Archive for June, 2009

addio Michael

June 26th, 2009 Comments off

La notte scorsa è scomparso uno dei più grandi protagonisti della pop music degli ultimi 40 anni: Michael Jackson. Le cause della morte non sono ancora certe; l’autopsia verrà eseguita in giornata. Voglio ricordare questa grandissima stella dello spettacolo con uno dei suoi videoclip più belli: "Thriller" diretto da John Landis.

(click to start the video)

Riposa In Pace. 


Michael Jackson video tribute by Peanut Butter Wolf — 

Michael Jackson Looper — 

Categories: flash looper, hip hop kulture, varie Tags:

studio pix

June 25th, 2009 Comments off

THX studio equipment

(click to enlarge)

L to R (up): Akai MPD24 usb/midi controller, M-audio Studiophile BX5a monitors (2), E-mu SP 1200 drumachine/sampler (1994 reissue model 7030 with analog filters chip SSM2044), Akai s950 sampler (1988), Toshiba laptop PC Satellite (XP os), M-audio Uno usb/midi interface. L to R (down) Technics SL-1210 MKII turntables (2), Vestax Samurai PMC-05 pro D professional mixing controller, KORG microKORG analog modeling synth/vocoder. 

Categories: beat making Tags:

The art of sampling

June 25th, 2009 4 comments

This informations works not only for the SP 1200 sampler but also for all the
other samplers: replace "SP-1200" with the name of your favorite sampler.

your friendly neighborhood… THX

source: SP 1200 user manual; appendix A – fonte: manuale utente della drumachine E-mu SP 1200 (pp.67 e seguenti) 



Recording good samples is not always easy; creating a really super set of sounds requires patience, practice, and skill. Sure, you can get musically useful results within a few days after working with the SP-1200, but as you learn your craft the quality of your samples will improve dramatically.
Sampling involves two major processes:
1. Taking the best possible sample.
2. Manipulating the sample within the SP-1200 (truncating and looping).

What comes out of the SP-1200 can only be as good as what you put in. Strive for maximum fidelity when sampling. Here are some ways to increase sample quality.

• Live sampling: Sample “live” whenever possible, rather than recording a sound on tape then sampling from the tape.
• Beware of overloads: The SP-1200 is a digital recording device. Unlike analog recording devices, distortion does not increase slowly past a certain level; rather, it increases rapidly above the overload point, and produces a “non-musical”, splattering type of distortion. Monitor your levels carefully.
• Sampling direct vs. sampling via microphone: Whenever possible, sample electronic instruments directly into the SP-1200. Avoid using a recording console, direct box, or other device in between the instrument and SP-1200.
• Maintain the instrument to be sampled: Tune your instrument if applicable, and check that the instrument doesn’t have any loose parts that rattle, squeak, or make other noises.
• Sampling acoustic instruments: Choose the microphone and mic placement as carefully as you would for any recording project. Musicians sometimes note how hard it is to get a good “sound” in the studio, but that’s what sampling is all about…getting a good sound, and once you’ve got that sound, keeping it.
• Play naturally: Sometimes it’s a lot harder to play one note than several hundred. Unless you’re trying for a special effect, play the sample as you would normally play the instrument. It’s often a good idea to play several notes, and use truncation to zero in on the best of the bunch.
• Avoid ground loops: Ground loops occur when electricity can take two different paths to ground. If there is a resistance difference between the two paths, this can generate a signal (consisting mostly of digital “hash”) that can work its way into the recording chain. With all the instruments patched in place and connected to each other, turn off the SP-1200 and insert a ground lift adapter between the SP-1200 plug and the wall. CAUTION: Removing the ground connection defeats the safety advantage of using a three-wire plug. Make sure the SP-1200 chassis has some other path to ground (usually via the audio input and output cables). Having two paths to ground can cause ground loops, but having no paths to ground can cause a potential shock hazard if there’s an equipment malfunction in the studio.
WARNING: E-MU cannot be responsible for the use of ground lifters in improperly or inadequately wired environments.
• Using signal processing while recording: Just as with regular recording, there are no absolutes about recording signals with or without signal processing. Some engineers feel that tracks should always be recorded flat to allow for the maximum number of options during mixdown; others prefer to record with a bit of processing, especially if the processor might be needed on another track when mixing.
Here are some thoughts about the use of various types of signal processors when recording samples.
• External Preamp: If you need to preamplify the signal being sampled, set the Sample section GAIN SET to 00 dB and use an external, high-quality preamp to increase the signal level going into the SP-1200. The SP-1200 preamp noise level, while acceptable, is sometimes not as quiet as an external mic preamp.
• Limiting Dynamic Range: Limiting the signal being sampled can put a higher average signal level into the SP-1200, thus improving the already excellent signal-tonoise ratio. Also, the limit point can be set just under the SP-1200 overload point, which makes level setting less critical.
• Equalization: If using EQ gives a better instrument sound, then use it. You want the best possible sound going into the SP-1200, so if a little EQ is indicated, it’s usually better to add it while recording rather than having to think about it during playback.
• Compression: Compression can be helpful when looping sounds since it evens out level changes, thus reducing any tendency towards loop “glitching” due to abrupt level changes between the beginning and end points of the loop. If appropriate, use the SP-1200’s decay option to shorten the overall decay time and restore the original signal dynamics.
• Audio “exciters”: To brighten up a sampled signal, use a device such as an Aphex Aural Exciter or EXR Projector. Both of these devices add a high-end “sheen” without adding the stridency encountered with excessive high-frequency equalization.
• Using noise reduction: A number of single-ended noise reduction units (such as the MicMix Dynafex or Rocktron Hush) are now available; these do not require that the noisy signal have been previously encoded, as is the case with Dolby and dbx. If your source signal is noisy, one of these devices can help to greatly clean up the overall sound quality as you sample.
Maintaining sample quality when sampling from tape recordings:
Follow common-sense recording practice — be extremely careful about mic placement, use noise reduction when recording samples on to tape, limit the signal going on to tape rather than limiting the signal coming off the tape into the SP-1200, and add aural enhancement if desired.
Sampling from Compact Discs: This is a great way to get high quality drum sounds, especially with so many records having solo drum intros and breaks.
Creative use of multi-tracking: Try multi-tracking sounds on a conventional recorder, then sampling the combination sound into the SP-1200. For example, combining electronic and acoustic percussion sounds can produce some very useful results.

