The Fairchild Model 540 Mic Preamp/ variable EQ/ Cutterhead amp c. 1945


Extraordinarily rare, way ahead-of-its-time Fairchild mic preamp/ continuously-variable 2-band boost-eq/cutter-head amp from 1945.  Built as a limited-edition model, very few were made and this could be the only example remaining.  This one was (professionally, it appears) modified very long ago for use with a Magnecord (likely PT6) tape machine, unit is otherwise complete with tubes and a working, good-sounding Jensen Alnico PM8ct speaker.  Mic and line transformers appear to be Kenyons.  Unit removes from its road-case for standard rack-mounting.  Condition poor to fair; needs complete restoration.  With some work this could be the ultimate marquee-rack unit for your world-class studio.   Came to me on a trade and I have no other information on it; AFAIK, schematics are not available online but being as it is circa 1945 technology, it should be repairable by any experienced tech.  Fairchild_540_advert_1945Fairchild_539_540(above: catalog image with companion Fairchild #539 portable lathe)Fairchild_540_nameplate