Thursday, October 19, 2017

Roland SH-01A Synthesizer EASY Tips + Tricks

Did you know the SH-01A has delay? How can you quickly restore your preferred system settings after booting? How can you sync LFO to your sequence? In just over 10 minutes I SHOW you the answers to these questions and more!

In my previous videos I gave a review and tutorial of the functions on the SH-01A. Today in this video I will show some interesting tips and tricks for getting even more from this little synth. Follow me on Twitter!

0:00 Opening Demo Performance
0:41 Introduction
1:06 The MiniMoog Trick?
1:38 Filter Self-Oscillation: Droids and Kicks
3:00 How to Save System Settings
4:12 Filter FM Using the Advanced LFO
4:50 Switching Poly/Mono On-The-Fly
5:17 Using LFO Trigger Mode
7:30 LFO Re-Trigger: Delay Effects
8:46 Interfacing w/ Eurorack: Patch Setup Explained
11:05 Interfacing w/ Eurorack: Demo Performance

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Roland SH-01A Synthesizer EASY Tutorial

Did you know the SH-01A has SHUFFLE? How do you change an Arpeggio to 2 Octaves? What about changing the Sequencer note scaling to something other than 16th? Like triplets! Or making the LFO speed go into audio rates?! Say whaaaaaat? Everything you wanted to know about the SH-01A, and maybe a little bit more, all in under 30 minutes.

In my previous video I gave a review/overview on the SH-01A. Today in this video I will be giving a more in-depth tutorial. This is a great synth for beginners. And this video was made just for users with little to no knowledge of synthesizers. More experienced users may want to skip ahead to topics of interest.

0:00 Introduction
0:15 Connecting a MIDI Controller or No Controller?
0:57 Factory Reset
1:40 LFO Modulation
2:14 VCO - The Sound Source
4:04 Changing the Noise Type - A Sneak Peak at the System Settings
4:51 The Filter - A Control for Brightness
6:05 VCA and Envelope - Loudness Control Over Time
7:34 Trigger Types
8:34 Ribbon Controllers
9:06 Portamento
9:34 Transpose Switch and Tune Knob
10:00 A Quick Note About the CV/GATE Out and External Clock Jacks
10:41 Saving A Patch (MENU, "1")
11:38 What In the World Is Manual Recall?
12:19 Sequencer, Setting the Note Scale, Programming Notes
13:50 Shuffle!
14:16 Saving and Recalling a Sequence Pattern (MENU, "2")
15:08 Arpeggio, Hold, Key Transpose, Setting 1 or 2 Octaves
16:12 Assignment Modes: Mono, Unison, Poly, Chord (MENU, "3")
16:51 Editing Chords In Chord Mode
System Settings (MENU, "4") use VALUE knob to scroll parameters
Press "1" to edit/exit a parameter
17:54 System - LFO Types, Tuning, MIDI Channel
19:51 System - Sync, Key Velocity, CC Output Mode
21:51 System - A Note About CV Out Settings
22:29 System - Auto-Off, LED Demo
23:19 System - Ribbon Control Scales
24:05 System - Mod Ribbon Hold
24:40 How To BACKUP Patch and Pattern Data To Computer
25:38 How To RESTORE Patch and Pattern Data To Computer

Monday, October 2, 2017

Roland Space Echo RE-201 Tape Effect Demo w/ Synthesizers #10

Today I present the Roland RE-201 Space Echo audio demo w/ synthesizers and a TR-8 drum machine. The RE-201 is a vintage delay effect from the 70s using a tape loop and Spring tank reverb. It's been used on lots of psychedelic rock, trip hop, alternative, dub, progressive house music and more. The Space Echo is the only effect used in this demo. This machine has a new 4 meter loop. It also has some wow and flutter, I love that lo-fi quality of this machine. All audio recorded direct to a Tascam DR-05 thru a Mackie mixer. Gear used here: Roland Juno-1/JV-2080/SH-01A/TR-8, Korg MS-20 mk1, E-mu ES-32 (Yamaha CP-70 sample), Arturia Beatstep Pro, M-Audio Axiom49.

