Obsolete Components

(co)sine : echo as metaphor



port rev

produced by dan torrance & matt thibideau

copyright 2014-2015

The (Co)Sine project begun in early 2014 with the development and construction of synthesizer modules which would later be used to define the
raw, vintage sound that is (CO)Sine. Through the latter half of 2014, The (CO)Sine collaboration focused on studio work using the concept of
limitation as the core artistic driver. In juxtaposition to the modern recording experience, where possibilities are endless. all productions were written and mixed within in one or two studio sessions, all sounds were generated using modular or vintage equipment and no computers were used in productions, with the exception of recording final products.

Echo As Metaphor is the first offering from the (CO)Sine experiment. Portrait, Landscape Port Rev are defined by syncopated synth lines, thick melodic pads and raw untreated drums, creating nostalgic deep vibes that remain relevant in modern house and techno.

(CO)Sine is a collaboration between Dan Torrance and Matt Thibideau



Dream Assembly





Faux Fruit


Matt Thibideau Live at Kryptonight

Tonight you can hear some great electronic performers including Matt Thibideau on uStream.
Music performances start at approximately 9pm.  To connect to the stream click on the link below:


This evenings lineup includes:

Arthur Oskan – dj/live
Matt Thibideau – live
Craig Whiting – live

Markus Heckmann – dj
Monika Janek – dj
Tom Kuo – dj

Please tune in and enjoy!


Recoil Film Screening


StudioFeed Radio: The Hushlamb Free Range Show: Episode #22 Ft. Mark & Matt Thibideau



Matt and Mark Thibideau Podcast featured in Electronique.it Electronic Music Magazine


Check out their featured Podcast:




Studiofeed SIM Footage

Hi Everyone!
It has been a busy summer for all of us at Obsolete Components.
In Early July Mark and I put on a live performance for the SIM festival. Below is some footage of that with myself talking about the electronic music scene of Toronto.
Have a look and enjoy.


PS. Some new releases are coming very soon.

Matt Thibideau


In The Studio with Mark & Matt Thibideau

Hi Everyone.
Please check out this nice mini doc that studiofeed has created on our Studio, Music and Record Label.
Love Obsolete Components



Matt Thibideau – Live at Mutek 2012

Matt Thibideau’s live set from Mutek 2012 in Montreal.


Matt Thibideau – Uranium Melts

Available on Beatport


Obsolete Components – Volume 3

buy now



Obsolete Components is proud to present this experimental ambienttechno record – “Alignment”Cobwebs, Space Dust and Heartbeats are the ingredients that make up this record.We hope it finds a place in your mix, as well as in your heart.



come out and support this very rare and special event on april 25th at the drake hotel in the fine west end of downtown toronto!
the performance will feature vocals by dawn lewis and ana mulrooney with mark and matt thibideau playing the synths. 
show starts art 8:30pm at 1150 queen street west, toronto, on, m6j 1j3
it is 5 dollars at the door and there will be some limited merchandise.
we hope to see you there.


Hi Supporters!
It has been a very active winter here at Obsolete Components.
Blogs, performances, releases and general interest in the label has increased.
We wanted to thank everyone for the continued support.
There is some exciting releases coming very soon so stay tuned!
In the meantime Matt Thibideau has done a special live set for Studio Feed here in Toronto.
You can watch this video performance here.. 


Obsolete Components

Scott Stanley Live

Here is link to Scott Stanley’s live performance from a few weeks back in Toronto at the Rivoli.
Listen and Enjoy!

Sincerely Obsolete Components 



Matt Thibideau Partial Video

Matt Thibideau / Partial / Obsolete Components
So Here is our Latest Offering From Matt Thibideau composed entirely on the Synclavier PSMT.
A Video for the track “Partial” created by Markus Heckmann using Touch Design.
The Music is available on Obsolete Components Volume II.
Available on Itunes, What People Play and Beatport.



Basic Soul Unit

Scott Stanley

Feb 2 / 2012

Scott really killed us New Year’s Eve, for those that missed it – here is your chance!


Mark Thibideau Live Jan 20th

This is a direct recording of my live set from Jan 20th, 2012. I played this for my good friend Eric Downer. It was his farewell party at Li’ly lounge in Toronto, Canada.
It’s free for everyone so enjoy and share all you like!!!


Here is a recording of Matt Thibideau’s current live set from NYE.
Listen and enjoy.. this is all new stuff!



Mark Thibideau Live

Hello everyone!

Come join me and friends on Friday January 20th as we say farewell to our good friend Eric Downer. He is moving down under so it will be one more chance to see him here in Canada before he goes. I will also be playing a special live set at midnight for this event.
dont miss out.
its at Li’ly – 656 College Street, Toronto.

Happy New Year

Happy 2012 from Obsolete Components!

Here is some evidence of our fantastic New Years Eve party to welcome 2012.
It was streamed and will be archived for your listening pleasure soon!

 Scott Stanley at sound check making sure everything is set up and ready to go.

 Arthur Oskan doing his sound check  while Mark Thibideau and Markus Heckmann Adjust the PA and visuals. Scott Stanley is adjusting some mutes on the MPC.

 Jakob Thiesen in action bringing us until midnight with his machine drum and memoryman delay unit.. dubbing us from time to time.

  Mark Thibideau delivering welcoming 2012 with a deep house/ tech set that got everyone going!


