Here are some photos taken of the inside of my Evans Echopet EP-100. The machine is built to last and some of the screws were incredibly difficult to undo – I guess they’ve not been undone in around 30 years! Even so you can see that the Echopet only has a couple of integrated circuits and the printed circuit board is well spaced out. Also all of the potentiometers are soldered directly onto the main PCB making it tricky to manoeuvre.
Here are some images of my lovely Evans Echopet EP-100. This glorious Japanese analogue delay makes some wicked raw lo-fi tones and has added a certain crunch to a number of my tracks in the past.
On Tuesday 10th April I packed my iPads, mixer and headphones in a bag and set off to the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath to play a few tunes at this months 8bit Lounge. For those not in the know, 8bit Lounge is a clash of retro computer games, beer and computer / electronic music.
The night is well attended, pulling in folk interested in the various aspects of the event and spirits on the night were high – especially for a Tuesday night.
Once all of the gear was setup a chip tune mix was ran through to get folk into the computer gaming mood. There were enough 8bit beats and bloops played played for an hour or so to make a Nintendo fanboy go weak at the knees.
Once the chip tuneage had subsided Paul Kent (pictured above) treated those gathered to a quirky mix of ambient drones and textures deftly coaxed from a small collection of battery powered devices. Korg Monotrons and MonoDelays were teamed with a Nintendo DS and misbehaving iPhone (amongst other things) to generate a collage of sound that often gently throbbed and then occasionally assaulted your ears with a swift sonic shock. Every now and then a simple melody would layer over the top of the undulating noise, providing another dimension that helped to make sense of what was unfolding. All in all Paul delivered a performance of subtle character that I thoroughly enjoyed.
He eventually gave way to me and a chum playing electronica tunes which regularly offered up computer game or 8bit references. The iPads and meta.DJ were in full effect as we played alternating tracks. What we realised from this playing a track at a time is that we struggled to develop a theme between the pair of us and that the music jumped around a little more erratically than would do if one pair of hands was in control. Also it became easy to lose track of when a song would be coming to a conclusion and what that would sound like if you hadn’t cued it yourself.
So in short the first lesson learnt was to not alternate tracks for an extended period.
We also found out that people really do still enjoy hearing electronica, IDM, glitch (or whatever you want to call it) out and about and that there needs to be access to more of this kind of happening to satisfy this interest. I was concerned that due to a seeming lack of high profile nights (especially in Brum) that this scene was dead. Actually it just needs more people playing this kinda stuff.
My last lesson was that it’s far easier (and in some ways more satisfying) to mix your own music in with more established artists and look to the audience reaction. When playing live you are too absorbed to fully appreciate what’s going on and it can be hard to read whether your music is being enjoyed.
Sonall in all I learnt some valuable lessons from 8bit Lounge which I’ll take with me the next time I dust off my iPads and play out.
Here is a photo of my bitJockey setup. I say bitJockey because no discs are used when playing the music and I know folk that DJ using records get a little bit sniffy about using the DJ term – although some were used in the encoding process.
My setup includes the following hardware:
- first generation iPad
- third generation iPad
- Numark IM1 mixer
- pair of Sennheiser headphones
And the following iOS apps
- Korg iElectribe
- Glitch Machine
I predominantly use meta.DJ as this allows me to run up to 8 virtual decks simultaneously with great sounding effects and decent (if not amazing) stability. Meta.DJ also allows you to sync to a midi clock master but I’ve only managed to get this working with a computer (which I was hoping to leave at home).
I’m gonna continue developing my bitJockey-ing skills over the coming months and hope bleeping the heck out of local sound systems in the coming months. Watch (or listen to) this space for further info.