Dear all – firstly may I heartily apologize for the lack of recent postings on the blog. I want to make it very clear that I am still very much committed to my sound design and that a considerable amount of raw sample material for new products is very much in the can awaiting attention. As many of you know, there are two sides to my passion in electronic music both in my sound design and returning cherished vintage studio gear to its former glory. What with there only being so many hours in the day, it is sometimes very difficult to strike a balance between these two obsessions in my life and I often end up feeling like I have let the other side down during times of particularly hard graft.
The last couple of months have been exceptional but more importantly represent a once in a lifetime opportunity…
Some of you may already be aware that I have practically lived with two extremely rare early groundbreaking digital synthesizers in my new synth workshop for several weeks now working very hard to return them to their former glory. The two instruments in question represent literally two out of the three known complete existing examples in the world. They are 1979 General Development Systems (aka GDS) originally costing $30,000 and designed in part by members of Bell Labs and MTI/Crumar. The GDS is the instrument that became the direct basis for the wonderful DK Synergy which you have all recently heard in sampled form in Synergenesis.
One of the two examples shown here in the recent photo was owned by a very famous pioneering German EM composer and founder of a very influential EM group. It was used extensively in number of well known recordings from the early 80s. This is just the keyboard console – the system comprises of a very large 8-bit computer with twin 8″ floppy drives running CP/M and a large serial terminal. Both systems are now back up and running for the first time in very many years and have been retrofitted with HxC disk emulators which is most definitely a first for this particular model of synthesizer. This has resulted in all of the original software and the factory sound library on 8″ floppy disks being safely immortalized in a modern digital format.
For those who are interested I have blogged the progress of both restorations at the Vintage Synth Explorer forum:
It is worth pointing out that such distractions on the hardware front are actually a great thing because all of my time spent working on such technical wonders of yesteryear serve much potential for capturing new sample material and subsequently lead to the basis of new releases. With this in mind the hope was to release such a major release for Christmas based on a significant amount of material captured from a wonderful old beast I restored earlier in the year. This library is still due for release but will now be expected in the New Year.
That said, I hope to have at least a little something to allow you all to have the opportunity to play some material captured directly from the KS GDS during testing along with a small offering with a festive edge in the next few days captured from a very rare vintage tube amplified electromechanical instrument. Also lookout for some festive offers on libraries from Hideaway Studio in the near future.
May I also take this opportunity to give you all my sincere thank yous for being so supportive over the past year. It has definitely been a year of highs and lows and the tragic loss of Stephen Howell has been extremely painful for myself and Mario and his family. During the summer I channeled a lot of my energy into building a wonderful new synth workshop which really helped to take my mind off of things. I even managed to finally construct an area dedicated to all of my vintage test gear which has since grown substantially. A large chunk of these vintage wonders were used in the making of The Blue Zone series and are now very much cherished so its great to finally have a dry and warm place to store them for future use.