The Music House in Utrecht

The Music House in Utrecht is the place to be for Dutch A-100 users. You don't just go there to buy stuff. You get coffee, lots of bla bla, photoshoots with random female shoppers posing with vintage gear, more coffee and more bla. When this is done, you get your new gear. Martijn doesn't mind selling the odd ukelele, but Doepfer is still #1.


Surviving the Modular Hype #3 ~ Infinity

Retro synth ads are a goldmine for students of the history of gearlust. Carefully worded vintage ads praise the quality, playability, versatility, desirability and sexuality of music gear. Some ads even sell dreams of total control, like this Casio CZ-3000 brochure, which also has a weird take on the famous infinite possibilities cliché.  

The Limbourgh Brothers ~ Kind of Blue

Ultramarine is a deep blue color, made by grinding Lapis Lazuli into a powder. During the 14th and 15th centuries, it was worth more than gold and yet it and symbolized humility and holiness. The Limbourgh Brothers, three famous painters from Nijmegen, really loved the stuff. International Klein Blue also relies heavily on ultramarine.


Music is One (with a capital O)

Nicolas Slonimsky on Frank Zappa, Edgard Varèse and big scores.


UbuWeb ~ Electronic Music Review and more

Let's build a new library, but without the books. A brand new uber expensive building is much more interesting than a big old heap of printed paper, right? Anyway... the good stuff is alive and well in cheap electronic libraries, like UbuWeb, who have a nice collection of books, periodicals, articles and interviews about electronic music.


Review ~ BeatStep Pro by Arturia

You don't have to be Nostradamus to see that this will be a hit. The Arturia BeatStep Pro has the connections, the brains and the looks. It's playable, fairly easy to use, not too expensive and it has some nice extra's that show Arturia's experience. Here's what Allert and Ben of Sonar Traffic had to say while checking out the BeatStep Pro.


Surviving the modular hype #2 ~ Design trends

Eurorack modular systems are hot. The amount of modules available on the market has grown exponentially in recent years. In part 2 of Surviving the modular hype we look at some of the design trends that have shaped the Eurorack boom.


Evgeny Morozov vs. Silly Con Valley

There's a cure for Silly Con Valley tech utopianism. Evgeny Morozow dissects modern myths like Twitter-revolutions, App-democracy and "solutionism" in general. He shits on the great intellectual regression preached by Pope Kurzweil and the Holy Church of Wired, and he analyses the politrix of Google, Apple and Facebook. Well crucial!!


Manu Genius and Joggo reaching new heights

Mr. Manu Genius of Dubshelter Recordings strikes again. His new album for Joggo sounds deep and wide. Classic basslines, great horns, subtle guitars... top quality roots reggae. We can't wait for the new album with Mr. Stefaan Collieman, which is already destined to be one of the great roots reggae classics made in the Low Lands.

New Sevish album ~ Rhythm and Xen

Sevish is setting new standards for xenharmonic music. Rhythm and Xen is proud to be xenharmonic, without sounding theoretical or sonically cramped. This is simply very good music. Original, organic, written by a young composer with a strong vision, a superb sense of harmony and too little time to work out all the ideas floating around in his head. Check out what Jacky Ligon had to say over here.


Vintage mojo for your Yamaha DX7

Vintage your synth.. the hard way...


Surviving the Modular Hype #1 ~ Pass the test

The current Eurorack Modular hype is going to do a lot of damage. Mindless synthgear-consumers don't know what they're buying, or why they are buying it. As a result, the small companies that produce wonderful modules spend too much time answering stupid questions.


Bass Mekanik ~ Subsonic Bass from JA to Miami

Bass Mekanik is a legendary car audio producer. His career started in Byron Lee's studio in Kingston, Jamaica. Then he went to Miami and discovered the 808 boom. "All things have a resonant frequency. For example, the resonant frequency of planet earth is like 7.83 hertz." Check out this interview.


Visual tools for mixing sound

If you have a small studio, or if you’re still learning to trust your ears when listening to a mix, visual aides are really helpful. The frequency analyzer is a budget producer's best friend. The phase scope is also quite useful. But why stop there? Lissajous curves are big fun! Here's a roundup of basic spectrum analyzers and some specialties.

John Chowning ~ Composer and inventor of FM Synthesis

Want to hear proper FM sounds? Try the original compositions by John Chowning. He's the inventor of the technique used in the Yamaha DX7. Here's a nice article about Chowning and the history of FM.


Oskar Sala's frequency shifter

Not your average frequency shifter. This is a one off, custom built, nothing but tubes inside, and it sounds great. You may have heard about Mr. Sala's Mixtur-Trautonium, which is a really nice vintage synth, but his frequency shifter is just as interesting.


Play EDO's using 'pitch slope' or 'pitch keyfollow'

Here's a little trick for hardware synth owners who want to try out xenharmonics. Even if your synth doesn't have proper tuning capabilities, you might be able to get some EDO's (equal divisions of the octave, or equal temperaments) out of it. This trick works if your synth has an option called pitch slope or pitch keyfollow.


Siemen Terpstra's musical studies online

Philosophical history has not been kind to musical sensibilities. The orthodox history of Greek thought has been de-musicalised. Because of this, we have been tought all kinds of philosophical nonsense, especially when it comes to the Pre-Socratics. But the 'lost' musical heritage is restored by philosopher-musician Siemen Terpstra.


8-bit philosophy according to Wisecrack

The best thing ever. Old Greeks, an unhealthy dose of existentialism, but also Machiavelli, Nietzsche, Marx, Derrida... you name it. The silly voice-over will grow on you. Everybody wants to be smart, write? So now you can fill your head with education that doesn't suck.


Review ~ TherapSid by Twisted-Electrons

When the French one-man company Twisted Electrons shipped it's first batch of SID-based TherapSid synths in the fall of 2014, some users experienced 'stuck notes' and MIDI-trouble but Alex seemed to react swiftly and accurately. And so, by january 2015 the € 399,- for a TherapSid (with 6581 chip, or € 333,- without) seemed a justifiable investment. Long story short: the monster has matured quite a bit.

Don't be stupid ~ NSA, CIA, Google, Apple, Facebook etc.

The Dubbhism blog uses a Google service, called Blogger.com. We also use Facebook, Google Search, some i-devices etc. The companies behind these products are ~ in Rastafarian speak ~ 100% Babylonian. A part of the so-called military-industrial complex.


Microtuned analog oscillators using hard sync

If you want to use analog synths/oscillators for xenharmonic music, there are MIDI-based options like the H-Pi Tuningbox, or the more advanced Silent Way soft/hardware. And there are modules like the Analogue Systems RS-130. Or you could also try a hack: maybe it's possible to hard sync your hardware with software-generated audio.

OR Combiner live @ The Noodlebar 31st januari

OR Combiner will do a mixed media/modular madness set on the 31st of januari at the infamous Noodlebar, this edition at a temporary new location: Triphouse Rotterdam HQ, West-Kruiskade 51. Line up: Kami Kapnobatai (Rotterdam), OR Combiner (Leiden), Zeitdehner (Brussel) and Wouter van Veldhoven (Utrecht). Facebook event over here.