The 1983 Uncle Ian set-up diagram

Even MORE incredible, is this Elborough en-scribed document
This shows the complete set-up for the Uncle Ian recording – The UrbanPicnic.

The weird thing is that if I compare it with what I use NOW.. over 20 years later, its REMARKABLY similar!!
So starting at the beginning of the chain, we have:

1. The Trusty Soundmaster Rhythm box: This was the heart of the Uncle Ian system for many years, providing 2 clock sources. A standard pulse on every beat, and a programmable pulse. Here it is seen sending a pulse (dotted line) to both the Guitar synth to trigger the envelope, and the sequencer to synch the clock!
I DO have a drum machine in my set-up now, but usually I’m triggering it from my loopers, we can do that now due to midi!

2. The Korg X511 guitar synth: No idea how I afforded this at the time, however It was completely brilliant, and I also can’t remember selling it, but I did, what a twat! It was unstable as hell, being monophonic, but made great squealing pig sounds, You have no idea how much I want one of these again!!!
We sent a CV (control voltage) signal from our home made sequencer, to pitch the synthy side of it, and my guitar was chopped up and filtered by the other side… Awesome! as they say in the USA.
Nowadays I have the Roland GR30 Guitar synth, which is then patched via midi to the (ta da!!) KORG God-dammit 2000R synth, and an old Akai S1000 sampler… spookily simerlay would’nt you say?

3. The Electric Mistress Flanger, bought for me by Helen Badham, girlfriend at the time and sometime bass player for UI, I STILL HAVE IT, admittadly lying un-used in a box somewhere, I really have gone off flanging… however this one you could stop the sweep and tune it by hand, which might be cool… where’s that box?
Well I already pointed out that I dont use flanging much these days, however, I filter things ALOT, and as a flanger is basically a filter, then theres a connection with my new stuff! HA!

4. Nicks home made sequencer: Based on the diagram in the Barbani book I still have, it worked like a charm, and was used for years..
Well I got LOTS of these now… well 3 really… I have the built in analogue sequencer of the Korg 2000R, a Fat controller, a great little analogue sequencer that is in fact almost Identical to Nicks, except its both CV/gate AND midi AND I have the KING of analog sequencers, the Mobius, which despite a somewhat laborious programming technique, allows you to actually SAVE a sequence!

5. And here’s the clincher…  Its an exact replica of Eno’s Tape Delay looping system as he describes it on the Discreet Music ambient album, and subsequently stolen by Fripp and renamed Frippatronics, however the technique is originally attributed to Terry Riley in the 60’s.
Nowadays I am obsessed with looping, I have 3 digital looping devices all synched together, the Vortex, The Electrix Repeater and the phenomenal Echoplex.

Some things never change – and I’m one of them!

Musician, Filmmaker, Game-designer & Kipple-monger