Tuesday, March 27, 2018
I've been obsessing about overdrive/distortion pedals lately - for the modular. I really like the kind of rich tones that people like Tom Hall get on their tracks; since I know Tom Hall, I could ask Tom Hall! He pointed me to a few different things, but suggested the Mega Distortion MD-2 for one specific feature: the 'Bottom' tone control. He points out that most distortion pedals razz up the sound but bleed away the low end - not what you'd really want for a synth tone.
Apparently, the Mega Distortion was made for Sunn O)))-like dark doom sound, which also happens to work nicely for the warm enveloping tone that I like coming from my synth. Spent some time with it yesterday, and it's a complete winner. Oh, and $20 on Craigslist! (Thanks to the anonymous dude who was so kind - they normally go for a bit more.)
Best sawbuck I've spent on the modular in ages!
Sunday, March 25, 2018
I picked up a Koma Field Kit from a local dude a few weeks ago, and have had a little fun with it - it came with the 'expansion' kit and a bunch of springs, but I need to have it integrate more with the rest of the modular - to make it more 'wacky'. All of the stuff I did as a standalone was a little 'meh'.
It's not like I couldn't figure out how to make something less 'meh', but I realized that I'd put it on the shelf because I wasn't having fun. But really, a radio, LFO, envelope follower and mixer should provide me with plenty of fun, right? I think that I just need to embed it in the modular so that it can have a little interplay with the rest of the modules.
So I ordered the Eurorack plate for it, and hope to have it play a role. Not sure which role - or maybe just a new role - but maybe this will open the door to fun, right? Since I have an OK power supply in my rig, it should be good unless I start driving motors with it (or something). I'll try to keep it sane, and let y'all know about it once I find out more.
Sunday, March 11, 2018
It's a little hard to believe, but yesterday the download count on the Art + Music + Technology site went over 1,000,000. That's one million downloads, which represents a lot of human time spent listening to my croaky voice talk to some of the amazing people in the art and music technology worlds.
Thanks to everyone that listens, and special thanks to my friends at Synthtopia.com, Cycling 74, Ableton and 20 Objects for their help in making this happen. Now to snag the next million!
Friday, March 9, 2018
Alas, this weekend is going to feature some quality time with a modular oddity: the Monome Teletype. Featuring some of the most cryptic programming imaginable, the Teletype pushes my programmer's brain in really interesting directions, and I ended up with code that is substantially different than I do on any other platform.
I recently got a TXI input expander for it, and I'm going to implement a multistage sequencer/recorder; I've long been using something like this on the Ardcore, but I now want to start implementing it on the Teletype. I'd had problems doing this in the past due to limited numbers of CV inputs; the TXI makes it possible, now, to do what I want.
So into the rabbit hole I go!
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Very excited today - we made Synthtopia.com's front page! Already seeing a big addition to the activity on the site, and lots of new waveforms being generated. Huge thanks to the folks at Synthtopia for their help spreading the word...
Saturday, March 3, 2018
My friend Tom Hall has put together this little intro video for the Single Cycle Waveform editor, available from this link: http://scw.sheetsofsound.com/
Feel free to check it out, take a gander at the video, and make yourself some samples. Note: I just added a 'randomize' function that gives you the ability to passively scan your way through some crazy sample sounds.
Friday, March 2, 2018
Randy Jones (from Madrona Labs, developer of my favorite softsynth: Aalto) makes a welcome appearance at a great website: designingsound.org. In this article, he talks about the history of expert-focused user interfaces - with a number of examples that might surprise (and hopefully intrigue) you. Buchla and Haken make appearances, but so does the Canon Cat! This is an interesting and thought-provoking article, and worth reading whether you work on user interfaces, or just use them (or create them using modular systems).
Check it out!