Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Roland SH-01A Synthesizer User Review SH-101

The Roland SH-01A boutique synthesizer is a recreation of the coveted SH-101 monosynth. In this video I will be getting down to the bottom of some questions. What's the big deal with the SH-101? How does the SH-01A sound? Is it worth the money? Is this something I can recommend? Was this review helpful? Click the LIKE button. Join me on Twitter http://twitter.com/gstormelectro

0:00 Gesaffelstein 'Pursuit'
0:33 Intro
1:06 What's the big deal with the SH-101?
1:49 Orbital 'Halcyon' Bass
2:20 Royksopp 'Remind'
2:35 Design and Construction
3:27 Poly Mode - Desire 'Under Your Spell'
4:21 Features and Sound
6:38 Things you need to know about the Sequencer
7:21 A trick using External Clock for Shuffle
8:37 My only lament, as redeemed by the sequencer
9:28 Realtime Pattern Changes - Eurythmics 'Here Comes The Rain'
9:47 About Poly Mode
10:27 Poly Mode - G-storm 'Harp-y'
10:52 In Summary
11:43 Outro - 808 State 'Magical Dream'

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Auditioned the Roland SH-01A Synthesizer Today

I had a brief audition with the new Roland SH-01A boutique synthesizer today. It's a DSP simulation of one of the classics from the 80s: the original SH-101 analog monosynth. How does it sound? Is it worth the money? Did I buy one today? Patience young grasshoppa, all will be revealed.
While Roland's proprietary DSP has gotten the surname ACB it means nothing more than Analog Circuit Behavior. This has given Roland a string of hits lately including the TR-09, which many agree is a superb emulation of the coveted TR-909 drum machine. Sitting down with the SH-01A for the first time I brought some high expectations for the sound - having recently owned and then sold, a real SH-101. And I must say the sound does not disappoint. I really go for the filter on this one, so classic, so Roland. The SH-101 is one of my favorites with pulse width modulation and sub-octave added. The portamento sounds really nice with the sequencer sequencer. I had the LFO modulating the filter w/ the random waveform. Roland really has gotten so close to the sound of their counterparts. Honestly, I only used mono mode. For me, POLY mode on this one is a bit of a sacrilege. Is it worth the moeny? I should say so! A fully working SH-101 would cost $1000 and still may require periodic mainenance, so that makes this one a no-brainer. Especially since the sound is so darn close. Did I buy it today? Well, let me answer that with a statement. Make that two statements...
The first: the SH-01A does NOT have INPUTS for CV/Gate - it does have the OUTPUTS - but not the inputs. If you're looking for something that can play nice w/ my Eurorack like I am, you would need a CV/gate-to-MIDI converter. Probably something costly by Kenton costing over $300. That puts you in the ballpark of getting a real, perhaps disgraced, SH-101 unit needing work. And second: there is NO external input for the filter. There IS a mix input for chaining audio between multiple units, but NO filter INPUT. It would have been nice, but the original SH-101 didn't have one either. But that filter is so nice! Did I buy it anyway? While I was content to stroll out empty handed I still yearn for that sound. I do have a birthday coming up, perhaps it could still make it to the studio. IF not, next year I can get one used for cheap. We'll see. Oh, and not to forget Behringer did tease something interesting recently. -g PS - I went back the next day and got it. Perhaps a proper review is coming on?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Eurorack + Juno-1 + MS-20 "Harp-y"

Downtempo Lo-Fi track I threw together today. Juno-1 'Harp-y' patch, MS-20 bass, Eurorack for all else.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Delta VCF Eurorack Filter Module Korg Clone Demo (Poly-61)

The Delta VCF is my faithful eurorack clone of the Korg Delta synthesizer filter. The lowpass filter circuit was also found in the Poly-61. In this video I demonstrate the features and sound of the filter by running various signals, control voltages, and sequencing through it.

Features: Illuminated Frequency and Resonance Slider pots. Mix together two different input oscillators at the input jacks w/ signal attenuation/gain pots. These inputs can overdrive the filter. Modulate the filter cutoff with two different input control voltages w/ signal attenuation pots. Two select-able filter slopes: original 4-pole, and 2-pole. Two select-able filter modes: lowpass or bandpass. The filter is all analog, using the same OTA chips and dual transistor design of the original Delta.

Listening w/ headphones or quality monitors is recommended. Watch your levels, some resonance and filter overdrive settings may cause discomfort or strain your monitors. This demo was recorded direct to Tascam DR-05 through a Mackie mixer. No effects, no EQ, just some normalization on video edit.

More details and availability can be found at Modular Grid.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mystery Module

I've got a very interesting eurorack module brewing, and it's not messing around. What could it be? Announcement coming very soon.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Jupiter-6 VCF Eurorack Filter In-Depth Demo Roland Clone

In this video I do a more in-depth demo with my Jupiter-6 VCF multi-mode filter clone eurorack module. It's a very colorful filter that gets more interesting with more complex signals you feed into it. It also has an aggressive nature that comes out when the inputs are overdriven.

Two different oscillators can then be mixed together. A sawtooth oscillator is used, a square/PWM wave is used. Different filter modes can be selected: 4-pole lowpass, 2-pole bandpass, 4-pole highpass. Also, two different control voltage modulations can be mixed together to change the frequency. I run a decay envelope from the Bastl Skis along with a triangle LFO, then I use Sample-and-hold. The oscillators are coming from my Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer Box. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05 from my Mackie mixer, no effects, no normalization. Beware some low and high frequencies, so watch your levels while listening to the demo.

More information about this module can be found at https://www.modulargrid.net/e/other-unknown-jupiter-6-vcf

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Oberheim Matrix-12 Pure Noise Chaos Patches Now Available

In my previous post I replaced the battery in my Oberheim Matrix-12 synthesizer, which completely randomized my patch data for very interesting results. Now you can dump this SYSEX file into your own synth for random patch mayhem. This will over-write your entire patch bank! So be sure to back up your own patches safely to computer first! I have a link to my download page on the sidebar to the right side of this page "Featured Post" :) If it's not there, enter 'download links' in the search bar above to get to my download page. I can't possibly manage dozens of links to the page.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Oberheim Matrix-12 Pure Noise Chaos Demo #8

I replaced the memory backup battery today. Before restoring my patches, I took a little tour of the corrupted/random patch data. Behold the glorious analog synthesizer dark noise madness. I'm talking full-on freakout mode. Take note of the corrupted patch names - reminds me of some weird alien dialect. In case you're wondering there is nothing wrong with my synth, it's working better than ever before. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-5, only normalization applied to some quiet parts.

What I also discovered is the battery is responsible for holding variable system data like osc and filter auto-tuning data. Before, I was experiencing the 'voice processor 1 malfunction' messages, system lock-ups, and system not booting properly. After the battery replacement, the synth has operated 100% correctly w/ no issues.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Make the Korg MS-20 Synthesizer Sing Like Goldfrapp

In this quick video I show how to make the Korg MS-20 synthesizer achieve the weird theremin-like, sci-fi, singing as heard on the Goldfrapp Felt Mountain album. This classic sound is so very renowned for the MS-20.

Alison would send her mic into the External Signal Processor. This sends pitch and gate control voltages to control the synth. We don't actually need to do that. As the sound is coming from the synth engine, we can simply use the keyboard to control it.