Proper use of truncation and looping can conserve memory and create novel effects; let’s show how it’s done with an example. Suppose you want to sample a long, sustaining sound such as a gong. Although this will eat up a fair amount of memory, here are some suggestions.
• Compress the gong sound when sampling to even out level variations. This will help create the smoothest looping effect.
• Set a loop after the initial attack of the gong, and loop as short a section of the sound as possible to conserve memory (see Fig. Appendix-1).
• Truncate that portion of the sound after the loop end point.
• With looping, the sound will have infinite sustain. For a more realistic effect, use SET-UP function 18 (DECAY/TUNE SELECT) to set the gong for decay. Use the slider to set an appropriate decay time. Looping can also provide echo and DDL effects. Loop a complete sound so that it continually repeats. Then, use SET-UP function 18 to set a decay time; the repeats will fade out over the decay time. The effect is very similar to echo.


Categories: arte, beat making, varie Tags:

E-mu shootout: SP12 vs. EMAX

June 25th, 2009 Comments off


video by DFace ( sp1200 forum) 


commento al video: 

leon freeze

Registrato: 23/06/09 04:26
Messaggi: 4

Checked out the video files in the lab…here’s the findings..
On the ‘El Guapo’ joint..
1.Emax/unpitched: Good sonic character, tight low frequencies..good general sound.
2.SP1200/unpitched: Pretty decent sonically, seemed punchy but a little ‘lo-fi’ or grimy. Only thing was the low end sustain on the tom sounded liver on the Emax.
3.Emax/45rpm+8: More or less the same as 1. Seemed to lose a little bit of high’s and detail compared to 1.
4.SP1200/45rpm+8: This one was sprinkled lightly with SP space dust. Not as detailed as the Emax..but more punchy and bangin’ in the lows. The SP really shined on this one to me.

‘Rob Swift’
1.Emax/unpitched: Overall same good sound as 1. from the other break. But..the Emax seemed to change the hi-hats. This joint seemed brighter than what was presented as the source file.  
2.SP1200/unpitched: Duller than the Emax overall…but def. had a more punchy low-end. Kicks stood out pretty good.
3.Emax/45rpm+8: Sounded cool nothin’ special. But I like the low-end playback on the Emax..pretty solid for such an old sampler.
4.SP1200/45rpm+8: Sounded alright…punchy low’s not as clear as the Emax.
5.Emax/45rpm+8-detuned: This to me was the worst delivery from the Emax. Sounded cool overall..but the low end seemed to break up or disappear a bit. Reminded me of the 2000XL sound.
6.SP1200/45rpm=8-detuned: Def. more bangin than the Emax. The kicks really stood out. Not as clean as the Emax..but the SP is it’s own kind of beast.

