Slithis Returns

Posted in modular synthesizers, music, Slithis, synthesizers with tags , on May 30, 2016 by pyraphonic

More spaced-out intergalactic doom soundtracks from Slithis.

Dolphinforce Returns

Posted in Uncategorized on May 27, 2016 by pyraphonic


D-Force has been thawed from cryogenic freeze! This Saturday evening (5/28/2016) Dolphinforce returns with an 8-bit DJ/modular synthesizer set at Esther Pearl Watson’s exhibition opening at the Gregorio Escalante Gallery in the Chinatown neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles.

http://us12.campaign-archive2.com/?u=2eaac7308ba4820f848ba7786&id=794dcdb354

******Update******

Wow, what a great evening that was. Thank you to Esther Pearl Watson and the Gregorio Escalante Gallery for having us and all the people who came, danced, smiled, laughed, listened, took pix and vids, and made the reboot of the bot such a party.

#DolphinForce at #gregorioEscalanteGallery for @estherpearlwatson solo exhibition #EstherPearlWatson

A video posted by Greg Escalante (@greg.escalante) on

NAMM 2016

Posted in modular synthesizers, synthesizers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2016 by pyraphonic

For the past five years I have gone to NAMM to take photos and post about (mostly) eurorack modular synthesizers for the relatively small community of users and manufacturers. Though I think this community has grown so much during this short time, and is now getting so much coverage, that perhaps my services are no longer needed and maybe I should retire after this year. We have hit the turning point where there are so many new modules (and manufacturers) that it is difficult to keep up with all of them, so I’m sure I’ve missed some stuff this year. Below are a ton of pics – click on them for hi-res. Enjoy!

main_self

Eurorack’s all grown up and no longer downstairs at NAMM!

main_pano

main_booths

As some of you know, I am a helper elf for Noise Engineering. This year I helped prepare for NAMM at the NE HQ. The Noise Engineering modules are in new shallow aluminum cases from Sub Modular.

ne_prep

Absurdly, I didn’t take any close-ups of the NE stuff at NAMM, but I’ll update this post with some later. Here’s the Noise Engineering booth. Thank you, Stephen, for the NAMMM badge!

ne_patrick

The Tiptop booth. Always great to catch up with Gur and Tomio. The new cases are looking great, and watch for several new Z-DSP cards coming soon – they sound amazing!

tiptop_2

tiptop_1

Make Noise. Got a tour of the new Tempi module…

mn_tempi

mn_tempi_2

and tinkered with the 0-Coast

mn_coast_0

Had a great time with the Malekko crew this year. Congrats on the Roland collaborations!

mlk_doodz

New cases and modules.

mlk_case_2

mlk_case_1

mlk_3hps

Rad dudes

mlk_broz

Cool new pedals

mlk_pedals

How cool? this cool. Shredworthy even.

mlk_shred

4MS rig featuring a new stereo delay with a huge amount of memory (3 mins, I think?)

4ms_dann

4ms_case

4ms_delay

Audio Damage had some cool custom cases and were showing their new drum module.

ad_case_2

I’m pretty sure Chris just told that guy I’m a dork.

ad_cr

ad_drumz

Bastl’s crazy rig. I shot a video that I’ll try to get up here later.

bastl_case

WMD booth. Great chatting with William and the WMD crew.

wmd_2

wmd_1

Verbos booth.

verbos_2

verbos_1

Vermona monosynth and modules.

vermona_2

vermona_1

Abstract Data’s rig.

abstrakt

Intellijel had new cases and modules, including the new Rainmaker module.

ij_case_1

ij_case_2

ij_case_side

ij_rain

The case has an intentionally deep lid for keeping it patched in transit.

ij_lid

Pittsburg’s new stuff.

pitts_1

pitts_2

Koma’s rig.

koma_1

koma_2

Industrial Music Electronics (formerly The Harvestman) set up.

hrvst_1

hrvst_2

Sputnik had a bunch of new stuff.

sputnik_1

sputnik_2

sputnik_3

sputnik_4

Snazzy’s case and new pedal.

snazzy_1

snazzy_2

Endorphin’s rigs.

endorphines_1

endorphines_2

Synthrotek

synthrotek_plus

ZVex entries into euro. I love my Fuzz Factory guitar pedal, so this should be interesting.

zvex_1_lr

zvex_2_lr

STG

stg

At the Big City booth I played this insane Schmidt synth and a real Mellotron.

big_city_schmidt

big_city_mello

Moog had a crazy cool set up with a ton of Mother 32s. I can’t help but think the Modular on the Spot gatherings inspired this desertscape arrangement!

moog_garden_1

moog_b_mg

Moog also had some museum pieces set up.

moogseum_1a

moogseum_2a

moogseum_3

Obligatory Stevie Wonder pic (on the escalator)

main_stevie

Oberheim/Dave Smith stuff

ob

ob_euro_seq

OB-6!

ob_6a

ob_6_b

Two Voice

ob_2v

The Linnstrument is really fun and playable.

linnstrument

Three New Pocket Operators from Teenage Engineering.

teenage_pos

There were several new euro manufacturers I was unaware of below, such as Rossom.

ot_rossum_1

ot_rossum_3

ot_rossum_2

Mordax

ot_mordax_data

Soulsby

ot_soulsby_1

ot_soulsby_2

AOA

ot_aoa

DT

ot_dt

Birdkids

ot_birdkids

I think I may have to own one of these someday – Rickenbacker 12 string.

ricken

And to wrap up, some random weird stuff:

wtf_drum

wtf_mr_sparkle

wtf_thingie

wtf_blobro

I saw a lot of friends, met some new ones and had a great time. Hope you dug the pics.

