Sugar Bytes WOW2

One of the best software filter plug-ins Sugar Bytes WOW has been upgraded to WOW2. They have added more filter types, distortion, an improved LFO section, step sequencer and randomize function. I really like what they have added here as you can tell these Berliners also make music. $99 USD.

“21 incredible filter types with the famous vowel mode. With distortions that cover your tracks with gas and put them on fire. Modulations that cause more trouble than your modular dark room.” – sugar-bytes.de

For more info: sugar-bytes.de

Monorocket S3104

As per a request on the Muffwiggler forums here are some photos of my new Monorocket S3104 Eurorack modular case. It was $350 and I grabbed it at Control in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It has a 500mA power supply and is built very nicely! The sliding nut system makes it so there are no gaps between modules but it is a little more fiddly than I would hope. It’s not an issue unless you take your modules in and out of the case often. This is going right below my iMac monitor on an angle in front of my computer keyboard. I may as well mention the Synth Tech E355 is terrific. It’s a dual LFO with a wavetable of morphing shapes. It just sounds pretty as hell with my Echophon. The Metasonix R54 in Oscillator mode is so vintage sounding. It can be very fuzzy distorionistic in a warm way unlike plug-ins. I will post some videos soon. For more photos: click here.

“We’ve rev’d some of the models for the second half of 2012. S series: “Thin”. S3104 $350: 3U / 104HP / 500ma psu +12 and -12v w 5v onboard / makenoise power supply w/ ribbon cable distribution.”

For more info: monorocket.com

Jomox Moonwind Videos

I’ve been waiting to see a bit more of what the Jomox Moonwind can do and this week Jurgen has posted three new videos. This is the kind of interesting (and expensive) boutique gear you can really love. I think it’s really great he designs and makes this stuff himself.

“Moonwind Analog Filter Tracker is a true analog stereo filter with built-in step sequencer, a fantastic sounding digital FX chip, 2 LFOs and envelope modulation. Everything is storable and controllable via Midi.” – Jomox

For more info: jomox.de/…product_id=15

Voice of Saturn and Ekdahl Moisturizer

Voice of Saturn Synthesizer and Ekdahl Moisterizer by thingstocome

Today I decided to record using my Voice of Saturn Synthesizer and Ekdahl Moisturizer. I really like both of these boutique boxes. I’ve already used both machines on various Horrorist songs.

“Basically, the Ekdahl Moisturizer is a spring reverb where the springs are exposed so they can be played/hit/fiddled with.” – sdiy.org

For more info: curiousinventor.com and sdiy.org/knas/products/moisturizer

The Ekdahl Moisturizer

Ekdahl Moisturizer

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.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g86o5FkwiM

“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

Controlling CV with Volta and Ableton Live.


using ableton live to send CV signals. from dan kirkhus on Vimeo.

Motu’s Volta is a software that turns an ordinary Motu audio interface into a CV controller. I’ve been watching a few videos here and there of people using Volta and this thing has got my interest. I have a good bunch of old analog synths in my studio and more control is always a good thing (except if you’re a teenager).

“Using ableton live and a handful of LFO type wav files to modulate external analog gear. fun stuff. (if you’re not interested in the “how” and just want to see the frostwave spaz out, jump to 3:30 or so.) this stuff *only* works with MOTU audio interfaces (see: volta). this is an easy and free way to send beat-synced LFOs to your outboard modular gear; moogerfoogers, sherman filterbank, little phatty… anything with a CV input… i recommend setting the warp method to “Re-Pitch” to keep LFOs smooth at extreme BPMs. or don’t… and get cool glitches.” – Dan Kirkhus

Thanks to Dan for posting this video. I think you also made me drop some coin on Frostwave Resonator. I always forget how great the MS20 filter sounds! See Dan’s Resonator video: click here

More about Motu Volta: click here

Scribbles is a handmade synth with a chalkboard.

My friend was showing me some neat synthesizer ties on Etsy. For those who don’t know Etsy is a great site where people sell their hand made goods. I decided to search further on the site and see if there were any handmade electronics for sale and I found Scribbles. This hand made synthesizer has a most unique feature: a built in chalkboard!

The synth is based on Ray Wilson’s Sound Lab Mini-Synth design which you can find at www.musicfromouterspace.com

The oscillators are tuned to 1V/octave, so it will track with other 1V/octave keyboards. There are inverting level shifteres on the ramp oscillators, and a sawtooth wave output on each. There is an additional square wave output on VCO 2. One of its special features is the pre-amp on the main output- you can listen to Scribbles on your headphones.

With the Sample & Hold, you can play melodies that sound like a sequence and is especially fun to play with the LFO’s triangle wave as its input source. With a square wave, the result is more calculated and more random sounding, depending on the pulse width and sample rate. The Attack-Release envelope generator has an internal loop option, which makes it repeat and play like an LFO too. If you switch the loop switch down, the envelope generator repeats on the Sample & Hold. The blue arcade button on the corner is a manual trigger button for the envelope generator. Adding to the main output’s pre-amp, there is another pre-amp on the audio input, which turns up the volume but can also make distortion. And to add to this mix of making a variety in tones, there is another pre-amp circuit after the filter, but before the VCA. – www.healthclub-music.com/scribbles.htm

The Scribbles was listed on Etsy for $380 USD. I believe it sold since I saw it last night because I can’t find the listing again. Luckily I remembered the website mentioned in the listing so you listen to some MP3 samples: healthclub-music.com If your in the spending mood you can see if they are making more for sale. Oh by the way while you are there check out their Swing Step Sequencer: niiice.

What would you write on the Scribbles chalkboard? Patch ideas? Lyrics? Inspiring quotes? The grocery list?

Noise, electrical hum, LP scratches and warping.

Izotope Vinyl - screenshot

A few months ago I performed at a club called Rumours in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. This required us to get picked up from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and be driven about two hours north. In the car I was shocked to see there was no CD player or MP3 jack. Staring me in the face was a cassette deck. Looking around some more I TDK D90 Tapenoticed about 50 cassettes stuffed in various places. About an hour into the drive I realized how good these cassettes sounded. There was some very nice high end going on that I had not heard in years. The bass sounded warm and sincere.

There is hardware software that will emulate tape saturation. On the hardware side check out Robert Neve’s 5042 True Tape FX unit.. Software wise there are lots of options including Digidesigns Reel Tape Suite and PSP’s Vintage Warmer.

But what if you want to bring back some good old fashion tape noise? Adding a few seconds of noise before your song starts will trigger your listeners mind into believing your song was recorded in the 1980s or earlier. My favorite plug-in for the task is Izotope’s free plug-in called Vinyl. Here’s a list of some of the “sounds” you can add into your song using Vinyl:Scratched Record

  • Mechanical Noise
  • Wear
  • Electrical Noise
  • Dust
  • Scratch
  • Warp Depth

You can also adjust “Warp Models”, year and RPM of the Vinyl emulation. Lastly, there is a mono/stereo switch. Using the Dust and Scratch settings you can get a nice Portishead sound. I have to say I really love this plug-in and if it cost money I would buy it. Big thanks to Izotope!

Sonic Charge - uToniq

There are many other ways to get some noise into your tracks. Sometimes I turn off a synthesizer’s Oscilators and turn up only the Noise Generator. Adding a filter modulated by the LFO to the Noise makes some nice wave or storm sounds. Sonic Charge has a superb software drum machine called uToniq. I use it as a noise generator by clicking the oh so ever awesome random button. Or why not record some real noise with a microphone? Even aiming a mic at your computer’s fan while it edits a large Photoshop document will do the trick!

photo credits: Lee Jordan and Breakfast for Dinner