Some films I've made myself about iconic film scores and musical inventions.
Electromotive - The Story of ARP Instruments
Electromotive: The Story of ARP Instruments "Electromotive is the definitive documentary charting the rise and demise of one of the world’s most influential and pioneering synth companies. It dives deep into the world of ARP and their instruments, with fascinating insights from those involved, copious amounts of previously undocumented information, and then debunks many myths. A triumph, a true labour of love and essential viewing for any synth nerd." Chris Macleod / GForce Software // This was a project that started in the spring of 2019 when I was loaned an ARP 2600. I knew little of the ARP story at the time, but having an amazing instrument to play with piqued my interest. Aware that Alan R Pearlman had passed only a couple of months earlier, I started looking into the articles and history and speaking to a couple of people about it on email. The way things unfolded from there is an entire story unto itself that I’ll probably tell in another video, but suffice to say I was staggered by the generosity, passion and kindness of countless people whose help meant that we were able to feature an amazing array of original instruments and interview many of the original people who were there (on and off camera). Every single person who contributed to this film did it gratis so that you can enjoy this story free and without even having to sit through a single advert. Isn't that amazing?! Dina Pearlman has been absolutely crucial to this project and has been industrious in opening doors for me this past year, to the point that we’ve joked she’s the patch chords between the modules. Please take a moment to check out the foundation and at the very least, give them a like, subscribe and comment of support. The Alan R Pearlman Foundation https://alanrpearlmanfoundation.org/ https://www.instagram.com/arpchives/ https://www.facebook.com/alanrpearlmanarchives/ Also a shout out to Chad and Ryan for the stunning opening and closing title sequences and James for the in film animations. Chad & Ryan: http://fauxcorp.com/ Chad: http://chadwixom.com/ Ryan: http://ryangriffin.media/ James: http://vim-vigor.com/ // ORIGINS // 0:00 Intro 1:42 Alan Robert Pearlman 4:29 Founding Tonus Inc // THE ARP 2500 // 7:41 Designing the Series 2000 11:14 System 2002 Demo 12:38 “Now who’s gonna sell it?” 14:56 Close Encounters 18:32 System 2003 Demo // THE ARP 2600 // 19:29 Designing the 2600 20:34 The first sales call 21:39 The Blue Marvin 23:36 “First Look” Don Muro 25:17 The Grey Meanie & Production Models 26:04 “Correlative Moons” Lisa Bella Donna 26:30 Rebranding as ARP 27:40 2601 models 28:46 2600 Demo // THE SOLOIST & PRO SOLOIST // 29:57 The Soloist 30:37 Jeremy Hill 33:10 Designing the Pro Soloist 36:40 Pro Soloist Demo 38:25 Pro/DGX Demo // SELLING ARPS // 39:24 Organ donors 41:44 Patch books 43:02 “Stinger” David Frederick 44:20 The ARP NAMM JAM // THE ODYSSEY // 46:43 Designing the Odyssey 52:23 Marketing the Odyssey 55:07 “I did not meet any rock stars” 56:33 2am call 57:34 Odyssey Demo // GOING PUBLIC & COSMIC FURNACE // 58:52 “Wanna buy some stock?” 59:18 Roger Powell // THE DUTCH CONNECTION // 1:00:33 The Eminent 310U 1:01:14 The Strings Ensemble 1:02:17 The Frankfurt MESSE 1:03:13 Solina String Ensemble Demo 1:04:44 The relationship works both ways 1:05:02 Solina String Synthesizer Demo 1:05:54 Ken Freeman’s contribution // THE ARP MODULAR SYNTHESIZER LAB // 1:06:42 The “Learning Modules” 1:07:22 Don takes over the project // THE ARP OMNI // 1:08:21 The polyphonic system 1:09:09 The Omni 1:09:35 Omni Demo 1:10:32 Omni 2 Demo // THE AXXE // 1:10:54 The logic of the Axxe 1:11:33 “Conclusions” Lisa Bella Donna // THE ARP SEQUENCER // 1:12:12 Sequencer Demo 1:13:13 Voltage Quantizer // GROWING THE BUSINESS // 1:13:36 Sales peak 1:14:22 Marketing ARP to the world 1:16:47 Pretty much a normal life // GUITAR SYNTHESIZERS // 1:17:19 Two parallel projects 1:18:23 The Centaur VI 1:21:15 The Avatar 1:23:33 Demonstrating Guitar Synthesizers 1:25:19 “Upa War Jazz” Drew Schlesinger & David Torn 1:26:27 “It fell short” 1:27:44 Alan Howarth 1:28:21 Parallel polysynth abandoned // THE ARP QUADRA // 1:28:34 Designing the Quadra 1:30:08 The Prophet~5 and OB-X 1:30:53 Quadra Demo // THE DEMISE // 1:31:32 Digital revolution 1:32:04 Japanese Competition 1:33:21 The 2600 endures 1:34:16 Electronic Pianos 1:34:42 The Solus 1:35:00 MU-TRON, Seil & Digital Synths 1:35:42 “The ship went down” // THE RHODES CHROMA // 1:37:22 CBS Acquires ARP 1:38:52 Chroma Demo // BEYOND ARP // 1:40:23 “Incredible how the tide changed” 1:41:35 Legacy and resurgence 1:43:13 “He’s sorely missed” 1:44:46 The Alan R Pearlman Foundation 1:44:52 The Korg ARP 2600 1:46:33 Epilogue 1:49:12 End Credits
