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Henry J. Walmsley - Turned-On Tijuana

Turned-On Tijuana; An Analogue Synthesiser Ambisonic Surround-Sound Album

The Turned-On Tijuana concept combines a synergistic fusion of high grade traditional analogue synthesis, audiophile quality Ambisonic surround-sound techniques and the latest digital recording methods in a concentrated, strongly melodic, and purely entertaining musical experience. Taking the very finest Tijuana tunes from the 1960s and 70's, they are faithfully transcribed then rendered into sound using genuine one-track-at-a-time multitrack analogue synthesizer methods with the utmost care and attention to detail. None of the complexity of melody, harmony, beat, or humour is lost. Indeed it could be stated that the inner beauty of the songs is revealed in an even sharper light than ever before possible, thanks to modern solid-state technology and the synthesist's respect for the idiom. All actual sound generation is created externally from any digital computer system with a home-made modular synthesizer comprising both traditional modules and some truly unique units. These include a graphical arbitrary waveform generator, a hardware additive synthesis Hammond emulator, authentic tape-based "Itchycoo" flanger and triple-tank spring reverberation. Vintage Audio and Design Ambisonic mastering equipment is used for soundfield placement and real time movement of individual tracks, while a novel oscillator based panning system is used to spin sounds around the listener at any variable speed or under manual joystick control.

While a commercial Ambisonic microphone is available from the Soundfield company, a home-made economy version was used for this collection of tracks, in keeping with the idiosyncratic low-budget, high-value style. This tetrahedral array of four directional microphones is used to capture live sounds on location, and performances in the environment external to the studio which form a key aspect of the Turned-On paradigm. This serves to transport the listener out of the limited space of purely electronic synthesis and into a strange and unusual nether region of startlingly accurate recorded sounds combined with the finest ambient electronica.

So dance to the beat of the Ambisonic Synth, the all-new surround sound that is... Turned On Tijuana!

UHJ Encoded Ambisonic Surround Sound

Sometimes considered to be a throwback to the unfortunate quadraphonic era of the 1970s, Ambisonic surround sound is fully compatible with conventional mono and stereo reproduction on loudspeakers or headphones and demonstrates a remarkable compatibility with Dolby Stereo decoders. In common with Dolby Stereo the system encodes full horizontal surround sound into any conventional stereo delivery medium, be that Compact Disc, AAC, MP3, WAV file, SACD or even FM stereo and the lowly compact cassette. While true Ambisonic decoder systems are rare, Dolby Stereo is now commonplace in the home, and the B-format Ambisonic mastering method enables highly musical surround placements to be generated with minimum complexity and an unparalleled independence from individual speaker placement restrictions.

Track List

1. Tijuana Taxi, Featuring the 1992 Peugeot 205XT

2. Spanish Flea, featuring a concrete fire escape

3. Casino Royale, featuring a Vodka Martini, shaken not spilt.

4. South Of The Border, featuring the lower bong of a Friedland chime in lieu of a tubular bell.

The underlined tracks are links to mp3 files which you can listen to, but note that they have been doctored to avoid copying. The CD version is un-doctored and also uncompressed of course.


For the techies, the data section of the CD-R contains B-Format .wxyz wav files of the tunes for those with special Ambisonic decoding equipment. There are also about thirty pictures of the analogue synth equipment, soundfield microphone etc.

These recordings ©Henry J. Walmsley 2006 produced under MCPS license.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 06 December, 2006.
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