We got a quick mention at Synthesizers.com. It was my modular synth (which I call Gorf) made of their modules that created almost all the bass lines and a good many of the sound effects and sequences on our album.
Synthesizers.com makes great stuff – and at a very reasonable price. If you’re looking into a modular synthesizer I can’t recommend them enough.
Moon Modular has released a new sequencer, the 569 Quad Sequential Voltage Source. This one looks really great. They have a PDF on their site detailing some of the devices capabilities and I wrote them asking for a few more. Peter of Moon Modular was kind enough to respond:
Me: How many spaces wide is it (looks like 6)?
Peter: Yes, the M569 is 6 spaces wide.
Me: What is the pulse width of the gates outputted by the device?
Peter: Internal clock has a gate wide of ca. 60/40.
Me: If the rows are advanced with the shift inputs as opposed to the internal clock do the gate outputs to the left still create distinct pulses or are they like the Moog 960 and “on” for the entire time? This is really important because my Q960 (dotcom) will only create gates via the internal clock. If I try and drive the q960 with midi pulses to keep it in synch with my laptop it can’t trigger EGs.
Peter: The gates outs follow the pulse width of the gates in, that means they are “pulsed” and NOT like the 960 sequencers.
Overall this looks like a fantastic unit. I’ve never been 100% happy with my Q960 unit – it’s too reliant on it’s inner clock for many features and takes up a lot of space for its functionality. I will say, the Q960 is the coolest looking module ever with its pulsing lights along the top, but the 569 looks to be better in use.
My long awaited Buchla Quad Low Pass Gate from Cyndustries finally arrived. What’s a Low Pass Gate you ask? It’s a low pass filter and amplifier that can be used independently or in combination, and are attenuated by a vactrol. What the hell’s a vactrol? A vactrol is essentially a photocell: light bulb and then a light sensor. The reason you’d want to use one is the gradual brightening and dimming of the bulb – even when it is switched on and off quickly – adds an organic trail, or “ring” to the sound. Optical compressors use this same trick.
Here’s a sound sample I made last night. I use my Q960 sequencer to play a series of notes and trigger an envelope generator that is wired to the Low Pass Gate. The sequence starts using just the gate, then the low pass filter, then both. Since I have four gates on the module I added noise to a second gate and had the Q960 trigger it on a single note in the sequence. It’s interesting that the white noise thru the gate in combo mode sounds like it has reverb on it – though none was applied.
So what do I think if Cyndustries implementation of this module?
The over all build of the module is very nice and it seems to work great.
I really wish it has resonance on the low pass filters but the original Buchla design didn’t so I can’t really expect it.
I ordered it in DOTCOM format and the front panel is DOTCOM, but the power plug in the back is MOTM. Annoying, but I have a spare adapter so not really a problem.
Ultimately I think this is a great module to use in conjunction with the Q960. Can’t wait to brew up some songs with them.
After much experimenting I’ve come up with this flexible synthbass patch that will find its way on several songs on the new Subway album. This patch works great because it’s got enough character to disinguish itself from a normal electic bass but sits well in the mix without overpowering other instruments. You can thin it out even more to make space in a very busy song by using EQ to remove some of the 250hz frequencies. You’ll find it opens the song up a bit without sacrificing the umph of your low end.
The key is using a 12db (2-pole) low-pass filter instead of the more common 24db variety. The 12db lets you squash the hell out of it to get a great round sound but still lets enough of the highs thru to have some character. This patch was created on a Synthesizers.com unit, but you can probably get similar results with any unit with a 2-pole 12db low-pass filter.