About six months ago I was asked to take part in a then secret music project. Tom J Carpenter and Jason Subtractive of Analogue Solutions were planning an ambitious string of Synthpop/New Wave releases. They were going to work with different vocalists, create music videos and promised a high quality package. I knew Jason’s synth work from his synth demos so I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. To say he has the Depeche Mode sound down is an understatement. On the song I gave my voice to titled The Last Martian listen to filtering bassline, high pitched delaying notes and at 43 seconds in there is a panning mid range sound that I’ve only heard Alan Wilder himself create. I knew that Tom was friends with Alan helping him repair some synths and selling him a Telemark. In fact, I question if Jason is actually who he says he is. This was also the first time I recorded my own vocal to someone else’s lyrics. Vile Electrodes and Chad Glenn also remixed the track. Here he comes with his gun the last martian.
“Sound of Science is pleased to announce the availability of our 2nd EP, “The Last Martian”, featuring THE HORRORIST (Oliver Chesler). Included are remixes by Vile Electrodes, Chad Glenn (The Coil), and SOS!” – Sound of Science
I wanted to show off more of what the new Medic Modules Defibrillator Eurorack dual VCF/VCA sounds like. Be sure to check out my part one here. If you just want to jump to some instant awesome go to 1:04 in the video. When I increase the Q (resonance) the sound breaks apart in a wonderfully musical way. It really reminds of some of the sound on Front 242’s first album Geography. I needed two hands for this video and I remembered I had a GoPro sports camera so I used it’s head strap. Surely this is more interesting than footage of me jumping out of an airplane right? So what else is going on in this patch? It all starts with a Wiard Oscillator with a Tiptop Audio Z4000 ASDR. It is being sequenced by a Doepfer Dark Time and that line is being Quantized and beautifully modified by a custom key range I created on a Flame Tame Machine. The Tame Machine is also playing back a recorded sequence pattern. Everything is kept in tempo with Ableton using an Innerclock Sync-Gen II including a Tiptop Audio 808 Kick, Snare and 16th note hi-hat. There is a white noise crash from a Hexinverter vcNOIZ. At first it’s a solid blast then I break it apart using an LFO from a Synthesis Technology E355 Morphing Dual LFO. That LFO is also in sync with the Innerclock and is also providing CV to the Medic Modules Defibrillator at times. While it may seem like a long explaination once you understand how a modular works it’s very easy, fast and fun to put together a patch like this and play. I can see adding some more parts and vocals and turning this into a finished song.
“Based on the legendary Korg MS20 filter, and the Analogue Solutions SY02 module. Each circuit is independent. They can easily be linked in series using the Link switches, or used separately in parallel for individually processing or stereo filter effects.” – medicmodules.com
The Medic Modules are from Tom Carpenter who also does the Analogue Solutions hardware. I’ve become friends with Tom and also own his Telemark. I’ve only been playing with the Medic Module Defibrillator for a few days but it’s really nice. It’s a dual VCF and VCA based on the Korg MS-20. As you can hear in the video above the VCA adds some sick power to my Wiard Oscillator. The Q or resonance is really sweet and musical sounding. Besides the sound source (the Wiard) sometimes I send an LFO in the CV to create the pulses and use a Pressure Points as a little keyboard. Consider this just a part one video. I am looking for suggestions on some possible crazy patches. There’s definetly going to be some nice stereo stuff to discover. Tom is an artists and like most of his stuff this is a very pretty module. The sliders with LEDs are oh so nice and well just look at the back of the unit! You can also order a version of the module covered in blood.
“LED sliders. Sliders have dust covers. Forensic UV Ink. Total analogue audio and modulation circuits (discrete). High quality solid construction. Unique art on front and rear of each module. Each module signed by Tom Carpenter. Super durable front panel print. Wipe clean medical surface!” – medicmodules.com
Tom Carpenter’s Analogue Solutions has some wicked synths and sequencers in it’s product line. Tom’s friend Rezfilter has posted a really nice video of the Oberkorn Sequencer, Telemark and some vintage Oberheims. I love how he gets the Depeche Mode/Nitzer Ebb sound perfectly. These demos always make me run into my studio.
“Here’s a little bass jam put together with 2 Studio Electronics ObieRacks, an Analogue Solutions Oberkorn analogue sequencer, and a Telemark V2 semi-modular synth. A five voice!” – Rezfilter
I think the Analogue Solutions Telemark is a really killer synth. It’s based off an Oberheim SEM them pumped up with some added features. It’s new and has MIDI yet has a vintage sound and has CV too. I own one and use it on most of my songs. There is now a V2.0 Telemark with a Ring Modulator and Sub Oscillator/Divider. Check out the video above to see the additions in action.
“Here’s a first look at the Analogue Solutions Telemark V2.0 synthesizer. The new release features the addition of a SUB OSC / DIVIDER as well as a RING MOD. The inclusion of these two sound sculpting elements have a vast and powerful effect on the overall sound of the TM.” – Rezfilter
If you watch synth demos on Youtube you have no doubt come across some by Rezfilter. He demos a lot of stuff for our mutual friend Tom Carpenter. Tom as yo may know is the man behind Analogue Solutions. An interesting note about Tom is that even though he can make any synth he wants he also buys them all. Talk about a synth lover! In this video Rez pairs an Oberkorn analogue sequencer with an ARP 2600. What maybe also very interesting to synthpop lovers is that all these demos are leading somewhere. Tom has been preparing some music releases. I’m not supposed to tell you this but I have heard some of the music and let’s say if your a fan of early Depeche Mode you are in for a treat.
