I would dare to say the only thing electronic drum wise out there better than a real Roland TR-808 is the Tiptop Audio Eurorack drum modules. The reason I say that is each module actually gets the sound right but is also controllable in a creative modular environment. It’s not just the sound they get correct. It’s also the pressure or chest feel. Tiptop gets it right. The fact that you can then take these sounds a throw them into Euclidean sequencers, Echophons, Plague Bearer’s etc is just fantastic. They just released the MA808 which emulates the TR-808s Maracas. $99 USD.
“The MA808 is Roland’s TR-808 Maracas sound generator adapted for modular
synthesizer use.” – tiptopaudio.com
Whenever a new Noystoise creation comes out I usually post about it. They are just so beautifully hand crafted. The latest NT02 would be nice in a live set up. It is available now for $260 USD.
“The NT02 consists of a square wave VCO with chorus/delay, a white noise generator, a ramp LFO, and individual 12db resonant lowpass filters for the VCO and white noise generator. the pitch of the VCO is controlled by one axis of the VCO joystick, while the other axis controls the delay time of the chorus. the chorus circuit is basically just your typical PT2399 delay chip setup, except there is no feedback loop. the VCO is fed to the delay chip, and the delayed signal is recombined with the initial signal before the filter stage. the effect makes the VCO sound much bigger and warmer with the chorusing effect. almost like an old analog poly-synth with detuned VCOs. the white noise generator is your basic two transistor type found in many old synth designs.” – Noystoise
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
SonicLab’s Cosmosƒ is the first plug-in I have been really excited about in a long time. I’m not sure how to describe it exactly so be sure to watch the videos above. According to Wikipedia Stochastic means “sequence of random variables.”. Well this plug in takes a bunch of LFOs and puts them through a Stochastic morphing engine and has a modern interface. Mac/PC for $205 USD.
“Cosmosƒ V2.2 offers a unique preset morphing mechanism. With 2D / 3D control interface + homogeneous and heterogeneous micro waveform handling, it “rethinks” for you what you know as “morphing“… A sonic morphing process defines a metaphor of exploring the sonic shape and timbral evolution on intermediate levels.Cosmosƒ V2.2 gives the possibility to manipulate its composants responsable for its bottom-up sonic construction within necessary correspondance, precision and smoothness.It delivers an unheard medium by reaching the untouched points of the sonic universe.. Stochastic morphing with distribution range for altering the morphing position, speed and interpolation control. Built-in mathematical functions to automatically and precisely move the morphing pointer in the space.” – sonic-lab.com
I really like this new Max 4 Live Device Spectrum Sampler. It’s great for breakdowns, into/outros or the basis for an entire track. I remember when it would take half a day to create glitch results like this. Mac or PC for 4 Euros.
“Spectrum Sampler is a Max for Live device which samples and holds spectral components of the incoming signal. It can create inharmonic resonances, artifacts, dusty noises, drones, gliding sounds: a wide palette of amazing noises.” – amazingnoises.com
A great recourse of Eurorack module video demos is the blog PatchPierre. This week they posted a great video from Raul Pena which takes a look at the Doepfer A-117 Digital Noise/808 Source. It starts with an audio demo comparing analog and digital noise, shows how the noise can be used as a clock source, what sounds the 808 outputs create (cowbell and cymbal/hihat) and how to use a VCA, ASDR and Trigger to get some basic drum sequencing going.
“Demonstrations of how to create percussion sounds with this module.” – Raul Pena
Imagine waking up, looking in your email box and finding an email from a member of Front 242. That happened to me today. DanielB reached out to me to let me know about his project Nothing But Noise. His email comes at an interesting time. Last weekend I ended up on Youtube watching November Növelet’s Misanthropy video. I realized for the first time that like any genre there is great and average. Misanthropy just blows me away so I started looking for more in the genre. I found more I liked and this morning after reading the email clicked to the Nothing But Noise website. I have to admit I was a little worried. I knew I had to honor one of my musical teachers by posting about his music on the blog. But what if I didn’t like it? I did a quick scan of the page. Images of silhouetted men coordinated in front of machines. They got this part correct. Image does matter and usually it’s a tip off if the music is going to be anything special. Before I hit play on the videos I noticed at the bottom of the page some gear. I found Livewire, Moog, MakeNoise and analog sequencers. I started to get excited. You see in the hands of these Belgians 80s Emulators or real analog works. Its the VSTs and such I’m not so sure they know what to do with. So I hit play and with great relief I am very pleased. It’s a serious effort. Yes I am starstruck but I never lie about music. This is good and as you can see by another recent 242 related post (link) I’m glad to be hearing from my old friends again.
“Nothing But Noise is the new musical project from Front 242’s mastermind Daniel Bressanutti, Dirk Bergen (ex Front 242) and Erwin Jadot. Upcoming is the project’s first album “Not Bleeding Red” (expected to be released… April 12, 2012).” – side-line.com
Living in NYC I hear my fair share of massive bass rumble from ghettoed out automobiles. I guess it’s fair considering I tortured the suburbs in the 80s blasting Nitzer Ebb on my hand me down Cadillac Sedan DeVille’s Alpine stereo. The young rule the earth.
“Bass describes tones of low frequency or range. Played in an ensemble/orchestra, such notes are frequently used to provide a counterpoint or counter-melody, in a harmonic context either to outline or juxtapose the progression of the chords, or with percussion to underline the rhythm. In popular music the bass part most often provides harmonic and rhythmic support, usually playing the root or fifth of the chord and stressing the strong beats.” – WIkipedia
Pure analog electronic snares, snaps and crashes are what the new Jomox M.Brain 1_1 is all about. If your like me and have spent countless hours searching for the snap sound in Soft Cell’s Tainted Love (iTunes link) then this seems like this box is for you. I know I’m going to grab one to sit next to my MBase. If you haven’t already seen it be sure to check out my visit to Jomox and interview with Jürgen Michaelis: click here
“Analog Membrane Modeling. Two analog T-bridge oscillators become electronic membranes. Why? Because they can be coupled. And because their dampening can be controlled. Then add a little noise, add a little envelope, and the brand new electronic percussion synthesizer of Jomox is ready.” – Jomox.de
Here’s a video I make of two terrific iPhone Apps that make random digital sounds. TOPLAPapp (iTunes link) and Grid (iTunes link) are must haves for any noise nerds out there.
“TOPLAPapp is a sonic puzzle based around a virtual machine for sound synthesis. This machine only accepts a few valid instructions, and you control it by placing each command letter within a grid, along with setting some associated parameter sliders. The machine runs through the grid, following the instructions to create the output sounds, which are usually of a somewhat noisy character, hopefully interestingly so. The historical antecedents include instruction synthesis as pionneered at the Institute of Sonology in the 1970s, and the live coding movement, of modifying a running program as it acts.” – Nick Collins