I used to get both Keyboard and Electronic Musician magazines in the mail each month. My iPad and the internet has replaced those days but I am glad to see the mags still live on. Electronic Musician has just started releasing Modsquad a YouTube series with Gino Robair and Jim Aikin about modulars. I really like these and there’s no better video online that shows off the Metasonix R54. Enjoy!
“Electronic Musician magazine is the ultimate resource for musicians who want to make better music, in the studio or onstage. Visit our website for artist features, gear reviews, and more tutorials!” – emusician.com
For more info: youtube.com/user/MyElectronicMusician/videos
Wolfgang Palm the father of PPG and Wavetable synthesis added some 80s videos to his YouTube channel. I really love the one above which shows him at work. You can see the care that went into making the PPGs and it’s in no doubt many are still working today. The accompanying music is also great!
“PPG Company 1984, Production, 10 year anniversary celebration music by Michael Wehr 2009 and from PPG-demo 1983″ – Wolfgang Palm
For more info: wolfgangpalm.com
Tiptop Audio continues its quest to recreate the Roland TR-808 and TR-909 in Eurorack format. Toms909 is the latest addition to this amazing range. I have most of the drum modules already and they are spot on plus more. So if your ready to get your Jeff Mills on these are available now for $400 USD.
“The toms909 contains all three of the tr-909’s original low, mid and high tom-tom circuits adapted for use in the eurorack modular synthesizer format. the module was tested to sound like a fresh machine coming off the assembly line back in the 80’s. to add flavor to the beast we have extended each tom’s tuning range so it’s easier to dial soft bass drums on the lower ends and high pitched toms on the other. in addtion to that all three toms are voltage controlled, letting you play the tom’s pitch with cv sequencers…” – tiptopaudio.com
For more info: tiptopaudio.com
Wait a minute. A iOS app can be a Eurorack LFO? Apparently so! Check out the Brute LFO videos above to see it in action. Pretty cool! $3.99 USD.
“The Brute LFO is a powerful low frequency oscillator that modulates your analog gear. If you have a hardware synth that allows you to use external gear to modulate the pitch, the filter, or any other parameter, just plug the Brute LFO into the CV in and start playing. It consists of three separate LFOs. LFO 1 and 2 can be controlled using the control elements in the top half of the screen. The big knob in he middle sets the rate of both the LFOs. Additionally you can change the waveforms of the LFOs, detune LFO 2 and change its phase. The amount knob in the top half also sets the overall amount of the modulation. The elements on the bottom half (LFO 3) can be used to modulate the frequency of LFO 1 and 2. And the brute switch destroys everything!” – justuskandzi.com
For more info: justuskandzi.com/brute-lfo
My favorite synth of all time is the Ensoniq ESQ-1. This maybe only because I do not own a Sequential Circuits Prophet VS. You see there is something amazing about digital oscillators matched with analog filters. In my Eurorack system the best sounds I get are from my Ataraxic Translatron into Toppobrillo Multifilter. When the Prophet 12 came out I assumed it was an all analog affair. I watched a few videos months after its released and fell in love. When I discovered it was digital into analog filters I said, “ah yes of course!!”. So now there is a Dave Smith Prophet 12 module and I am all for it. Give me an 808, ESQ-M and Prophet 12M and see you whenever.
“Introducing the Prophet 12 Module, the same great sound engine of the Prophet 12 keyboard with enough portability to fit in a backpack! At twelve voices, the Prophet 12 boasts the greatest polyphony of any instrument designed by Dave Smith. Each voice features four oscillators capable of generating classic and complex waveforms, a sub-oscillator, resonant analog low-pass and high-pass filters, and analog VCAs. The new Character section adds a variety of wave shaping and sound sculpting options, like Drive, Hack, Decimation, Girth, and Air. Additional features include a tuned feedback path, a four-tap stereo delay per voice, expanded arpeggiator functionality, deep modulation capabilities, and bi-timbral operation. The LFOs, delay, and arpeggiator can all be synced, either to the internal clock or an external MIDI clock.” – davesmithinstruments
For more info: davesmithinstruments.com/products/p12m
This video made the rounds earlier this week but I didn’t press play. This morning I clicked and oh yeah this is amazing. Someone put an electronic soundtrack to the classic Road Runner cartoon. They did such a good job. The acid Warner Brothers intro alone is just so great.
