Deep Signal Studios Blog

Ever since the chiptune music genre became a thing in the mid 2000s may independent developers have been creating software and hardware that either emulate vintage video game sound chips, use old stock sound chip in new synths, or even use the original game system hardware and building out sound chip triggering features. These would essentially turn a video game system into a midi controllable synthesizer in the form of custom carts and/or controller inputs. At Deep Signal Studios we have called a number of systems such as:

A lot of vintage synth, sampler, drum machine, and sequencer owners are discovering that it is possible to replace floppy drives with floppy drive emulators. They come in a few different version, being HxC and Gotek. HxC came along first and had developed a more commercial business model and Gotek is the cheaper alternative that is supported by a few open source projects for the DIYer. These are new devices that connect to the floppy drive ribbon cable and host a USB flash drive or SD card which can contain hundreds of disk image files.

RTP-MIDI, AppleMIDI or MIDI over Real Time Protocol is a way to send midi over a network in real time. Most of the time it is used to send midi within a local network to either hardware or software instruments but it can also be used to send midi over the internet. However, the timing is not always perfect. In my experiments, connecting to over the internet back to another local computer I experienced occasional lags, which got worse as I visited new web addresses that were data heavy like a YouTube video, but the lag went away a few seconds after the video got started.

Dan Alvarez is an Emmy award-winning composer and producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. He was taught music technology by Malcolm Cecil (producer of TONTO's Expanding Head Band, Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers, Gil Scott-Heron) and then went on to work with Denny Jaeger Synclavier II, as well as a sound designer for Michael Jackson's Thriller album), guitarist Jason Becker, synth pioneer Pat Gleeson (with Herbie Hancock), and Gary Malkin (Unsolved Mysteries theme and score).
Bibio is Stephen Wilkinson from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, England. His works from 2005 to 2009 consisted mostly of acoustic guitar and tape manipulation which can be described as tape-warbled, half-remembered, nostalgia-inducing folk. Although it did not contain any obvious synths (the software Super Sollider was used very sparingly as synth and audio processor), it was heavily influenced by the feeling of Boards of Canada. One obvious element that influence Bibio from BoC's music was his use of their tape warble and saturation effect. BoC would then go on to be influenced by Bibio by incorporating acoustic guitar in The Campfire Headphase.
We compared the sound similarities and functions of our Jupiter 8 with the new Roland Boutique series synth the JU-08.
Deep Signal Studios held their first pop-up studio in Los Angeles (the) Handbag Factory. Attendees brought their own laptop, headphones, and audio interfaces to track vintage synthesizer parts for their songs by playing midi sequences or live keyboard playing. This workshop was a unique opportunity for producers to use highly-sought after vintage hardware synths for music productions. Thank you to everyone who attended. Everyone had a good time and it was great to meet so many talented producers in the LA area.
Deep Signal Studios will hold its first Vintage Synth Recording Workshop in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 11, 2016 from 12:00pm to 6:00pm, at the Handbag Factory in Downtown Los Angeles. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptop, headphones, and audio interface to track vintage synthesizer parts for their midi sequences or live keyboard playing. This workshop is a unique opportunity for producers to use highly-sought after vintage hardware synths for their music productions. This is a free event.
Aphex Twin's new release, Syro, includes a list of his gear, which room each song was made in (he has 5) and which pieces were used in each song. In looking up a few of the more unfamiliar pieces you can find some pretty esoteric items such as one of the first standard acoustic plate reverbs, a TR-909 clone kit, moded synths, and various DIY effect kits.