Asheville NC Synth Road Trip

I love the videos Trash_Audio posts of their synth road trips. I like the clip next clip editing style and they always look like they are having a ton of fun.

“Some synth spotting: Richard Devine’s Star Destroyer eurorack modular, EMS SYNTHI, NIN’s Alessandro Cortini’s DSI Prophet-12, Madrona Labs SoundPlane, KORG MS20 Mini, Octatrack, Buchla Music Easel & More.” – Matrixsynth

For more info: trashaudio.com

Gieskes Voicerec1b

Here is more madness from Gieskes. You could say the Voicerec1b is sort of a toy Phonogene? Ok well maybe not but someone out there is collecting all of Gieskes work for what will be an interesting live performance I am certain.

“On the start of a recording there is a beep sound.” – gieskes.nl

For more info: gieskes.nl/eurorack/?file=voice-rec-1

Arturia Microbrute

I really liked Arturia’s Minibrute a lot. I think it has a unique character. The new Microbrute is even more compelling. It’s smaller so it will fit on my desk and easier to take around. It has an interesting Mod Matrix that allows some Eurorack connection goodness. It has a cool sequencer that’s syncable with my Eurorack stuff. The price is great: $300.

“Packed with mixable waveforms, a new sub oscillator design, the famous Steiner-Parker multimode filter, super fast envelope, syncable LFO and the new step sequencer, not to mention the patchable mod matrix the MicroBrute is a landmark new synth at an incredible price.” – Arturia.com

For more info: arturia.com/evolution/en/products/microbrute

Pressure Points Patches

I’ve been diving deeper and deeper into my modular learning how to use the modules with each other. Daren from Control helped me with the patch above. With this patch I have an 8 step sequencer with two rows running. The first row is controlling the pitch of an oscillator and the second a filter cut off and resonance. You will need to use some multiples or Tiptop stackables to make this work. Holding a touch key on the Pressure Points holds the sequences on that step. Adjusting the ADSR’s release really effects the sound. Try adding a sine wave LFO into the ADSR’s Sustain CV control (if your ADSR has one) for some random spikes in the filter opening. Instead of clocking the Pressure Points with a straight clock use something like a uStep and send a few steps a break and then a few more steps for interesting patterns. Lastly try a VCA on the third Pressure Points row for volume control of each step. Enjoy!

“Pressure Points is a controller module, an analog sequencer that is played by hand. Touching the gold plated copper wires (aka Touch Plates), you become part of the circuit, generating a gate signal (Gate OUT), a control signal proportional to the amount of pressure applied (Press OUT) and the 3 Tuned Voltages for the activated Stage.” – Make Noise

For more info: makenoisemusic.com/pressurepoints

TrueGrid

So you don’t own a modular but you want to play with one? Check out a web based modular called TrueGrid. Pretty cool huh?

EDIT: Some people let me know this only works in Google Chrome.

“TrueGrid is a fully functional modular web synthesizer which let’s you create, listen and share modular synth patches.” – modulargrid.net

Play now: modulargrid.net/racks/synth

Paul Schreiber Interview

Like many other electronic musicians lately I have been obsessed with my Eurorack modular. A few modules I own really stand out. Three of my favorites are from a company called Synthesis Technology. Synth-tech as people call them is Paul T. Schreiber. If you look at his resume you will see he is an experienced audio engineer. You can hear his expertise in his modules. Enjoy a one hour Wire to the Ear interview with Paul as we discuss Chris Randall, MOTM, an $18,000 home stereo, the end of Blackberry, Tandy Radio Shack, the power of digital, patents and stealing designs, Eurorack power issues, the upcoming E370 Quad Morphing VCO/E371, E102 Digital CV Processor/Quad Temporal Shifter and what would Paul eat as his death row meal.