0:00 Radiohead - Lotus Flower, spring tank reverb on snare only
1:00 Introduction
1:43 Portishead - Cowboys, delay on electric piano
2:30 M83 - Skin of the Night, delay on CP-70 piano sample
2:59 Quick explanation of inputs
3:15 Steve Miller Band - Fly Like an Eagle, delay on synth glissando
3:41 A look inside and beautiful ladies?
4:15 Tycho - Dive, delay on opening synth
5:18 How I'm using the RE-201 on these examples
5:53 Underworld - Born Slippy, delay on everything
7:13 About this particular machine
7:49 Tangerine Dream - Love On a Real Train, delay on arpeggio

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

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

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.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Infusor Eurorack Sub-Mixer Demo

In this video I jam on the Eurorack w/ my new Infusor module. Infusor is a 10HP active stereo audio sub-mixer w/ 6 inputs. Wish you had more channels on your outboard mixer? This may be for you. Here's a breakdown of this mix...
Channel 1 - Basimilus in stereo from the EMW VC Pan
Channel 2 - My Transistor-80 Analog Percussion Module
Channel 3 - Tiptop Hats909
Channel 4 - Pittsburgh Synthesizer Box on bass
Channel 5 - unused.
Stereo Outs - going to Pittsburgh Outs module

Recorded direct to Tascam DR-5 through Mackie VLZ-802. I have sold my only available unit, I'll make a few more and have them available on soon. For more info check out

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Transistor-80 Analog Percussion Module Eurorack Demo #1

The Transistor-80 is an analog percussion module I designed as a lo-fi incarnation of those transistor-based CR- DR- and TRs from the circa 1980 era. It is thump-y, hiss-y, and it has those click-y pops and bacon sizzle sounds. Sports 3 sounds: Bass Drum, Snare Drum, and Hats. Bass has a tone control that controls the amount of sub frequency (you may hear a slight boom if you're wearing headphones) the other two sounds have decay controls. It has individual volume knobs for each sound, and a single output jack for the mix. In this video I am feeding trigger gates from the Malekko Varigate 4, and recording output directly to Tascam DR-5.

If you're interested in hearing more check out a track on Soundcloud I made using the Transistor-80.

More modules will be built completely by hand in small numbers, including PCB and face plate. Further details and availability can be found on Modular Grid

Monday, July 10, 2017

Korg MS-20 Teardown: Pulse Width Modulation Install

The vintage Korg MS-20 monophonic synthesizer comes with a pulse width knob, but no way to patch a modulation to it. In this video I teardown the MS-20, and install a Pulse Width Modulation routing.

My PWM will come from the MG/T.Ext circuit that is already present on the synth. 90% of the time I want to use the MG, AKA the LFO, to modulate the Pulse Width. So all I will do is add a small pot and current limiting resistor for routing the MG/Total circuit to the Pulse Width.

What about the other 10% of the time I don't want MG going to PWM? Well the MG is only normalled to the Total/External jack. If something is patched into the Total jack, it will override the MG and be routed to the new PWM pot. It behaves exactly the same way as the MG/Total pots for Pitch/HPF/LPF. Pretty sweet.

At the end of the video I patch various things to modulate the Pulse Width. Stay safe, don't electrocute yourself, and be sure to unplug the synth at all times while doing work inside the unit.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Analog Drums Development Prototype

I've been developing a eurorack analog drum kit for some time. It's inspired by the sound of simple machines like the Boss DR-110 and the Roland TR-606. It's a basic kit made of of Bass Drum, Snare Drum, and Hi-Hat. The Hi-hat has a choke gate, so it can behave open/closed using a single voice just like a real drum kit. All 3 voices summed to a single output. It will have controls for independent voice levels, bass drum tone, snare decay and hat decay. I think you will want kill switches for all incoming gates as well. I am looking into how to integrate an accent trigger pulse as well.

In this video I audition some sounds using the Beatstep Pro as a clock, Varigate 4 for the gates, and nothing else. I didn't use a digital recorder this time, I'll save that for when the module is completed.
I added a quick soundcloud demo

Friday, June 30, 2017

Basimilus x Disting x Juno-1 x Synth Box x JV-2080

In this video the Eurorack is patched for a noir future tech workout. Think Blade Runner meets Air Liquide meets Blue Room Project. Basimilus and Disting team up for filthy glitch beat detail under command of the Varigate 4. Then darkened up by the JP-6 VCF. Disting is loaded w/ TR-606 sounds, but mangled by pitch modulation. Bastl Little Nerd is spitting out gates in all directions. Pittsburgh Modular Synthbox simmers a nice PWM bass pad. Ere there be JV-2080 Mellotron Choir getting the chop-chop from Bastl Skis. Soaring leads and swells are the Juno-1, my Aurora Pad 1 patch. Timefactor Delay on the Juno-1. Mixed on a Mackie 802-VLZ3, recorded direct to Tascam DR-05.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Infusor Eurorack Mixer Module

Infusor is a 6-input, Stereo output mixer module. It's loosely based on the MFOS simple mixer w/ some revisions. How did this come about? I'm currently adding a row in my euro case for percussion modules. I like the idea of putting my own 'drum machine' together from various bits and needed a way to sub-mix, say, four of them together - plus an outboard drum machine like TR-8 - without eating up all my desktop mixer inputs. Currently waiting on the trimpots to arrive. I plan on making one to sell. Depending on how that goes I could make a few more in limited quantity. For more info

Saturday, June 24, 2017

First Go w/ Basimilus Iteritas Alter Eurorack Module

The Basimilus Iteritas Alter module by Noise Engineering just arrived. It's an aggressive percussion/voice module, and it's intense. I'm starting a row of percussion modules in my rack and felt this would start it off with a nice edge.

