Eurorack modular: the never-ending story

Ha, in February I wrote about the start of the modular part in the studio. Since then the box has slowly been filled with various modules: the Random Sampling and Pan & Scan modules from Mark Verbos, the Multistage sequencer and a second Complex Oscillator have been added. Oh, and not to forget the very good sounding Doepfer Wasp filter
Besides that a Intellijel Polaris filter (think early Roland SH series The system is slowly coming to an end. Next week the Audio Damage Sequencer 1 will arrive. After that I’d like to add a few more modules: a quad LFO from XAOC, and maybe the PDO oscillator with filter and tripple VCA from WMD.
One thing is clear, at least for me: you *must* set yourself an end goal, or otherwise you get lost and you quickly fall into the trap of the syndrome we’ll all know: GAS. For me it will end with two three-rows Doepfer cases.

My own experiences so far are that quality control (Verbos, Moog) and bug fixing (ADDAC) are not on great levels unfortunately. I had to send back quite a few modules(!), even though you might expect high quality considering the prices with some brands (Verbos). Then again: his modules are insanely musical and good sounding, plus I do understand that most brands are 1 or 2 employee “companies”. But it is something you might want to consider before stepping into this world.

Next step: some well-developed music with the system of course.
To be continued…

New experiment

So, after listening to Allesandro Cortini’s latest album, Risveglio, some time ago, I was wondering if I could do the same sort of thing: making an album with a minimal setup.
The plan is to use a DSI Pro2 synthesizer, a Pigtronix Infinity Looper, a TC Delay, some dirt pedals and a multitrack recorder to record music, away from the computer.
For that purpose I just purchased a second hand Tascam DP24 multi track recorder. The other gear is already there. I might even install this little “studio” for some time in the living room… 🙂

Let’s do this!

Eurorack modular, food for thought

Fat, organic, precise, meatballs, goosebumps distortion, freaky, musical(!)

So… In the last year I have extended my rack with some interesting modules.
Since I have quite an extensive experience with analog (and digital) synthesizers through the years and have heard/played all the usual suspects and many more, I would have never guessed that I could be blown away by something new. But it happened.

The quality and uniqueness of sound and usability of the modules created by Mark Verbos is unreal.
The Complex Oscillator, the Harmonic Oscillator, the Dual Four Pole filter, the Amplitude and Tone Controller (in essence a Low Pass Gate) and the Multi Envelope are one by one *fantastic* modules. Yes, they are not cheap (400-600 euro’s each), but what you get are about the most inspiring synth modules money can buy.

If you are starting with eurorack: SAVE money for one or more of his modules, really it is worth it. If you’re an experienced eurorack user/musician and did not try out Verbos modules… you fool! 🙂

Another company that makes very interesting modules is William Mathewson’s WMD, specially his Synchrodyne and Synchrodyne Expander modules form a monster PLL based oscillators/filters/compressor set with a very unique flavor. Wild, hard to tame, but very musical and rewarding.

This move to eurorack has become so incredible interesting with all those boutique and big companies stepping in: I can’t wait to try out the Roland system-500 modules for instance.

Lovely synth times!

B.

Some website improvements

Finally found the time to do some improvements on the website: music is back, new music will be added from the last few years. I have been low on recording music, but with the new modular growing fast into a great system this will change too in 2016. Pretty sure about that! Take a listen and view at a track I posted on YouTube with the eurorack modular.

New eurorack modular start

So… in the old days I did use some eurorack modular stuff. The Doepfer system-100 and also the Cwejman S1 MK2. Both systems were pretty good, but then I started to collect old analogs… Those modulars were sold but after years without any eurorack stuff, I  recently thought: “why not?” 🙂

I will start with a small minicase from Doepfer, which I am going to fill with modulation modules because I want to have more modulation control voltages for both Moogs. And today I ordered my first module, the MFB dual ADSR.

http://www.mfberlin.de/Produkte/Module/DUAL_ADSR/DUAL_ADSRe/dual_adsre.html

In the end a full self serving system will be the goal, although I have no idea yet how/what/when.

To be continued…

Synthogy Ivory 2 American Concert D Grand Piano

so… When you can not afford the real deal you will end up with a sampled version and Synthogy’s American Concert D is far above all other competition.

Here is a link to their webpage with this particular Grand.

More than 45 Gigabytes of Grand Piano samples in 16 velocity layers with all kind of tweaks possible makes it a no-brainer.

And with an excellent reverb plugin (I use Valhalladsp.com’s terrific reverb plugins) you’re in Carnegy Hall. Really. No, *really*!

      Here is a recording
of the first few notes I played on it (with huge reverb). It’s a 24 bit/44.1 kHz recording by the way.

 

 

 

Alesis Andromeda A6 editor templates for iPad

And another one available for download from the download page: 103 pages filled with 1200+ sound editing parameters for the Alesis Andromeda A6 polyphonic analog synthesizer.

The templates file plus read me file can be directly downloaded by clicking on this link.

IMG_2087

 

Strymon Timeline, Big Sky and Mobius editor templates for iPad

Just added to the Files download section: Strymon Timeline, Big Sky and Mobius editor templates for iPad.

I created these templates in TB MIDI Stuff, a great app for iOS with which you can build your own midi controller templates using CCs, NRPNs, system exclusive messages etc. Works great! I also did two demo videos which can be watched at YouTube:

 

QUAD 33 pre-amp

This weekend, I received a QUAD pre amp (QUAD 33) that I bought from a man in the Netherlands who is repairing and selling QUAD amps, pre-amps and tuners from this famous Brittish company. His website gives a wealth of information about the gear (in Dutch): quadrevisie.nl

QUAD is an acronym for “Quality Unit Amplifier Domestic”.

I already use two end amplifiers from QUAD, both in the studio as well in the living room, the Quad 405-2. The pre-amp I bought is a Quad 33, which is a great addition to the 405-2! This pre-amp was originally released in 1967(!) and sold until 1982. About 120.000 pieces were sold, which is a good thing because they go relatively cheap on the secondhand market. 🙂

q405
QUAD 405-2 front
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
QUAD 405-2 back
quad33
QUAD 33 front.
SonyMZNH700027
QUAD 33 back.