A few months ago I went to Control in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to watch ALM/Busy Circuits demo their clocking module Pamela’s Workout (link). They also had a prototype module based on a Commodore 64 SID chip. Well that module now called Sid Guts is here. It’s quite a beauty and in the video you can see it has some fantastic controls. The only caveat is you have to source your own SID chip. I’m not sure how hard that is to do but I wouldn’t mind having this guy in my studio. I was recently reading the history of Ensoniq and thought it was interesting that Bob Yannes who started the company also created the SID chip.
“The SID GUTS now takes the legendary SID chip and tailors it into the eurorack modular environment. By use of a real SID chip the classic sound is taken in a new direction with the levels of direct and voltage control only a modular system can offer.” – busycircuits.com
For more info: busycircuits.com/alm003
Intellijel are one of the most prolific Eurorack modular makers. I personally own a uStep, uVCA and Triatt. I want to add a Planar and their upcoming Metropolis sequencer to my collection.
“Creators of electronic musical instruments and modular synthesizers.” – facebook.com/Intellijel
For more info: intellijel.com
Everyone’s favorite Eurorack module maker Make Noise is coming to Brooklyn this Sunday, September 8, 2013. In partnership with Control they will be doing a demo and talk in the store and then there will be musical performances at Silent Barn. Robert A.A. Lowe, On A Clear Day and Nullsleep will showing off what modulars can do.
“This weekend Sunday September 8th from 3-5PM we are pleased to welcome Tony Rolando and Kelly Kelbel of MakeNoise to Control for an In-Store demonstration and discussion. Later that evening at Silent Barn, we will celebrate the 7″ release of MNR003: Robert A.A. Lowe on MakeNoise Records.” – Control
For more info:facebook.com/events/231563376994136
I am really in love with my Flame Tame Machine module and the almost available Flame Arpeggiator 2013 looks incredible. Sean at Analogue Haven says he just got them in and as soon as he prices them they will be for sale on his website.
“The module is a two-channel arpeggiator with seperatly analoge outputs for notes and two optional movable outputs for the sequence clock and the velocity. Both arpeggio tracks (referred to as “ARP” and “BASS”) plays notes also via MIDI-out (different MIDI-channels 1 and 2). The first four notes of the ARP track notebuffer forms the chord. The chord analoge outputs are the CV-outputs 1-4 (notes 1-4). The MIDI-channel of the transmitted chord is channel 3. Use the module-keyboard for setting the chord/scale notes. The one octave of the module-keyboard can move over four octaves (KEYZONE). It’s possible to load preset chords/scales and user defined chords/scales (organized respectively 16 user patches U01..U16). The arpeggiator mode included 9 arpeggio play modes with additional different running directions (up, down, updown, downup) and different variations of noterepeats. You can control functions (as well as Arpeggio-Mode, Noterepeat, Octave-Range, Sequence-Pattern, Transpose ore others) via CV-inputs. Two CV-inputs (USER-1 and USER-2) can be set with individual functions.” – flame.fortschritt-musik.de
For more info: flame.fortschritt-musik.de
I keep mentioning UVI’s sample libraries on this blog. The
German French company doesn’t pay me or give them to me free they are simply really good. You can sample an instrument different ways but these guys must like the same type of music as I do as I’m consistently reaching for their sounds. I haven’t yet tried their latest library called WaveRunner which covers wavetable synthesis ala PPG and Waldorf. At $299 you could buy a Eurorack module or two Volca’s but when you’re writing songs on a laptop away from the studio you want some good sample libraries.
“A multitude of synths, drum machines and rare prototypes of esteemed German heritage come together in this massive and unparalleled retrospective. WaveRunner presents you with a wondrous collection of authentic and fascinating sounds from over 30 years of wavetable synthesis. Everything from the raw and strident origins to the wild evolving tones of more modern, full-featured machines. Each system addressed was serviced, meticulously multi-sampled and artfully designed into 7 unique hybrid instruments driven by over 30,000 samples. Both a historical archive of sound and a collection of new and unique instruments with hundreds of presets and limitless sound design potential, WaveRunner is a suite not to be missed.” – uvi.net
For more info: uvi.net/en/vintage-corner/waverunner
The Make Noise Maths is probably the most talked about Eurorack Module. It’s like a swiss army knife. It does many different things and it’s well loved. It just had a 2013 revision. It keeps what I think is the coolest name of any product ever and only costs $10 more. To see all what the new version adds watch the video above.
“MATHS is an analog computer designed for musical purposes. Amongst other things, it will allow you to: Generate a variety of linear, logarithmic, or exponential triggered or continuous functions, Integrate an incoming signal, With no signal applied, generate a variety of linear, logarithmic, or exponential functions. Add, subtract and OR up to 4 signals. Generate analog signals from digital information (Gate / Clock). Generate digital information (Gate / Clock) from analog signals. Delay digital (Gate / Clock) information.” – makenoisemusic.com
For more info: makenoisemusic.com/maths
I just set up an eBay alert for an Elgam Carousel. You could really call this a vintage groovebox. It would go nicely with my Omnichord! Pretty machine.
“The CAROUSEL is an interesting analog preset rhythmbox with accompaniment made by Elgam, Italy. It has rhythm (like the Elgam Rhythm Match series), bass, chord and 3 arpeggiators! Rare, obscure and very interesting!” – AnalogAudio1
For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Groovebox
One of the most important basic modules I need is an ADSR. An Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release shapes the sound or filter so it’s not simply on all the time. Intellijel’s brand new Dual ADSR has some nice tricks up its sleeve. First it has sliders which I find much more useful than knobs. It also has a wicked cycle mode the pulses the ADSR in time. For the type of music I do this is incredible useful!
“Based on the Roland SH-101 design with several enhancements.Manual GATE buttons. Three timing ranges. Normal and inverted outputs. End of Decay (EOD) logic output. Cycle mode. Dynamic level control of the VCA output via built in linear VCA” – intellijel.com
For more info: intellijel.com
Future Music visits two artists I really like. If you don’t know what Vitalic or Boys Noize sounds like check them out for some real fun. I remember performing in the south of France about 6 months before most people heard Vitalic’s song Pony. I was at soundcheck and the DJ was using it to test the system. I stopped and said ah yes this is going to be so big. It’s fun when you get a chance to hear things before they “happen”.
“Pascal Arbez better known by his stage name Vitalic (born in 1976) is an electronic music artist. He was born in France. Alexander Ridha (born in 1982 in Hamburg), better known by his stage name Boys Noize, is a German electronic music producer and DJ.” – Wikipedia
For more info: vitalic.org and boysnoize.com
I have always wanted a modular style analog sequencer in software form. There have been a few tries at this by various developers but none have really captured the essence of the real thing. The latest to take a stab at it is Orwell Digital. They have just released the OR-1m Step Sequencer and it looks very feature full. Just last weekend in German I was recording two female vocalists on my laptop. They wanted proper EBM backing tracks and this would have been extremely useful to create the basslines. There is an intro price of about $25 so I’m going to give it a try this weekend. Let me know if you have given the OR-1m a try and what you think of it.
“The OR-1m delivers the performance and flexibility expected from a pro-level step sequencer, while introducing several innovative features in terms of realtime modulation shaping and controlled randomness. At its most basic, the OR-1m is a standalone sixteen-step sequencer with per-step controls for note pitch, duration and velocity. In addition, each step features four knobs for generating MIDI continuous controller data of the user’s choosing.” – orwelldigital.com
For more info: orwelldigital.com