Land of the Rising Sound | A Roland Retrospective
Land of the Rising Sound: A Roland Retrospective. The story of Roland is one of the most expansive and influential in the world of music technology. This feature length documentary sets out to tell it through their iconic inventions. Roland: https://www.roland.com/global/ General Thanks: First of all, a huge and heartfelt thank you to some anonymous synth experts who not only leant me a jaw dropping array of rare equipment, but who also gave up time from their busy schedules to show me how to use it and who even helped record it on location. I owe you a debt of gratitude, but the entire community at large does too. Thank you! I also need to thank Gordon Reid for answering my tedious questions and for helping with the explanations of some trickier technical aspects. Furthermore, both Gordon and Sound on Sound need crediting for having already gone the whole 9-yards on the subject: https://www.soundonsound.com/music-business/history-roland-part-1 Named Thank yous: Paolo @ SynthMania, Dan, Michael and Joe @ Reverb.com, Conny @ Asteroid Killer Music, Gordon Reid, Paul & Ian Gilby @ Sound on Sound, Peter Venuto @ Synth Palace, Sanj Sen @ Ropey Sound, Pea Hicks, Brandon @ Zibby Bone, Marko Ettlich @ RetroSound, Ra Smith @ madFAME, JP Geersing @ synthsandstuff, Synth4ever, Reuben Jones, Patrick Gill, Woody @ Piano Shack, Andrew Pimblott @ Roland, David Åhlund @ Roland Artist Relations Centre, Romain Segaud, Pendle Poucher @ Sound Dust, Pablo and James @ The Toy Rooms, Paul Hartnoll @ Orbital, Paul @ M&S Organ Parts, Richard @ Retro Synth Ads, Rob Nicholls, Synthetic Machines, Ed Lewis, Joseph Hecht, Jason Scammell @ Now and then FX. Ian Livingstone. Some other people who know who they are! Links: SynthMania: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SynthManiaDotCom Reverb.com: https://www.youtube.com/user/reverbmarket Joe George: http://www.joegeorgemusic.net/ Asteroid Killer Music: https://www.youtube.com/user/AsteroidKillerMusic Synthetic Machines: https://www.youtube.com/user/SyntheticMachines/ Ropey Sound: http://www.ropeysound.com/ Synth Palace: https://www.synthpalace.net/ SynthPalace YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaVBqY38AFRgmEqqopYHggQ Peter Venuto: https://www.youtube.com/user/electricrainbowness Pea Hicks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtJfsUa_J6DMp-p2eS7hp5w MC-8 website: https://rolandmc8.wordpress.com/ Zibby Bone: https://www.youtube.com/user/zibbybone RetroSound: https://www.youtube.com/user/retrosound72 madFAME: https://www.youtube.com/user/madfameltd Linn LM-1 video referenced in the film: https://youtu.be/qesonxgLv-8 JP Geersing: https://www.youtube.com/user/synthsandstuff Synth4ever: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNsgT_XxwSPdjRka1LD7RRw Woody: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC27jRFKGzztB9u9T5GkPH_g Liam Howlett’s W30 original video: https://youtu.be/_PF_ZIkwyeI Reuben Jones: https://www.youtube.com/user/tucker10 Patrick Gill: https://www.youtube.com/user/PatrickGillMusic Anders Enger Jensen: https://www.youtube.com/user/HariboOSX Some soundtrack excerpts from this film: https://soundcloud.com/alex-ball-1/sets/land-of-the-rising-sound-score-excerpts/s-2zI3u Additional incidental music provided by Joseph Hecht: https://soundcloud.com/josephhecht/sets/polygonimbus Other Image Credits: Title image by Romain Segaud http://www.romainsegaud.com/ Several press release photos and manuals from Roland.com https://www.roland.com/global/products/ Several images (JV80, VG-8, VS-880, UA-100) by Sound on Sound Ltd https://www.soundonsound.com/ ATV A Frame images http://www.aframe.jp/ Various advert scans by Retro Synth Ads http://retrosynthads.blogspot.com/ Ace Tone R-1 images by M&S Organ Parts https://msorganparts.com/ Ace Tone FR-1 images from Encyclotronic https://encyclotronic.com/drum-machines/ace-tone/fr-1-r57/#images Ace Tone FR-6 images by Rob Nicholls http://provincialparcs.bandcamp.com Some creative commons Ace Tone images from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_Tone Some GS-500 print ads from Wayne Scott Joness superb archive https://www.joness.com/gr300/GS-500.html MC-8 photos by Pea Hicks Behind-the-scene photos at Roland from Ralph Dyck’s collection https://rolandmc8.