Information on East Cork Local Election Candidates

In alphabetical order. And OK, it’s not purely information, there is some opinion here. You can probably guess from the links the ones I really don’t like 🙂

Buckley, Pat (SF) 404 page not found, had some drinking related troubles.
Bullman, Paddy (Ind) No web presence, leaflet here.
Collins, Noel (Ind) Midleton Town council (now being abolished) hoping to get on county council. No web presence.
Halloran, Wayne (Ind) Anti pylon, no web presence.
Harty, Natasha (GP) Good info on her page.
Hegarty, Michael (FG) Drink Driving case
Hennessy, Michelle (SF)
Linehan Foley, Mary (Ind) Kicked out of FF.
McCarthy, Susan (FG) Says she’s a teacher (among other things) on her Facebook, but no mention of that on her leaflet. Not much actual info on FB page.
Murray, Aisling (Ind) No web presence. Leaflet here.
Murray, Barbara (FG) FG branch chairperson, Mayor of county. No web presence apart from mention on David Stanton’s website.
Nolan, Eric (Lab)
O’Neill, Niall (FF) No web presence- empty page on FF website! Couldn’t be bothered linking to a leaflet., DIY.
O’Sullivan, Aaron (FF) Same empty page as above. Leaflet here. Don’t consider voting for him unless you’ve met him…

New Kontakt sample pack: Revolution Synths

This new pack consists of the classic sounds from the classic digital synthesizer used by Jean Michel Jarre on his 1988 album Revolutions. Over 1.4GB* of 24 bit sounds, perfectly mapped and looped in Kontakt for you to play, just like the original keyboard.

Creating this demo was interesting. Listening closely to the original, I realised that it is most likely sequenced. The left hand/ bass part is a very very consistent 1/8th note loop with an accent on the 1. The notes are exactly an 1/8th in length as well, which works fine if you stick to the DCA envelope times on the original synth. There seems to be a slightly longer note length on every second beat 4. The right hand velocity doesn’t vary at all, there are no accents except for the fourth “chord” which is only two notes- the top note is programmed louder so it fits in with the other 3 note chords. There is a little bit of phaser mixed in, and the reverb sounds like the short, bright ambience programme typical of the AMS RMX16.

So the above demo is exactly what you’d get from the synth itself, without any “mixing”.

List of patches:

Analog Chop
Grittar 2 Lower, Grittar 2 Upper (Layered as Main Lead)
Gurgel Strings
Jete Strings
Kokubo Strings
Machine Run
Marshy Zone
Motor Orchestra
Ocean Scenario
Octave Synth Bass
Orchester Philamon
Synth Bass 42
Yamatano Orochi

Click here to purchase.
Kontakt compressed format makes a 960MB download

Rain Tree Crow

Sylvian-1 Rain-2
This was the name used by the band Japan back in 1990 when Virgin Records gave them a million to reform. For various reason it didn’t work out, but they produced some amazing music. I recently scanned two articles from the May 1991 editon of Music Technology magazine. There’s an interview with Sylvian, and a separate interview with the rest of the band (Karn, Jansen and Barbieri).

This is the first time these have been published on the web as far as I know. You can read for yourself why things didn’t work out! A must for all Japan fans.



Enough Bono bashing please

There’s a book out criticising Bono, written by one Harry Browne. I haven’t read it. Apparently sales are abysmal. But I’ve read the articles by those caviar socialists Monbiot and Eagleton. Then there is the (as always) brilliant interview work by Gay Byrne (it’s an hour but it’s worth it).


Bono is like the court jester, because he can get away with criticising the “king”. Remember his messing around with Pope John Paul? There’s all the laughing and joking with Bush, but he got stuff done that otherwise would not have happened. Yes Bono’s not the brightest, but he, basically, gives away a lot of money. He supports around 30 charities by himself, the band support a bunch more. And U2 have given away a large chunk of money for music education in Ireland.

Monbiot is babbling about how Bono is stealing the limelight from “real” Africans with “real” problems- but he didn’t provide any evidence of that, despite writing a lovely “academicky” article, with references and all, attacking Bono. I’ve searched around and found only scam “African” charities, I wonder If Monbiot is ignoring those? I’m open to correction on that one though.