In this demo I turn out the BIA in a full frenzy of CVs and triggers from Varigate 4, S/H from Pittsburgh Modular Toolbox, a couple of Attack/Release envelopes. Getting some help from the 4MS Rotating Clock Divider. There's other tutorial vids out there, just wanted to show the module in the extreme going full throttle. Not for the squeamish or faint - you've been warned.

My assessment: this thing is SICK! and has a tendency to take over the whole mix if you allow. I will probably take things down a notch or two when making my patches - just so there will be room to bring in other elements. I love this thing, and it takes fun to a whole new extreme.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Acid Tech House MS-20 Juno-1 Eurorack Modular [Heavy Duty]

In this video I jam the MS-20 going through the DBX 160A on kick, Juno-1 on synth sequence and eurorack modular for all else. That kick! I tweak the MS-20 release time for those massive booms and Env2 to LP amount for more crunch. I'm pretty happy w/ those hats too - hats were synthesized using DNA Symbiotic Waves and Deflector Shield Ring Mod. The cracking snare is coming from a Disting sample of the Linndrum clap, with the initial transient clipped off. Bass is a square wave from the Synth Box going through the JP-6 VCF module. Juno-1 uses the classic factory patch 1-1 PolySynth1, has some Timefactor delay. Beatstep Pro sequences the kick, bass + synth. Varigate 4 + sequential switch + Little Nerd gates other percussion. Mixed on a Mackie 802-VLZ recorded direct to Tascam DR-5.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Linndrum Classic Drum Machine Quick Demo

This Linndrum w/ JL Cooper MIDI is currently for sale on Reverb. In this video I do a quick run through of the sounds on this Linndrum. First a quick overview, then single drum sounds, then some fun drum pattern programming.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Funky Eurorack Synthesizer Improv

In this video I do some funky stuff. I sampled Linndrum sounds into the Disting MK3. Of course the drum triggers are all f*** up. But also feeding clouds w/ a Jazz Rhodes sound from the JV-2080. I noticed the sequenced bassline would track (transpose) whatever I was doing on the Jazz Rhodes. So I went a full on funky improv.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Eurorack Synthesizer Jam Mutable Rings + Roland TR-606 [Fracture]

In this video I jam on the Eurorack, a bit of chill electro house.
Arpeggios: Mutable Instruments Rings to JP-6 Filter BP Mode + Timefactor delay
Drums: Roland TR-606 + small amount of Big Sky Room reverb
Bass: Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer Box
Sequencer: Arturia Beatstep Pro
Mixer: Mackie 802-VLZ3
Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Roland TR-606 Drum Machine + Alpha Juno-1 Synthesizer

Happy 606 Day #606day! In this video I synchronize the Roland TR-606 drum machine to an Arturia Beatstep Pro which controls an Alpha Juno-1. This simple setup is all you really need for electro music. Juno-1 plays a basic bass pattern. On-the-fly I make a few changes to pattern, drum mix, bass transposition, filter, envelope, and throw in some chords played by hand. A Timefactor delay module adds some groove. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Drum Machines + Mutable Clouds Eurorack #3 [Roland TR-8]

In this video I run a Roland TR-8 direct to the Clouds input and use it to add space, texture and rhythmic motion to an otherwise standard grade drumlooop. Third in a video series demonstrating various drum machines with the Mutable Instruments Clouds.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Drum Machines + Mutable Clouds Eurorack #2 [Linndrum LM-2]

Second in the video series dedicated to granular re-synthesizing rhythm boxes with the Mutable Instruments Clouds. In this one the Linndrum gets the treatment. Be warned, these sounds go into bizarre uncomfortable noise territory.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Drum Machines + Mutable Clouds #1 [Korg Volca Beats]

In this series I run various drum machines through the Clouds eurorack module by Mutable Instruments. There are many demos already that feature its immense washy reverb soundscapes. It turns out that Clouds has a rhythmic chaos side to it. OH YEAH I gotta get on that.

In this short 2 minute video I run the Korg Volca Beats directly into the Clouds. No other effects or eq are used. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05.