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/exclusive-interview-with-ralph-dyck-godfather-of-the-mc-8/ Additional 727 logo image from here: http://djjondent.blogspot.com/2017/08/roland-tr-727.html CMU 800R photos: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-and-electronic-music-production/1123374-roland-cmu-800r.html https://www.matrixsynth.com/2018/05/roland-cmu-800r-compu-music-classic-80s.html Social: https://www.facebook.com/AlexBallMusic/ https://www.instagram.com/alexballmusic/
How the Terminator 2 Music Was Made
This is a reworking of a video I originally uploaded in August 2018. It was by far the most popular video on my channel for the very brief period it was online. Unfortunately it got a global block from the film studio for including visual material from the film, which they're obviously entitled to do. As a lot of work went into this video and my subscribers have quadrupled since it was last online, I was thinking of ways to remake it without any visual material from the film. I came across the idea of buying some T2 action figures and making a bunch of stills of my own. So here we are! //////////////// Here's the original video description: I thought it would be interesting to cover off the Terminator 2 score as its creation is very specific and we can play with the exact sound sources Brad Fiedel did nearly 30 years ago. Researched and presented by Alex Ball. Built upon discoveries and experimentation by Python Blue, as mentioned. Fairlight CMI III demo by Mike TC of "100 things I do": https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmtcum1LsGJN55l9yLkvA8g T-800 performed by David Andrew Brent: http://davidandrewbrent.com/#/ Python Blue Links: Python Blue: https://www.python-blue.com/ Python Blue YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/PythonBlue T2 Unreleased Theme Part 1:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHzgsDsgcDk T2 Unreleased Theme Part 2:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMiiA38bnRM T2 Unreleased Theme Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja2Qd4iy2CU Brad Fiedel: http://bradfiedel.net/ Fairlight CMI sample and VST links: Bitley: http://bitley.laconicsounds.net/ sonics4you: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/sonics4you?_trksid=p2047675.l2559 Arturia Fairlight: https://www.arturia.com/cmi-v/overview Prosonus Libraries: https://www.bigfishaudio.com/ Prosonus Woodwinds: https://www.bigfishaudio.com/detail.html?1&12&1::::::::144:::D144::511880 Prosonus Brass: https://www.bigfishaudio.com/detail.html?1&12&1::::::::144:::D144::511882 Prosonus Percussion: https://www.bigfishaudio.com/detail.html?1&12&1::::::::144:::D144::511881 Prosonus Prepared Piano: https://www.bigfishaudio.com/detail.html?1&12&1::::::::144:::D144::321 Prosonus Strings: https://www.bigfishaudio.com/detail.html?1&12&1::::::::144:::D144::511879 Interviews cited: http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/terminator/53753/brad-fiedel-interview-composing-terminator-2s-iconic-score http://jamescamerononline.com/bradfiedel.htm http://regenmag.com/interviews/brad-fiedel-interview-the-man-behind-the-machine/ http://daily.redbullmusicacademy.com/2016/09/brad-fiedel-interview Nerdy stuff: What is aliasing: https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-what-aliasing-and-what-causes-it Python Blue sample interpolation article: https://www.python-blue.com/blog/tech-talk-reaktor-and-sample-interpolation http://petervogelinstruments.com.au/history/ http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/fairlight_cmi.php Social: https://www.facebook.com/AlexBallMusic/ https://www.instagram.com/alexballmusic/
How the Escape From New York music was made (feat. Alan Howarth)
