Movement Systems Drum Machine

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MrFrodo
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Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by MrFrodo » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:28 pm

At the risk of bringing up another redundant topic -

I'm curious how many people on this forum have had the chance to use a Movement Systems Drum Machine (a la Eurythmics). If so, can you comment on its quality and usability compared with the standard production models of the early 80's (Roland, Linn, Oberheim, Sequential Circuits, etc)? It's been described as a rare machine, but I'm wondering if anybody here has had the chance to get their hands on it - if for no other reason than to use it the same way that Dave Stewart used it. ;) ;)
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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by Syn303 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:41 pm

If you can find VSE member Waveterm, he owns a Movement Systems Drum Machine. So you best ask him. PS: Try GS.
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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by waveterm » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:25 pm

and here I am !

What can I say.....yes I have my fair share of Movements at the moment.

I have both the first version MCDU1 and 3x MCS-2´s :o

They are rare as hen´s teeth. Not much info on the Internetz so ask away !

Build quality is far below the Linn´s and the Oberheims. Sound is similar but also very different.

Each channel has an analogue sound ( mostly white noise based sounds and the odd oscillator sweep ). Some ( not all ) has an eprom sample also.

The MCS-2´s are extremely huge and heavy ( ca 20 kilo ) due to the built in screen and heavy transformer.

The MCDU1 needs an external monitorscreen.

Here´s my flickr set on the MCDU1

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28928718@N ... 927095125/

What can I say, I´m slut. :geek:

WT
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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by MrFrodo » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:16 pm

There's nothing wrong with being a gear slut. As long as you take care of it and do make some use of it.

The Movement series sounds like it should've been included in the Vintage Synthesizers chapter "It Came from the Music Industry.," which described a series of instruments which glimpsed the future but just weren't meant to be produced. (Like this piece, several of them didn't make it for superficial reasons, bugs or detailed changes.)
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Rest in peace, Dr. Robert Moog.

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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by waveterm » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:22 pm

:agree:
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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by madtheory » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:33 pm

Wow! Looks great. I have some questions... :)
What does it sound like?
Looks like it allows BASIC programming too?
Is storage on tape only?
Can you burn your own EPROMS?
Is it easy to use?

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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by waveterm » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:48 pm

It sounds like Sweet Dreams/Thompson Twins All Fall Out.

The original Nascom software has Basic yes. As I have no manuals for the Movements I´m not sure you can boot into Basic from the Movement startup.

The MCDU1 has only tape storage but 2 of the MCS-2´s have diskdrives. Unfortunately I have no software on disk so I have modified them to boot from software on Eprom.

I can burn Eproms yes so I have made copies of the onboard sounds.

It is very easy to use once you get the hang of it.

You can even make Invoices on it after the session. Need to figure out how to email them to clients. Lol.

WT
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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by madtheory » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:51 am

waveterm wrote:You can even make Invoices on it after the session. Need to figure out how to email them to clients. Lol.

WT
:D :)

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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by Vast Halo » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:37 pm

waveterm wrote:Each channel has an analogue sound ( mostly white noise based sounds and the odd oscillator sweep ). Some ( not all ) has an eprom sample also.
Do the sounds that are most associated with the Movement systems derive from the analogue or sample circuits?
Eurythmics' Love Is a Stranger features possibly my favourite snare sound of all time - have you tried to recreate it? Are there a wide variety of sounds available from the analogue circuits?

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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by waveterm » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:17 pm

Hi !

Love is a Stranger uses the following sounds from the MCDU1 :

Kick : Sample
Mid Tom : Analogue
Hihat : Sample
Snare : Sample with loads of compressor and spring reverb

Have not tried to recreate it, no.

WT
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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by MrFrodo » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:53 am

That reminds me of a matter I might've already mentioned on this forum. Do you have a Simmons SDS-7? Can you comment on its reliability, especially compared with the Movement gear?
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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by waveterm » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:32 am

Well.....my SDS-7 died the other night !

Something in the powersupply has gone south.

In general I get the feeling that SDS-7´s are a bit shaky. Lot´s of electronics inside and the powersupply is a bit underdimensioned.

My SDS-7 is fully loaded with 12 modules. I guess it puts a big strain on the power supply.

The analouge side of the modules has always been unstable. Warbling pitch from the oscillator. Never two identical sounds. Almost like there is a randomizer function activated.

This could be a problem with mine only, but I had two other SDS-7´s earlier and they exhibited the same symptoms. I´ve heard other had the same problem too. I almost am sure it boils down to old capacitors in the powersupply and voltage regulators that are working overtime.

Trying to renovate the powersupply is a bit hard as you have to dismantle the complete machine down to bottom chassi plate. Removing everything.

The Movements all have a problem with scratchy pots and a bit hum in the main outputs. I have recapped one MCS-2 and the MCDU1 and it helped a bit. Have yet to adress the pots. It feels like it could be DC across the pots causing the scratching. Seems odd that all pots on 4 machines would be equally bad. Will recap all modules later.

COnsidering that they are almost 30 years old, it is time for a restoration.

WT
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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by nathanscribe » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:08 pm

Now that is interesting.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say it looks like it's based on a Z80 CPU. That motherboard looks too compact for much else, so I'm wondering if they used an off-the-shelf board similar to a TRS-80 or something.

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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by pinky_blue » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:47 pm

waveterm wrote:Well.....my SDS-7 died the other night !

Something in the powersupply has gone south.

In general I get the feeling that SDS-7´s are a bit shaky. Lot´s of electronics inside and the powersupply is a bit underdimensioned.

My SDS-7 is fully loaded with 12 modules. I guess it puts a big strain on the power supply.

The analouge side of the modules has always been unstable. Warbling pitch from the oscillator. Never two identical sounds. Almost like there is a randomizer function activated.

This could be a problem with mine only, but I had two other SDS-7´s earlier and they exhibited the same symptoms. I´ve heard other had the same problem too. I almost am sure it boils down to old capacitors in the powersupply and voltage regulators that are working overtime.

Trying to renovate the powersupply is a bit hard as you have to dismantle the complete machine down to bottom chassi plate. Removing everything.

The Movements all have a problem with scratchy pots and a bit hum in the main outputs. I have recapped one MCS-2 and the MCDU1 and it helped a bit. Have yet to adress the pots. It feels like it could be DC across the pots causing the scratching. Seems odd that all pots on 4 machines would be equally bad. Will recap all modules later.

COnsidering that they are almost 30 years old, it is time for a restoration.

WT
Don't I know it!

The SDS7's are notorious for their unreliability. I've had mine for about 3 years and I think its worked for 9 months during that time. I bought it as spares and repair and always had faith that it could be saved as its in immaculate condition. I had it fixed by a tech and it worked like a dream. Then one day, plugged it in, no response from the display, no sound, still powers up though. I'll investigate further when I get the time.

I get the impression that they run a little hot the more modules you have in them. Mine has 6.

After writing this, I've just realised who you are. Simmons yahoo mailing list right? Its Chris here. I'm sure the guys on there will be able to offer info on repairing your SDS7. But you knew that already ;-)

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Re: Movement Systems Drum Machine

Post by elsongs » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:19 am

DOES ANYONE HAVE SAMPLES OF THIS THING?!?!??!

:D :D :D

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