The Eagleton article, and Browne’s book too, is a hack job in my opinion. Let’s go through it:

1. Eagleton makes the assumption that being a christian implies a lack of style. As Bono describes in the recent Gay Byrne interview, their street gang dressed as OTT punks before they joined the prayer group, though it did become an issue afterwards.

2. Eagleton’s comment about “the postmodern decline of politics into spectacle” is just stupid. C’mon, look at any newspaper from the 19th century, early political campaigns, or early Punch.

3. Another assumption- “why Bono is both maverick and conservative.” Bono explains that one in the interview, when he talks about including the left and the right in his activism. Basically he uses his fame to get people in power to commit to things they might not do otherwise. He gets them to do good instead of confronting them and getting nothing.

4. Eagleton cherry picks from Viz, a magazine of vastly greater wit than his own- their hilarious description of Bono “”the little twat with the big heart”.

5. “If Bono really knew the history of his own people, he would be aware that the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s was not the result of a food shortage”. Bono has often said that it is corruption that is the problem (again, see Gay Byrne interview) and that is the case with the famine. I don’t know if that’s in the book or if Eagleton made that one up as well.

Everyone is failing to understand the function of tax. Again, Bono answers that question in the Gay Byrne interview, where he points out that Ireland has a tax system designed to attract foreign investment. He also points out that U2 is a business (the implication being that they employ people and need to stay in business). Furthermore if the writers did their research they would be aware that it is only the publishing arm that is based in Holland. All of U2’s other business is based in Ireland. However copyright and tax is a complicated business and is possibly beyond his comprehension. Not surprisingly it’s beyond Joan Burton as well. The fact is that prior to the capping of the Artist’s Tax Exemption scheme, U2 were not taxed on earnings from publishing. I would imagine that in order to maintain the business and to keep Irish people employed, they decided to be tax efficient.

Bono might be annoying. But he is a genuine christian.

Fairlight sounds

Over on the Sound On Sound Forum there was an investigation into some of the sounds on Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love album. Poster desmond managed to figure it all out. So I dug in myself and did a few tests with Fairlight sounds, adding the Linn 9000 drums that desmond was unable to nail:

Under Ice

Watching you without me

Running Up That Hill (A deal with God)

Two 1982 Quantec QRS units (as used by Kate Bush) and the 1987 QRS/XL.

Except for Watching you without me all of the sounds in these tracks were achieved by processing simple single note samples of a cello, specifically Cello 1 and Cello 2 from the Fairlight IIx library. The wonderful airy droning sounds are created by playing a chord into a reverb set to infinite decay. It appears that Ms. Bush used the Quantec Room Simulator for this. Mike Oldfield used this machine for the same effect on his Crises album, as well as the Fairlight.

I haven’t got the chord progression quite right on Running Up That Hill, but it’s sufficient to see how the sounds were put together. What amazes me is that, dry, this pitch modulated Fairlight cello sounds unusable. Goes to show what a creative lady she is.

Kate with her Fairlight

Going Under

Here’s a track from our forthcoming album. The song celebrates the heroes of Chernobyl.

After the explosion it was determined that all the water that was being dumped into the reactor area to quench the fires was in fact pooling in rooms below the now molten reactor core. If the core melted into the chambers below the steam explosion would kill everyone on site, and render an area of hundreds of miles around completely uninhabitable from fallout. The radiation within the buildings was immense.

Three divers volunteered: Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bezpalov, and Boris Baranov. Their light failed almost immediately, and they were forced to procede underwater, through the dark. The sluice gates opened some time later, and the water was drained. The men never left the lower chambers, and were entombed when the Sarcophagus was built around the site.

Fun with synths

First, the Roland V-Synth. Totally unique abilities, and intuitive to use:

The V-Synth does an exact replica of the Roland D-50, an early sample playback synth with some bizarre but useful compromises. Classic sounds:

Then the Kawai K5. Additive synth, interesting in theory but in reality not productive. Some good sounds though:

The K1r, another severely compromised sample playback machine. The poor man’s D-50. But again, the compromises are musically useful:

And finally, the Korg EX-800, a strangely compromised analogue subtractive synth:

In theory, the V-Synth can make any sound that the others can make. But the peculiar design compromises that were made in order to get these synths into the market place, can lead you down some interesting avenues in the quest for new sounds.