If you’ve spent any time at all reading the stuff on DanceRobotDance, you know I love my Machinedrum. It’s a fantastic drum machine that deserves better than me. The only real problem I’ve had with it is that with me sitting at the desk, and it sitting on the desk, the little screen where one sees parameters and information is really hard to read. It’s best when the MD is in one’s lap, but that’s not really a good place for it in most circumstances. The Machinedrum comes with two little holes drilled into its sides and a set of ears for mounting on a rack, but I don’t have a rack. I’ve seen some examples on the internets of people having made some metal or wood end cheeks to set it at a 30-degree angle, and exploring this I found that the manufacture of custom cheeks like this was just going to be more money or hassle for me than it was worth.
Enter ProModular. ProModular is a small outfit in The Bronx, New York, made up of one dude named Stephen who like me, frequents the MuffWiggler synth forum website. I’ve been interested in his custom modular synth panels for some time, but since I don’t really keep any permanent open spaces in my synth, I’ve not found the excuse to get any. I wrote to him a while back to inquire about etching a robot onto the front panel of a joystick kit I’m working on, but I’ve not got around to completing that. So when he posted a few weeks ago that he was going to start making these cheek panels for the Machinedrum, I jumped up and down.
They’re currently 25 bucks, and I even got some custom robots I designed etched on the sides. They look even better in person, and they make the damn thing a whole lot easier to see and work with. Very happy with this.
Today on the Elektron-Users.com forum I found a really interesting compilation of music put together by E-U forum members. The compilation is built around Elektron instruments (Monomachine, Octatrack, and my beloved Machinedrum) and is available for a $5 download. There is also a free version with just a few songs. The download is pretty spectacular. It includes 15 tracks, a PDF file of photography and artwork and credits, and a larger PDF file with a veritable “making-of” and information about the project, as well as information for anyone interested in putting a compilation similar to this together.
The project is described like so:
Machine is a unique compilation album and collaborative effort, produced in its entirety by the elektron-users.com community, made primarily with instruments created by the Swedish boutique synthesiser company Elektron. The elektron-users.com forum is a playground for experienced and inexperienced electronic musicians activated by a base of friendly, helpful and creative people from all over the world.
So go here now and cough up your five bucks. It’s good stuff.
A couple of weeks ago I had to send my Machinedrum to get fixed. A button that was finicky when I bought it became dysfunctional. Elektron said they could send me a new button for $5 and I could do the work myself, which I thought was a little weird. So I sent it to their service facility in Georgia, where it was operated on and sent back to me quote promptly.
In celebration of the return of the Machinedrum, I spent half an hour yesterday on it. These two tunes are all Machinedrum, all recorded in one take, and edited down for length a bit.