From the dawn of time

Only about half a dozen people will know where this riff comes from. Recycled from my old indie pop band of the 1990s, embellished now with analogue synths, baritone guitars and drums that stay in time.

Oh yes, and a quote from Wagner's Gotterdammerung at the start because I'd been watching Excalibur that day.

Ich bin ein Berliner

I never quite understood the term "Berlin school" synthesis. And President Kennedy's famous declaration translates as "I am a doughnut". So maybe this is doughnut school improvisation. Anyway, it's the modular synth doing its thing while I remain only nominally in control of the sounds it produces.

U.F.O. detectors online

I have been known to occasionally provide guitar for my brother's outlandish space rock project, Brotherhood of the Machine. Strangely, I go far more crazy apeshit on other people's recordings than on my own.

Roland JD-XA CV sequencer

Turns out the JD-XA's sequencer has two channels of external CV and gate for modular fun and games. Unfortunately there's no clock output or modulation CV output but you can still have bags of fun sequencing the excellent Frequency Central System X modules from the keyboard. So here's a quick and dirty one-bar sequence as an experiment.

New synth - the Roland JD-XA is here!

A lovely new synthesiser has arrived in my studio, the breathtakingly brilliant Roland JD-XA digital/analogue crossover synth.

Very impressed with this synth. The analogue voices combined with Roland's Supernatural digital engine and the comprehensive effects section make for some stunningly beautiful sounds. Most of the common functions are right there on knobs and sliders on the front panel but if you want to dig deeper, the level of editing control is very impressive. Since it arrived I've spent most of the time working with the arpeggiator and sequencer (which also have two channels of CV and gate out to drive the modular). Works brilliantly alongside my other workhorse polysynth, the Dave Smith Prophet 08. Here's a quick run with both - the JD-XA is providing the warbling filter effects.