Saturday, March 28, 2015

Early Damon Che, Thee Speaking Canaries recordings released!

He’s probably one of the hugest drumming influences on me of all time, but Damon Che of Don Caballero had another band where he played guitar and sang for called Thee Speaking Canaries. Before the band totally took shape as a trio, Damon recorded many songs with himself on all the instruments. Chunklett Industries recently released all this material for the first time.

These are basically a bunch of cool instrumental versions of early SC songs with Damon on all the instruments. I just got it and have to say I really dig it. There’s a totally cool nostalgic 90s guitar vibe going excellently accompanied by Mr. Che’s signature drumming. Highly recommended for all of those that love Don Cab, Bitch Magnet, or 90s post rock/math instrumental stuff.

The digital version is only $8, go buy it!

Friday, March 27, 2015

G-Stomper | The Best Music Making App for Android


iOS may have a lot of the big names like Korg, Moog and Fairlight, but there’s a great app out there for Android that holds a ton of power and quite capable of making incredible music in the palm of your hand!

G-stomper is a full music production suite that works on your Android device. It is a sample pattern-based sequencer that also now features a built in synth. There are tons of great features like programmable filters, pitch, fill ins, swing feature, pattern and song creation, render to wav function and more.

It has already been around for a couple of years now, but this is not some one trick pony app. It is constantly being developed and improved upon. Not only that, even early versions were pretty great. I was so impressed with it early on that I created an entire album made using only G-stomper in 2013.

If you’ve ever used a pattern sequencer or groovebox you should find G-Stomper very intuitive. There’s also an incredibly active Google Plus users group where you can get answers to any question you might have. This is a great app, and is hours and hours of fun. You can make entire albums right on your phone!

There’s also tons of sound add on packs you can get from the Google Play store, a couple even a couple made by me that are samples of my Mothman synths. I highly recommend this app. If you want to get into making electronic music and don’t have much space or just would rather use your phone than a computer, this is for you.

Also just so you know, I am not affiliated with G-Stomper in anyway. Learn more and get G-stomper here!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

M-Audio's new Trigger Finger Pro could set the new standard for pad controllers

There’s more options for finger drummers out there than ever right now, and M-Audio fairly recently released their new Trigger Finger Pro. The more I see about this controller the more I like it. This video shows a great performance using all the original samples that come with the unit. The nice big display screen is definitely a nice feature and the built in step sequencer is a very cool feature.

The only controller that seems to be in the same league as the TFP one is the Maschine, which is an amazing product. But the Maschine MK2 is $599, where as the TFP is only $199. I can’t comment on the feel of the pads themselves since I haven’t used one personally. But from what I have seen they look like nice sized pads and most comments about them have been good.



Saturday, March 21, 2015

VHS Akai MPC-60 training video featuring Roger Linn!

Here’s a great find! When Akai first release the Roger Linn designed MPC-60 sampler/sequencer, they also released this in depth training video staring Roger Linn himself!

Who better to explain this historic piece of gear to you than the designer himself?


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Strawberry Fields Forever? No, but here's a free Mellotron plugin


Tapeotronic is a mellotron tape keyboard emulation.
There’s 16 patches of flute, string and choirs sounds and MIDI learn / automation.

Back a few years ago I made an album called Manasota under my pseudonym Justin Robert. For much of that album I used a Mellotron VST plugin. I’ve always loved the sound of these.

The one that I used is no longer available, but I found this one that seems just as good!

“The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England, in 1963. It evolved from a similar instrument, the Chamberlin, but could be mass-produced more effectively. The instrument works by pulling a section of magnetic tape across a head. Different portions of the tape can be played to access different sounds.

The original models were designed to be used in the home, and contained a variety of sounds, including automatic accompaniments. The bandleader Eric Robinson and television personality David Nixon were heavily involved in the instrument’s original publicity. A number of other celebrities such as Princess Margaret were early adopters.

The Mellotron became more popular after the Beatles used it on several tracks. It was subsequently adopted by the Moody Blues, Genesis and King Crimson, and became a notable instrument in progressive rock. Later models such as the M400, the best selling model, dispensed with the accompaniments and some sound selection controls in order to be used by touring musicians. The instrument became less popular in the 1980s due to the introduction of polyphonic synthesizers and samplers, despite a number of high profile uses from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and XTC.”  Wikipedia

Get it from the developer’s site!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Free Chiptune VST | Fantastic SID inspired free plugin for Windows!

I’ve tried several different 8 bit / chiptune / SID style plugins and I have to say that Dream64 by OdoSynths is one of the nicest ones I’ve tried. Dream64 is a wavetable synthesizer with a built in step sequencer and LFOs. The sound of it is quite great. Very much like old SID sounds.

I tested it out on Ableton Live and EnergyXT and it works great on both. My only gripe with it is the GUI interface is a bit too large in my opinion since the bottom of the plugin doesn’t fit on 1366×768 my screen. Still not much of a problem since I can access most of the controls.


It comes loaded with a ton of great presets. Many great drum sounds, fat basses, and very cool sounding lead patches. Definitely an essential plugin to have.

dream 64 vst

Download Dream64 here

Mirror if above link doesn’t work

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Korg nanoPAD2 Finger Drumming to Synthwave, Retrowave, Dreamwave!