Making Repair Radio Talk

 Some of the Synthesizers we used to compose “Radio Talk” are the Synclavier PSMT, a custom Analogue Solutions Concusor Modular, Roland System 100m, Arp 2600, Roland Jupiter-8, Oberheim OB-8, OBX, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 and E-mu Emulator II.
We had a lot of fun in the Sessions for this EP. The Synclavier was the main sampler of choice for drums, pads, strings, stabs and experimental samples. Much of these sounds were made in our own environment using mics, found objects combined with analog modular synths and then all sampled and edited within the Synclavier for each track. The Arp 2600 and Roland 100m was a great sound source for making some drum sounds.
The Roland System 100m and Analogue Solutions Concussor played a very large role in all of the sounds actually. We decided to go back to using Control Voltage Step Sequencers as a source of inspiration for melody, the Bass Line, and using to trigger off the filters for sound processing. The Step Sequencer was also working to control the Oberhiem OBX and Jupiter-8′s filter and Volume ENVs. So this became a pretty elaborate process. The Emulator II, OB-8 and PPG were great for additional layers over top of the backbone of this mixes.




The concept for this track involves the observance of the Tsunami in Japan from the perspective of the Shiriyazaki Lighthouse along the Japanese coastline.  A fascinating place really and a milieu that evokes serenity and peace – until devastation hits.  The ambient tech track builds tension with this experience in mind, while imparting a sentiment for the vastness of nature and the weight of calamity.


The EMU SP-1200 was used for this track.
While many would describe the 26.04 kHz sampling rate, 12 bit resolution and 10 seconds of memory limitations on the SP-1200, these were essential in the making of the track – Shiriyazaki.   With the limitation of sample time and the challenge to sustain notes, the initial focus was to lengthen trails and carefully apply effects…  However, as with most of the machines used on this compilation, the more time spent manipulating the sounds, the greater the result. 

By using  ‘Multipitch’  and ‘Tune/Decay’  several artefacts in the sampled elements were created via the SP-1200′s circuitry.  These  artefacts contribute to the color and sometimes the tone of the samples used all of which was welcomed on Shiriyazaki. 
This heavy black box has been a reliable source of great sound and sequencing for over a decade – long live the SP-1200!
Calst (a.k.a Darren Healy)


Repair – Radio Talk

Available now on:

Go to Beatport.com Get These Tracks Add This Player


Repair "Radio Talk" Video and EP Out Now

Video Filmed and Edited by Mass Transit Film in Toronto.


Merry Xmas from Obsolete Components

                 happy holidays to everyone and thanks for the support in 2011!


Linn Drum – alternate sounds demonstration tape (3rd edition)


Obsolete Components – Volume 2

Available now on:

Go to Beatport.com Get These Tracks Add This Player


Mark Thibideau – Lag Time Generator Video


OC V2 – Hexbydecimal

During the initial discussions of our volume 2 compilation it was agreed that we would write our tracks entirely based on one synthesizer.  

I chose the Ensoniq Mirage.

I’m not sure what I was smoking when I said that.  It’s not that it’s impossible to compose a 5+ minute song on a mono, 8 bit  sampler (basically equal to an original NES), with a maximum of 16 samples,  at an overall maximum sampling time of 6.5 seconds at a whopping 10khz…  it just means that certain sacrifices need to be considered like, high end, sample length, polyphony, structure, timing, etc… and since it uses blocks of memory, one shouldn’t expect sample truncation or looping points to be accurate either.

Fortunately I had 2 rack mount Mirages to work with.  

For those who truly know this machine, they know it can so effortlessly have a magical, dirty yet warm characteristic that is all it’s own.  

However, personally I think I may have set my expectations a bit too high when I originally envisioned what my track could be.  

Initially, I began to writing my track at a faster tempo (something a little more techno oriented). H owever, I found that the 2 Mirages would frequently drift in and out of midi timing.  When I slowed the tempo down though, they seemed to play nicely together. 

Another issue I faced was the overall mix.  Having only 2 mono outputs made it very difficult to EQ an entire mix and it didn’t help that every sample had to be very short and at a low sample rate.  This killed all the high end in my song.  Though is is possible to adjust the sample rate for each sample, the downside of that is when you increase the sample rate, you need to be even more stingy with your sample time.  Also, it would have been difficult for me to incorporate effects on an entire mix.  

At this point I was left with a decision to either create a very minimal, dirty song or multitrack the Mirages to really show off some of their capabilities.  I did my best to meet in the middle.  
Whenever possible, I attempted to group certain sounds and track them together or in some cases, record a sound individually. 

The Mirage is actually pretty amazing at creating certain sounds.  A few notable would be rich pad type sounds (thanks to it’s Curtis filter) and cool sounding dirty drum loops.  

One other unique element of the Mirage is the fact that it only has a 2 character LED display and the parameters need to be programmed in hexadecimal. There is no data slider so, you must use the up and down buttons to step through the values of each parameter.  

Overall, this track more or less ended up writing itself.  After hitting so many limitations I began to feel a little cursed so, I decided to step back and try to work within the confines of the machines temperamental capabilities.  Hence the title “Hexbydecimal”.


OC V2 – Lag Time Generator / ARP 2600


My long journey with the ARP 2600 began in the early 90’s.
After finding out that Depeche Mode used one and my favorite producers (Flood) had one, I knew that I eventually wanted to own one of these machines. Upon the first time I played with the 2600 i knew I was going to have this machine for a long time. It made so many strange sounds that my other synths couldn’t do, and with the offering of modular patching, my head could explode from sound making possibilities. The Arp synth offers a aggressive and big sound that can scream at you, commanding attention.
For lag time generator, I used this synth for all sounds, drums and even a lot of the processing ( built in spring reverb and processing through the preamp, filter and ring mod).
Making music with this machine is always fun and interesting. always getting sounds that are unexpected and unique.



