Monday, April 24, 2017

Oberheim Matrix-12 Synthesizer Demo #7

The Oberheim Matrix-12 was cooperating today, so I thought I better make a video before something happens again. Using some reverb and delay, recorded direct and no audio post processing.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Roland Alpha Juno-1 Synthesizer Demo #2 New Patches

Rolling out some new patches for the Juno-1/2 available on my download post for this blog. A full bank of patches including the sounds from Demo #1. In this video I have selected a few of my personal favorites: bass, arpeggios, and soundscapes/pads. There are copious amounts of Big Sky reverb, a couple of sounds use the Timefactor delay. Basses don't usually need anything. Sounds were programmed using the indispensable Stereoping synth controller, also used briefly in this demo. Recorded direct through a Mackie 802-VLZ mixer to a Tascam DR-05.

0:00 Cloud Bank
0:31 Tinsel
0:56 Aurora Pad 2
1:14 Bass Arp 01
1:30 Strangers
1:54 Particle
2:14 Mod Bass
2:25 Juno Crush
2:37 Alpha Synth
2:51 Micro Fab
3:08 Toys
3:24 Bass Pedalr
3:35 Mono Bass
3:43 Shimmer
4:10 Synth Mutes
4:25 Fake Wurli
4:46 Choir
5:21 twilight
6:07 Psycho Sweep
6:32 Pure Space
6:59 Detroit
7:24 Ascension

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Design Philosophy Behind the DRE4MTR4CK Eurorack Sequencer

Sequencers. It seems the market is inundated with these things. Not long ago your choices consisted of the MMT-8, an MPC, or one of Roland's MC series. And if you wanted CV and not MIDI, good luck finding a high-priced analog modular piece. Nowadays there's the Beatstep, SQ-1, and a flood of sequencers in the Eurorack market. Let's not forget about the Social Entropy Engine, that thing is absolutely fantastic. Why would anybody want to make another bloody sequencer?

It also seems everybody is also churning out Euro sequencer modules. I made a deal with myself not to design any Euro modules. That is, unless I had a compelling idea. An idea came along indeed, and it has consumed me. I've owned and used many of the MIDI sequencers mentioned above. They all come from a place of music composition, assembling songs together in very predefined manner. Ever since getting into Euro, this elusive thing of organic melody progression has been tugging at me. There are some interesting devices going this direction such as the Pressure Points. The Hologram Dream Sequence has been especially intriguing, the way it octave shifts incoming audio. There are Euro devices that quantize pitch cv, and devices which feature all manner of pitch scales. I've been wanting something more organic, intuitive, and could serve more VCOs at the same time.

Messing with this idea of organic melody progression, it had to have something more: Polyrhythmic. So many sequencers these days seemed chained to shuffling/swinging everything to a master clock. I wanted it to be able to serve multiple incoming clocks, and maybe times when I wanted none at all. This is where the idea for the DRE4MTR4CK is really coming from. A sequencer that has the freedom (flexibility) to be used in many different Euro module configurations.

And lastly, it had to be compact. Large modules that are case hogs are off-putting, that's my valuable rack real estate! So 10HP was the target, but the hardware couldn't fit. 12HP gives a little bit more breathing room for handling the buttons and data pot. Sure I thought it would be nice to have a display that would show the note values. But again, that would have become a bigger module, and I kind of like the idea of note programming being intuitive. Who cares what the note names are, I have a Beatstep Pro for that - so let the ear decide these things as you go.

Designing a module such as this has its challenges. Things happen when you are designing a module on your own, and building it with your own two hands. Just last week I thought the project was dead in the water. But I persevered once more. I have risked everything, all my cards are on the table. The DRE4MTR4CK has been my labor of love for over 2 months in the making. With hard work, persistence, and steady dedication the DRE4MTR4CK is now a reality. An organic melody progression sequencer, with polyrhythmic capability.

Evolving Chords Eurorack Synthesizer Performance Demo

Performance using evolving chord changes with my custom DRE4MTR4CK Euro module. It has 4 independent tracks of polyphonic pitch control:
Track 1: Pittsburgh Synth Box, internal filter
Track 2: DNA Symbiotic Waves, JP-6 Filter clone
Track 3: Disting MK3, Doepfer SEM filter
Track 4: Rings, no filter.

Clocking direct to envelopes, triggering pitch changes manually. Track 1 pitch CV is going through a PM Toolbox slew limiter. Mix is going to Timefactor delay. Recorded direct through a Mackie 802 to a Tascam DR-05.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

DRE4MTR4CK Eurorack Sequencer User Guide

The DRE4MTR4CK is a simple and intuitive Pitch CV sequencer. It has 4 steps, and it has 4 Individual tracks. Each track has its own clock input, clock output, and Pitch CV output. In this way, it can behave like 4 completely independent sequencers.