80s VHS girls

Subscribe to my youtube channel and check out this performance with Ableton Live Intro with a nanoKONTROL and nanoPAD2 control surfaces.

I made a couple of melodic loops but am playing all the drum beats live on the nanoPAD2. I used mostly Simmons SDS7 and SDS5 drum samples and a couple others.

The bass tones are from the Jup-6 free VST plugin, which you can download here

The lead and string sounds are the DSX from the UVI workstation soft-synth which you can get for free if you purchase a nanoPAD2.

You can purchase this song here

Thanks for watching!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Casio Day! A free collection of Casio VST plugins and sound packs!

In honor of’s first ever Casio Day, I’ve put together this little collection of free Casio VSTs and sound banks! This is a collection of 7 Windows based VSTs, 2 sound banks, and one Ableton instrument that are all either Casio emulators, sampled from, or Casio inspired. Each listing has an individual download link, as well as mirrors. There’s also a rar file of all the plugins and sample packs together at the bottom of the post! Enjoy!

If you like this and want more stuff like this, please use the subscribe form on the right of the page to get these kind of things delivered to you in our newsletter!

First up is the classic and mega-cheesy VL tone! Here’s a nifty and very realistic free plugin called the VL1



Number two is what looks like one seriously awesome Casio CZ style emulator, The Kassiopeia!



For number three we’ve got the Plastique, an HT-700 inspired plugin. This little plugin is quite cool. Not really exactly like an HT, but has some great sounds and very useful. Still definitely has the Casio vibe too.



Number four is my own Mothman Z3000. This is another CZ type plugin. I modeled it specifically after the CZ-3000 with some slight differences. It comes bundled with 3 other Mothman synths. ALL FREE!


Number five, Casiopia. This is yet another CZ inspired 8 voice polyphonic synth. I’ve posted all the different CZ plugins because each has their own character and sounds.




Number Six – Cheapo-Tone, this is another VL inspired plugin, but instead of using samples, this one is a true software synth with digital oscillators to create the tones. You can also create your own patches from scratch and save them. Very cool!



Number Seven – Casio PT-10 Sound Pack. Here’s a 17mb soundpack from Seaweed Factory to be used in Ableton or anything really. There are sounds and loops included. 



Number Eight – Casiotone CT-101 Ableton Instrument. This is an ALP file to use in Ableton which is nice other than just having raw samples to work with. 



Number Nine – The undeniable classic Casio SK-1 (Sample Set) Unfortunately there’s not a plugin out there yet that emulates the sampling feature of an SK-1, but there’s some pretty good sound sets of the other built-in sounds, like this one. 



Number Ten – Freon Surfer FZ. Last but not least is this really cool plugin that isn’t an FZ emulator, but rather drum samples that were captured from the Freon Surfer preset of the Sonic Charge MicroTonic software drum machine using the Casio FZ-20M, then made into a plugin with variable 9khz or 36khz sample rates, time stretched, and overdrive settings. 



Well there you have it, 10 free plugins and sound sets that are all Casio! Now you have enough casio plugs to create a whole album using nothing but Casio sounds. Hmmmm… I just might do that!

If you want to cut to the chase and get everything at once, I’ve made a handy dandy rar file of everything in this post to download all at once!

Download the full pack







Documentary on the Roland TR-808 | 808 The Movie Trailer

This Friday at South by Southwest, the annual music, film, and interactive festival in Austin Texas, will be the premiere of the feature film 808, a documentary about the classic Roland TR-808 drum machine. Apparently it was two years in the making and contains a plethora of notable musicians and producers such as Rick Rubin, Afrika Bambaataa, and Phil Collins just to name a few.

I hope this makes it onto one of the streaming services rather soon, or possibly play in the theater somewhere here in NYC. I’d love to catch it on the big screen!

roland tr 808_big

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

New Sonic Arts VICE Loop Slicer and Sampler Plugin

Our pal saintjoe over at did this great review of the new “Vice” Slicer Sampler plugin by Sonic Arts I’ve actually been looking for something exactly like this, so was a cool find for me, here’s what stj had to say:

“Today I’m reviewing a product from New Sonic Arts, a smaller developer making some pretty cool products.The one I’m checking out today is VICE

Let’s dig in!

So what is VICE?

It’s a sampler/slicer plugin with a super clean interface and the ability to add up to 4 insert fx per slice, as well modulation, multi output, and host automation support.

I love the crisp and simple layout, but it’s a quick way to play with your samples and turn them into an instrument without having to worry about destructively altering your audio.

Of course everything can be triggered via MIDI, you can slice manually or using the multiple detection algorithms, and the interface makes it quick to add multiple fx to all slices or individual slices.

It’s a very flexible way to play with your loops, and though it’s powerful, the interface is just so clean!

Quick Specs

So what’s the bottom line?

I love it when smaller developers take a chance and release things they’ve been thinking about. The developer behind New Sonic Arts has had his hand in some pretty popular tools over the years, to see his take on his own products is very refreshing.