“So a lot of people grew up drooling in music stores. I drooled in the stereo store and I wanted to have this stereo system that cost $18,000. So I told my wife…” – Paul T Schreiber

For more info: synthtech.com facebook.com/ptschreiber, ctrl-mod.com/synthtech and analoguehaven.com/synthesistechnology

Logic Boss

A few months ago the Intellijel Plog caught my attention. It’s a Logic module which I can’t actually explain but in very quick terms takes signals, changes them and outputs different signals/gates according to “logic” aka math. You can then use the outputs in interesting ways. The complexity of the module scared me a little so I moved on. The Abstract Data ADE-31 Logic Boss is another Logic type of module. Its creator Justin Owen from London emailed me yesterday and we have been chatting about the module. One thing I really like about the ADE-31 is it’s without any programming/preset buttons. It’s one I/O panel prime for simple experimentation. It’s modules like this that first really made me want to get into modulars. Watch the video above for more details. $225 available at Analogue Haven.

“Multi-stage, switchable logic and pattern-generation module combining utility and performance-oriented features. Up to 4 inputs and 12 simultaneous outputs in a unique cascading architecture with CV switching and linking between the 2 stages. Perform basic logic utility tasks, create complex patterns and create rhythmic variations via on-board or external CV control. LED status on all inputs and outputs for clear status indication. Power-supply protection. Shallow, skiff-friendly build.

Logic Types (Stage 1): NOR/OR, NAND/AND. Logic Types (Stage 2): NOR/OR, NAND/AND, XNOR/XOR. Inputs (Logic, CV, Audio): 4x AC/DC, Up to +/-10V Max. (3.5mm). Inputs (CV): 1x AC/DC, Up to +/-10V Max. (3.5mm). Outputs (Logic): 12x DC Logic +10V (3.5mm)” – abstractdata.biz

For more info: abstractdata.biz/ade31

IMSTA Festa 2013

This Saturday there is a free event any musician in the NY area will enjoy. At IMSTA Festa you will see booths and rooms where music tech companies set up. This year Ableton, NI, D16, Alesis, Arturia, M-Audio, Propellerhead, SSL, Steinberg, Celemony and many more will be there. In addition there are panel discussions through out the day. I’ve been on a panel in the past but this year I will just be watch and playing with the new toys on display. Registration is free!

“On September 28th, the International Music Software Trade Association and SAE Institute New York will partner to host IMSTA FESTA, a celebration of music technology. IMSTA FESTA brings a collection of top music technology companies together in an environment where they can interact with music makers face-to-face. IMSTA FESTA is known for bringing heavyweight music industry professionals under one roof for this limited engagement. Our panels bring together an array of industry experts to discuss the state of the music business, technology and much more. IMSTA FESTA is a FREE event open to anyone interested in the art of music making; professional and semi-professional musicians, songwriters, music producers, and audio engineers, as well as music students and educators.” – imsta.org

For more info: imsta.org/imsta_festa_2013NY

Audio Damage Eurorack

Audio Damage has jumped into the hardware game with 3 Eurorack modules. DubJr, Grainshift and Errorbox are 8HP, $179 each and available now. I love and use AD plug-ins all the time so I am very interested in trying these out.

“during the week of Audio Damage’s tenth anniversary, we have succeeded in releasing a hardware platform for our DSP effects, and are ludicrously proud to unveil the first three Audio Damage hardware products: DubJr, Grainshift, and Errorbox.” – Chris Randall

For more info: audiodamage.com/hardware

Pulse Code Modular

Pulse Code the makers of Rhythm Studio have released Modular Synthesizer for iOS. The synth is free and then you buy modules for .99 each or $4.99 for all the current modules available. It certainly wont sound as sharp and wild as the real thing but should be great fun on a flight, waiting room or while on the phone with your mother in law.

“Modular looks, acts, and sounds like a hardware modular synthesizer to give you features that musicians want such as pulse width modulation, oscillator sync, 4 pole ladder filters, and 1v/oct filter tracking. Traditional modular systems are expensive and out of reach for the average artist. Modular is here to bridge that gap and allow everyone the opportunity to use these powerful synthesizers.” – pulsecodeinc.com

For more info: pulsecodeinc.com/modular