OC V2 "Foraup"

When I was a young boy/man, I drove motorcycles. I had two Yamaha 125cc motocross off-road machines, and a 400cc road bike. I enjoyed the feeling of acceleration by being thrust through open space.
There was a feeling of solitude and peace, as I was so carefully wrapped in leather and plastic. When driving, I was enveloped in the rising and falling pitch of the engine vibrating through my skinny 16 year old body.
One day this solitude was interrupted by a minivan. Traffic had backed up considerably &, as I turned the corner, it had just begun to rain. I was an inexperienced rider and applied the brakes too quickly and began to slide on the newly slippery oil soaked pavement. In slow motion, I began to gently lay the bike on the road but not before rear ending the back of that minivan. The motorcycle fell to the left and the gas tank split my femur in half.
I was rescued by that poor minivan driver, and a group of military personnel, who happened to be driving behind me. They held my leg in place on the highway until the ambulance arrived. I was in shock, shivering and shaking. They saved my life. Right next to the femur there exists a large vein, which when severed by a splintered bone, can cause one to bleed to death within minutes.

I am pretty lucky.
These days I get my kicks in different ways.
love, Jakob
(Obsolete Components)

“Foraup” is being released as part of Obsolete Components 2nd techno music compilation “volume 2″ on November 28th 2011. Available on Itunes, Beatport, and What People Play.
All sounds derived from a Yamaha DX100 FM synthesizer, serial number #23160.


Roland gear is attracted to my studio

A new addition to my studio




OC VOL II /Electric Lairs /Glitterbug

Electric Lairs 

 "Electric Lairs" is entirely based on the Yamaha CS15. No other sound sources have been used. Besides EQs on the channels, I only used some reverb, tape delay and a little bit of compression on the bass drum part. Also, I didn't sequence it, all parts are played live and recorded and mixed in Logic Studio.

I love the CS15, and it's one of the synths that has stayed with me throughout all studio changes. Generally, I don't really like to keep a lot of things around, and I believe in "traveling instruments"- I buy something, use it for a year or two, and let it go again to replace it with something new. I love the idea that especially vintage instruments travelled through the hands of generations of musicians and were an inspiration to many. Very few instruments actually remain with me for longer periods. 

 My CS15 is one of these instruments that I will never let go of. Mine also has a bit of a sad story, since before me it was owned by Christian Morgenstern, who suddenly died in 2003. A mutual friend, Falko Brocksieper, was asked by Christians parents to take apart and sell off his studio after he passed away, and Falko asked me if I would maybe like to have this very particular one. I took it and loved it ever since.

The CS15 basically does not sound like anything I have ever heard elsewhere. It's noisy, it's dark, it's unpredictable and it sounds of electricity to it's very core. It's not a necessarily a very pleasant synth, but it has character and patina, it's a sound universe on it's own, more so than pretty much any other synth I have ever put my hands on. That might also be one of the reasons why many people actually can't really relate to it; it's also quite hard to program since a lot of parameters work and sound totally differently than one expects. 

And here some pictures of the baby that this track came to life through (Photos taken by Ronni Shendar):



OC VOL II / Partial / Matt Thibideau

I made the track Partial using our newly fixed Synclavier PSMT system. It has 32 voices of stereo sampling, 16 voices of FM synthesis, the full blown sequencing and re-synthesis system. Things can get really complex .
I decided to work with it because, even though it samples, it has this massive sound and adds a great quality to everything you sample into it. This is due to the very expensive military grade convertors and Analog VCA’s on every voice card. There are very few modern hardware samplers that enable you to record at 100khz.
This machine has become one of my main go to samplers in recent projects including the song Partial for OC II.
Partial was entirely composed internally with the Synclavier’s sequencer and mixed in an analog environment. I used samples I recorded from a vintage buchla modular synthesizer that resides at OCAD. It’s a very different synthesizer that can sound FM in some ways. I took many samples of the recordings and shaped all of the sounds within the synclavier to make up everything from the drum sounds to chords and pads. Enjoy!
Matt Thibideau


Matt Thibideau on UR Wedding (Berlin)

u_r_wedding on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free


What a great label from Italy, check it out!

Lots of great free mixes and artist releases…


Night Drive

Ceremony (for Binny and Eric)


future music


Matt Thibideau Live PA rehearsal 2011

it’s raining outside, perfect day for perfecting the set




Mixed Up

  Obsolete Components Mix Compilation by obsoletecomponents
Another mix compilation of our catalog for you to enjoy
This is Matt Thibideau’s approach at DJing.I added some extra drum parts from a wonderful E-mu Sp-1200. Enjoy!
1. Night Drive, Archive 1, Matt Thibideau
2. Key Maps, OC Vol.1, Mark Thibideau & Scott Stanley
3. Tilta-Whirl, Archive 4, Mark Thibideau
4. Carriers, OC Vol.1, Matt Thibideau, Scott Stanley
5. Jumbled Mass, Archive 4, Mark Thibideau
6. The Slow Club, Archive 1, Matt Thibideau
7. Chrome Type II, OC Vol.1, Jakob Thiesen
8. SH, OC Vol.1, Scott Stanley
9. Tape 5A, Tapes 1-8, Students
10. Tape 5A Tapes 1-8, Coordinates Remix
11. Discreet Voices, OC Vol.1, Coordinates
12. Into Winter, Archive 3, Scott Stanley
13. Six, OC Vol.1, Matt Thibideau & Scott Stanley
14. Clocks, Archive 2, Jakob Thiesen


Obsolete Components mix by Eric Downer

Please take some time to enjoy listening to this Obsolete Components DJ mix by Eric Downer.
Its free, so download it and put it on your Ipod, or play it loud on your speakers.

