Thursday, 14 June 2012

Navs Live with modded TR-505

It's that time of year again: I'll be setting up the modular in a mate's allotment garden as part of the 48 Stunden Neukölln arts festival this Saturday, June 16th. I'll be playing live from around 15:00 at garden 20, Hand in Hand Kolonie, Rütlistrasse 8, 12045 Berlin.

I tend to do atmospheric sounds as they suit the environment. Patching drums for rhythmic pieces is module-intensive. Last year, I was lucky to be accompanied by Tom from Schneidersbuero on modular beats. This year, I want to keep the set simple, so wondered if there was another solution.

I found the answer at the burnkit2600 site, modding my old TR-505 to give me two analogue triggers from this decidedly digital drum machine. The 505 is one of the first pieces of kit I bought in the 80's. I'm not particularly fond of it's sound, but it has sentimental value, so I didn't want to wreck the Roland. Fortunately, the mod is very simple.

Here's my first quick jam, post soldering and drilling:

It's still a 505, but lots of fun. When patched, the mod seems to cut/ mute the instrument from the main mix (buffering didn't seem to help), so I chose to use sounds I could live without. Of course, you could make this a feature, adding 'kill' switches if you choose to mod yours.

This year's 48 Stunden Neukölln set could be a little more techno than usual - if you're in town, do pop in to say hello!

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