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Modular synth madness

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verslibre View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2018 at 14:31
Unfocused imagery is tantamount to the conveyance of Berlin School vibrations.

(said nobody ever, lol)
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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2018 at 06:13
:-) 
Very "experimental". ;-)

The problem with building all this junk is that I now find there's no real venues to play it in. Most "electronic music fans" like crappy dance music. Most musicians around here just want to play tedious cover versions, so having to improvise cuts the numbers of competent musicians down. Also, amateur drummers (of which there are many) dislike playing to what is, in effect, a giant click track. Although you can amuse yourself by slightly adjusting the clock now and then and seeing if the drummer notices. ;-)

The local music scene is not really ready for "experimental music". 

Playing it is like flying by the seat of your pants as well. You reach for the filter cutoff and whoopsy, turn the detune down for an oscillator by mistake. Or you accidentally unpatch something and it all goes bull goose loony. However, it's not as bad as playing old modular synths as the timing is a lot more stable. 

You suddenly realise, as well, that if you're playing a modular on stage, you really have to go with some form of light show, or something to distract the audience from the fact that you're not leaping around a lot. ;-) This system is designed to just chug away in the background and have occasional changes made by the ..... operator, really. So other synths and / or lead instruments can be played as well. It's really like a giant Shruthi box. 

Portability is also an issue, the cases I have are built like T-72 tanks and also weigh about the same. And. Well, you sit there and it's like being in an early Tangerine Dream video, which takes some getting used to. ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2018 at 03:48
Just plugged another two oscillators into the modular (with a third to troubleshoot). 

These each output up to five waveforms each - sawtooth, triangle, sine, square and even harmonic. These go through mixers and get incorporated into the general sound. 

Here's the result, this is just the synth burbling away with me switching sequences for each of the two cabinets and occasionally twiddling filter cut offs and phaser depth. 

Bit of soldering here. That's one oscillator. Uses horrible little 1/8W resistors as well. Little pigs to work with. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2018 at 03:51
Did I mention these were horrible to build ? Finished oscillators top row, on the extreme left. 

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verslibre View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2018 at 12:47
Can you ship those boxes over here? LOL!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2018 at 06:06
If only I could. 

But I wouldn't. ;-))))

Seriously, Verslibre, if you want to try building your own, I'm happy to give you some starter tips ! ;-)

The Next Big Project has, er, 53 knobs. Lots of LEDs. Better get some new solder. ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2018 at 07:18
Right ! I've really lost it now. 

What I've decided is that the current system is best used merely as an accessory. That just does sequences. So what I really need is a third cabinet set up to do monstrous lead voices.

And I mean monstrous. 

So the idea is - build four Monoblocs by Frequency Central (q,v) - these have six oscillators (based on a Roland System 700) - four filters (Roland and Moog) - four voltage controlled amplifiers, two low frequency oscillators and six envelope generators. 

Here's the first two under construction. 

I then add in another three multiwave oscillators (which I already have built) - that gives another fifteen waveforms - I've got a MIDI to CV interface built, got shed loads of mixers and splitters and multiples, right, that'll connect it all up - build a case - four rows high and extra wide - the result will be totally insane and probably set the grass on fire. 

Probably nine month to a year of soldering in there, but it should be absolutely insane when finished. So, six oscillators and eight sequencers in the accessory cabinets, I could add another few FC Device modules to the main cabinet, so that's between 9 and 12 oscillators in that one, result, complete madness. 

Don't wait up, but this should be, er, insanely interesting and probably vomit inducing. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2018 at 07:22
Eek, the knobs alone for the four Monoblocs will be $140. ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2018 at 04:37
Some serious Tangerine Dreamery in progress this morning. Six oscillators, four filters, eight sequencers. 

https://soundcloud.com/brotherhoodofthemachine/sequencer-rack-with-multiple-filters


Edited by Davesax1965 - August 05 2018 at 04:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2018 at 04:42
Initial design for the lead rack. A bit of this is pre-built, there's a lot of work to do and the cabinet will end up 30% wider to incorporate splitters and mixers and various utility modules. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2018 at 04:43
I should reckon I've got about 55% of this nearly soldered up. 

Should be quite astonishing.  

Eventually.


Edited by Davesax1965 - August 05 2018 at 04:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2018 at 11:26
Originally posted by verslibre verslibre wrote:


Unfocused imagery is tantamount to the conveyance of Berlin School vibrations.
(said nobody ever, lol)
 

(...sorry if this is not on the proper thread ...)

I think the point was, to have completely unfocused imagery and to pay attention to the audience's responses, as a way to find ways to go even further.

