Neon, snow

My first Neon set tonight stiffed, to the extent that some random punter came up and tried to tell me how to do my job. Do I tell them how to dance? Well, do I? Even when they clearly need told?


It was a crap variation on "play something good", even, which would have earned vast contempt if I'd had the energy. Anyway, by the end, people had livelied up and bopped shamelessly to any old treasure, which was nice. The right CD deck was taking ages to read the TOC, and froze a few seconds into the second-last song, which was replaced by the Only Ones and went on last (for me) instead. I'd been unsure if they'd go for the Dresden Dolls, but we had some fans in and theyw ere first disappointed that it wasn't happening, and then pleased when it did. They didn't say thank you for my struggling with the kit, but there you go. They left with smiles on their faces. That'll do.

I mentioned the slightly feckered deck to Nora the engineer while she was packing up the turntables. I also mentioned how old the Technics 1200 actually is - look it up if you want a surprise - and tried to specify which Mark had introduced us. It ended up with her saying "Oh, Mark from that club at Ego that played all the good tunes", which is exactly the testimonial you want, really. Then I left, and it was snowing again. Small flakes, this time, so I got to watch them hurtling down through the streetlight. I don't imagine it'll be lying in the morning, so I can regard it as a special show for those who stay up late. Life is good sometimes.


Supernaturals - Sheffield Song
Sluts of trust - Leave you wanting more
Nine Inch Nails - In this together
Magazine - Shot by both sides
The Jam - Eton Rifles
Gogol Bordello - Undestructable
CopShootCop - $10 Bill
Rammstein - Moskau
The Hussy's - Sister Mary-Jo
Pixies - Debaser
New Order - True Faith
Joy Division - Transmission
Psychedelic Furs - Pretty in Pink
Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus
The Cure - Love cats
The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
Dresden Dolls - Girl Anachronism

Mostly quite old, but there you go.


NoFX - Hotel California
Snuff - Let the music play
Ramones - Somebody put something in my drink
Killers - Mr Brightside (R)
Smiths - What difference does it make
The Teardrop Explodes - Reward
OO - AGAP (predictable, moi?)
JD - She's lost control (for Anna, as I recall)
Killers - Somebody told me
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Damn, I walked across the Bridges tonight in the rain, could have popped down
Rappers have referred to the turntable as "1200", "Technics", "Tec 12" and "ones and twos".
I must say, if I heard a rapper talking about a "Tec 12", I'd assume they meant a firearm. Which could lead to some confusion.

That's an impressive history, though.
The technology of the Technics direct drive turntables is quite interesting (as a geek!). I've never worked on the SL1200 etc. but I spent a summer fixing a misbehaving Technics SP10 (this was a turntable platter without a tonearm - it was up to you to mount the platter and a tonearm of your choice into a suitable box).

[geek on]
The stability of the speed control results from phase-locking the turntable rotation to the quartz timer - the crystal drives a ramp generator that produces a sawtoth waveform, and the tacho pulses from (I think) a hall-effect sensor triggered by toothing on the platter side of the motor (i.e. derived from the actual rotation) sample the sawtooth waveform through a sample-and-hold circuit. If the pulse arrives "late" a higher voltage is sampled and the motor is driven harder, if it arives earlier the motor gain will be lower.

Because the turntable needs to be turning to generate the three-phase motor drive signals (from pickup coils out of phase with the motor coils) and the tacho pulses, there is an open-loop startup mode. If the closed-loop operation doesn't work, you have to turn the platter by hand to diagnose (or use a homebrew device -the "SP10 Electric Finger" which was a rubber wheel on a motor which you could clamp onto the unit and it would wind the platter for you while you poked at the electronics...

The manual start mode just drove the motor at full power - on the model I was working with at one point it got stuck in startup mode and the turntable kept accelerating and finally topped out at about 400rpm.

I suspect that as the SP10 was a 1970 design, the SL1200 etc. incorporates many of the features....
[geek off]
(I'm sorry - wave of nostalgia!)
Back in the Potterrow in the late eighties I had a direct-drive deck take off on me like that. I think it topped 100 rpm (guessing from the tempo of the record) before I stopped it. The general consensus in the room was apparently "It's just Graham playing Butthole Surfers again".

Quite a complex mechanism to end up so reliable. Interesting - thank you.
Probably still got that deck lying about somewhere, given how bombproof the old technics are. They don't build 'em like they used to. Mind you they don't release vinyl like they used to either. I'd give an arm and a leg for a good set of cd decks as reliable as a 1210/1200.
They're lovely machines, and still in production I believe. Never owned any myself, but I've used countless numbers and I'm very impressed.

The one that took off on me was one of the pair the 'Row had before the rig was rebuilt with a pair of 1210s . . . which was when it was against the far wall to the left as you go in through the door, later being rebuilt again across the room to the right as you go in. A lot of change there over the years. Originally there wasn't a permanent rig or dancefloor - there were flooring sections stored under the spiral stair that were laid out on dance nights.
Ah...I've owned many sets of 1200s and 1210s in my time. Memory lane.

The reason they're still used so much is that they've really yet to be improved on. I know I'd buy them again, were I to start vinyly DJing once more.

There's a thought...
The 1210 mark 5 is a bit better, but it's more gentle refinement than outright new kit, and it's still a 12XX after all.
Crikey there are plenty of songs on there I'd dance to!

Unfortunately I can't survive on 3 hourse sleep and go to work so play slave to the wage by placebo next time for me! ;0)

old but good, what a bunch of numpties - not exactly an obscure set.
The first bunch (up to and including Rammstein) they didn't like much, but I was back on about 2 and you couldn't keep them off the floor by that point. They just took a while to get going.