Category Archives: Laboratorio

Under the hood of a DDX 3216

I got one of these for free. I use it as a submixer for a bunch of small noisey boxes and keyboards wihtout MIDI or CV/Gate inputs. The software on this thing is not bad, effects are not that bad but the hardware.. oh my. Most of the time it works but there is for example a tiny, tiny fan on the right side of the unit making a whirring noise. Why not use a bit larger one? This unit heats up you know.

The hot glue used by Behringer for gluing flat cables into place is probably oatmeal. When the VU meters start to light up by themselves it is time to open the hood (it really opens up like the hood of a car) and nudge the flat cables back into their place and maybe apply some better hot glue. Second time I had to do this. Now everything works again, for a while at least.

Behringer DDX 3216 hood open

Akai Tom Cat will not sync properly

A cheap drum machine, not at all bad sounding. Decent on board sequencer and synth toms that you can play chromatically on its own MIDI channel. Howl-knob adds overdrive and distortion to the signal and at maximum will start emitting extra terrestrial audio signals even when not playing. Connect it to a modern DAW and you will not be able to play loops it with though. This is because the Tom Cat will return to the beginning of its own sequencer only when receiving MIDI SONG POSITION POINTER = 0-message which is sent by DAWs (as far as i know) only when you return to the beginning of the song. The Tom Cat will adjust to the tempo of the DAW and start playing at the beginning of the song but if you create a loop in DAW where the Tom Cat should jump back in time it will lose its sync. Only way to get the sync back is by starting from beginning once more. Frustrating but not a deal breaker. Maybe.

Akai Tom Cat

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Kawai XD-5

I’ve been lately scavenging synths from the pleistoscene period at Laboratorio. Bought a Kawai XD-5 drum synthesizer for about 150 Finnish marks (25 eur) in the 90’s and haven’t used it a lot ever since. Read some glowing reviews about it lately and decided to try and make it sound good and oh does it sound good.

xd5outputs

The thing is, it got 8 individual outputs and if you don’t use those and add some post processing it doesn’t sound too good. Also, routing individual sounds from the synth into the outputs is a bit tedious because of an unintuitive routing matrix. You would have to do a lot of work to reroute each sound into a different output but I found a shortcut.

While in KIT mode, press edit a few times and choose OUTPUT PACH: 8 via value slider. This works at least after factory reset; in this setting the drum sounds are routed quite logically (each drum sound type takes over either an individual output or a stereo pair, depends on the type of sound I think). Remember to save often and beware of the filter resonance, it goes up to 11. Little compression, EQ and delay will do wonders.

xd5outputpach

Korg DW-6000 power cord

I was rearranging stuff at Laboratorio and thought about bringing some old synths back into my main setup when I found out I had lost the power cord of DW-6000. It is an uncommon 2-prong one usually associated with manufacturers Sony and Teac. Also works for old Revox tape recorders. Asked around and found out Thomann sells these. Noticed that the ill reviewed Akai Timbre Wolf was on sale so ordered one also. I will report later about how it really sounds.