Thursday, 13 October 2016

Dave Formula is currently selling his ARP Odyssey MK1 White Face Synthesiser.

Dave Formula is currently selling his ARP Odyssey MK1 White Face Synthesiser.

This instrument is a fantastic opportunity for a fan and collector or a musician to acquire a piece of music history.

Dave has advertised it as follows;

I played this Odyssey on all the original Magazine albums & singles, the Visage hits/albums and on many other record sessions, including my next album; plus many European, North American, Southern Hemisphere tours, and related radio and TV shows. 

I bought the synth in 1975 from the original owner in Lancashire. He'd lost the owner's manual but still had all the programming overlay sheets, including several of the blanks for owner/custom programmes. These will be included in the sale as well as the flight case shown in one of the photographs. This rare, white face version was the first of the original series that were only produced for two years.

One of the overlays has two hand marked Odyssey set-ups created by Joy Division producer, Martin Hannett. I recreated and ran these sample & hold programmes at a memorial gig for Martin, in Manchester, two years ago - It's as close as you can get to being there when he created them. We shared a flat in Didsbury in 1978/9 and kept all our joint gear set up in the spare bedroom.

This synth got Martin into ARP's, after numerous all-night sessions of playing with it and is where he not only came up with his original S&H patterns on the included overlay sheet*, but also the white noise, trademark snare hits he used on many Joy Division & other tracks he produced, including the re-recorded Magazine track, The Light Pours Out Of Me in 1979. 

* I've just added a photo of the included overlay sheet with the two sample & hold patterns that Martin Hannett came up with at our flat in Didsbury. 

  1. Incomprehensible Boogie
  2. Broken Cold Tap Toe Five

It is a unique, slightly unsettling, but ultimately very special experience to re-programme these two sounds from Martin's hand-written notes and hear just what he came up with all those years ago.

In 1987 I had the Kenton midi kit fitted, which was by far the best conversion at the time - it cost over £500 and still works very well. 

It is in great playing condition, considering the age and amount of use I've had from the Odyssey. There are, unsurprisingly, various scratches and scrapes, mostly on the back, but I had the synth completely restored, including replacing the key beds, sliders and all necessary electrical components by Andy Robins in Manchester. 

Andy is the man who built my custom Prodyssey for the Magazine reunion tour in 2009 and has wide experience building and restoring various other original and custom synths, including building an amazing ARP 2600. He did a brilliant job on the Odyssey - it sounds and plays like a dream. The oscillators sound perfect and the tuning is very stable. 

I never imagined I'd ever even consider selling this most, for me, inspiring instrument I've ever played, however the new studio development I've wanted to build for years is costing far more than ever expected - not such a surprise really - so that's the reason it's here, as I didn't really want to go down the crowdfunding route. 

This is a real opportunity for the right enthusiast/player/composer of both the ARP Odyssey and of the many influential and often ground-breaking records it has appeared on, so it can only become more valuable and sought after every coming year: Similar models, in America, without any provenance are often on sale for upwards of £3,000. Whoever buys the Odyssey can, if they wish, collect in person and I will spend some time showing them how I set it up some of my main sounds for various Magazine and Visage tracks. 

I've included a number of video links demonstrating the Odyssey - including Magazine playing the German TV show Rockpalast, which shows what I used to get from it live. - Rockpalast Floorboards

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Dave Formula's - Roland Juno-106. Classic 1980's Analogue Synthesiser

Dave is selling his Roland Juno-106. Classic 1980's Analogue Synthesiser.  This is what he has to say about this fantastic instrument;

This has been in my collection since I bought it in 1985 - released in 1984, it's one of Roland's best analogue/digitally controlled synths.

It's got an absolutely stunning range of sound variations - which never, ever fail to produce the goods.
From the most funky bass lines and wah-type chords, through dream-like and epic pads, brilliant attacking or mellow strings, weird, very weird sound FX and that's just the start. This is a versatile, pro keyboard that sounds better as time goes on.

'The Juno-106 is one of the most loved and used synthesizers by professionals and hobbyists alike! William Ørbit, Überzone, Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), Autechre, BT, Vince Clarke, Moby, 808 State, Underworld, Leftfield, Fluke, Josh Wink, Todd Terry, Depeche Mode, Eat Static, Biosphere, The Prodigy, The Shamen, Bushflange, Cirrus, Astral Projection, Apollo 440, Faithless, Union Jack, Computer Controlled, Pet Shop Boys, Sneaker Pimps, Erasure, Freddy Fresh, Rabbit in the Moon, Kevin Saunderson, Jimmy Edgar, Laurent Garnier, Vangelis, Sigur Ros, and the Chemical Brothers have used this synth'.

Only ever used in studios, it's in very good condition - both cosmetically, operationally and internally. All the original chips are in place so it all sounds exactly as it should, unlike some other current examples on sale.

It has just been fully serviced with two control sliders and the pitch bend wheel being replaced with Roland parts.

This has got to be one of the best Juno-106's available, as it's got both the circuit originality as well as the enviable cosmetic condition. 

As it's not at a fixed price - with no reserve - it's the best Juno -106 on offer now.

Dave Formula's Yamaha SS30 String Synthesiser - Has a unique & collectable provenance

Dave Formula’s - Yamaha SS30 String Synthesiser.

Dave describes the Synth as follows;

The SS30 was renowned as one of the most sophisticated of the 1970's string machines and the selling price at the time reflected this. It wasn't produced in large numbers and therefore has something of a cult following among collectors and connoisseurs of this period.

It is a remarkably versatile string machine, as the recorded examples below will demonstrate, with the ability to transform a track, when used as a full section, or as individual instruments: the cellos are particularly effective, solo, when used in staccato fashion. All in all, it records beautifully!

I've had this keyboard since late 1978, and as the photos show, it's in very good shape. I've just got it back from a thorough inspection and service and it's working as well as the day I bought it.

Although I toured extensively, the keyboard was expertly cared for by my keyboard tech throughout that period.

This would be perfect for both the player who wants to utilise the sounds of this unique instrument and/or a collector who 
would appreciate the increasing value of this vintage, investment classic.

I used the SS30 on a range of hit albums and singles by Visage and Magazine, including;

Visage - SS30 used throughout

The Anvil - SS30 used throughout


Secondhand Daylight - listen to the SS30 cello patch on The Thin Air(around 23mins) as well as the rest of the string sounds on the other tracks.

The Correct Use Of Soap - SS30 used throughout

Magic Murder and The Weather - SS30 used throughout

I also used the this Yamaha SS30 on Magazine's reunion tour in 2009, both on the live dates as well as TV shows, Later with Jools Holland and the BBC Electric Proms.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Spiral Scratch 2012

As a fan and collector, you're always on the lookout for archive material that is undiscovered, especially demo's, video footage, photographs etc.

But every so often you find a more recent item, yet one that is equally as exciting to find and the following photograph by Rick Henry is one such item.

The photo of Howard Devoto, Steve Diggle, John Maher and Pete Shelley from 2012 really blew me away and I'm really very grateful to Rick who has kindly allowed me to share this on my blog.

It's one of those photo's I wish I'd taken myself.

Brilliant picture.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Flanger settings for John McGeoch doing Permafrost.

Hand written Permafrost lyrics and Settings (Manual, Depth, Speed and Regen for John McGeoch's MXR M-117 flanger as featured at the Official Magazine Facebook Site HERE.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Howard and Dave - Melbourne Australia 1980

My utmost thanks to Bruce Butler over in Melbourne Australia for allowing me to use his photo's of Howard and Howard with Dave from the Magazine Melbourne show 1980.  This is the gig 'Play' was taken from.