Switched On Beatles – ‘Because’

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Sunday Synth Jam: Reader Rob Schwimmer sent in this ‘switched on’ cover of The Beatles’ Because.

Here’s what he has to say about it:

I wanted to do a track with polyphonic playing, poly vibrato (!), etc and this well-known (ahem!) piece seemed like a good fit for that… An imperfect performance but really fun to play! Check out the part near the end (2:05 & 2:15) when I get to bring out the other synth line just with poly pressure–Way cool!

Don’t judge the sound of this incredible instrument by my camera’s cheesy mic… It is gorgeous in person (or in a decent recording.)

Beatles “The Long And Winding Road” On Theremin

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Peter Pringle’s cover of The Beatles’ The Long  And Winding Road, performed on Moog Ethervox theremin.

via copperleaves:

This song is called THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD and it was one of the last songs the Beatles did together (1970) before the group broke up. For me, this video was an experiment in trying to play precision theremin and sing at the same time. I found that the best I could do was play “fills” (short instrumental phrases between the melody lines), so I only sang one verse.

The song itself has a very interesting history and has its own article on Wikipedia, at the following URL:


The theremin I am playing is a Moog Ethervox, and I am singing into a Sennheiser headset microphone.

Amazing Pin-Barrel Harp, Paid For By Your Lottery Dollars

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This is off-topic and insane, but not to be missed.

The Pin-Barrel Harp is now close to completion and is shown being put through some trial performances by Henry Dagg and Chris Wood, who cover The Long and Winding Road.

The Pin-barrel Harp is a sound-sculpture designed as a public-access acoustic composing machine in honour of Cecil Sharp, it has been commissioned by the English Folk Dance & Song Society and funded by the Big Lottery fund.

Vocals: Chris Wood; arranging/programming: Henry Dagg, who has to wind the machine manually until the motor is fitted.

via goodmart22, The Telegraph

Bob Moog At The 2010 NAMM Show

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Bob Moog may be gone, his legacy lives on.

The Bob Moog Foundation will be co-sponsoring three events at the 2010 NAMM Show, which takes place in Anaheim, CA on January 14-17, 2009 at the Anaheim Convention Center:

An Evening Celebrating The Legacy of Vintage Keyboards Through Documentary Film – On Friday night, January 15th, from 6-8pm in the Avila Room at the Anaheim Hilton, synthesist Amin Bhatia and documentary filmmaker Dianna Dilworth headline an evening exploring the evolution and impact of vintage keyboards.

Amin Bhatia will be joined by Michelle Moog-Koussa, Executive Director of the Bob Moog Foundation for a  question and answer session followed by a screening of a short documentary on the making of his innovative realization of Bolero Electronica, for which he used over 70 synthesizers covering 75 years of evolution in synthesis in music. The documentary features rock legends Steve Porcaro and Patrick Moraz and Roland Founder Ikutaro Kakehashi.

Following Bhatia, Dianna Dilworth and Markus Resch of the Mellotron Archive will screen Mellodrama: The Mellotron Movie (above) which explores the rising and falling fortunes of the Mellotron – the first musical keyboard to “sample” the sounds of other instruments – from its birth in a California garage in the 1950s, through its dominance on concert stages in the 1970s, through its almost religious cult of followers in the 2000s. From the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields” to Black Sabbath to Kanye West, Mellodrama traces a 50-year odyssey of musical invention, revolution, betrayal, and rediscovery. Continue reading

Native Instruments Announces Partnership With Abbey Road

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Native Instruments today announced a partnership with Abbey Road to “create advanced software instruments of exceptional sonic quality and musical value, with the first product scheduled for release in early 2010.”

NI doesn’t really say what they’re planning to do with Abbey Road, but it sounds like they are planning to record samples at Abbey Road and release Abbey Road branded virtual instruments:

As one of the most sophisticated recording and post production complexes in the world, Abbey Road’s equipment includes one of the largest microphones collections as well as a selection of famed analog outboard gear custom-built by EMI. Combined with the studio’s famous acoustics, and the expertise of Abbey Road’s engineers, the studios form an ideal environment for the production of sample-based software instruments of the highest quality.

With the award-winning KONTAKT sampler and its free KONTAKT PLAYER version, Native Instruments has established the most versatile and most widely adopted platform for sample-based instruments in the industry. Advanced features such as flexible scripting, sample morphing, and custom interface panels, which make KONTAKT the premier platform for the authentic emulation of acoustic instruments, will be used extensively in the products developed together with Abbey Road in the future.

Let’s hope they aren’t working on another Beatles-style virtual instrument collection.

What would you like to see Native Instruments and Abbey Road do together?

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band Remix Contest = Free Yoko Ono Sample Pack

tenorionYoko Ono has announced a new remix competition.

Download the Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band’s The Sun Is Down! Sample Pack containing the a capella tracks of Yoko’s vocal, vocal effects, and loops of bass, drums, efx and Tenori On.

Create your own remix of The Sun Is Down!, using as many or few of the samples from the pack and any original audio you wish to add.

When you have finished your mix, make an MP3 copy that’s as high quality as possible, but still under 10MB in size. Email the MP3 of your mix, along with its name and your name, address, email and phone number to remix@YOPOB.com before 12 December 2009.

The Top Ten mixes will be decided by Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band.

The winners will receive special signed Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band prizes and will be featured on Ono’s site over the Xmas and New Year period.

Whether or not you want to enter the YOPOB remix competition – check out the 17mb  sample pack for some free, Creative Commons-licensed Ono weirdness.