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
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
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
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
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 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 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
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