I’ve been becoming a little bit of a photography enthusiast of late, pouring over technical articles, putting together wish lists of gear, and checking out lots of photography be it for art or commercial purposes, and this last weekend, I had the pleasure of being able to do a little event photography for a Yoga Art themed event put on by Yoga Tampa Bay featuring local artists including my personal favorite (for some reason) alignbetween whose art was displayed on easels around a Christmas tree in an up and coming development setting known as “The Heights”. It was a lot of fun and even hula hooping ensued. Check out the flickr stream.
This is the latest installment of my eurorack modular synth build process. Its been about 10 months of buying and learning new modules and understanding the new permutations that come with each purchase. I am still a little cloudy on the Maths module but otherwise feel like I have a solid handle on most everything else. I had started a new track and let it languish a little as other commitments were getting in the way, but the purchase of a used Fender Jazz Bass was enough to get me back in the studio playing with some sounds, and the modular patch I was working with started sounding interesting, so I rolled a little video.
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- Robert Rich On Live Modular Synthesizer Performance (synthtopia.com)
I made this mix after spinning some great music festivals, and getting a chance to travel this summer and see great music away, and there was a feeling I came away from all that with, that made me want to do a mix to capture that vibe, and this is it.
Its available as a 320kbps mp3 free download or stream from soundcloud no account required. Enjoy and please, if you have any thoughts feel free to let me know.
Well, I have been talking about my return to modular synthesis, and building a modular from scratch, as a way to chronicle the journey of small beginnings, and hopefully potential grand future. I did this partially as a way to encourage others like myself, who felt like an initial purchase of a preconfigured modular system from Doepfer where a “Mini System” costs $1649 and a “Basic System with MIDI” costs $2599 of being too big a first step in an arena that often seems a little foreboding and uncertain. Since my last post on this topic, I have already outgrown the diminuitive minicase with the addition of a TipTop Z3000 VCO, & a Doepfer A-140 ADSR Envelope Generator. Now that I am regularly reading the Eurorack support forum on Muffwiggler, I am glad I am going slow, stepwise and deliberate in my purchases. The reason being, there are so many product offerings from so many different manufacturers, that to go with a preconfigured system from any single manufacturer would create too much homogeneity, and postpone my discovery of alternate offerings from other vendors that in many cases surpass those same functional units from Doepfer. Don’t get me wrong, Doepfer was my original motivation to go this direction, and they are still the most complete line of modules out there. This makes it easy initially to ignore a module maker that only makes a handful of modules, but what I am already discovering is that when a synth manufacturer only makes a few modules, they are often quite powerful or specialized to a certain subinterest in the modular world. If you are going with Eurorack modulars because you want to make Buchla type sounds, then there are modules catered to feeding that specific craving like the Make Noise QMMG and its 8 “vactrols”. I find that reading up before I buy, allows me the chance to minimize or eliminate buyer’s remorse by reading other people’s experiences and making the best choice for my needs the first time around, rather than replacing one module with another one, and having to sell the old one off used for a loss. I already wish I had forgone the A-120 VCF and had made the TipTop Z2040 my first VCF since it also contains a VCA, and as a dual function module, would have been a more efficient choice in such a tiny case. I have tweeted a lot of things to the effect that a tiny minicase system was more satisfying a small beginning than many would think, but of course when you say something like that, people want to HEAR the results, which up to this point have been zero, as far as public posts on the internet are concerned. That is precisely why I did this:
Well its January 2010 so you know what that means? Its NAMM time again, so the flood of new product offerings and announcements is underway. Looks like Doepfer has several new products, some of which look quite promising. Remember of course, that none of these are shipping, and the designs of some of these modules are still in flux, and could end up being very different, if and when they do get released.
Voltage Controlled DIY Effects A-187-1
Of late, I have been bitten by the modular synthesis bug. For those of you who don’t know what that exactly means, let me quickly explain. Most synthesizers whether analog, digital, or virtual are comprised of sound generation components called Oscillators (aka a VCO), Filters (VCF), & Amplifiers (VCA), and modulation sources like Envelope Generators (EG), & Low Frequency Oscillators (LFO). In addition to this there are Noise Generators, Sample & Hold Circuits (S&H), wave shapers and many other possible accessories too numerous to mention. The “VC” in many of those designations stands for “voltage controlled” which actually only applies to analog synthesis, so in a digital, it might be called a DCO, and in virtual synthesis since it is really just software modeling going on, they may choose VCO or DCO as the metaphor for what the oscillator is doing since it is literally neither. What gives any given synth its distinctively characteristic sound, is how many of these items, of what type, in what configuration you have.
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Over the years, I have created a bunch of different musical aliases I work under. Usually what happens, is I reserve the moniker “redvoid” for work I do by myself, and whenever I work with someone else collaboratively, I create a new alias for that, or sometimes, whether working collaboratively, or solo, I will create another alias when I work in a musical style that is divergent from what “redvoid” is known for. In any case, the Superfiends moniker was created to describe the electronic experimentation work I do with Steve Rush aka funky49, who is more known for his nerdcore hiphop, while I am more known for the breakbeat and electro-house electronica work. Steve & I also have another alias called “2 Def Mice”. Over time, I will write up many of my other projects to clarify what is meant by Defcon6, Window Seat, Beyond & Back & Static Grooves.
Well, Steve Rush aka funky49 reminded me I hadn’t blogged in over 4 months so I decided to do a recent events update to say what’s been going on during this time period. So here goes:
I started a new electronica group called Static Grooves that consists of myself, Glen Carter aka Thee DJ Q, and Jason Filipini aka Thee Joker. The live performance aspect of the group is based around all 3 of us running an Ableton Live rig with controllerism interfaces, and doing some other live performance type work as well leaning toward the improvisational.
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