The latest limited edition sound instrument animal has been born, and it’s a sampler delay … thing.
Daedelus, the California producer who first popularized the monome, is teaming up with John-Mike Reed aka Dr. Bleep of Bleep Labs (designed in Austin, Texas and produced in America) to invent the Delaydelus. (Say that ten times fast.) Listen to Alfred’s spacey, trippy voiceover intro in the teaser video below, or stick around for the later videos in order to learn how it actually works.
This being an “artist” edition hardware, there are some Daedelus-designed sounds to get you started. After that, you get one minute-plus sample memory at 12-bit, 30kHz, and a 1-second delay for adding effects. (Nicely enough, you don’t have to overwrite the default bank when you add your sounds.)
That’s not so terribly interesting on its own, though it does come with some nice knobs and pads. Where this gets interesting is the patch bay, which provides long screws you can use as terminals, patching via cables with alligator clips. That lets you combine samples. The other modes add some options, too: with an external source, it’s just a delay, and you could use the sampling facility for triggering and modulation as well as the optional feedback. USB is unfortunately not included, so shell out US$25 more to get MIDI control and USB via an adapter.
It all has the DIY, lo-fi feel of Bleep’s best stuff.
Trek Matthews has also done some beautiful artwork.
Preorders available now, closing July 2. They’ll tailor the run to that preorder, then ship 5-7 weeks afterward.
I spoke with Alfred a bit about the ideas behind this.
Tell us a bit about your sounds?
The sounds included aren’t sourced to be a catch all, they are trying to be interesting percussions or sound effect that could be used apart or in combinations. All from my record collection or original productions (the “Beats” for instance is an isolated vocal from MF DOOM out of a song we did together in 2005), but these are just placeholders for whatever gets dreamed up to get involved. There are 45 seconds of awaiting record time after all.
Is it something you’re using?
I’m tinkering with in studio and live situations. I’d say the same for most of the gear I’ve used over the years. I’m looking forward to taking it around the world, much less seeing how other people run wild with once it’s out there, getting modified and pushed to limits we can’t conceive of.
How did it evolve in the design process with John-Mike?
My first thought was for a humble few samples triggered through an additive delay. John-Mike encouraged to think grander, more featured, and yet also focused on the fun of it, not just the functions. I believe what we came up with does all this quite elegantly, except the title, that’s pure silly.
How do you imagine it’ll be used by other folks?
I’ve seen what people can do from very little. Smidge of electronics, buttons, batteries, and mostly curiosity. The Delayelus has more than a smidge, it’s a lot there if you start messing with all new samples and the interesting AM modulation options, retrigs by external impulses if so inclined, or even swim into its code. Or boldly do nothing but patch it up on the fly and button mash, that’s quite gratifying as well. I’m excited in the end because I don’t know what this will output. So much of what I do as a musician is constructed; album’s released are fixed objects, to be heard but hardly touched more. The Delaydelus is a different noise making and I’m thrilled.
Thanks, Alfred (and John-Mike). I really like that there are some creative possibilities here. This isn’t a Korg box or a stomp pedal – it really does seem an interesting limited edition, something idiosyncratic in a nice way. I hope it finds some homes.
Here’s some lovely, dreamy music from Alfred, released in September on Brainfeeder.