Oct 25, 2009 Gear
I received my first new modules in a little while today, which are also my first-ever analog sequencing modules. I’ve had a lot of exposure to analog synths and have used them before I owned my synthesizers.com modular, but I had never used an analog sequencer, so this is very new to me. The modules I received were all from STG Soundlabs — a Shift Manager, a Voltage Mini-Store and a Trigger Mini-Store. I don’t know if it’s precisely the set of modules I would have gotten had I had my choice, but they came up at a good price used, so I jumped on them. In the new year, I’m going to jump on the Time Buffer and another Voltage Mini-Store to round things out, I think.
As it stands, without the Time Buffer, things get *slightly* complicated. They have no sort of default place to drive their timing from, so I have to use the manual shift input on them, and I’ve hooked them up to an LFO in order to drive that, so each time the Low-Frequency Oscillator oscillates, they shift forward a note. This works pretty well, and allows you to do some smooth tempo shifting by fiddling with the frequency knob on the LFO, but it means that some of their niftier features, such as the clock divider switch, don’t do anything at all. Also, while I appreciate the reset jacks, I would have liked a “reset all” button so I could put them all back to position 1 simultaneously. I’m sure I’ll figure out a more efficient way to manage that in time. (I can do it by putting an envelope generator into a multiple and then putting those outputs to the reset jacks, but I only have one multiples module.)
Two things that this has rapidly made apparent about my system: 1) I need another multiples module, and; 2) I need some longer cords. My system is now at a size where I don’t have any cords that reach from one side to the other. I cobbled something together so I could drive my oscillators (near the left) from the sequencing modules (near the right), but I’m going to need at least a few 48″ cables to make this really work in the long run.
All of that said, using the modules is *FUN*. I can totally see the addictive, hands-on quality of analog sequencers already, and this is definitely going to be a more challenging path to using them than just getting an all-ready-to-go product like the Q960. Still, I’m not only enjoying them, but they add a whole pile more knobs and switches to my unit. I think that I’m definitely going to have to look into a second chassis in the new year, though, with a lot more “utility” modules.
In the meantime, though, I predict a lot of fun playing with the newcomers, and when I get the Time Buffer in the beginning of the new year, which will allow me to get sync from my computer out to the sequencing modules, the real fun begins.
Oct 19, 2009 Uncategorized
I’ve got a few things on the go, but I’ve been having that frustrating experience where every time you sit down to work, you spend hours and get *nothing* (well, nothing usable) at all. It’s really driving me nuts.
However, because I haven’t given you so much as a snippet of audio outside of YouTube videos in months, here’s a minute or so of a small loop that I was playing with today:
Another video that I shot using just the digital camera without separating out the sound. I think this will be the last time I do that. First, the camera stops the video unexpectedly with no obvious indication that it’s done so, resulting in things like that half-sentence at the end. Second, it introduces a high-pitched whine to the audio. (I always thought it was our air conditioner, but it turned up in my videos from camping as well.) Third, the mic is not very sensitive. In future, I’ll probably try using a dedicated video camera for video and recording the audio tracks (synth and voice) separately off the line out and a mic in Logic.
In the meantime, though, this covers the basics of the module and should be follow-able. I’m not sure if it’s *too* basic. I have a lot of not-synth friends who say that they enjoy the videos. Anyway, let me know if you enjoy it!
Oct 7, 2009 Uncategorized
Basically, what he’s done is to take a recording of a child speaking, break it down into individual frequency bands that correspond to the notes on a piano, and create a mechanical device that can play those notes with force proportional to the power at the sampling interval.
The individual component techniques of this aren’t necessarily new, but putting them all together in this way is fascinating