Category Archives: My Equipment & Other Gear

My 2nd Modded DR-55 (Full Sidebox control Via D-Sub Conection +Serparate Outputs

DR-55 & DR-100 by BOSS

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This 1 is really special to me, as the DR-55 Is the machine that I first learnt how to program way way back in 1980 as a 12yr old East London kid crazy about electronic music.. This thing blow my mind and was lucky enough to have a slightly older brother who was very advanced with electronic gadgets and he taught me the hex-decimal system we copied beats from Kraftwerk , John Foxx & YMO and many more with this thing. We often had it paired up with a Roland Sh09 and a few Yamaha portasound keyboards & it sounded great with a little bit of cheap spring reverb. At that time I had no idea that the knowledge and guidance from my brother Martin would serve to be a strong foundation to Electronic Music production and beat making in general . After a few years working with the DR-55 I was introduced to the next model up the DR-11o , OMG the claps were great and I loved the Graphic grid display (it was so easy compared to the lack of any display on the DR-55) + programmable Hi-hats , from there I moved on to using and owner most the Roland TR range of drum machines . it was not until around 2012 when a student of mine noticed this battered lil box with dials missing on my shelf , he asked what it was & I explained & he came back the next week with stories of finding people modifying them to get Pitch and decay control of the Bass Drum sound (telling me it could be warmer, deeper & longer than an TR808) . I thought he was crazy but he just kept nagging me and finally i allowed him to take it to his friends house to work on it ..
* THATS WHEN THINGS GOT REALLY CRAZY *
With just 2 extra knobs added to it .. the thing was a SUPER BASS BEAST .. i destroyed club pa’s with that box and was RE-HOOKED  ON OLD GEAR AGAIN especially drum boxes that can be modded if you know how or somebody that does. Its an addiction/love affair with the sounds of my youth and the gained  knowledge of 40yrs beat making . Right now I own 2 Dr-55′s & 2 DR-110′s , both the Dr-110′s have been modded in different ways and 1 of my DR-55′s has an additional side box which handles trigger ins/volume out + Decay & Pitch knobs  ,
while the other Dr-55 is in mint conditions in the box never ever USED ..its just for me n my brother .
I Will Post Links to Manuals /Service Notes / & FREE SAMPLES OF MY SPECIAL DR-55 & DR110 below.

MANUALS & NOTES
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FREE SAMPLES
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NORD DRUM

n1 clavNORD DRUM (Drum Synth)
I was aware of this companies iconic Keyboards and other gear (including the “Ddrum“), so the moment I heard they made  dedicated Drum Synth I was curious ..once i heard it I loved it and finally got mine a few yrs back 2nd hand .. It has its own sound ..very clean , very warm while being kinda precise on claps and snare sounds ,,while at the same time able to generate some crazy percussion sounds of all timbres (with up & downward pitch bending as an added extra) . Tbh  “I feel it works best with other Drum Machines” The unit has 4 sound outputs per kit & can be trigger by Midi or Gate signal. easy to use & I’m really happy with it. In fact I would only sell it to buy a “NORD DRUM 2” which i feel is a much better unit by far with added effects and 6 sounds per kit instead of 4 , plus a socked to connect the external “NORD PAD”. The is also a great IOS app to sequence & control the unit remotely. Bad News ..*I HATE THE  NORD DRUM 3 , & secretly dream of a NORD DRUM4 (with USB added and an easy way to load samples). Good News ..  I will post a link to my FREE NORD DRUM SAMPLE PACK BELOW….
now enjoy the beauty shots & the links .
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The CLAPPER by neXt

CLAPPER (HAND CLAP SYNTH/PEDAL) by neXt

For so many years I’ve listened to old “Funk & Electronic Music” and was always drawn to the large variation of “Handclap Sounds” .. This first go me into making claps from White Noise on an “ROLAND SH09″ synth in the 80s to trying to copy the legendary “Clap Trap” type sound & finally to collecting Vintage Drum Synths & modifying Analogue Drum Machines. So when i saw this popup for sale online few years back i had to buy it.
“The CLAPPER” is a simple poor mans handclap machine BUT its got a great tone and with use of the builtin “reverb” control there is such a wide variety of possible sounds can be created with this little box. The strange thing is that I had not heard anything about the company “neXt” before i brought it and have not been able to find out anything on them other than i think they make guitar pedals since I got it. So I decided to post a few pictures & some “FREE CLAPPER SAMPLES” below .
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mpc kit 1

THE KIT by MPC ELECTRONICS

mpc 2“the KIT” by M.P.C ELECTRONICS LTD
A beautiful well made piece of UK engineering right here from 1981, with early touch sensitive pads (Bd. Sn, Toms x 2, Cym, & Open/Close HH), with separate  outputs & controls to alter the sounds + a full selection of tuning pots on the underside . I think the sound has been best described as a TR808 & TR606 Cross.
This thing is so rare, & I felt truly blessed to find 1 in great working condition.
Its not only a “Real  Secret Gem” for collectors of analogue drum machines & synths , but also an unknown key part of  “beat making history”.
Now days we all know the iconic AKAI MPC linage but few are aware that the name MPC came from the makers of this unit M.P.C ELECTRONICS LTD based in Cambridge UK & the rights to use the name “MPC” were purchased by AKAI sometime during the late 80s. “the KIT” is also the center piece to a whole range which included the even rarer “CLAP”, “TIMPANI” , & “SYNDRUM”units. The Makers are also the people behind the even rarer beast of a machine (& future dream purchase) “the MPC 1″ which i will try to share below.
FREE the KIT Samples
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More GEAR PORN!!!

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SYNSONIC DRUMS by MATTEL

mattel 1 logo 2SYNSONIC DRUMS by MATTEL
Yes you read it right MATTEL (the toy makers)
I first had a chance to play with this way way back in 1981, at that time id already began programming music and did’nt really enjoy it that much back then .After deciding that i wanted to get back to my early electronic music  roots i rediscovered this true gem .It has a great bass drum and snare sound ,plus an amazing hihat feel, really easy to use (although the lack of separate output make it hard to use in professional production) the tom sound can be tuned down low like a super fat TR909 & the builtin click can double as a nice 4onda floor drum too . The are also some great MODs online which will take this small affordable machine into another dimension. I am looking out for a *Pro Model* with internal pattern memory before i Customize 1 , & there is also a model with a speaker too .They also made a lesser known *BEEGEE’S Drum Machine/Synth* use by kraftwerk on the song POCKET CALCULATOR .
ITS CHEAP / FUN /& SOUNDS SOUNDS GREAT .
Please check out the links below


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A REALLY GREAT MODIFIED “SYNSONIC DRUM UNIT”

BEE GEES SYNTH by MATTEL

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MAD5 MK2 by AVP

avp13 copy logoMAD-5 (MK2) by AVP
This is a true modern thing of beauty. I felt I have to own 1 the moment I heard the heavy bass drums and crispy claps and snares . In the summer of 2019 I was lucky to get an email from the company (AVP) saying it was going to be discontinued so they could focus on its larger off spring *The AD7 MK2* (which i hope to get sometime next year) .. In the meantime I’m really happy that I own 1 of 20 strong hand built units & looking forward to releasing some sound packs featuring this rare Russian made beast in a box .
FULL SPEC & CLIPS HERE https://www.avpsynth.com/mad-5-mk2-midi-analog-drums

 

AVP MANUAL BUTTON2

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