What I dig about the design is how clean it is, how smoothly the visuals are when zooming in, and how powerful the tool is without being overly complex.

Read more: Review: New Sonic Arts VICE Loop Slicer and Sampler Plugin

Monday, March 9, 2015

Jupiter 8 performance by Synthmania featuring a TR-808 and Simmons SDSV brain

This is such a beautiful and mellow piece of electronic music. I really enjoyed it. SynthMania, who runs a pretty damn amazing Youtube channel, made this wonderful piece of music all in real-time using a plethora of vintage gear.

It’s so nice to hear the melodic side of synthesis and I think this performance shows how electronic instruments can be quite emotional, even when purely instrumental!


roland Jupiter 8

The drum sound of the 1980s | Simmons SDSV and SDS7!

When a lot of people think about 80s drums they think about In The Air Tonight, by Phil Collins and the famous “Gated Reverb” drum sound. As much as I love Phil Collins, I think another drum sound is even more defining of the era, the sound of Simmons electronic drums.

Those weird looking hexagon shaped pads were played by nearly every synth pop band that had drummers in the 80s, and even by bands like Van Halen and King Crimson both playing the Simmons drums. Their epic tom sound is unmistakable and that giant wet snare sound pulses nostalgia into your brain with every hit!

I wanted to make a post with somebody playing some Simmons drums for a while, but many of the videos I were finding were pretty terrible. But today I found this incredible cover of Thomas Dolby’s song “One of our submarines” where WIRECOOLEY rerecorded his own instrumental version of the song then made a video of himself playing some Simmons to the song! It came out great and love that drum sound!

Simmons drums weren’t samples, they were actually drum synthesizers. The module that produced the sounds, or “brain” was actual an analog synth with a bunch of trigger inputs. Awesome…. Awesome to the max.

vintage simmons drums

Ridiculously huge archive of free drum samples all famous drum machines!

drum sample lib

Here’s something I found while looking for vintage Simmons drum samples. The biggest archive of authentic Drum and Percussion Sound Samples of Drum-Machines on the Net… 319 free Drumkits online! Free download, Drum Samples, Drumsamples, Drumkits, Drum Kits, Vintage Samples wav, Electric Drum Kits, drum beats, Drum Sound, WAV sounds download

Source: …… Free Drum Samples – Free Downloads – Drum Kit – Wav Samples

Click the link above or the image to go to the site. Many are completely free, but some require a small donation. Once you donate though you have access to all the machines! Totally worth it in my opinion!


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This guy takes Electronic Drumming to melodic perfection and technical mastery

Came across this awesome video on youtube of Tony Royster Jr. playing a drum solo on a set of Roland V-Drums. What I really liked about this is the melodic aspect of the first half. I think this is something a lot of drummers don’t consider when thinking of the possibilities of an electronic drum set.

Electronic drums are essentially synthesizers but instead of a keyboard, you have a drum set to interface with them. Most people still don’t utilize them to their fullest potential. This video is a step in the right direction though.

Korg Volca Sample | In depth review

Thanks to Sonic Lab for making this in depth review of the new Korg Vocal Sample. This thing is basically cool as fuck and I want one immediately. I’ve been impressed with all of the new tiny Korg items, but this one just takes the cake.

The coolest thing to me is the low sample rate and true vintage sound. We have so much technology these days. Korg is intentionally making items that are more limited, but in great ways. This makes you think outside the box which also helps keep you focused on making music rather than trying to select which of the 8 billion fx you should use and most modern digital hardware.

Check it out!

Volca Sample

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Download a Free Chromatic gongs plug-in: Thai Gongs by Alan ViSTa

Here’s a seriously cool free plugin from VST4free that runs on PC and Mac that is real Thai Gongs is a sampled traditional chromatic gong set from Thailand.

It contains 39 stereo 24 bit samples from the University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios public domain library.
3 velocity layers.
Release time control.
Amplitude dynamic range.
Master volume.



thai gongs

Monday, March 2, 2015

Japanese Techno Girl dresses in a Kimono, sits politely in her room, and plays vintage MIDI hardware for her cat

Check out this playlist of ThePuneya or “Japanese Techno Girl” performing a variety of minimal electronic jams using nothing but vintage hardware to her cat.

This is basically what Youtube was invented for



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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Vintage Drum Machine | Free Roland CR-78 loop and sample pack download

free cr-78 drum machine loops


The CR-78 has always been one of my favorite vintage drum machines. Made famous by Phil Collins in the 1980s in brilliant mixtures of CR-78 with his incredible drumming, I think the sound of this machine is forever engraved inside of our heads. I’ll always feel like I’m cruising down A1A with Crockett and Tubbs in a Ferrari when I hear those smooth sounding wood blocks and filtered fuzzy snare drums.

Boxed Ear has offered up a great selection of free samples and loops from the CR-78 that you can download very easily from their site.

If for some reason that link doesn’t work, check my mirror.

Here’s the classic “In the air tonight” which uses the CR-78 as the main rhythm verse.

If you’re a super nerd, take a look at this CR-78 tee shirt below

Updated drum lesson playlist

It's hard for me to update this website constantly with all of the new drum lessons I am making, so I figured I would make a playlist wh...