In 1981, John Carpenter and Alan Howarth worked on their first film score together; Escape from New York. This was the genesis of a fruitful decade of collaboration. The film has gone on to become a cult-classic, but the score has taken on a life of its own and had great influence upon many musicians. I was planning to break down how some of the cues were made and decided to try to contact Alan Howarth to ask him some questions. Amazingly, he responded and was gracious enough to be interviewed for this film. A rare treat, we hear from the horses mouth how the whole collaboration came about, how the music was composed, what equipment was used and how on earth they sync'd things up in a pre-digital world. Alan is still active and working on new scores and new technology, so we also get to hear what he's up to in 2019 and even get a peak at his current studio where some gear from Escape from New York still resides. Massive thanks to Alan and thank you for watching. Social: https://www.facebook.com/AlexBallMusic/ https://www.instagram.com/alexballmusic/
How the Predator Music Was Made
One of my all time favourite scores (and films). I thought it would be interesting to make a video breaking down what's going on in the music, because it's very specific. Massive thanks to David Andrew Brent and Mike TC for appearing in this video. Intro : 00:00 Part 1 - Diminished or Octatonic Scale - 00:43 Minor harmonic material - "Main Title" / "Dog Tags" / "The Legend" - 04:09 Major harmonic material - "Jungle Trek" / "Preparing Camp Attack" - 6:44 Melodic material - "Billy" - 08:48 Part 2 - Use of Textures - 10:32 Orchestral Textures - "The Chase" / "Mac Targeted" - 11:56 Extended Percussion - 12:51 The Synclavier - 13:19 Part 3 - Fanfare for Dutch's men 17:39 "Goodbye" 18:25 Outro / outtakes - 19:38 Researched, edited and presented by Alex Ball Synclavier demonstrated by Mike TC Dutch / Arnie / Alan Rickman performed by David Andrew Brent Recorded in the UK, Canada and Australia! A truly international production! References and links: Alan Silvestri interview: https://cnmsarchive.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/alan-silvestri-from-romances-to-predators/ 100 Things I do: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmtcum1LsGJN55l9yLkvA8g David Andrew Brent: http://davidandrewbrent.com/#/ Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
The Linn LM-1: The Drum Machine that changed everything
This is the story of the Linn LM-1, the world's first ever digital drum machine. Iconic and incredibly rare, you're unlikely to ever see one (only 500 ever made). One was on sale and the owner was generous enough to let me test it and film it briefly before it went. Here's a link to the samples recorded from it: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6lbofq90s54ni1v/Linn%20LM-1.zip?dl=0 Some credits: Many synth posters and images taken from this amazing archive: http://retrosynthads.blogspot.com/ It transpires that the PAIA image I downloaded that appears for a few seconds was not (as I thought) manufacturers publicity material but actually scanned from a recent Joe Mansfield book "Beat Box". Apologies to Joe. The book is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beat-Box-Drum-Machine-Obsession/dp/0989712206 Rhythmicon audio sampled from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkodVcuPVAo EKO ComputerRhythm audio sampled from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSNtRDsTuGw&t=89s Rhythm Ace audio sampled from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCsI5If3H1E Chamberlin Rhythmate rhythms from this library: https://optigan.com/shoptigan/soundware/optigan-orchestron-talentmaker-the-optical-toolkit/ Roland CR-78 samples from this library: https://samplesfrommars.com/products/cr-78-samples LinnDrum and Linn 9000 samples from here: http://beatmachine.co.uk/ Some info and images from here: http://www.rogerlinndesign.com/past-products-museum.html All other music composed and recorded by Alex Ball ////////////////////////////////// If you enjoyed this and want to support me, please check out my album: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/filibuster/1362218288 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3CD4wUQoWyyp97wGvr46GA? Amazon Music: http://amzn.eu/gVXjtJL Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/music/album?id=Bdiwqnbb6e2yjr3gnwavh45eybe Napster: https://us.napster.com/artist/alex-ball/album/filibuster Follow me here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexBallMusic/ SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/alex-ball-1 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexballmusic/?hl=en
The History of the Prophet Synthesizer