Follow me on twitter to keep up w/ all the behind-the-scenes electronic music and synthesizer action.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Eurorack Synthesizer ft. Mutable Rings Roland TR-8 [Barricade]

In this video I'm having a go with Mutable Instruments Rings with the Roland TR-8. Rings is getting signal from Synth Box, V/Oct from Beatstep Pro and going through Timefactor Delay. DRUMS. Okay the TR-8 is getting Big Sky Reverb and gated by the Bastl Skis, rhythmic trigger by Bastl Little Nerd. I'm really liking these Bastl modules! No, really. Bass sounds a little funky. The DNA is feeding the JP-6 VCF but gets lost underneath the percussion. So, yeah there's no mastering or EQ here. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-5.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ibanez Bi-Mode Chorus Pedal Demo w/ Synthesizers #9 [Roland Juno-1]

In this video I demonstrate the Ibanez Bi-Mode Chorus with a Roland Alpha Juno-1 synthesizer. This is a vintage analog chorus from the 80s that uses Panasonic BBD Chips. It has only one chorus line like most pedals. However it is modulated by two LFOs w/ corresponding width (amount) knobs on each! How does it sound with a synthesizer? You be the judge.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ARP Solina String Synthesizer On Ensoniq EPS 16 Plus [2/2]

This is a quick follow up to the last Ensoniq EPS 16+ Sampler demo. In my previous EPS 16 Plus demo it was suggested I use a phaser to help give the sound some movement. After all it worked for Jean Michel Jarre on his Eminent. I'm in luck! I happen to have a Boss PH-2 Super Phaser. I also use my delay trick from my previous PH-2 demo to help widen the stereo image a bit.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Boss/Roland PH-2 Super Phaser Pedal Demo w/ Synthesizers #8

In this video I am running various synthesizers through a Boss/Roland PH-2 Super Phaser Pedal. The PH-2 is an analog pedal made from the mid 80's to 2001. Since the PH-2 is monophonic I will be auditioning it in both mono, and with stereo widening provided by an Eventide Timefactor. Sounds range from Jean Michel Jarre to Polymoog Vox Humana as heard on Gary Numan 'Cars'.

0:00 Intro
0:57 Roland Alpha Juno-1 Mono
1:27 Roland AlphaJuno-1 Stereo
2:13 Korg MS-20 Mono
2:59 Korg MS-20 Stereo
3:25 ARP Solina String Ensemble Mono
4:17 ARP Solina String Ensemble Stereo

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fast Clocking the DRE4MTR4CK Eurorack Sequencer Module

In this video I am showing what the DRE4MTR4CK sequencer module does best: dealing with fast incoming clock signals. With the DRE4MTR4CK I change octaves and patterns for each part, and rotate the track data.
Track 1: Synthesizer Box
Track 2: DNA Symbiotic Waves going to the JP-6 VCF
Track 3: Disting Osc going to Doepfer SEM filter
Tracks 1-3 going to Deflector Shield Phase Shifter and Big Sky
Clock randomization by 4MS RCD, getting its data rotated by Pittsburgh Toolbox S/H.
Track 4: Bass Pads by Juno-1 played off-camera (right hand), my own patch called Aurora Pad 2.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sampling ARP Solina String Synthesizer On Ensoniq EPS 16 Plus

Today I am messing around with a vintage Ensoniq EPS 16 Plus sampler. These were made around 1990 (27 years ago!) and are an excellent crunchy sampler alternative to Akai S-900 and E-mu Emulator. For this video I sampled an ARP Solina String Ensemble. This is less of a tutorial and more of a comparison. Does the sampler do the Solina any justice? Check it out and see. Be sure to click 'LIKE' and thanks for watching.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Oberheim Matrix-12 Synthesizer Power Supply Issues RESOLVED

In this video I show what I did to resolve my power supply issues on the Oberheim Matrix-12 analog synthesizer. Symptoms were intermittent non-boot, locking up, and the dreaded Voice 1 Processor Malfunction message. Along the way I'll talk about how the power supply works and how it is different than many synths from the era prior to this. Even though the Oberheim Xpander is a little different than the Matrix-12, its power supply works exactly the same. This may not enable you to fix your Matrix-12/Xpander completely, nor answer ALL questions you may have...but hopefully it will be helpful information.

YOU ASSUME ALL RISK WHEN REPAIRING YOUR OWN ELECTRONIC INSTRUMENTS! There's no shame in asking a friend for help or taking it to a reputable synthesizer technician. BE SURE TO UNPLUG THE SYNTH PRIOR TO DOING THIS KIND OF WORK.

0:00 Introduction
1:10 Getting Started
1:54 Dealing with an SMPS
3:16 Why did Oberheim use an SMPS?
3:40 Why I'm NOT going to troubleshoot this power supply
4:38 Power Supply Restoration and Results

Here are the Mouser parts numbers:
Power Entry Module - 871-B84771A0001A000
2W Shunt Resistors 0.1ohm - 667-ERX-2SZGR10V
sorry I don't have capacitor numbers, I did that work 2 years ago

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.

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 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

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