▶ The epic SolarWinds hack affecting thousands of government agencies and companies could mark the beginning of the end of the open internet.
▶ “Central to Can’s sound was Irmin Schmidt’s custom‑built, one‑off effects processor, which he named the Alpha 77, using it to treat the outputs of his Farfisa Organ Professional and Farfisa Electric Piano, the constants of his setup with the band throughout the ’70s. Jono Podmore remembers digging out the long‑unused Alpha 77 from Schmidt’s cellar just over a decade ago. “It was designed for the band when they were touring so much,” he says, “so it was sort of part of the PA system, and it weighs an absolute ton. It’s a set of modules in a box, basically: ring modulator, tape delay, spring reverb, chorus, pitch‑shifter, high‑ and low‑pass filters, resonant filters and a weird, pitch harmonic shifter thing. There’s two inputs and two outputs, all with the wrong sex XLRs, which foxed me for a couple of hours. The whole lot basically goes to a row of two‑pole switches, then there’s this bunch of switches in a little mixer where you could effect the individual organ and piano signal paths.
“The Alpha 77 was designed to my wishes,” says Schmidt. “It was built by this electronic engineer who made extremely complicated stuff for cardiology hospitals. The idea of it was that it was giving me the facility to be spontaneous. In the early ’70s, with synthesizers, you had to fiddle around until you found the sound. I wanted something where I could just, with one switch, alter the sound of the organ or the piano. So I could go through one line for the organ, one line for the piano, and then for instance, with one switch I could take the organ and ring modulate it. And that was what made the sound so special.”
▶ great chat with Thomas Newman on the TEAM DEAKINS podcast – I lol’d when he described post production as “the death of hope”
▶ How I Play Live: Nils Frahm breaks down his tech setup and approach to performance “there’s nothing like turning something with your hand and modulating by hand.”
▶ vertigo trigger warning