This is a mix of some of the available tracks from our records. Artists included: Scott Stanley, Students, Matt Thibideau, Jakob Thiesen, Repair and Mark Thibideau.


Obsolete Components Mix by DJ Eric Downer by obsoletecomponents


Parallels (Ensoniq DP4)


This is a great machine for modifying sound. It has four independent efx processors that can be configured in a multitude of ways to make new combinations of efx. The flexibility and modular architecture of this machine actually makes it cross over into the synthesis category, which is why I am posting about it here. The sound is warm and deep, and has a bit of hiss to remind you that you aren’t using a plugin.


The exact unit used in these tracks has recently undergone a memory chip swap on one of the processors by John R. Southern (www.hardwerke.ca). He was gracious enough to invite me over to his facility as he did it, and he documented the procedure on the web for others. In the process, I learned a lot about DSP, RAM and how these efx processors work. You can find his project-log link below.


happy tweaking,



Mark Thibideau Archive 4

Available now on:

October Afternoon - Fall 2004 
Composed on a sunny afternoon in October 2004. 
Gear used: main chord progression – Korg Monopoly, claves – Arp 2600, ringmod synth – Studio Electronics SE-, bassline – Oberhiem SE-1, drums – Akai MPC-1000, Boss DR-110
Tilta Whirl – May 2004 
This track was composed using mostly monophonic synths doing strange little noises.  The idea was to create the sound of a tilta whirl cart spinning around and making you dizzy.  
Gear Used: Korg 770, Mini Korg 2, Arp 2600, Oberhiem SEM, Moog Prodigy, Monopoly. SE-1, DR-110, TR-808, Akai S950,  Evenitide H3000 using its famous “Band Delay” … a rising filter sweep on delay feedback. 
Ignition -  Sept 2006 
Almost all the synth sounds in this track are the Emu Emulator III keyboard. Sounds were sampled from various sources around the studio. Waldorf Microwave and PPG Wave taking care of main chord stabs. Also most of the Drums in this are the Emulator.  Bassline is Dave Smith Evolver. 
Devices – 2001 
This was recorded around the time of the first sub-static release “B-Films”. The lead synth chords are ensoniq mirage.  Other synths on this Track include a pulsating sound on the Micromoog and Bassline from the Roland Jupiter 8. 
Jumbled Mass – 2004 
Gear used: hi hats DR-110, main drum loop – Roland TR-626 through Arp 2600, ringmod accents Moog Micromoog, bassline – Oberhiem SEM, pads - Prophet- 5.
Hiway 40 to Sarnia -  December 2006 
This track is about my experience as a kid driving down the Hiway 40 from my hometown Wallaceburg to Sarnia. In the evening you can see the factories all lit up. But the disturbing part of this experience is seeing these huge flames about the smoke stacks burning off toxic chemicals into the air.  The flames were so big they would light up the night’s sky. 
Gear Used : pads - Jupiter 8 through Eventide H3000, drums -  Emu Emulator 3 keyboard, Boss DR-110, bassline SE-1, Oberhiem SEM, main synth chord – Waldorf Microwave sampled into E3 , added bouncey synth at end- PPG wave 2.2 

Scott Stanley Archive 3

Available now on:

Into Winter  - recorded in 2000        
Written in my studio in Kensington Market.  I used an Emu Emax SEHD, Emax II, Kawai K3M, Casio FZ10 and Roland JX8P.  All recorded on VHS tape. 

Another Day – recorded in 2001
this was recorded at a music store that I used to work at.  I used a Waldorf Microwave XTK, Q, Pulse, Nord Lead, and a Novation Drum Station.  All recorded onto cassette.

Metrognomes - recorded in 2004 
Written in my Bloor St. studio.  I used a Roland SH-5, MKS-80Emax II, Korg Polysix, A3, SDD-1000

Unnatural Flavours - recorded in 2007 
Written in my Richmond St. studio.  One downfall to this studio is that it was very close to the CN Tower.  I constantly picked signals and noise from CBC.  One of the sounds in the song is literally a faint news broadcast that I sampled from my board and manipulated.  The basis of this track was mainly weird digital sounds.  I used an Emu e6400, Yamaha FS1R, Waldorf Microwave XTPulse, Jomox X-Base 09, circuit bent Roland TR-505 and SH-5.

Slow Grey Sunday – recorded in 2001
Recorded in the Kensington super studio.  This studio took over our entire living room and was a collection of some of the best synths from 4 people’s studios.  The title of this track is exactly what the day was.  It was raining and there was nothing to do but write music.  I used a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Roland Jupiter 8, TR-909, Ensoniq Mirage, Casio FZ10, Emu E4XT Ultra, and Yamaha E1010

Next Level – recorded in 2008             
This track was recorded in my Richmond St. studio.  I used a Korg EX8000Jomox X-Base 09, Sequential Circuits TOMWaldorf Microwave XTPulseRoland SH-5, Jupiter 6Emax IIe6400, Korg Polysix

Sounds Like You – recorded in 2004                 
Recorded in my Niagara St. studio. I used a Roland Jupiter 6, Sequential Circuits Prophet 600, Emu Emax IIe6400Waldorf Microwave XT, Korg A3 and SDD-1000.  

Roland System 100 (pt2)

Roland System 100m – Small and Mighty!
see part one of this blog entry here

 Old Roland synths are known to hold a legacy. Not to be confused for their digital replicas (JP8000, GAIA, SH201 to name a few). These replicas pale in comparison, desperately trying to recreate the magic of the Jupiter 8, or SH2, and coming up thin. 

