Welcome to Failed Muso
Down in the park with a friend called Five...
  • hsworkings
    Steven Howell aka Hollow Sun

    Just over four months ago, my dear friend and mentor, Steve Howell, passed away. I still can’t believe it. Steve was, for me, a great inspiration. Someone with whom I shared so much, be it our sense of humour or our love of music and, in particular, synths. Our friendship was one of mutual respect […]

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  • sound
    The Distortion of Sound

    This is, almost certainly, a very clever and subtle advert for Harman products that will drive you to seek out their solutions rather than batter you around the head with them. It also fails to mention production and mastering techniques that further add to making much of today’s music a sonic mush. However, many a […]

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  • ITP teaser ad black
    Inside The Pleasuredome

    There is no mistaking, especially if you follow this blog, that 2014 is choc full of anniversaries. Is there something about the fourth year of a decade that spawns greatness and controversy? I’m sure the Archduke Franz Ferdinand would say so, particularly as today, as I write this, is the 100th anniversary of him swallowing […]

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  • 2014-05-20 19.14.07-1
    Ian Stanley’s Beard Scratchings

    Apologies for the title, especially to Ian, if by some chance he is following the progress of my restoration of his old Fairlight, but all is explained in the video below, which I shot the other day as I began work on restoring the music keyboard of the Series III CMI that I have here. […]

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  • Keyboard Case
    Fairlight Re-installed!

    I know, I know!! It’s been ages since any kind of update on the Fairlight restoration. I have good reason, having recently moved house. That whole process takes time (and money) and today I finally managed to open up the flight cases and bring the beast upstairs to my new studio. So, it’s in my […]

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  • update51013
    CMI Restoration – Quick Update

    Well, it’s all gone a bit quiet on the Fairlight restoration front, so I just wanted to give you a brief update, for those that are curious. Basically, as I detailed earlier, we discovered that the mainframe was suffering from some stability issues in as much as it would intermittently boot up, and at other […]

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  • Re-TronFull
    Reason Song Challenge 6 – Re-Tron – The Winners!

    Well, not one to keep you guys waiting, Dave & Chris have been hard at it since Sunday afternoon and I now have the results. Also, I have some words from Chris & Dave that they would like me to share, plus personal critiques from the guys on each and every one of the entries!! […]

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  • Song Challenge
    Reason Song Challenge 6 – Re-Tron

    Blimey! It’s been a while since we did one of these, eh?? Ok, so let’s do this. Now we are in the world of Rack Extensions, it makes absolute sense to base this challenge on one of them, especially as the Try & Buy option means everyone can participate. And given my association with GForce, […]

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  • Song Challenge
    Song Challenges – Challenge 5: Synth Nation – WINNERS!

    Sooooooooooo…. It’s been a while! But we made it! This morning I received a mail from our judge, Marc Doty, informing me of his winner and giving me feedback on every single one of the entries. So, let’s get right to the point here and announce our winner…. Ladies and Gentlemen, the winner of the […]

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  • ZTTCover
    My review of Blank & Jones ZTT Reconstruction Project

    Oh my, I’ve been published again, darlings! My track-by-track review of Blank & Jones “So80s Presents ZTT” album, is now available over at the wonderful Super Deluxe Edition website. Big thanks to Paul at SDE for the commission. It’s nice to know other people want my ramblings every now and again http://www.superdeluxeedition.com/reviews/so80s-presents-ztt-review/

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    Reloop RP1000M Turntable Review

    I’ve been rediscovering my love of vinyl over the last few months, and I finally updated one of my turntables to something more modern and user friendly. German DJ company Reloop do a range of decks that suit both DJ and home use, and I picked up their entry-level model, the RP1000M, from the superb […]

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    Hurl Defiance At The Stars…

    I need to preface this piece by outlining what Adam Ant means to me. Far from being an obsessive fan into my forties, there were 5 years of my life, between 1979 and 1984, when Adam was the absolute centre of my universe. I wanted to look like him. I wanted to sing like him. […]

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  • featuredmello
    UVI release Mello, free for a limited time!

    Three of my favourite words. UVI FREE MELLOTRON So when these words can be used together, this makes me happy! A couple of weeks ago, UVI, sample library creators extraordinaire, announced the release of Mello, a compact library based on the legendary Mellotron and designed for use with either their free UVI Workstation or the […]

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  • ipp_snapshot
    UVI IRCAM Prepared Piano Review

    I suppose it has to be said that the piano is a bit of a one trick pony. I mean, it has one sound set whose sounds can only be affected by the velocity with which you strike the keys, and the level of sustain you apply using the pedals. Maybe opening the lid has […]

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  • The-Beast-FM-UVI
    UVI The Beast Review

    I think it’s fair to say that, of all the digital, sampling behemoths of the late 70s and early 80s, the New England Digital Synclavier was probably the biggest, most expensive, most desirable of all. Why? Well, it was, arguably, far superior sonically than its competitors and had a far higher level of specification in […]

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  • hsworkings
    Steve Howell – A Book of Condolences

    It is with a heavy heart and with much sorrow that I have to report the passing of an incredibly dear friend of mine, and of this blog, Steve Howell. Steve was the quiet man behind Hollow Sun, a site that was initially all about sharing his incredible samples of classic synths for free and […]

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