Author Topic: Battery operated sound generators?  (Read 1302 times)

Kaarinen

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Battery operated sound generators?
« on: November 20, 2010, 01:40:33 PM »
Hi,

With laptops and even modern cell phones being able to do just about anything imaginable soundwise, I'm personally getting more and more interested in really simple gear. Like monophonic synthesizers with only a few knobs to turn that you're able to carry around (like, for example, this one: http://www.noiseguide.com/product_info/bugbrand_audio_weevil). There's a lot of neat stuff out there but what I'm really looking for is gear that a) runs on regular batteries (meaning I don't have to have external power for it) and b) in the best scenario, has some sort of speaker of its own.

One reason for this is that I got really excited over the idea of having small improvisation gatherings, with 3-5 people singing, chanting, playing some bells and whistles - but with some additional electronic touch to it all. There's plenty of great, even inexpensive acoustic instruments to choose from but some gritty electronics would be just great alongside them.

The idea hit me one day when I bumped into this old tunnel, in the middle of a nice forest nearby. The place has a pleasant (if a bit bassy) acoustic feeling, theres the constant sound of water dropping from the ceiling into a big puddle (if it has been raining lately) and it's quite nicely shielded from outside noise. The place is big enough to make you forget your real surroundings, to have your imagination and inspiration work more effectively. I spent some time recording the clichéd water drop sounds and realised I could sing and hum a simple melody to make things more interesting. This simple thing felt and sounded surprisingly inspiring. Now, to have a few more people singing, making simple use of some instruments... That would really work in this tunnel and there's of course dozens of other places to be found. Sound improvisation with ambience and slow, harmonic motion in mind sounds like the second most interesting thing to do with a group of people, I can think of right now.

So, back to the actual question, can you recommend any interesting synths/sound boxes/other electronic instruments you think might suit a situation, where you don't want to carry big gear or there's no electricity :)? Thanks in advance for all ideas!

Best,
Kaarinen

Scott M2

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Re: Battery operated sound generators?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2010, 02:01:50 PM »
The Korg Monotron is probably the kind of thing you're looking for:
http://www.korg.com/Product.aspx?pd=571



An iPhone or iPad with a synth app would probably fit the bill too.
Korg (again) has an iMS-20 app http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/korg-ims-20/id401142966?mt=8
and an iELECTRIBE app http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/korg-ielectribe/id363714043?mt=8
available now adn other companies make cool synthy apps.


modulator_esp

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Re: Battery operated sound generators?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2010, 06:36:39 PM »
i like battery operated stuff, and often record loop/drone improvs out in the wild
some of my faves
with speakers
bleep labs thingamagoop 2 noise box
casio pt-82 simple analog preset keyboard
yamaha cs-01 analog synth
yamaha pss-380 editable fm synth
yamaha vss-30 sampler
without speakers
chimera bc16 controlled by yamaha cbx-k1
ipod touch used for apps and loading sounds into vss-30
korg kaossillator
korg microkorg
and if you need speakers try the roland mobile cube
i usually run stuff through a monotron for filtering, pandora for fx and boss dd-20 for looping, if using more than one thing at once i use an edirol m-10mx mixer

Kaarinen

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Re: Battery operated sound generators?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2010, 02:29:23 PM »
Hi,

The Monotron looks simple enough and if I owned iPad, there'd be good stuff to choose from. And thank you for the listing, modulator_esp! The mobile cube seems like an affordable choice for a speaker for these kinds of things. I've had fun looking into some of those you mentioned by watching youtube videos of the instruments in action :). The downside is, that you really start to want all those things (and more)... In a way, in addition to the Kaossilator, the Kaoss pad mini might also be a fun toy to play with, combined with some good sound source(s) to sample from.

Thanks again to the both of you,
Kaarinen