Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: New Order’s gross sampler experiments

In the early 80s, music technology was exploding with new synthesizers, practical and powerful drum machines, and hardware that could sample and manipulate sounds in an infinite number of ways. New Order was really became fascinated by the possibilities, especially when they bought a keyboard called an Emulator.

It could take any sound and turn it into something that could be used in a song, storing a few seconds of audio on an old-school floppy disc. So you’ve got this new tech and you want to experiment with it.

What’s the first thing you sample? In New Order’s case, it was…farts. They recorded a bunch of them and spend hours experimenting with how the sounds could be manipulated. In fact, that’s how they learned how to use their Emulator.

And in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t appear that New Order used any of those sounds on any of their records. We think.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38542 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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