“Consider the recursion of Coyote, who never eats, but only considers eating, ad infinitum. This barren, craggy, dry universe is more like a Mandlebrot purgatory with an endless supply of Acme weapon products which can’t function predictably, or whose proper function can’t be apprehended by Coyote.
Every ravine, every rocky outcrop, every national road that splices the desert is generated anew each time Coyote is forced not to die – his bones regenerate, his cardiac arrests are all false. He can be skinned alive a million times a million times.
This routine unravels from a spool that was never wound. Is this because of artifice that such toil is even noticeable? Why contrive a purgatory like this when heaven can be imagined? Or would every heaven ever dreamt only appear as purgatory to enlightened eyes?” – sssnacksss
For more info: wikipedia.org/Wile_E._Coyote_and_The_Road_Runner
My friends over at Sequencer.de mentioned a movie called Elektro Moskva yesterday. It looks amazing so I had to repost the info here. The movie is about the Russian synthesizer world. If anyone knows how I can see the full film let me know. I am excited to go perform in Moscow in a few weeks.
“On a western device, you push a button and get a result. On a Soviet instrument, you push a button and get something.” – Benzo
For more info: elektromoskva.com
The Therevox is an elegant instrument made in Ontario Canada. I think it’s a sort of mix between a Theremin and slide guitar. Some have MIDI control. Depending on the model these run from about $1500 – $2000.
“Inspired by the Ondes Martenot (1928) and the Electro-Theremin (1950), the ET-4 is controlled by moving a finger along a reference keyboard shaped to provide tactile feedback. Dual pressure sensitive intensity keys control the amplitude of the ET-4’s two independent analog oscillators. Combined with a low-pass filter, white noise generator and internal spring reverb the ET-4 is an expressive and versatile performance instrument.” – therevox.com
For more info: therevox.com
To sync my studio computer with my Eurorack modular set up I use an Innerclock Sync-Gen IILS. It’s a beautiful and amazingly built module but by no means is it inexpensive. Expert Sleepers also has a group of modules and software you can use. This week Mutable Instruments released CVpal. It is a CV to MIDI module kit (you have to build it yourself) for 40 Euros. I bought one to get my Macbook Pro in sync with a second “spare” row of modules I have. I am really excited to see how inexpensive this is. If you add 11 Euros to your order you they will send you a small plexiglass case for the module making it self contained. Once I have it put together I will report back here to let you know how well it works.
“The CVpal features a large palette of control modes – monophonic with velocity and extra square oscillator, monophonic with clock outputs, duophonic, dual monophonic, or even quad trigger conversion! Its 12-bit DAC with an 8-point software calibration curve makes it more accurate than more expensive products. A simple stand-alone case is also available for the CVpal – making it useful outside of the modular – with a stompbox or a desktop analog synth for example.” – mutable-instruments.net
For more info: mutable-instruments.net/modules/cvpal
Hexinverter has released his companion module to Jupiter Storm called Galilean Moons. It’s a dual EG and VCA with some tricks up it’s sleeve. It’s intended to create percussive sounds. Galilean Moons is 18HP, uses -65mA, is 30mm deep and costs $299.
“Galilean Moons is a dual amplitude transmutator. It transmutates the amplitude of incoming signals through the use of voltage controlled envelopes and VCAs. It is designed primarily to create voltage controlled percussive sounds when fed with a sound source (in particular, its sister module, Jupiter Storm), but can be used for all sorts of other tasks in your modular system as well as to generate typical synth sounds.” – hexinverter.net
For more info: hexinverter.net/galilean-moons