In this video I show how to use the DRE4MTR4CK in more detail.
0:00 Introduction
1:23 Installation Options
Correction: the graphics say -5v when it should say +5v (positive 5v).
3:06 Boot-Up Defaults
3:32 Connections and Operations

DRE4MTR4CK is a custom module built by hand. Full specs available on my previous post.

Monday, March 20, 2017

DRE4MTR4CK Eurorack Sequencer Module

The DRE4MTR4CK is my custom Eurorack module that has been two months in development. DRE4MTR4CK is a simple and intuitive Polyrhythmic Organic Melody Progression Sequencer in a mere 12HP.

It has 4 independent, externally clocked tracks with 4 steps each. Each track sends pitch CV to one of your VCO modules. With external clocking, you decide if timing is slow and dreamy, bouncy and up-tempo, or all out fury going into audio rates.

Unused clock inputs are multiples from input 1. Clocking can be interrupted for a track by inserting a floating patchcord. Manually trigger a track step using the TRIG buttons. Intuitively build evolving chords or poly-rhythmic note progressions.

Simple pattern modes and Octave transpose for each track provide seemingly endless note progression. Mix things up with Step reset and track data Rotate to re-circulate CVs among your VCOs. 16 memories are provided for program note data storage. Recall of programs during performance provides changes in melodic or chord structures on-the-fly.

***** SPECS ******
4-steps per track
Chromatic Scale Note Quantization
4x4 LED Matrix

- 1 external clock input.
- 1 duplicated, unbuffered clock out signal for clocking other devices
- Independent Pattern selection: Forward/Reverse/Forward-Reverse/ZIGZAG
- pitch CV output 1v/oct over 5v range
- Octave Transpose +/- 2 octaves selection
- Store/Recall 16 non-volitile memories in EEPROM
- Note programming on a per-step basis

Clocking Behaviour Options
- Unused clock inputs are duplicated from input #1
- Interrupt clocking by inserting a floating patchcord
- Manual trigger sent to clock out using the TRIG buttons

Programmer Interface
- 1 Data Pot
- 12 Momentary Buttons
- 16 LEDs

Memory and Processing
- 16 non-volatile memories in EEPROM for note data
- Processing Speed: 20MHz

- 4 clock inputs
- 1 control input for RESET
- 1 control input for ROTATE

- 4 unbuffered clock outputs (multed from inputs) + manual trigger
- 4 buffered 1V/oct pitch CV outputs, each 0-5v

Internal Clocking: none
External Clocking: 4 inputs

SIZE: 12 HP (60.60mm) Eurorack format, 3U high

Accepts standard keyed 2x8 (16-pin) eurorack ribbon cable (included)
Jumper/Shunt Setting:
- Option #1. (default) uses 5v input from your system power supply (if provided)
- Option #2. Draws power from +12v line. Requires Maxim Integrated
700-REF02CP 5v regulator (sold separately)

Option #1 (default): 5v from Euro Power
+12v @ 3 mA
-12v @ 3 mA
+5v @ 103 mA Peak, 5 mA typical
Option #2: 5v from REF02 chip
+12v @ 64 mA Peak, 8 mA typical
-12v @ 3 mA

The DRE4MTR4CK module has no affiliation with any persons with similar name.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Day DRE4M In Electric Space: New DRE4MTR4CK Eurorack Module 1/3

This track is called Day DRE4M In Electric Space, video is a teaser of a Eurorack module that I designed. The module is in the top row obscured by other things, where a bundle of patch cords are going. I am using a Timefactor delay also in this one. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Something Wicked Fun This Way Comes

For the past two months I have been designing something mysterious and interesting. In this somewhat misleading teaser video I am tweaking its extreme aspects, a series of acid tests meant to discover its limits. The design intent is quite different from what you see here. It will still do these things if that's the sort of things you are into. I hope to have more to show very soon. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Roland Jupiter-6 Synthesizer Filter VCF Build - Demo 02

Just kick back and enjoy these wicked analog multi-mode filter sounds. Lots of little sweet spots on this filter, if you skip around you might miss something really good. It definitely has that Roland sound.

Today I am demonstrating the Jupiter-6 filter clone I just finished building. See demo #1 for all the details. Basically the circuits and chips are the same as demo 1 breadboard test, just now they are stuffed into a 10HP eurorack module w/ some illuminated sliders.