Emax: Solid playback/reproduction..but a little dull on the detail. But this test was done at 28k not the Emax might come close to CD quality.

SP1200: Real grimy overall…seems like the natural choice for kick drums or drum chops. Seems a little lo-fi sounding, but great on anything percussion oriented except maybe hats. The alias tone popped up more on the SP files. I think only the last Emax file had an alias tone. The SP is an acquired taste…good thing to have in the sonic arsenal.  

D..right on for hosting the test and shooting me the files. If any of you other cats got the time..check the files and put down some notes..I’d be interested to see who agress/disagrees and why. Be easy folks. Oh yeah..I got the file order from the video..let me know if I fcked it up!!

Categories: beat making Tags:

Midi dump da pc/mac a sampler

June 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Cercando di trasferire files wav dal laptop pc (XP) all’Akai s950 sampler (via midi dump con la scheda usb/midi M-Audio Uno). Per adesso non ho avuto successo. ho provato vari software ma nessuno riesce a comunicare con il campionatore in questione. In compenso sono riuscito a settare i sample in modo da triggerare un suono per volta, molto utile per triggerare loop, sample o break in modo che i suoni non si sovrappongano fra loro. Studiare, studiare, ripetere, studiare, ripetere….. etc, etc, etc…

Stessa cosa con la drumachine/sampler E-mu SP 1200: nessun successo nei tentativi di scambio file da pc a sampler. Forse sono riuscito a rimediare un vecchio Mac G4 con OSX, che dovrebbe consentirmi di fare il midi dump dal mac alla SP con elektron C6 o con Alchemy (se funziona con OSX). Se tutto va bene tra qualche giorno dovrei essere in grado di provare il g4. Un ringraziamento sentito a GnapGirl anche (a questo giro) per il Mac G4, e anche a Miccia per avermi procurato la scorta di floppy disk (a buon prezzo) indispensabili per lavorare su queste macchine.



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Wax Poetics n° 35 – maggio 2009

June 16th, 2009 Comments off

Nuovo numero di Wax Poetics, in realtà uscito il mese scorso. Mi è arrivato dalla Germania (Berlino) qualche giorno fa grazie alla mia amica GnapGirl che me lo ha portato e che ringrazio sentitamente.

Il numero 35 di questa splendida rivista offre un’intervista al maestro dell’organo Hammond Booker T. Jones, un articolo su Roger Troutman e Zapp corredato da varie foto bellissime come di consueto.

Inoltre l’intervista a Lord Finesse della crew D.I.T.C. (Diggin’ In The Crates, Bronx – NYC) e un bell’articolo a proposito della Mahavishnu Orchestra di John McLaughlin.


copertina di Wax Poetics n° 35
Issue 35 Cover

Categories: crate digging, hip hop kulture, varie Tags:

Battle Sounds: the inventor of scratch

June 16th, 2009 Comments off

From Battle Sounds (
). Grandwizard Theodore is credited as the inventor of the scratch,
thanks to his mother. Also witness his needle droppin techniques from
this recording in 1994.

Categories: deejaying Tags:

Tayone e Clementino live @ CSA SARS Viareggio – 27 giugno 2009

June 15th, 2009 Comments off

sabato 27/06/2009 ore 23.00 
TAYONE & CLEMENTINO live @ CSA SARS, VIAREGGIO zona darsena (davanti alle piscine comunali)

Categories: deejaying, emceeing Tags:

Gruffetti e P.J. – Screcci da Barrificio @ Murazzi (TO) sab 4 lug 2009

June 12th, 2009 Comments off

Screcci da Barrificio


Gruffetti e P.J.

sabato 4 luglio C.S.A. Murazzi, Lungo Po Cadorna. Torino


Categories: deejaying, varie Tags:

Method Man e Redman live @ Estragon (BO), sabato 13 giugno 2009

June 9th, 2009 1 comment

Il nuovo album di Method Man e Redman "Blackout
2" dovrebbe già essere disponibile nei negozi. Il disco arriva a quasi dieci anni dalla precedente collaborazione
in studio fra i due rapper ("Blackout"). Methodman e Redman saranno in concerto all’Estragon di Bologna il prossimo sabato 13 Giugno 2009. Biglietto: 25 € (esclusa prevendita).


Categories: beat making, emceeing Tags: