I was flipping through the latest issue of Sound on Sound and came across a cool looking hardware box called the Fucifer from Evolaudio. It’s a distortion synthesizer, mic-pre and EQ. I like what it does and how it looks but how it sounds will determine if it’s worth $2600. More and more I have been returning to hardware lately. Has anyone played with one of these?
“The Evol Fucifier is a distortion synthesizer & sound shaper, designed to give you many colors with which to create and shape your palette of sounds. Everything in the signal chain, from the Mic Pre, the Vintage Germanium Preamp, the Filter, and the inductors in the Equalizer to the output transformer, is designed to be overdriven, saturated, overloaded or distorted in a pleasing way. Mix & match the Vintage Germanium Preamp for a little warmth or overdrive, the Tape Saturation overdrive for a little compression and limiting or a bit of saturation, the Filter/Crossover (which in itself sounds great overdriven or even pushed into self oscillation with a sufficient amount of resonance), the Dual Band Distortion which allows you to mix many different kinds of distortion, and the vintage-style inductor based equalizer to shape the overall tone and color of the sound.” – evolaudio.com
I love the sound of spring reverbs. The Ekdahl Moisturizer is a pre-amp (with 100 x gain), spring reverb with wet/dry slider and a filter. There are two absolutely brilliant things about this unit. First, the springs are exposed for you to smash. Second, the Ekdahl Moisterizer is only $300. Needless to say I put my order in for one.
“Basically, the Ekdahl Moisturizer is a spring reverb where the springs are exposed so they can be played/hit/fiddled with. As well as being capable of creating sound in itself, you can of course also play sound through the springs like a regular spring reverb – this makes for happy-fun-time finger-modulation of the reverb on whatever audio that’s going through it. On top of this there’s an analog multimode filter that can be used to attenuate or exaggerate certain frequencies in the sound, this is real handy while playing the springs as you can – for instance – cut all the highs and just make thunderous doomy sounds or do the opposite; cut all the lows and make that ear piercing high frequency special love. Also, it incorporates an LFO that’s internally routable to the filter and that also has some external routing-stuff. The Ekdahl Moisturizer has tons of CV / Expression pedal options on the back for even more hillarious moments. The Moisturizer is a mono unit. ” – sdiy.org
The “E.M’s” designer Karl says he’s a bit backlogged so I’ll have to wait until September for my unit so if you want one you better get on the list. Be sure to also check out “Bob’s atomic experiment” on their website for some old USA style industrial music. For more videos and audio samples of the Ekdahl Moisterizer: http://www.sdiy.org
Here’s two videos that both help you make music with hardware. One is based on 1970′s tech and the other is pure 2009. What’s more lust worthy? A green lit Minimoog Voyager or an iPhone with polyphonic velocity sensitive keys controlling Ableton and more?
“The MF-101 Low Pass Filter’s ENV OUT Control Voltage makes a number of amazing Rhythmic Modulation techniques possible. This video shows some of these applications in a Dance Music setting. This technique is not limited to Dance Music. The applications are as endless as your imagination.” – MoogMusicInc
“MSA Remote is a remote control application for iPhone & iPod Touch that sends OSC messages over the wifi network. This allows you to control any OSC supporting applications such as Max/MSP/Jitter, PureData, Reaktor, VDMX, vvvv, Resolume, Quartz Composer etc. In this video, OSCulator is routing the OSC (& TUIO) messages coming from MSA Remote to midi and forwarding to Ableton Live and VDMX simultaneously. Nothing is done in post, the same signal is controlling both audio and video. At the beginning of the video you can see the polyphonic velocity sensitive keys in action (yes, the harder you hit the keys, the louder the sound – works equally well when the iphone is laid on a table), and later on the faders, triggers and multitouch tuio-pad. Should be in the app store soon: www.memo.tv/msaremote_for_iphone” – Memo Akten
I like you so you can have both set ups but for fun answer me this: Which set up would you rather have?
