Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mick Chillage "Early MC303 Tracks" Out Now!!!

From the early nineties I dreamed of producing my own electronic music after hearing that acts like LFO, Orbital etc had produced much of their work from small bedroom studios. After much investigation in to the equipment they used, I realised that it would not be so cheap to obtain the equipment needed, at this time analogue synths were still the only way to create these sounds as digital synthesis seemed to be for experienced programmers.

It wasn’t until the mid 90’s that a new breed of digital kit started to emerge, gone were the unfathomable interfaces of the DX7 and the mega expensive sampling workstations like the Fairlight. Companies like Roland started to realise that musicians wanted the ease of use that analogue kit gave, plenty of knobs for instant real-time manipulation and control.

One piece of kit caught my eye, The Roland MC303, my understanding at the time was that this machine was part bass line emulator of Roland’s classic TB303 acid box and their famous 909 and 808 drum machines. The price seemed reasonable, I thought great! I can learn how to program drums and play basslines etc and eventually progress to another synth for more sounds but when I got it home I discovered it had much more, Piano’s, Strings, Pads, Leads, FX and an eight track sequencer!!

Out of the box and with a few days of getting to grips with its basics the MC303 was an instant dance music machine with some obvious trance/dance preset sounds and sequences, but if you dug a little deeper and avoided the presets other styles were possible.

Listening back I still get that sense of creative innocence within the compositions and production, maybe that was due to the MC303's limitations or my new found artistic endeavours? but I feel I its appropriate to pay respect to the little grey box that paved the way for many more budding producers in the mid to late nineties.

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