Friday, September 2, 2011

What's Old is New Again

I think sometimes in a world of quickly moving technology we often believe that if we just keep moving forward that things will improve. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't but as I a writing this blog, I am listening to an instrument made my Hammond called the Novachord. This instrument is truely haunting and beautiful. It reminds me of another beautiful instrument called the Ondes Martenot. It seems a strange turn of events that just recently these instrument have been revived both physically and in sample form. Hollow Sun and Sonic Couture both offer sampled versions of the Nova Chord and Sonic Couture has a sample Ondes. There is also the French Connection which is an actually hardware CV controller that works like the original Ondes. No doubt the design for the Haken Continuum is at least inspired by this instrument.

A Twitter friend reminded me recently in a great blog just how useful "old school" techniques can be. In her case, she found a variation on a "old school" roladex a very effective way to keep track of business cards. Both the Novachord and the Ondes Martenot are both very old school and yet, by modern standards perhaps they don't have the range of many modern synthesizers but they also don't have the annoying property that they also sound like every other synthesizers. In a musical world that claims to be cutting edge, I often find that the real game if you want to make the big bucks is sound almost like everything else but put a little twist in it, not to much, so your music gets a notice.

For me, I have been enjoying some instruments from the past, "old school" instruments that don't sound the same. I guess I like them because I feel inspired by them. Hopefully I can use them in my music in the future and break away from the pack by going back to the future, sampled "old school" here I come.

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