I really love my Voice of Saturn Synth and Sequencer. Recently Curious Inventor added a Modulator module and now a cool Filter with a metal Joystick (yeah!).
“This unit has a joystick or Voltage Controlled low-pass filter. It accepts two inputs that are summed and also voltage controllable (or knob). The joystick is modular, and can be patched to control or attenuate other equipment.” – curiousinventor.com
All these modules are adding up to a unique and inexpensive modular synth. If your looking for a unique home-brew synth you may also want to check out the Mochika2 or the Sound Lab Mini-Synth. The new VOS Filter will cost you $80 in parts or $230 built.
Here’s a pretty new plug-in for the new Universal Audio UAD-2! It seems to have all the right stuff too: self-oscillation, drive control, stereo tonal shifting, good modulation options and yay a wet/dry knob. No need for me to blab too much about what it can do because there is a great video overview here:
If UA were able to conceive a Moog product, what would it be? The answer is revealed in the soon-to-be-released Moog Multimode Filter, which delivers the first truly analog-sounding VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter) digital emulation made for mixing, performing, creating, or destroying. How can we claim this? The devil is in the details …Created in conjunction with the foremost pioneers in synthesis, the Moog Multimode Filter is a virtual tabletop filter set that combines the best of Bob Moog’s classic designs with select features from his final Voyager instrument. It is an amalgam of the best new and classic Moog designs, with a few innovations thrown in! – www.uaudio.com
If you want to stay native I like the Fabfilter Volcano 2 and Timeless combo.
Ever since I saw André Michelle’s software physics demos I knew the concept would make it’s way into audio applications. Bouncing balls attached by strings colliding with walls, creating sounds all said to me: glitch sequencer. Audio Damage’s Dr. Device has kinetics built into it so you can start flinging filter and delay nodes around. Audio Damage does not offer demos so until today when Chris Randall posted the above video I wasn’t sure how cool this feature was. The good stuff starts at 7:55.
I expect a few years from now we will see sequencers that look like realistic rivers which you can drop objects/sounds into. You would control the flow of the water instead of tempo. The wind, sky, roads or even a heard of buffalo could be other “tracks”. Finally we will have a productive use for super expensive Nvidia graphics cards. And of course we will control all of these elements by reaching out and touching them on our screens. I can’t wait!
One of the nicest sounding software filter plug-ins has just been upgraded to an all new version. I really like all the Fabfilter stuff and use it quite often. I bought all their plug-ins during a Logic Users Group Buy last year. Highly recommended.
We have just released FabFilter Volcano 2, the successor of our popular filter effect plug-in. It has been redesigned from the ground up and includes tons of new features, modulation options and a highly improved user interface. Volcano 2 is now not only capable of high quality filtering, but can even be used for phasing, flanging, chorus and many other effects! – Fabfilter.com
On eBay they usually go for well over $1000 USD so not everyone can afford one. Even if you do own one sometimes using samples is just more convenient. A big tip off to seasoned listeners that your faking it is the Hi Hat sound of most samples. Here is a trick that John Selway showed me on how to make Roland TR-808 samples sound more real.
I’m going to use Ableton Live’s built-in Auto Filter but any filter plug-in should work. This is a very simple trick but once you hear it “fix” the sound you may use it often. I am trying to get rid of it that symbalance, feathery, super high digital sound and replace it with something more metallic and clear. Check out the original untreated samples in action here:
Make sure your Hi Hats are on a separate audio channel and add Auto Filter as an insert. Grab the fluorescent yellow dot inside the automation display and drag it about a centimeter to the left and a half centimeter upwards. The kHz should read about 7.01 and the Q about 1.60. Take a listen to the Hi Hats now:
Now take a listen to what these improved Hi Hats sound like in action. Here they are in a song called Body to Body off my new album Attack Decay: click here
Here are a few places you can find Roland TR-808 samples online. Keep in mind that Roland TR-808′s sound different from each other, have lots of tuning settings and can be recorded many different ways. The kb6 set is free, the Gold Baby set was recorded to tape and my personal favorite is the Wizoo set.