One of the most interesting stories of the synth world is that of Dave Smith and Sequential Circuits. I decided to try to tell some of it via their flagship series, from the Prophet 5 in 1978 to the Prophet X in 2018. With the help of a dozen other people who were incredibly generous and equally excited by their instruments, this film is the result: The History of the Prophet Synthesizer. Massive and heart-felt thanks to all of these awesome Prophet people, this film would be very short without you! // Prophet 5 (rev 3) and Minimoog Model D performed and recorded by Alex Ball at Curve Pusher Studios. http://www.curvepusher.co.uk/ Prophet 10 performed and recorded by Mike TC at 100 Things I do at MESS, Melbourne. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmtcum1LsGJN55l9yLkvA8g Prophet 10 rev 1 (only 2 of these have survived!) images provided by David Kean at Audities Studio https://www.audities.org/ Additional Prophet 10 images provided by Mathew Watson at MESS, Melbourne. https://mess.foundation/ Pro-One performed and recorded by Alex Ball. Prophet 600 performed and recorded by JP Geersing https://jpgeersing.nl/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnoZoLZDjPo Prophet T8 performed by Alex Ball. Massive thanks to the owner! Prophet 2000 performed and recorded by Pulsophonic https://www.youtube.com/user/Pulsophonic http://www.pulsophonic.com/ Prophet VS performed and recorded by Marko Ettlich at Retrosound http://www.retrosound.de/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCerrGpJq4S03omaDFIHittg Prophet 3000, VS and Studio 400 images provided by Synth Electro http://synthelectro-fr.blogspot.com/ DSi Tetra provided by Dave Grant Prophet 08 performed and recorded by Patrick Gill http://www.patrickgillmusic.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/PatrickGillMusic Prophet 12 performed and recorded by Pulsophonic https://www.youtube.com/user/Pulsophonic http://www.pulsophonic.com/ Prophet REV2 performed and recorded by Alex Ball Prophet 6 performed and recorded by Mike TC (100 Things I Do) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmtcum1LsGJN55l9yLkvA8g Prophet X performed by Alex Ball and recorded by Pendle Poucher. Huge thanks to the owner. http://dulcitone1884.virb.com/sound-dust // David Abernethy’s absolute bible on the subject: “The Prophet from Silicon Valley”: https://www.amazon.com/Prophet-Silicon-Valley-Complete-Sequential/dp/1512198323 Prophet 10 / Terminator time signature article: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2014/02/the_time_signature_of_the_terminator_score_is_a_mystery_for_the_ages.html External image credits: All print ads from the incredible Retro Synth Ads archive: http://retrosynthads.blogspot.com/search/label/sequential%20circuits Dave Smith 1977 image: https://www.matrixsynth.com/2012/07/dave-smith-instruments-job-openning.html Model 600 image: https://www.matrixsynth.com/2014/09/sequential-circuits-first-product-model.html Dave Smith late 70s: https://flashbak.com/hail-synthesizer-electronics-whiz-kids-gave-1980s-signature-sound-395152/dave-smith-synth/ Dave Smith Grammy image: https://www.sequential.com/about/ Model 700 programmer image: http://www.troperecordings.de/gear/sequential-circuits-model-700-programmer#.W7HrKmhKiUk More model 700 images if you’re interested: https://www.matrixsynth.com/2015/12/vintage-1979-sequential-circuits-model.html SSM schematic images: http://www.synthfool.com/docs/Other_Misc/SSM_Chips/ EMU history website: http://www.creative.com/emu/company/history/ NAMM 1983 image: http://www.gearjunkies.com/2012/12/dave-smith-and-ikutaro-kakehashi-will-receive-a-technical-grammy-for-midi/ Prophet 2000 "coke can" photo conceived by Paul Gilby and taken by Mark Ewing. It originally appeared in a 1985 edition of Sound on Sound. https://soundonsound.com Prophet 3000 screen shots: http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/sequential-prophet-3000/2536 Korg M1 image: http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/the-prophet-and-the-rising-sun/471 Sequential rebrand: https://www.sequential.com/2018/08/dsi-now-sequential/ // I'm also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexBallMusic/ I'm also on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexballmusic/ Photos that accompany this film are here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/AlexBallMusic/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2188909788101412