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

Master’s thesis about a new multitouch sequencer and classification of instruments

“… Seq1 is an aleatoric music sequencer aimed for soundscape creation and live performance. (Väisänen & Jauhiainen, 2010, p. 1) It intends to address problems with certain attributes of aforementioned instruments. Inspiration for the design came from such software based musical instruments as the reacTable which has been used by contemporary musical artists in their live performances. reacTable and recent musical instruments like it are based on large multitouch screens…”

Read the rest here if you will. The history bit might be interesting at least:


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.


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.


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.