 The System 100m lives up to its legacy and royal status by commanding attention with It’s punchy, tight and thick sound. Its drippy square wave and screaming resonance can rattle a room like nothing else.
 This synthesizer has a colorful history. Released in 1978, it caught the eye of many great artists. Artists such as Vince Clarke, Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller, Human League, Nitzerebb, and Orbital to name a few. Not only was this synth designed to be flexible and portable, but its also as big sounding as its sibling, the system 700.
 A standard System 100m consisted of 5 modules : Dual VCO (112), Dual VCF (121), Dual VCA (130), Dual Envelope/LFO (140), Ringmod/Noise/LFO (150).
A single module often has several functions. For example the Dual VCF contains 2 identical filters with resonance and hi pass switch.
  One of its greatest assets was that it was simple to expand. You could purchase extra modules from Roland to make your system gigantic. Some modules we would like to get for this are the sequencer (182) and the  Delay/Phaser (172) modules. But currently the unit we have is the standard system.
  Matt picked this one up off the local craigslist site. The original owner of this machine used it in an 80′s cover band.  We are now the second owners.
  Where the system 100m shines is through its ability to patch anything to anything. The results are precise yet un-expectable. The many rows of multiple jacks at the bottom allow you to copy cv signals : as many as you have patch cords for.
 To make things more interesting, the 100m is located next to our 2600 and SEM for added flexibility. With patch cords running between the 3 synths, some unexplainable sounds will be coming from our studio.
 The track I made with this synth is all sounds tracked one at a time into protools dry with no FX. So everything you are hearing is pure system 100m being sequenced with Protools through midi/cv, tracked into the Mytek convertor and mixed through the Toft atb..
  We gladly give a warm welcome to our system 100m to the Repairlab. May many great patches be made.

Roland System 100M

this machine just arrived, and is sounding very very good to us.we will have further updates for you as we progress with our research.



 via kanadische inhalte

   Matt Thibideau, Live PA @ BreakandEnter , Kanadische Inhalte, reboot.fm, Berlin, 27-08-2010 by reboot.fm

Matt has released tracks on Sub-Static, Dumb-Unit, Cynosure and performed with Jeremy Caulfield, Mike Shannon, Richie Hawtin, Mike Huckaby, Pantone and Jake Fairley…
He also releases tracks on the Obsolete Components label he runs with his brother Mark and friends.http://obsoletecomponent.blogspot.com/
Current live setup is
1. Akai MPC-1000 sampler / sequencer (I use this to sample sounds from all of my old synthesizers and drum machines that I have in my studio at home, and also as the main sequencer where all drums and parts are programmed).
2. Waldorf Blofeld Synthesizer (A digital wavetable synthesizer that is small and reliable, works best for most of my bass lines and extra synth sounds)
3. Korg Electribe ES-1 (This is also a sampler / sequencer which I treat kind of like a second turntable. I use it to mix between songs mostly and also as extra added parts)
4. Electro Harmonix Memoryman w/ Hazari (This provides effects like delay and reverb that I like to manipulate with sounds while performing)
5. Lastly a Hardware mixing console that is used to adjust the volumes of all of the parts.
track listing for the set.
1. Achenar – Cynosure
2. It Could Happen – Cynosure
3. A Love Letter Is Like A Bullet From A Gun – Cynosure
4. Further – Blue Recordings
5. Signals – Obsolete Components
6. Icebox – Cynosure
7. Tuning Fields – Sub-Static
8. The Slow Club – Obsolete Components
9. Polarized – Blue Recordings

Jakob Thiesen Archive 2

Available no on:
octav edit: based around an ambient loop containing yamaha dx100 and emu emax samples, all reasmpled thru efx and dropped down an octave, hence the title. 

moon: samples from a cassette of a famous english synthpop duo layered with other tech sounds.

clocks: string sample from old orchestral vinyl, layered with gentle acid line.

behaviour: flute sample with masking tape holding the keys down, also layered in a late 80s album intro that is dear to my heart.
octav (reduced): ambient loop from track 1 for those who like their junk 12-bit and beatless.

Matt Thibideau Archive 1

Available now on:

night drive  - recorded in 2004       
this song was inspired by a drive on the autobahn from dusseldorf to cologne. ppg wave 2.2 was one of the main synths used here.

the slow club – recorded in 2001    
this was recorded along side of the cynosure “velvet blue” e.p. it gets it’s title from a club visited in the movie “fire walk with me” by david lynch.

sk-drone – recorded in 2008           
this song was created with several samples of a toy casio sk-5 sampler that was then resampled into my trusty emulator II. A few other synths were added for bass, extra chords, and percussion.

signals – recorded in 1998              
this song features samples I created on a hand held digital recorder (that died shortly after I used it on this one) of some random radio talk shows combined with secret recordings of my mother and aunt having a conversation. one sampler also featured in this piece is the ensoniq mirage.

mirrors – recorded in 2004              
this one meant to be the b-side to “night drive”. it was recorded during the repair “convenient arrangements” mix sessions.

sk-grain – recorded in 2008            
another experiment featuring samples created with the casio sk-5 and then sampled into the emulator II.

freeze – recorded in 2000                
recorded in the winter, I wanted it to capture the essence of a canadian snow storm.

The Synclavier

It was always in our dreams as young producers to work with the Synclavier.
The Glossy shots of it in Keyboard magazine as we grew up always caught our attention. After learning that this was the secret to part of Depeche Mode’s early sound, we knew we had to have it some day.

So 1 year ago luckily Mark and I managed to purchase a Synclavier PSMT system.
Mark, David Lush (Thanks again for lugging it around!), Jakob Thiesen, and Myself got in David’s mini van and took the excursion all the way out to Scarborough for the Synclavier that awaited us disassembled in a garage mostly!
We purchased it from a guy in that used to use it on the show’s “Street Legal” and  “The Relic Hunter”.
Included with it was the 32 poly voice sampling system with 32 meg,  16 voice FM synthesizer, 16 track Hard disk recording system, midi, the apple mac and VPK weighted keyboard controller.

