The birth of the transistor and the tape recorder gave birth to one of the 20th century’s greatest achievements: electronic music. Next, Moog Music and Buchla developed modular synthesizers and voltage control. Then Moog Music created the Minimoog: the quintessential hard-wired synthesizer. Apr created the Odyssey and 2600, among others, and Korg reached a high point with the MS2000. Then, with the cooperation of Roland, Sequential, Oberheim MIDI sparked an electronic music composition revolution which was later joined by Yamaha and Korg. For the first time, a standard that incorporated polyphonic instruments had been set for the communication from sequencers to the instruments. This pushed the market to develop better digital sequencing technology, user interfaces. For at least 16 years (1984 to 2000) the stage was set for a way in which musicians could compose and record more complex electronic music with ease and at a lower financial and time cost, and without the need for cooperation of other musicians. This would give rise to the primary electronic musical equipment categories: the synthesizer keyboard, sound modules, samplers, drum machines, and sequencers, followed by a few key pieces of studio equipment: the mixing console, effects and dynamic processors, monitors, and two-track recorders. In some ways the chapter on this period closed in 2000 with the release of Propellerhead’s self-contained workstation software, Reason, and the VST plugin architecture. Old hardware could be abandoned in favor of portability and space but sacrificing quality and soul.
At Deep Signal Studios, we consider theses 16 years to be the golden age of electronic music production and digital music composition. They are the high standard, a fine art, and a religious experience in electronic music production. Without MIDI and tape we would not have 80’s pop, techno, house, hip hop, experimental, ambient, new age and everything else that sprung from various combinations of these styles. It is music to dance to, to relax to, and to speak with for a generation. As classical music patrons, conductors, and members of the orchestra seek to keep the classical tradition and classical music alive by playing in large concert halls, we seek to keep composition with MIDI sequencer and hardware instruments, mixers, and recorders alive as the fine art form that it is.We consider analog audio sources to be the higher standard for electronic music production that please our personal aesthetic. Each piece of hardware has its own character and its own soul. When you sequence and record music from analog source you are orchestrating a physical manifestation of electrons moving through a signal path. One synthesizer, for example, embodies the spirit of all of the other units that bear its model number along with lore, spirit, and legacy of every song that is has been used in.
We seek to cater to kindred spirits who wish to evoke the essence of music made with a specific canon of instruments within a specific sonic pallet and time period: the first lovingly-produced synthesizers, organs, electro acoustic pianos, drum machines, samplers, and sound modules starting around the late 1960’s to the mainstreaming of entirely CPU-based production and DAWs in the early 2000’s. However, we do embrace the convenience of computer-based digital multi-track recording and mixing (but still love analogue multi-track recording and mixing for those with the patience). In 2005, after a few years of programming sounds in CSound and similar software synthesizers that were difficult to program, prior to the mainstream software synthesizers, Aphex Twin went through his Analord stage. He releases a series of ten ‘12 singles that used only analog synthesizers and hardware sequencers, straight to analog 2-track. This inspired the genre of music known as “analogue and digital” where producers would limit their toolset to older hardware only and tracking to analog tape. Our environment is perfect for experimentation in the analogue and digital realm.
Is there something spiritual or magical going on when a MIDI message triggers a combination of ICs, resistors, capacitors, transistors, PCB, wires, and solder, with oscillators and operators singing as alternating current, as it hits a summing bus and is then mixed precision to then live on a magnetized strip of chromium or ferrous-coated plastic film? In our opinion, yes. We believe that these pieces of hardware are religious objects and invoking their sounds, composing music on them, and mixing them into song is a religious ceremony.
The operability of software plugins will come and go as platforms are adopted and then age out as CPU architectures, operating systems and software publishers constantly progress forward to do more with less. Investments made in these plug-ins by musicians, producers and engineers have a limited shelf life. But most vintage hardware instruments were built to last and continue to operate within this world and sound better than software synths. It's about tone quality.
We are the shamans, channeling the sounds of the past electronic dimension into our present time. Let us help you channel the spirit of electronic music. It is the embodiment of electrons flowing throughout your production with an interface you can touch. And let it be an experience for you to remember for the rest of your life.
Compose and record music the same way as the greats: Aphex Twin, Depeche Mode, Prince, Nine Inch Nails, 808 State, Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Jeff Mills, Kanye West, Dr. Dre, Pharrell, Yanni, Richie Hawtin, Ultravox, OMD, New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Trevor Horn, Nick Rhodes, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Herbie Hancock, The Orb, The Prodigy, Orbital, Autechre and Chemical Brothers. Create music with MIDI controlled hardware.
Enter the temple of analog at Deep Signal Studios.