Cheers! (that’s Steven from Noise Engineering and Chris from Sub Modular)

ne_broz

 

 

 

 

 

Clark S. Nova – Fire in the Belfry

Posted in Clark S. Nova, modular synthesizers, music, synthesizers with tags , , , , , , on October 30, 2015 by pyraphonic

A gothic love tale describing the logistics of a vampire dating a ghost.

 

Cities and Memory: Oblique Strategies

Posted in music, synthesizers with tags , , , , on April 12, 2015 by pyraphonic



The site Cities and Memory has launched a project where artists/musicians used field recordings and the Oblique Strategies cards (created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt) to create a musical piece. My contribution, created using a recording from Big Bear Lake, was posted today. Both the field recording and the resulting piece can be heard here: 

http://citiesandmemory.com/2015/04/big-bear-lake-california/

About the project:

http://citiesandmemory.com/2015/04/cities-and-memory-oblique-strategies-launches-today/

*****UPDATE 4/20/2015*****

My contribution to the Cities and Memory Oblique Stategies project made it onto the record. 12 tracks were chosen from almost 60 submissions. You can get it here: https://citiesandmemory.bandcamp.com/album/cities-and-memory-oblique-strategies

Clark S. Nova – You

Posted in Clark S. Nova, music, synthesizers with tags on February 27, 2015 by pyraphonic

NAMM 2015

Posted in modular synthesizers, sound design, synthesizers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2015 by pyraphonic

IMG_1488

I started going to NAMM in 2012 a few months after starting my own eurorack modular synthesizer system and I have gone every year since. I mainly go to check out the modular synth gear and hang out with the people making and using them. This year was great with many more modules and many familiar faces.

Here we go…click on the pics for hi-res!

IMG_1572

The eurorack presence at NAMM this year was incredible. There were several different booths in various halls of the convention representing many manufacturers. I used to know immediately what modules were new, or which were prototypes, etc. but not anymore.

IMG_1584

I first went over to check out Noise Engineering because A) Stephen is my friend and colleague and B) I beta test and make suggestions on Noise Engineering modules and C) he had some beer with him.

IMG_1585

Among the new NE modules available soon is the Sinc Iter (purple one on the right in the photo above) which is a 4HP Oscillator with an insane range of 23 octaves (so it makes a great LFO) with variable waveform and built-in quantization. On the left are prototype clock modules.

IMG_1592

Also available soon (above in purple) are the Tonnetz Sequent (a triad based polyphonic pitch sequencer), Mimetic Sequent (a pattern recorder and randomizer with up to 16 steps – I love this thing!), and its expander which outputs random gates related to the sequences.

IMG_1589

Above from the left are the Variatic Sequent (a simple gate sequencer), the Variatic Erumption (a dual burst generator), and the Numeric Repetitor which is a rhythm generator in the vein of the Zularic Repetitor but based on binary arithmetic. I’ll swap in a better photo soon – I didn’t get a clear shot of these.

IMG_1586

Prototype mixers above on the right.

IMG_1529

Dieter Doepfer! I caught him mid-blink here – I swear his eyes didn’t look like that. He showed me some new Doepfer modules below.

IMG_1521

the A-157 Trigger sequencer above.

IMG_1533

Above in the center are the A-110-4 Quadrature Thru Zero VCO, A-147-2 LFO with delay, and A-110-3 Triangle Thru Zero VCO.

IMG_1535

Above is the A-101-6 Opto FET VCF/Phaser.

IMG_1538

Above is the A-153 Ratcheting clock multipler.

IMG_1537

Above is the A-160 Clock/Trigger Divider II

IMG_1737

I also got to catch up with Gur and Tomio showing Tiptop Audio’s wares – above is a prototype of a new case. The angle is adjustable. It looks great!

IMG_1499

Above is the new Circadian Rhythyms module.

IMG_1498

The quantizer is still being tweaked but looks great.

IMG_1497

They also had a couple euro-fied Serge modules in the case.

IMG_1496

IMG_1501

Above is the prototype case at a different angle.

IMG_1504

The WMD touch interface is fun! the Poly-key Array.

IMG_1505

Above is one of the WMD/SSF cases.

IMG_1653

Make Noise had the new shared system with all black faceplates (above). I tinkered with this set up for quite a while.

IMG_1659

Above are the new fixed filter and the RxMx. The fixed filter can be normalled to the RxMx so the six bands correspond to the six channels.

IMG_1661

Above is the next Make Noise collaboration with Tom Erbe called the Telharmonic. It is a triad oscillator with controls over the chord and inversion as well as timbre and of course, pitch(es).

