Last night I was playing with my Eurorack system and recorded the above loop. I love the way the each step in the sequence changes pitch and filter and then as a whole the filter ramps up and down. The filter is a Toppobrillo Multifilter. I have no idea why it’s named so strange but is sure sounds liquidy!
“Wiard Oscillator, Pittsburgh Modular ASDR, Intellijel and uVCA, Toppobrillo Multifilter, Boss DM-100, Doepfer Dark Time, Kenton Pro-2000 to Sync with Ableton Live and TR-707 drums.”
We live in analog times. The TRAX RetroWave comes from the UK. They are available new via eBay for $524. It’s a fully analog synth with MIDI and 5V CV. It has a noise generator, sample & hold, pulse width modulation and an overdrive circuit. What’s the downside?
“The TRAX RetroWave desktop monosynth was designed for musicians who want the warmth and raw power of classic analogue sound, created by a real analogue instrument, as opposed to a digital system or computer emulation. This compact unit is great for use in studios, with your home computer programs, in live performances, and for creating sound effects for film, TV and theatre.”
Here is the first audio demo from Studio Electronics Boomstar series I have heard. There will be four different Boomstar models each with a different filter. The demo here of the 4075 is an ARP2600 filter. They have MIDI and CV. You can download a full resolution AIFF audio demo here: link. I’m sure these unit will sound great (other Studio Electronics synths are excellent) but I find this specific demo a little annoying. Hey SE anytime you want a really good demo please send me review unit ok? The Boomstars will be in stores in about one month for around $800.
“Put some decent headphones on and listen to huge low booms end and searingly crisp filter sweeps. I tried to take it though a full compliment of waveforms, xmod, rmod, oscillator sync, feedback looping, resonance squeals and overdrive. There is quite a bit more to come when the LFO gets in on the action. The chassis are getting screened this week. We’ll post more demos in the days to come with video included. And no, this is not an SE1X or ATCX! They sound quite good, but there is nothing like the clarity and impact of pure discrete analog with hardware envelopes.” – Greg St. Regis
Portishead is one of the bands I really love because they sound like Portishead. Nothing else really sounds like they do and to top it off they sound great. Dark, romantic and painful. Right up my alley. The cherry on top is they use a lot of real analog synths. Band member Adrian Utley shows us some of what they have in the video above.
“Portishead are a band formed in 1991 in Bristol, England. The band is named after the nearby town of the same name, 13 km (8 mi) west of Bristol. Portishead consists of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, and Adrian Utley, while sometimes citing a fourth member, Dave McDonald, an engineer on Dummy and Portishead.” – Wikipedia
Here is a very rare 1979 EMS Synthi E that is for sale on eBay. There are a few very beautifully designed synths in this world. In my mind this one takes the number 3 most pretty synth right behind the Minimoog Voyager and Waldorf Wave. What a stunner! If I had $10,000 in disposable income I would quickly click the Buy Now button. So pretty! The videos are not the particular Synthi E on sale.
“For your consideration is this vintage 1979 Electronic Music Studios (EMS) Synthi-E analog synthesizer. Experts have estimated that this incredibly rare synth was produced in limited numbers, in fact, most approximate that less than 200 were manufactured. Of those that have been documented, it is difficult to find a better example, especially such a fine specimen with the original matching DKE keyboard (serial number 7137) and original patch cables. While highly collectible Synthi-A versions are somewhat accessible, the Synthi-E is virtually E-xtinct. Do not miss this opportunity own one of the coolest and rarest synths ever made, because it is possible another will not appear available on eBay for years to come.” – los.angeles.guitar.shop
Today I thought I would give you a quick look at some of my workflow. Here’s how I often start creating an EBM (Electronic Body Music) style track. I’ve started a Eurorack modular system and you can see my first two pieces in action here. I have recorded a 5V Pulse into Ableton from the Korg SyncKontrol iOS app. I loaded the click into Simpler and use MIDI to create a pattern. In this example it’s a straight 16th note. I use Ableton Live to route the 5V click out of my Motu 828 MKIII into a Doepfer Dark Time analog sequencer. The Dark Time is not in sync with my Ableton MIDI set up. The Dark Time controls an Analog Solutions Telemark (SEM clone). 8 steps of CV variation and CV filter variation loop the bassline. I also have the Dark Time send a clock out to a Korg Monotribe. On the Monotribe I have muted the drums and just have it playing some lazer zap type sounds typically where you would find a snare drum. Using MIDI I have a Vermona DRM1 MKIII playing a kick and snare. The Monotribe’s clock out goes into an Intellijel uStep which sends a 16th note clock to a Make Noise Echophone. I have a MFB-522 drum machine in sync with Ableton via MIDI playing a clap. This clap is sent into the Echophon where it’s delay shimmers in 16 synced steps because of the uStep control. I can play with the Echophon’s pitch knob for a wicked nice analog clap delay effect. Is it worth all this effort? In my opinion yes. You can’t really get a sound like this without going analog. This part would make a good verse. Because I can pitch the bassline on a MIDI keyboard the next step is to make a Chorus, maybe change the Dark Time sequence length or patter slightly, add some pads from an Ensoniq ESQ-1 and add vocals. I hope you enjoyed the peek into a world where control is everything.