After an evening of moving the massive and heavy system to our loft we slowly powered it up to encounter several problems with the system. We knew there were going to be problems with this system, but not near the extent of the problems that we faced.

An old friend John Southern decided to help us out with the technical side of fixing the Synclavier. We are so thankful to have him involved in fixing this beast!
We all kind of walked into this blindly.
Keep in mind there is very little support for these machines. Just a few select people online that sell parts and offer expensive servicing options.
After many hours of trouble shooting over the winter we discovered these problems…
1. The main computer rack (called the ABLE computer) cards were not in their proper place.. according to the information we found online.
2. The Floppy Drive was not connected internally making it impossible to boot up.
3. Although we had most of the cards for the FM synthesizer , none of them including the power supply and cables were installed into our system.
4. The Poly sampler was also missing a power supply and the Sample to Memory module was also located in the direct to disk tower. This means that we would have to have both towers powered up just to sample sounds (an insane amount of voltage)
So after many months of troubleshooting, researching, emailing, we were able to get the machine configured well enough to boot up. Many thanks to Steve Hills of Synclavier in england for guiding us down the right path!
After boot-up we noticed that the Able computer would crash randomly, the VPK keyboard would not respond as a controller, and that computer was not seeing all of the ram that was located inside the machine.
This is when we were learning how the machine worked.. unlike modern equipment, the synclavier has cards that carry out mostly one function… and it is modular in it’s approach. This makes it easy to try and narrow down what the potential problem could be.
Luckily included with our system was several boxes of spare parts, cards, a few power supplies and disks.
We did however have to order a few things that we did not have.
Once we got the parts we needed , we started by replacing the power supplies on the Able computer, and the Poly sampler. At this time we luckily found another Synclavier PSMT tower that had been gutted of a few parts in the suburbs of Toronto.  It was mostly a full system. We were able to take parts from it to put into our system and start testing everything.
-We started by replacing the Ram cards, and it didn’t recognize any of it.
-Next up was the card that controls the Ram and that fixed that problem.
Our system all of a sudden was reading all 35 megs in it (3 meg was for computer / sequencing functions)
- Our next goal was to load in samples to listen to them. All that played back was static noise.
Frustrated and annoyed we turned to the spare FM cards we had in the parts collection and installed the 16 voice FM synthesizer with it’s new power supply.
Without the working keyboard, the only way that we could hear if the Fm synthesizer was working was to learn how to input notes into the 200 track sequencer or midi up a controller. We were in luck, the FM voices worked beautifully. We were so shocked at how much nicer they sounded to Yamaha’s DX variety of FM synthesis.
At this point we had to get the VPK keyboard working. It would really be the easiest way to test the machine, and program sounds since there is basically a control for every parameter on the front of it. We had all of the spare cards to fix this keyboard.. and we discovered that card that was telling the keyboard to send information to the computer was faulty. Once we replaced this it is working beautifully!
It is amazing how easy it is to make complex sounds and sequence them via the VPK. It was apparent to us now why the lucky producers and studios loved the Synclavier so dearly!
The next portion of work needed to be done to get the sampler playing back it’s sound properly. Something that was converting the sounds was not playing them back properly. So our guess was that the D/A controller card was faulty.
After switching many cards, we got it to work. The samples sounded amazing! 
Our final project with the Synclavier was to instal the Sample to Memory module. This is located usually at the top of the tower and has a very large power supply that works with it. The problem is that our system had a custom floppy drive / hard drive installed. this needed to be taken out and controlled externally. The sample inputs and power supply would need to take up that space and have proper ventilation to keep the system cool.
Once we installed the sample to memory and power we immediately turned the system on and started sampling.
Somehow although we were able to load and play back samples, what we recorded into the machine played back as noise.
We were so close to having this machine running perfectly.
After discovering software called “Logger” for the synclavier, we were able have the computer perform tests on itself to tell us what was wrong with it.
Sure enough another card that controls the Digital to Analog playback was not working and we replaced it!
Now our system is up to snuff, working how we always wanted it to.
To describe the way the synclavier sounds, I would say is huge, warm, clean yet grainy. We are still learning how to use certain aspects of it.  We have started making a library of our own sounds.
But it will be a main tool for creating our next records and hopefully for years to come.


Students : Tapes 1-8

recorded between 2008 and 2009 at bentobox and repairlab studios in beautiful toronto, canada.
all tracks are live board mixes performed on hardware synthesizers, drum machines and samplers to analog tape.
there were no overdubs and minimal edits to the tracks.
students are Mark Thibideau and Jakob Thiesen.
thank you for listening.

   Tapes 1-8 by students

students tapes 1-8 is also available as a screenprinted, hand packaged CDR, email obsoletecomponent@gmail.com





regroup! repress!

things are happening here again… (albeit slowly)

a repress of our beloved vol 1 is in the works, as well as other surprises we will tell you about soon.

babies, houses, loves won and lost, monster synthesizer restorations, city streets and deep forests.

these things have filled our year, and will soon fill our tracks which will fill your ears.