IMG_1674

Black Maths!

IMG_1671

The Ctrl Sel above.

IMG_1666

The updated Wogglebug (above) looks great!

IMG_1654

Phonogene in black.

IMG_1509

Another WMD/SSF rig in a slick keyboard case.

IMG_1511

A fully loaded Enclave case.

IMG_1512

New Low-gain modules (above).

IMG_1514

Hexinverter’s case (above).

IMG_1516

A modular module from Black Market (above) that has swappable circuit boards.

IMG_1518

These are the boards (above) that work with their 500 series style units as well as the eurorack unit.

IMG_1522

The Xoac Karl Marx Stadt above.

IMG_1539

The Harvestman himself, looking very dapper this year.

IMG_1542

Qu-bit modules.

IMG_1544

More Qu-bit.

IMG_1546

The Verbos touch keyboard arrived this year. It feels nice and plays well!

IMG_1558

This one (above) was in its own skiff.

IMG_1554

The Koma Quad helmet for demoing their new quad mixer. (Apologies to those I clocked in the head while wearing this.)

IMG_1559

the ProModular MIIIIX and Insert (above).

IMG_1560

SSF ultra-random (above).

IMG_1564

Synthrotek’s rig. Lots of cool kits in here.

IMG_1565

A closer look at the upper Synthrtek case with some Mattson mults along the bottom rows.

IMG_1569

The new Double Andore from The Harvestman (above).

IMG_1573

Chris Randall hamming it up with the Audio Damage rig (above).

IMG_1574

Abstract Data’s rig (above).

IMG_1577

the Koma Komplex Sequencer (above).

IMG_1579

Dann from 4MS showing their goods.

IMG_1580

the LZX rig (above).

IMG_1582

the Vermona rig (above – sorry, blurry shot!)

IMG_1692

Sputnik modular stuff – the patch was all set up, so the shots don’t show the modules all that well!

IMG_1691

IMG_1690

IMG_1751

IMG_1733

The Snazzy rig

IMG_1735

Dan showed me the new Snazzy Tidal Wave which sounded great. A compact voice synth with some performance oriented controls (above).

IMG_1626

Muffwiggler booth rigs!

IMG_1628

Another Muffwiggler booth box.

IMG_1630

Expert Sleepers new stuff (above).

IMG_1632

Circuit Shaman’s rig in a John Noble case (above).

IMG_1634

The Circuit Shaman Dack (above).

IMG_1635

The Circuit Shaman Spectra Mirror (above).

IMG_1637

the Kilpatrick Audio Phenol (above).

IMG_1640

Above is the Tipsy Circuits Emperor, which can run Windows in the modular environment. Pretty insane!

IMG_1642

Frap Tools UNO case folded (above) and unfolded (below). Really nice!

IMG_1679

IMG_1645

Pittsburg had their new stained wood cases, which looked really great.

IMG_1646

IMG_1648

Studio Electronics modules (above and below).

IMG_1651

IMG_1678

More from the Muffwiggler booth.

IMG_1685

IMG_1695

IMG_1696

IMG_1683

The Moon Modular case (above). I met John L. Rice at their booth, whom I’ve interacted with on the forums before but never met in person, which was cool.

IMG_1730

Analogue Haven cases (above and below).

IMG_1732

Mutable Intsruments new stuff (above) – Elements is awesome!

IMG_1753

The new Synthesis Technologies E6209 (above).

IMG_1738

The Big City Music booth (above).

IMG_1742

I believe this is a vibrato/reverb repurposed from an organ from Analog Outfitters (above – from the Big City Music booth).

IMG_1723

New Buchla including the 252e and the standalone 218 touch keyboard.

IMG_1727

IMG_1599

Brian Kehew and Robert Robert Margouleff at the Moog booth (above). Brian is a polymath whose many hats include synth expert, audio restorer, half of the synth duo Moog Cookbook as well as being an author (check out Recording the Beatles). Robert, along with Malcolm Cecil, built and played T.O.N.T.O. and co-created those amazing Stevie Wonder records.

IMG_1603

The reissues of the original Moog modulars.

IMG_1605

IMG_1607

IMG_1611

Diego Stocco tinkering with the Moog modular (above).

IMG_1612

Klaus Shulze poster!

IMG_1616

Moog Voyager (above).

IMG_1617

IMG_1698

Suzane Ciani live patching the Moog modular (above).

IMG_1701

Sir David Scott Stone checking out the Korg reissues of the ARP Odyssey!

IMG_1704

IMG_1705

IMG_1718

Twin Braids jamming in the Roland room upstairs (above).

IMG_1621

Black is the new Orange (above).

IMG_1620

The original Les Paul “Black Beauty” (above).

IMG_1619

Yeah, I still want one of these Rickenbacker 12-strings.

IMG_1759

The insane new Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator series (above)!

IMG_1760

IMG_1763

IMG_1766

And the day ended with Richard Devine falling in love with the new 4MS Spectral Multiband Resonator! It does sound amazing.

Thanks to Stephen (Noise Engineering) and William (WMD) for the NAMM badge!