D16 tackling the SH101?

by bdu on Aug.10, 2009, under media, non-modular synths, pictures, plug-ins, software

Seems like D16 may be working on an SH-101 plugin. I’m all for it if they do as good a job on this as they did with the 808/909. I could use a few more instances of my real 101, I just can’t get enough of that sound.

That said, based upon this image it looks like they’re implementing an arpeggiator but no sequencer. The SH-101 sequencer was so easy to use and fun to churn out simple patterns with that its omission would really bum me out. Don’t do it D16! Do this one up right!

Thanks to Waveformless for the heads-up.

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Computer Controlled

by bdu on Jul.07, 2009, under media, modular, non-modular synths, plug-ins, software, video

The latest thing in analog is digital. Computer control of CV direct through a DC-capable audio interface.

So I acquired such an audio interface and the two plugins that have been released for these purposes, MOTU’s Volta and Expert Sleepers’ Silent Way.

I’m using a non-MOTU interface, so there are some kinks to work out there with Volta, but MOTU is being plenty helpful, and I trust we’ll get things worked out eventually. In the meantime, here’s Silent Way controlling my 101 via my simplified CV/Gate test rig. 6 octaves of perfect tuning!

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Standalone virtual MS-20

by bdu on May.13, 2009, under DIY, media, plug-ins, software, video

OK, this is just too cool. This guy took the mainboard of his little eeepc and fitted it into the Korg Legacy Collection MS-20 USB controller, creating a standalone device. If he took it just a little further and routed audio I/O, USB (host), and VGA out to the side panel, it would be even better!

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OhmForce Cohmpost

by bdu on May.11, 2009, under media, pictures, plug-ins, software

New free plugin from the OhmForce crew, with a wonderfully child-like UI:

Also, they made sure to note that you are not to use it unless you agree completely with the license agreement:


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More Waldorf

by bdu on Jan.15, 2009, under 2009, NAMM, media, non-modular synths, pictures, plug-ins, software

Largo, the new software synth, looks to share some, but not all, lineage with the Blofeld. It’s missing the XT wavetable implementation, for instance. $250 in the US.

Look, it’s a Blofeld Keyboard! The pricelist I saw today said the upgrade to the module version I mentioned earlier would be about $150 in the US.

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MOTU Volta analog integration plug-in

by bdu on Jan.15, 2009, under 2009, NAMM, media, modular, pictures, plug-ins, software

MOTU was showing off something that absolutely blew my mind this morning: Volta.

It’s a plug-in intended for use with any of their DC-capable audio interfaces (Like, say, a Traveller or 828), it allows multi-channel PitchCV/Gate/ControlCV out to your modular system. Its interface is like a grid for your IO, each output is a box in the grid. Into the grid, you place (drag and drop-style) the voltage source for that output. You may choose from items as mundane as the channel’s midi input (for things like note data), or as crazy as step/trigger sequencers, LFOs, clock sources, etc.

This all sounds pretty neat, right? But wait, it gets better…

There’s a built-in calibration and scaling tool, so that it can automatically determine the proper CV scale to generate musical pitches from your possibly-less-than-perfect analog oscillators.

Now how much would you pay?

They couldn’t quote an exact price, but they said to expect in the $250 range. Of course there is the cost of a MOTU audio interface if you don’t already have one. That said, killer product for analog geeks like me, way to go MOTU, I know this must have been a hard one to pitch to management.

Pictures from the presentation after the cut…
(continue reading…)

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Random gates – analog version

by bdu on Dec.24, 2008, under audio, drum machines, media, modular, plug-ins, software

Like I said in the last post, couldn’t wait to get home and try it with the modular.

In this installment, I replaced the timbres, now we have a real (distorted) 808 playing the static drum beat, and the modular being played by the midi output of my custom modules in plogue bidule. This time the pitch input of the random clock module is being fed by a short repeating sequence I played and looped into the sequencer…

The modular patch is very similar to the one used from this post, but with the self-playing part of the patch yoinked out and replaced with the gate output of the Doepfer midi->cv/gate converter module. Also, I went ahead and made the whole thing pitched, played from that same module. So yes, you can play FMed sine oscs through lowpass gates in a melodic way, and no, it doesn’t sound half bad when you do so, if you’re careful to tune things properly. Lastly, it’s slathered in reverb-ish delay courtesy of Audio Damage’s Ricochet multi-tap delay.

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pseudo-random clocking

by bdu on Dec.24, 2008, under audio, drum machines, media, modular, pictures, plug-ins, software

I spent some time in Plogue Bidule today wiring up a pseudo random clock midi note generator.

This object takes a midi clock as an input, then chooses (randomly) various divisions of that clock to output midi notes. The midi pitches are either hard-set internal to the object or with external midi input. You can weight the divisions heavier by adding that division’s number multiple times in the number text field.

In the example audio below, the notes were chosen by a pseudo-random note generator I patched up awhile back, similar in function to this random gate generator, but for notes instead of gate divisions. The resulting midi was played by the Magical 8bit Plug, with D16’s Nepheton providing the static beat underneath so you can hear the original clock speed unaltered.

I’m looking forward to letting this bad boy loose on my modular, where I was intending on using it primarily as a clock source via midi->cv/gate conversion.

It’s worth mentioning that doing something like this in a pseudo-random way is the most difficult form, once you have that, it’s mostly a matter of *removing* bits of the module to, for instance, make one that switches divisions based upon the value of a midi CC input.

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Temporary Modular

by bdu on Dec.15, 2008, under media, modular, musings, plug-ins, software, video

I was really dying for a modular fix, and having just received news that my new case may not arrive until the new year, I threw a basic system together using the one 6u Analogue Systems case I have left at my disposal…

Modules used:

2 RS90 VCOs
1 RS165 Signal Mixer
1 RS180 VCA
1 RS40 Noise/ S&H
2 RS110 Multimode Filter
1 RS140 Midi->CV/Gate
1 RS270 jack adaptor

with an RS170 multiple up on top.

This more or less maxes out the power supply in the case, and definitely uses all the available power connectors on the bus board.

The patch is using midi tempo to clock the S&H and trigger the EGs. The VCA EG is decay-modulated by an LFO, the oscillators are setup as a carrier/modulator pair with sync-feedback and a bandpass filter in the feedback loop, the S&H is setting the pitch of the oscillator you hear, and the overall timbre is itself run through a bandpass filter.

The whole thing is run through an instance of Audio Damage’s Ratshack Reverb (have I mentioned lately how much I love this plugin? No? Consider it mentioned.) to give it a bit of lo-fi slapback echo.

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