Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Roland Jupiter-6 Synthesizer Filter VCF Build - Demo 01

This video demos a Roland Jupiter-6 synthesizer clone filter VCF. This breadboard build took two days, and for me is the largest one I've built yet. Does this circuit sound as good as the original? You be the judge. Anyway, I really wanted to hear what it sounded like before deciding about building my own module.

I came across schematics for the Roland Jupiter-6 at amsynths.co.uk. They actually sell completed modules and PCBs, however they seem to be perpetually out of stock. This will be a nice companion multi-mode filter to go next to my SEM module. IMHO the SEM sounds buttery and creamy, and the Jupiter-6 is a complete savage with outrageous low end.

The details: The sound source is the Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer Box. I like to use a pulse wave w/ variable pulse controlled by LFO. The Synth Box filter is wide open, its envelope is passed to the JP-6 CV input #1. I don't have switches hooked up to the filter modes, so I'm pulling/resetting jumpers on the breadboard to achieve that. In this video I also crank the VCO to overdrive the pre-filter INPUT on the filter clone. I don't think you can do this on the original Jupiter-6, but you CAN push the post-filter VCA level into distortion much of the time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I've been down w/ hay fever, but inspiration struck in the 11th hour last night. Right after I tweeted about not feeling the groove. Haha. This downtempo track starts with the ideas from my last demo about sequential switches. I build on that patch idea by adding TR-8 beats, and a Sampleslicer loop fed by a phrase played on the Juno-1. Using a little bit of Big Sky reverb and Timefactor delay. This track is doing everything live in one go, so there will be happy accidents along the way. Sequencing on the Arturia Beatstep Pro, and also for triggering different loop start points on the Sampleslicer. Influences by Underworld, Royksopp, and ???

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Eurorack Sequential Switch Demo

I spent this past week building a Sequential Switch module for my Eurorack. In this video I talk about what a Sequential Switch can do, and then I demo a patch I made. If you haven't seen it already check out Mylarmelodies excellent demo using a Sequential Switch to change up melody progressions on the fly at https://youtu.be/QbxaWluHXEU

After watching his video I KNEW the Sequential Switch was damn cool and I HAD to build one for myself. It works by taking each input trigger pulse, and sequentially advances one of 4 signals to be routed to a bi-lateral destination. Mine is a clone, functionally anyways, of the Doepfer A-151. Although I found the schematics elsewhere. I generated a circuit board layout in Osmond Cocoa, made a prototype PCB and populated it for my own learning experience. It turns out the a Sequential Switch can do more than pass control voltages around, it can deal with audio signals as well.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bright Sky At Midnight

Audio track Bright Sky At Midnight c.2017 by G-Storm Electro

This track was inspired by a strange dream. The subconscious was aware it was late night, yet there was the persistence of daylight. To resolve this, many unusual things were born. City light noise, meteor showers, lightning, and aerobatic displays by fleets of UFOs. The air was electric. Afraid and mesmerized at the same time, I didn't want to wake up.

Drums TR-606
Other Percussion DNA Symbiotic Waves
Bass MS-20
Choirs/Strings VP-03
Arpeggios Pittsburgh Synth Box
Sequencing Beatstep Pro
FX RE-20, Big Sky, Timefactor
DAW Cubase SX3

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Korg 770 Analog Monophonic 1970s Synthesizer

In this video I explain and demo the features of the Korg 770 Monophonic Synthesizer. This one is currently available on Reverb. The 770 inherits a lot of DNA from the Minikorg 700/700S models, and it's design is the predecessor to the MS-20 model.

The features are staggering for such a simple looking synthesizer:
- External Input for the filter
- Highpass and Lowpass filter w/ variable resonance (Bright)
- a kind of Pulse Width Modulation (Chorus)
- two forms of ring modulation
- Scale Noise, a noise source which tracks w/ keyboard pitch
- OSC1 vibrato w/ delayed onset
- Automatic pitch-bend, Goldfrapp anyone?
- LFO trigger mode for the Envelopes

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Update From the Music Studio

Haven't posted any recent studio pics, here's my revised music setup. Left to right: Korg MS-02 MK-I, Oberheim Matrix-12 (still out of commission, power supply), Roland TR-8, Eurorack, Beatstep Pro, Akai S900, Mackie 802-VLZ3, pair KRK Rockit 6SE, E-Mu 1616 audio interface, Roland Alpha Juno-1, Strymon Big Sky, Eventide TimeFactor, Roland VP-03. 19" desk rack: DBX 160A, 166A, Behringer patchbay, 2x Yamaha TX81Z, 2x power conditioners. There's a better resolution photo here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Arturia Beatstep Pro Sequencer Repair Project

In this video I attempt to repair my Arturia Beatstep Pro sequencer controller. It is having intermittent power problems, I want to replace the USB port w/ a different kind. My warranty ran out in September, so no wukkas. This is only my second project doing SMT (Surface Mount Technology) type work, and I find myself needing to revise my plans. Next time I will buy some solder paste and do it right, lesson learned. At the end of the video I test my work by doing a little Acid House w/ a Korg MS-20 synthesizer and a Roland TR-8 drum machine. If you like synth and electronic guts click the LIKE button.

You may have read my post on my previous repair. I'm not sure if it didn't hold, or there was a problem w/ the USB jack/cable. Whatever the case, it was only a temporary fix.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Alesis Andromeda Unleashes Enormous Pad Soundscapes Demo #4

The Alesis Andromeda synthesizer unleashes huge pad soundscapes. These pads range from OMG to WTF, and cut a swath right through the mix. So hide your daughters and cherished pets. I was going to do a Matrix-12 demo but that synth bricked this past weekend. Hence the sarcasm and sad face :( These are not your factory sounds. Audio recorded direct to Tascam DR-05 through a Mackie mixer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Intro to Creative Mid-Side Audio Processing in Eurorack Modular

What is Mid-Side Processing? How can you use Mid-Side in your Eurorack musical endeavors? In this video I'll show you how. Using the Worng LRMSMSLR module I provide some interesting patch examples of Mid-Side in action.

HEADPHONES OR A SET OF QUALITY AUDIO MONITORS ARE REQUIRED to hear the full effect of Mid-Side processing of stereo audio. My sound source today is a Roland Alpha Juno-1 w/ the chorus turned on. Remember, if the chorus is turned off, the synth only provides a monaural signal which is no bueno for Mid-Side processing. The Roland VP-03 Boutique Vocoder also provides an interesting ensemble choir sound that is useful.

Audio was recorded direct to Tascam DR-05 through a Mackie Mixer. No other effects were added to the sound other than the modules explained in this demo.

Other modules used in this video:
- Pittsburgh Synthesizer Box, MIDI3 module (clock)
- Pittsburgh Mix Mult (attenuators), Toolbox (S&H), Outs
- 4MS Rotating Clock Divider RCD
- Doepfer A-106-5 SEM Filter

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sketches from a Roland Alpha Juno-1 Synthesizer Demo

My first analog synth was the Roland Alpha Juno-1. Many years ago we parted ways. Now another graces the studio, peas in a pod again. There's not much to say about this synth that hasn't already been said. In this demo the Juno-1 synthesizer is featured in 4 quick vignettes using a Ditto X2, occasionally a beatstep sequencer, and some reverb/delay effects recorded to a Tascam DR-05 recorder. All original synth patches were created with the help of my stereoping controller.