“Here’s a demo song featuring a soundscape entirely from the ARP 2600 (x 2)! All sounds, fx and drum patterns in the track were sequenced exclusively via the Oberkorn MK3 by Analogue Solutions.” – rezfilter
As I am about three fourths of the way done with my next album and my studio is a mass of wires. I’ve become obsessed with syncing my old drum machines and analog synthesizers using various methods. I’m not looking for perfectly quantized MIDI. I’m looking for some Control Voltage madness. Last night’s experiment will definitely make it to a full song. I haven’t shared anything with you in a while with regards to my upcoming music but it’s time I start breaking the ice. The audio sample may not be your cup of tea but the method can be used to create all sorts of nonsense in many music styles.
I have an old Korg Rythm 55 drum machine. I go out of it’s Trig Out to a Doepfer Dark Time analog sequencer’s Click In. On the Korg you can set the sequencer to trigger in various times. If you select a 16th note you will get your typical Giorgio Moroder type of thing. This time I have it set to follow the Korg’s kick drum (blue arrow above). The Doepfer is hooked up to one of the oscillators on an Analogue Solutions Telemark synth (both pitch and filter). This time around I don’t want the Dark Time telling the synth to play different notes. I only want it to Trigger a very slight pitch change and that’s why (see the green arrow) I have the pitch line stop after the second step. The two steps are just slightly detuned. The filter does change open and closed over 8 steps (which you can only hear when the filter is partial closed at the beginning). If you notice there is a grey Midi cable plugged into the top of the Dark Time. If I wanted I could play different notes on my attached MIDI controller and the entire sequencing line would change pitch.
Hit play on the Korg and off we go. I turn up the filter, bring in the Korg’s snare and you have something from a different decade. To add to the whole vintage feel the Korg has some Boss DM-100 on it. You can hear when I hit the fills on the Korg the synth follows and it’s really magic. One last thing to note is if you look at the Analogue Solutions Telemark photo above you see that orange arrow? That points to the other oscillator that’s not being controlled by the Doepfer. Its another reason you hear a detuned sound. I can bring it and the noise knob in and out for great effect (or verse/chorus parts). Time to add the vocals.
“At its most basic, an analog sequencer is nothing but a bank of potentiometers and a “clock” that steps through these potentiometers one at a time and then cycles back to the beginning. The output of the sequencer is fed (as a control voltage and gate pulse) to a synthesizer. By “tuning” the potentiometers, a short repetitive rhythmic motif or riff can be set up.” – Wikipedia
I’ve been creating some music with Tom Carpenter. He’s the man behind the wonderful Analogue Solutions synths and modules. He did an unexpected “nice” for me and printed my alias The Horrorist on his upcoming Spring Reverb modules. So I guess I broke some new here… yeah AS has a new Spring Reverb module coming up. If you follow Tom on Facebook you can also see his new very nice looking Telemark Keyboard. The first song we recorded is called “Forever for You” although we could change it to Cold Wave.. what do you think Tom? My friend Gabri is also doing a mix and there will be some other tracks. Samples coming soon…
“Your name is imortalised on the new spring reverb circuit board. hopefully it will be released in a few months!” – Tom Carpenter
I received a delivery from Noisebug yesterday and made the above unboxing video for you. I was also inspired to add the Analogue Solutions Telemark to an EBM song I am working on for my next album. You can hear the song in the video above. It still needs plenty of work and of course vocals. You’re also hearing a Jomox Brane 11 and the sequences are being fired off by a Doepfer Dark Time. The Telemark is created in the UK by Tom J Carpenter. He recently repaired some of Alan Wilder’s (Depeche Mode) equipment for an auction. The Telemark starts off as an Oberheim SEM clone but adds Noise (to me VERY important) and some other goodies. It’s a large beautiful synth and it sounds incredible.
“More features than the original SEM such as Sample and Hold, LFO Square wave, Noise, extra inputs, many more signal modulation options via rotary switches.” – analoguesolutions.org.uk
French company Arturia will release a software recreation of the Oberheim SEM on October 25th. The original SEM’s trick was a 2-pole multimode filter which along with low-pass had high-pass, band-pass and band-reject settings. This gave the unit some wicked sharp sounds. For a while the SEM sound could only be had if you hit eBay. Then Tom Oberheim followed in Bob Moog and Dave Smith’s footsteps and got things going again. I have to mention my favorite SEM sounding synth the Analogue Solutions Telemark which I had a chance to play with recently. It adds a few tricks to the mix including in my opinion a very important feature: noise. It’s good to see Arturia back in the game emulating classic synths because I think it’s what they do best. It’s going to be tough for them to get the sharp filters right on the SEM. That said, the plug-ins are a good stepping stone to get people into hardware or for when you need SEM on an airplane, beach, hotel room, etc… They sure look very pretty too!
“After years without any addition to their Synthesizer Anthology series, Arturia has announced that it will soon bring back to life in software format one of the world’s most sough-after synthesizers. The Oberheim SEM V accurately emulates the famous sound and interface of the original Synthesizer Expander Module introduced by Oberheim Electronics in 1974. Faithfully reproducing the tone, waveshapes, multi-mode 12dB/octave filter and other detailed characteristics, the Oberheim SEM V also brings the benefits of polyphony, MIDI control, arpeggiation and some innovative functionalities such as the 8-voice programmer, or the advanced keyboard follow.” -kvraudio.com