Acidlab Robokop

Well now what’s this? The sequencer from a Roland TR machine in Eurorack format that’s what! It’s pretty isn’t it? This is the new Acidlab Robokop. With all the Tiptop and other modular drum modules you can now build the world’s greatest drum machine. If you don’t want to program beats be sure to check out the wild new Tiptop Trigger Riot (I have one coming to me this week via Control!).

“ROBOKOP is the MIAMI-Sequencer as a module with 12×16 patterns and 12 Trigger-Outputs.” – Acidlab

For more info: acidlab.de/ProductAssets/Modular/Module_Overview.pdf

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on June 30, 2013 at 9:24 am, filed under drum machine, modular, synthesizer and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Phonogene Firmware Update

The MakeNoise Phonogene is hands down one of the coolest most interesting Eurorack modules. It’s a sort of sampler, tape machine, looper and grain slicer with CV control. This week there has been a firmware update and the video above shows some of what has changed.

“The Phonogene rev 372 upgrade includes: Improved Audio Fidelity, Improved Vari-Speed response (shorter scale, greater resolution), End of GENE Pulse (EOS outputs pulses for both Splices and Genes, turn up Gene Size see this in action), Longer Record Time (improved memory management and improved audio fidelity make longer recordings possible), Broken ECHO Mode: all new behavior allows for realtime processing of audio signals.” – Walker Farrell

For more info: makenoisemusic.com/phonogene.shtml

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on June 18, 2013 at 5:14 am, filed under modular, synthesizer and tagged , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Control Voltage Fair

I am happy to report that the Control Voltage Fair is returning on Saturday July 6, 3pm-12am. It will be held once again at the at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan. This is where I first really got into modular synths. Be sure to check out my post and photos from last year’s show: click here.

“Part exposition, part block party, Control Voltage is New York City’s annual fair dedicated to celebrating the modular synthesizer. Synth makers and distributors share their creations by day, inviting audiences to see, hear, touch, and talk about the modular synth. Musicians perform at night celebrating technology, invention, community, creativity. The fair will take place on July 6th, 2013 at Cannon’s Walk, and will feature the interactive fair followed by a concert. Kickoff and wrap-up concerts will take place on July 5th and July 8th. Workshops involving building voltage-controlled instruments will take place throughout the weekend. Participating Exhibitors include (tbc): 4ms, Casper Electronics, Control, Intellijel, Knas, Main Drag, Make Noise, Meme Antenna, Pittsburgh Modular, Skychord, Snazzy FX, Tip Top Audio, Toppobrillo.” – harvestworks.org

For more info: harvestworks.org/jul-6-control-voltage-2013 and rivertorivernyc.com/artists/control-voltage

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on June 12, 2013 at 4:06 am, filed under modular, synthesizer and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Jupiter Storm

I picked up a Jupiter Storm Eurorack module from hexinverter.net at Control last week. Hex’s vcNOIZ became an instant favorite of mine so after less than a minute demoing the “JS” at the store I knew I had to have it. It’s basically 3 special noise oscillators, CV inputs and several outputs. In my demo video above I start off with just a basic output, show you how it sounds going stereo out, I engage the Noise Core Disruptor, modulate with with a Synthesis Technology E355 LFO, FM it with a vcNOIZ and finally sequence it with a Doepfer Dark Time. This is a very fun and useful module. There is a breakout coming later this year that will add even more functionality.

“Jupiter Storm is a cosmic noise oscillator. It creates sounds that can only be described as out of this world! Where it differs entirely from other pure noise generators (such as vcNOIZ) is in the algorithm used to produce the sound. Jupiter Storm has a tonal character very much of its own. Jupiter Storm does not create pure white noise like the vcNOIZ noise oscillator module from hexinverter.net. Rather, it derives what is similar to noise (but not quite) from three square wave oscillators in a unique algorithm. Some of the sounds possible are reminiscent of the sound of a broken radio being blasted with noise from the cosmos, hence, the name “cosmic noise oscillator”. This creates noise with significant harmonic content and other such interesting timbres you will not hear anywhere else! Engage the Noise Core Disruptor to create horrific sounds. In this mode, part of the noise core is creatively abused in order to generate insane sonic textures. Voltage control inputs for all three square wave VCOs in the noise core are available as well as a control voltage input that addresses all three oscillators at once. In this way, very dynamic sounds can be achieved with complex modulation routing. For example, you can apply a taste of LFO modulation to all three oscillators, while modulating a select oscillator simultaneously on its own with something more drastic. This module is based entirely around analogue opamps and discrete logic gates. No microcontrollers are used in the design of this module.” – Control

For more info: hexinverter.net

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on June 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm, filed under modular, synthesizer and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Iris Modular

For those of you who still have not grabbed some modular stuff but want in on the sounds Izotope has released a Sound Library called Modular for Iris. Iris is on my list of interesting plug-ins to get when I have the chance. This library has 600 samples and 300 patches for $34 USD.