“CV/Gate (an abbreviation of Control Voltage/Gate) is an analog method of controlling synthesizers, drum machines and other similar equipment with external sequencers. The Control Voltage typically controls pitch and the Gate signal controls note on/off. This method was widely used in the epoch of analog modular synthesizers, beginning in the 1960s and up to the early 1980s. It was mostly superseded by the MIDI protocol, which is more feature-rich, easier to configure reliably, and more easily supports polyphony.” – wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_voltage
I imagine if something like the Maxtrix is real music like that of Rastko Lazic would be playing in the server rooms of our masters. These are some pretty sounding and looking modular synth videos.
“Rastko Lazic (born 1970 in Belgrade, Serbia) is a composer and improviser of electronic music based in Geneva, Switzerland. He has been composing music for contemporary dance, theatre and television since 1996. As a member of the `Recoil Performance Group` (Denmark) he toured the Middle East and Europe.”
Nick from Sonic State got his hands on one of the first shipping Arturia Minibrutes. One thing is for sure is that this is the best sounding Arturia product. I think it sounds closest to the oldest Roland and Yamaha analog synths. It does have a great bass but it’s not a Moog bass (which is good for a change). It has full MIDI and CV for connecting to analog sequencers (Hallelujah!!). For $500 the only reason a synth lover shouldn’t get one is if you’re already sitting in a room of synths.
“Currently rare as Dodo eggs, the Minibrute is Arturia’s first forray into analog synths proper – we test and enjoy” – sonicstate.com
I had a great time at the Control Voltage Fair at the South Street Seaport yesterday. It was good to see that there are now 4 stores in the NYC area selling modular synthesizers! I spent the most time with Karl Ekdahl and his new Polygamist synth. I own his Moisterizer spring reverb unit and the new synth is wonderful. It’s also one of the coolest looking pieces of hardware I’ve ever seen. Mark Verbos had his car size vintage Buchla system there and did an hour live performance (eat that Deadmau5!). A good time and I hope these type of events keep happening because you really need hands on time with the modules to decide which ones you want in your own rack. You can see the full set of photos if you: click here
“The analog modular synthesizer is a type of synthesizer consisting of separate specialized modules connected by wires (patch cords) to create a so-called patch. There are three basic kinds of modules: source, processor and logic. The basic modular functions are as: signal, control, logic/timing. Outputs are an electric voltage.” – Wikipedia
There is a modular synth show at the South Street Seaport (210 Front Street, New York) in NYC tomorrow today! It’s called the Control Voltage Faire and it runs from 3-8PM. If that’s not enough fun for you there is a Buchla Concert that follows from 8-10PM.
“Since most modular synthesizers are constructed at the cottage industry level and distributed online, it is difficult for users to interact with these instruments. Control Voltage Faire will be the first opportunity on the East Coast for amateur enthusiasts, professionals and the general public to experience analog synthesizer modules produced by DIY manufacturers and crafters. Like a small-scale NAMM show with the independent spirit of the Maker Faire, the Control Voltage Faire will zone in on the origins and future of modular synthesis. Presenters at the Control Voltage Faire include: Control, 4ms, Harvestman, Knas, Main Drag Modular, Make Noise, Malekko, SnazzyFX, MeMe Antenna and Pittsburgh Modular. And more to be announced! The evening will feature Buchla 200 Recital, presenting three composers exploring this powerful instrument: Alessandro Cortini, Carlos Giffoni, and Mark Verbos. To end the event, a late show featuring Xeno & Oaklander and Loud Objects will perform on all-analog instruments. The concert will take place in Lower Manhattan’s @SEAPORT!, located at 210 Front Street.” – facebook.com/events…