On the forum “99musik” where all the Swedish synth nerds hang, there was a thread titled “Axel F with different synths”. When I saw that, I recalled that I about half a year ago while drunk did a test recording with the JX-8P and Alesis HR-16. Everything was played from memory so the key is not right, the tempo is quite right.
I opened the Logic-project and realized that the drums sounded like crap. They needed to be replaced. For this I had two choices, the Oberheim DMX or my newly aquired SCI Drumtraks. Since I haven’t installed the midi mod on the DMX yet and the SCI Drumtraks kick and snare are more Linn-like, I chose the Drumtraks. My JX-8P was not connected so I decided to use the old recording and just loop it. Would of course have been more 80’s to play it live! Here’s the result:
Both the brass and bass are stock patches from the JX-8P. All drums are stock Drumtraks. Note how I test the different the different sounds on the percussive channel of the Drumtraks in the end. Claps, tamb, cowbell and cabasa are on the same channel and cannot be played simultaneously. The delay is a classic 80’s trick to get around that limitation.
Today my TOP853-programmer arrived from China. It’s a cheap EEPROM-programmer that I intend to use for programming EPROMs for my Drumtraks. At $40 it’s worth taking a chance, but I’ve heard others that have had great success with them. I bought it from “BuyInCoins” and the delivery time was less than three weeks to Sweden. The thing to be aware of is that the TOP853 doesn’t work with 64-bit operating systems. That’s actually not a problem since I have a virtual Windows XP-machine that I use for a lot of old skool stuff.
In the slight dented box was the TOP853, a USB cable, a small cd with drivers + software and lot of documentation in Chinese. I ignored the cd and manuals and went directly to the TopWin download page (also in Chinese). The download of a few megabytes took about 10 minutes! I started the installation and chose English (should be Chinglish) and the installation started. After the installation I started the software which couldn’t find the TOP-programmer. I looked in the Device Manager and there was an exclamation mark on it, so I restarted XP. After the reboot the TopWin software found the TOP853 without any hassle. Having never done things like this before, I found the software very easy to understand. You start by selecting the correct chip by manufacturer, and if it’s not there, choose a generic profile with the same properties.
Since I don’t have any empty EPROMs and my UV-eraser-box haven’t arrived yet, I could only test the reading capabilities. My Drumtraks was supplied with some extra chips with unknown origin. After tweaking the reading settings (since the particular chips weren’t in the manifacturer list) I managed to read all chips. The Drumtraks use 2764 EPROMS for all voices except the kick which is a 2732. I compared the contents with the all the EPROMs available on Electrongate, they will probably be added here. Paul who own Electrongate is a very nice guy by the way!
Next step is to burn some Linn LM-1 EPROMs for the Drumtraks!
I just bought a Roland SH-1000 from a guy here in town! It’s Roland’s first synthesizer launched in 1973 – analog and monophonic. But it actually has presets, and a lot of not-so-modern-synth-standard knobs and buttons. It’s clear that it was aimed at organ players and not synth players. Probably because the number of synth players back then was very small compared to the number of organ players. The manual even describes the difference between a synth and an organ.
Now I can finally play “Just an Illusion” the way it’s meant to be played. More pictures and info will follow!