Make Noise’s Tony Rolando On Tape, Sampling & Developing Phonogene and Morphagene

In this video, Make Noise founder Tony Rolando discusses his history with tape music, sampling, and microsound, which led to the development of the Make Noise Phonogene and Morphagene.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
1:01 Tony’s first encounters with tape music by John Pfeiffer, Barbara Kolb, and Mario Davidovsky
2:24 “Composing with Tape Recorders” by Terence Dwyer
3:21 The Superba tape machine
4:56 The Mystery of tape music
6:32 The difficulty of making tape music with just one device
7:28 The Casio SK-1
8:48 Tony’s tape music process ca 1995
9:58 Musical Interlude: “I’d Like to Make Communication W/ U”
12:00 The Ensoniq Mirage
13:52 Tony’s Mirage Sample Bank
14:48 The Wall of MIDI
15:32 The Akai S612
17:45 The Wall of MIDI (again)
19:18 Tony’s time in bands
19:57 Getting back into electronic music
21:44 Reaktor
22:39 Granular ensembles and computer struggles
24:38 Another Brick Wall and the feel of instruments
26:18 Other granular software of the time
27:57 Curtis Roads, Josh Kay, Richard Devine
29:09 “Microsound” by Curtis Roads
29:43 Outro

Rolando’s new album, Breakin’ Is A Memory, is available via Bandcamp. You can preview it below:

4 thoughts on “Make Noise’s Tony Rolando On Tape, Sampling & Developing Phonogene and Morphagene

  1. Someday, I’ll regale you a tune of how, on the last day of my 2014 Moogfest trip to AVL, how somehow absolutely randomly I ended up at the table with Tony, Kelly, and all of the rest of the Make Noise employees, without having the faintest idea of who I was talking to. I can’t remember how I introduced myself. I probably started the conversation after hearing something about synthesizers, and it was my last night there before getting to the airport for my takeoff, so why not be a buttinski and say, “Hi”? My flight was… that night? Tomorrow early morning? I dunno, I forget. I was in a few beers at that point, in some of the best breweries in the USA. And it was a great night.

    Anyways… WONDERFUL article here.

    P.S. What a week that was, a total nexus point in my life cycle. Soooooo many new friends.
    (Nods in Synthesizer Speak to Elizabeth and James)

  2. yeah the chip shortage is fake news! cant believe behringer made up a global supply chain issue stemming from government incompetence, fear of a global pandemic with a 99.8% survival rate and it’s subsequent orweillilan lockdowns, economic sanctions, war just so they could announce “vaporware”. not very BASED, behringer!

  3. Wow, I didn’t think Barbara Kolb was well-known enough to influence anyone except me. Super underrated composer. She has a song where a guy gets increasingly frustrated with a vending machine and beats the crap out of it. Awesome stuff.

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