Matt Thibideau Live @ Mutek 2009

Matt putting his obsolete components to work for the 2009 Mutek Festival…



I got into modular synthesizers because I wanted to bypass the computer for music creation and sequencing and get hands on control of everything. I quickly realized that if I was to buy the modules pre-built I would never be able to afford a decent sized set-up, so I did a lot of reading and jumped head first into building them. The song Modular came to be when I invited Matt over to check out the build progress of my modular synth and, of course, to play around with it. The song was done in one take “live” using only the modular synth for all sequencing and sound sources and with a little help from a Roland Jupiter 4. Each sound was recorded to it’s own track in Pro-tools and later mixed and mastered at Matts studio. I used an assortment of modules ranging from an 808 style step (trigger) sequencer to a clone of a Moog 904a filter, along with some modules you can’t buy on the market premade including Tellun’s Neural Agonizer VC spring reverb and a heavily modded MOTM 440 filter that allows for 16 different filter types, very similar to the Oberheim Expander filter.




SH is composed using a Roland SH-5, SH-101 and an Emu Emax II sampler. For this song, I really wanted to try to keep things somewhat simple and true to our project. I find that being in a studio with so many options can almost be a little overwhelming at times and these options can distract composers from completing their original intended ideas. All of the sounds (including drums) in this track are created by using various combinations of both SH synths sampled into the Emax II. Both SH-5 and 101 played parts directly in the recording as well. For some sounds, I ran parts of the sounds through FX before I sampled them. I really liked the results I was getting by processing the SH101 through effects, then through the SH5. Since both SH synths are monophonic, this made playing chords a bit limiting. I wanted to avoid using the sampler to transpose my notes for me so instead, I tuned the oscilators of each synth and sequenced the notes to create various chords so I could sample each chord on a different key and play them back that way. I found that this method kept the synth samples sounding a bit more true to their original source.


The Polysix is a great synthesizer. It has a very easy to use interface and for such a seemingly simple synthesizer, it can output a very rich, full and warm sound. Years ago, after hearing Polysix, I knew I had to get one. When Matt reluctantly decided to sell his Polysix, I didn’t hesitate for a second to buy it from him. Soon enough Matt acquired himself another Polysix. We have both used the Polysix in a lot of our music over the years. The Polysix was released in 1981 and MIDI did not really become the standard until a year later. With no MIDI we were forced to play the Polysix live or trigger it’s arpeggiator with another device. Not that this was a bad thing but, it did make it’s uses somewhat limiting. There are a few MIDI retrofits available for the Polysix (some better than others) however, most cost as much as a Polysix itself. There is also a DIY MIDI retrofit but, attempting to build one was a bit beyond my electronics skills. I found this website online and the gent who runs the site built us 2 for a very reasonable price and shipped them to me. We then ask our friend Dave to help us install them. Once installed, it gave the Polysix a much wider range of possibilities. We both agreed that we should write a track that was entirely based on Polysix sounds. The result is this track.

High Fidelity





Key Maps : Dave Smith

Dave Smith is a brilliant engineer who helped develop many fundamentals of analog/digital synthesis and MIDI. He has designed some of the coolest sounding synthesizers to date and he continues to bring state of the art concepts the the electronic music world.

For this song we used only synthesizers that Dave Smith had a part in the design of:

For the mix, each synth was programmed with it’s own sound and the Prophet 2002 sampler was used for most of the percussion sounds and some additional synth sounds (all samples were created with the other Dave Smith based synths). The Prophet 2002 is a great sounding sampler. At it’s lowest sampling rate it has a cool, grainy quality and it has a very rich resonant analog filter. However, our previous experience with the Prophet 2002 was limited, and since the sampler has only 512k of memory and can only hold a maximum of 16 sounds at one time, even with the user manual in hand, our experience was a lengthy, educational process. Once the sounds were created, they needed to be mapped properly across the keyboard. The process is actually pretty easy but, being such an early design… it’s not the most intuitive sampler out there so, it took some time to figure out. However, it did help us choose a song name.


Carriers was composed entirely using old FM based synthesizers.

FM synthesis is a complex sound creation method that has so many variables that you can make new sounds forever…. If you have the patience to learn it.

It has been around since the early 70′s and still makes it’s way into music today. The DX7 and DX100 made their way into so many popular and underground songs of the 80′s.

The sounds were very bright and “Bell- Like”. It sounded like a polar opposite to analog synthesizers. The two actually compliment each other.

In carriers we focussed on using the Yamaha SY77, TG77 and TX-802 as our main sound sources.


repair – call it coincidence : wolfgang palm

For the technical side of this song, we choose to use Waldorf and PPG synths. Our drum kit was created with the Waldorf Blofeld which has been one of the newest additions to the Repair studio. It a pretty interesting little synth that can make a large array of sounds. All other synth sounds and bass sounds were created with Waldorf Microwave and PPG wave 2.2. These synths are known for their bizarrely evolving waveforms and warm filters.

The PPG and Waldorf synths have quite an interesting history. To this day their Wavetable synth engine is uniquely distinct and copied by many synth companies and plug ins. My fascination with Waldorf and PPG started in 1989. After seeing the PPG wave in keyboard magazine and seeing Depeche Mode use them on stage I wanted one. However finding one for cheap was difficult and they were rare machines. Finally, Waldorf released their Microwave rackmount. That was when i knew I had to have it. It was less than 1000 bucks so it was affordable. So I wrote waldorf and they sent me a stack of brochures. Included in those brochures was the Wave synthesizer…. A dream machine. To this day I still want one… A few years later when I was in college, I mustered up the cash to buy the microwave and still have it to this day. It continues to make interesting sounds that are warm, full and punchy sounding. Always a happy addition to any track.



Waldorf Microwave

Sequential Circuits Prophet-5

PPG Wave 2.2

Korg Polysix

Yamaha SY77

Oberheim OBX

Computer World

From the first moment I was approached about participating in this project I was very interested. Over the years the use of a computer in my music making process has become more frequent and I have found it to be both a blessing and a hindrance.