This was major in theater, with the likes of THE LIVING THEATER, and the experimental stuff that Peter Brook had started in England at the RSC, and then took to Paris, where his experiments were better appreciated, or at least allowed and helped, that even ended up with THE MAHABHARATTA, which featured actors that could not even talk to each other using a language and communication skills that were "visual" to get across the points, not to mention that the setting for it, on stage, was totally out there, and defied the normal conventions of theater.

It was also major in FILM, which had enjoyed folks like Godard, doing absolutely crazy and experimental stuff that made no sense for the most viewers at all, which was one of its greatest criticisms, and then so many others that were doing their own thing, completely different from the "normal" film stuff out there with stars and so forth.

MUSIC, specially in the rock/radio side of things was the only one that was behind, although it was alive on its own for many years, though it had no visible audience per se. BERLIN, in this case, at least after reading the TD book, became a center that intentionally went after this kind of material and this gave us a lot of musicians, that are remembered very fondly today, even if their material is so out there, weird and sometimes defying the definition of "music".

I believe we have this "idea" that it has to mean something, or no one will listen to it, when (for me) it appears the fact is the opposite ... I like to create my own images, and a lot of this stuff helped me elaborate the things I was seeing from the days as a child, when everyone called me silly, and stop seeing things that don't exist. In this sense, I probably would be a good musician, since the exploration side of it would be endless as opposed to "ideas" for creating a piece of music.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2018 at 14:06
Hey Dave, does your modular have stereo outputs or a single mono?  I was looking at your cabinet and didn't see any obvious way of controlling the stereo field with a panning control, but I could have missed it.  Asking because I just bought an Arturia MatrixBrute monosynth, and the only way to create an interesting stereo output field is running it through the onboard stereo delay.  What it does have, is a CV I/O patchbay that allows connecting a modulation source to an external CV input friendly effects device.

Do you know of any effects processors that accept a monaural input, allow CV input to control LFO's/ENV's/etc that might control panning/volume, and then output the resulting signal in stereo?

Thanks Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2018 at 07:21
Hi Crimson King ! 

At the mo, the modular has one output (mono / stereo) per cabinet, but the new cabinet I'm building will have an extra two. Befaco make some output modules - 



I typically use these - easy kits to build. This takes the 10v range of the modular (bit hot !!! ) and steps it down to line level. The line level outputs go into a four channel Lexicon Omega audio interface. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2018 at 07:26
As for panning, several ways of doing it. Befaco and Horstronic do (expensive) joystick kits, Doepfer make one (A-174 model) so I could use one of them. 

Wooo, no idea with the external effects processor. What I'd be tempted to do is take mono outs from the Matrixbrute to two channels, not sure if it's possible. If you can get two outputs, of course, you're OK, just pass the channels into a stereo effects unit. I've got an old Alesis Quadraverb lying around which I really must get connected up to the modular at some point. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2018 at 07:28
Back to the endless soldering. 

This is 45% of the latest project. I think I'm going to need a bigger boat.

And that's all the easy stuff done first. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quinino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2018 at 07:44
I can't disagree more: one should always, always begin right away with the most difficult work and save the easy parts for last, not the other way around as you seem to have done - now you will suffer extreme pain to conclude the project, needlessly

(don't forget to follow my advise next time)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2018 at 10:57
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

As for panning, several ways of doing it. Befaco and Horstronic do (expensive) joystick kits, Doepfer make one (A-174 model) so I could use one of them. 

Wooo, no idea with the external effects processor. What I'd be tempted to do is take mono outs from the Matrixbrute to two channels, not sure if it's possible. If you can get two outputs, of course, you're OK, just pass the channels into a stereo effects unit. I've got an old Alesis Quadraverb lying around which I really must get connected up to the modular at some point. 

The MatrixBrute does have 2 output channels and a built in analog effects bank...but you can only select 1 effect at a time and it's pretty tame.  I've been posting on MuffWiggler/Gearslutz so we'll see what they recommend.  Thanks and good luck with your build Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2018 at 11:45
Originally posted by Quinino Quinino wrote:

I can't disagree more: one should always, always begin right away with the most difficult work and save the easy parts for last, not the other way around as you seem to have done - now you will suffer extreme pain to conclude the project, needlessly

(don't forget to follow my advise next time)
Deferring the worst tasks for as long as humanly possible is better. There's always the chance that one may die before getting to them and be spared the travail.



Edited by Mascodagama - August 10 2018 at 11:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quinino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2018 at 14:03
^ You're right hahahhaha - I'll reconsider my whole approach next life and maybe I'll be happier hahahaha
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