“From the vintage classic, the ARP 2600, to modern Cartesian sequencing, the Modular sound library stems from a wide range of both musical and chaotic sources. Start experimenting and you’ll find that any Modular patch could inspire your next track, from pulsing tones to lush effects to glitchy rhythmic syncopations to fat bass sounds.” – izotope.com

For more info: izotope.com/products/audio/iris

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on May 16, 2013 at 6:25 am, filed under modular, plug-ins, sounds, synthesizer and tagged , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Devine Noises

If you want to see a huge amount of modular synth patched together and sounding like a few hundred television sets falling down a flight of stairs start following Richard Devine. I’m not certain I would listen to his “music” while driving or even be able to pick out one composition and say this is one I love. However, as a movie soundtrack or in the elevator going up to the top of One World Trade center I think it’s perfect.

“Richard Devine is an Atlanta-based electronic musician and sound designer. Devine has designed sound patches for NI’s Absynth, Reaktor, Battery and Massive. He has also scored commercials for Nike, Touchstone Pictures and engineered and performed his own music worldwide.” – Wikipedia

For more info: richard-devine.com

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on April 29, 2013 at 4:58 am, filed under modular, synthesizer and tagged , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Flame Tame & DPO

Put this video on at about 6:14 in and it sounds like Front 242 during their Front by Front era. It reminds me of the basslines in Until Death or Welcome to Paradise. Sounds so wicked as he pitches the Make Noise DPO sequence using the Flame Tame Machine.

“The DPO is a voltage controlled oscillator designed for generating complex waveforms and implementing FM synthesis within the analog domain. Expanding on the classic arrangement of Primary and Modulator Oscillators, the DPO has both of the VCOs operable as complex signal sources. It is in essence a Dual Primary Oscillator.” – ctrl-mod.com

For more info: makenoisemusic.com and flame.fortschritt-musik.de

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on April 23, 2013 at 5:50 am, filed under modular, synthesizer and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Maths as an Envelope Follower

The next installment of Raul Pena’s Math’s Minute series shows how to use the Make Noise Maths as an Envelope Follower. This is a great way to add layers of sound to a song in a way that fits rhythmically.

“MATHS builds on the tradition set into motion in the 1960′s when Don Buchla adapted circuits found within analog computers for musical purposes. Buchla’s Algebraic Processor, Model 257 and 281 changed the way music synthesizers utilize control voltages. MATHS continues this great tradition of sculpting the control signals we use to sculpt our sound signals.” – makenoisemusic.com

For more info: makenoisemusic.com/maths

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on April 22, 2013 at 5:35 am, filed under modular, synthesizer and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



60fps Head Mount

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

For more info: medicmodules.com

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on April 12, 2013 at 4:27 am, filed under modular, synthesizer and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Photos from ALM Control Brooklyn

Last night I stopped by the always fun Control in Williamsburg to see a demo of Pamela’s Workout and their new SID chip prototype module. As you can see there was a nice number of highly interested people there. We heard Pamela’s doing some nice swing steps on a Tiptop Cowbell (my choice of course). We also heard the new upcoming SID module. It’s has multiple oscillators, a filter, noise, ring modulator and more with CV controls. My ears were happy when it did some 80s style pulse width modulation. I really enjoy these little get togethers. To see a few more photos visit the flickr set: click here

“Control is an independent synthesizer brick & mortar shop located in the South Williamsburg Neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. We specialize in Eurorack Modular, with a passion for vintage traditional and unusual eccentric electronic devices both analog and digital.” – ctrl-mod.com

For more info: ctrl-mod.com

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on April 11, 2013 at 5:29 am, filed under modular, synthesizer and tagged , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



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