My early music creation experience started off in my teens. I would sit in my mom’s basement, experimenting with tape machines, home keyboards, random instruments, microphones, toys, lo-fi effects that I had cobbled together, etc… Eventually I bought a sampler and a Mac plus and over time I added additional pieces to my studio.

Back then; the computer was not really the pivotal focal point of music creation as it is today. Mainly due to memory and processing limitations, most PC’s were mainly limited to the realm of MIDI (which uses far less data than audio) in regards to music creation. Now however, since the introduction of digital audio editing, when it comes to electronic music (or any type of music really), the PC (which is a powerful multitasking device but, not a machine specifically designed for music creation) is heavily relied on. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the PC is a great machine for various music purposes (editing, synthesis, effects processing, mastering, etc…) however, it is also very accessible to nearly everyone (also, not entirely a bad thing but, can take away from it’s overall uniqueness).

I think what often gets overlooked with computer music creation is that the PC itself is essentially a single sound source. Though it is possible to use many different tools to create sounds “in the box” and use various instruments with a PC, in my opinion, in the end, the composer is still relying on a single source and often relying on a PC’s mix engine and can often be subconsciously geared to editing and composing their music to a certain type of format out of habit.

In many ways a musical composition is like a mathematical equation. All the factors of the equation are like all of the various sound sources and processes used to create or equal the final output. The more sound sources you use, the more dynamic your overall sound can be. Limiting compositions to a PC for all music creation can often (but not always) end up sounding like it was generated by a PC and the original intent of the composition can be lost in this process due to things like mix engine and summing bus limitations built into many software applications. Asking a single device like a PC to process and calculate all of the factors involved can often make it more unreliable and can cause various undesired effects (i.e. audio/EQ frequency degradation, digital parameter stepping, unexpected crashes, etc…). A computer only has so much resources and the more you ask it to do in one area can often take away resources which should be prioritized to others. There are ways to enhance the output of a computer but this takes dedication, focus, and often-additional time and financial investment. At this point I often find myself being more of a computer technician, rather than a musician.

Many PC based musicians shy away from using hardware (more often old/vintage hardware) due to the cost, maintenance, space, etc… which (depending on the individual) are valid reasons. However, in my opinion, many older pieces of music hardware have such a unique charm and sound that cannot truly be replicated by a PC, mainly because these machines use components that are entirely dedicated to it’s own form of sound synthesis. By default, using hardware devices like these provides unique elements that can add whole other layers and elements to the sounds (often good, sometimes not so good). I find that the use of different types of synthesis from various unique sounding devices offers a much wider spectrum of sound dynamics that most combinations of software often fail to emulate. It also gives the creator a more hands on approach to making these sounds and often forces them to consider how these sounds are created and how they are being used in each composition, beyond the scope of software editing and processing. This is something that I believe must be compared and experienced first hand in order to grasp the real differences between these methods of making electronic music.

Of course all of the opinions I have expressed here are subjective and somewhat arguable, however, they do come from several years of personal experience. Our goal with this project is not to discredit PC musicians in any way because; we too frequently use computers in our music making process. We are also well aware that computers can generate certain types of sounds that hardware cannot always recreate. We are fans of other musicians who compose music entirely with computers and… The bottom line is, a good song is a good song, no matter what sources were used to create it. Our real goal is to create something unique and cool using rare music technology which we have invested a lot of time to master over the years, to show respect to the individuals who originated and developed the instruments that we cherish and most importantly to demonstrate the value and understanding of these instruments to electronic music listeners who will appreciate our sound.



Assembly Line

step1 – black spray paint old jewel cases from basement old cd pile.

step2 – break circuit boards into small, rough-hewn chunks

step 3 – when first coat of paint is dry, affix circuit boards with
contact plumbers glue

step 4 – finish with tremclad clear gloss coat to seal it up

21 limited editions!


Chrome Type II / High Bias

When Mark and I started our “Students” project, my computer was up on another floor of the house, so it was inconvienient to move it around when it was time to mix, so i plugged in the 4 track I had lying around. The more Mark and I used it, the more we loved what it did to our tracks, how the changes in level affected the Dolby noise reduction, how the sound of the kick drum changed with compression.

Since then I have picked up different cassette recorders to experiment with the different tonalities they impart on my mixes. These tracks were recorded to a Nakamichi cassette with Dolby C. I like this machine a lot. Matt and I did “High Bias” very quickly, we haven’t worked together on a track in a long time and it flowed very well. “Chrome Type II” was completed by me alone in the same fashion, using 3 samples from Mike Huckaby’s sample CD “My Life with the Wave”.
You can really hear the Dolby clamp down on the Emu Emax chord’s resonance, that was a mistake that i fell in love with.

This is the medium i listened to music on in my youth, and the sound of it brings back memories of sitting in the back seat of my parent’s car, with the walkman on providing the soundtrack to a world flying by.

When using a computer to make music, your brain is split in two, you are seeing the waveforms as well as hearing them. I am convinced this affects how you hear the music and definitley how you structure your arrangements. Stepping back away from the computer has made me appreciate devoting all of my brain to the music, and on a good day, getting lost in it.



Obsolete Component – Volume 1

1. White by Mark Thibideau
2. Chrome Type II by Jakob Thiesen
3. SH by Scott Stanley
4. High Bias by Jakob Thiesen and Matt Thibideau
5. Carriers By Matt Thibideau and Scott Stanley
6. Modular by Dave Afonso and Matt Thibideau
7. Key Maps by Mark Thibideau and Scott Stanley
8. Six by Scott Stanley and Matt Thibideau
9. Discreet Voices by Coordinates
10. Call It Coincidence by Repair