“This is my imagining of what circa ’98 era minimal tech step drum ‘n bass may have sounded like had it been invented before modern samplers and digital synths / fx.
All the sound is being generated live, coming straight from the main mixer in the middle, with no multitracking. Sequenced by 3 vintage hardware sequencers, the Yamaha QX-1, Roland MC-4 and Roland MC-8 locked together by tape-sync.
List of the main gear used :
Roland MC-8, Roland MC-4, Yamaha QX-1
Roland System 100 (Drums), Moog series 900 (pads), Roland System 700 (Basses), Arp 2500 system, Buchla 100 series.
Other Synths :
Korg MS-20, Roland System 100 standalone synth.
Roland Space Echo RE-501 (tape delay, chorus, spring reverb), Roland DC-30 (analog chorus-echo), Roland Dimension-D Analog Chorus.
“If you’re interested, the system 100 is doing all the drums, the moog is doing the atmospheric pad chords (as heard from the very beginning), the ARP is doing the stabs which are heard from very near the beginning, the system 700 is doing both the deep sub bass growls, and also the big ominous stabs in the middle build-up section (the MS-20 is just acting as a distortion unit for those), the system 100 standalone synth is doing the reese sound (as heard in the last bar before the drop), and the Buchla is doing all the main theme sounds which you can see if you look closely at the Buchla sequencer’s timing lights during the main part.
The MC-4 is sequencing the drums and the reese, the MC-8 is sequencing the Moog and 700, and the QX-1 is sequencing the Buchla and Arp.
The whole project took almost 2 weeks, but nearly half of that was spent getting all the gear set up, synced up, talking to eachother nicely etc. Each day quite a bit of time was spent re-tweaking the sounds after the synths cooled down overnight, also the MC-4 program takes about 15 minutes just to load, (30 minutes to save including verify) and on top of that, the MC-8 refused to save at all, so I had to organise it so I could do all of the MC-8 programming and recording in one day. Next time it should take less time, since now I’ve got the setup all figured out.”