Archive for the modular synthesizers Category

Von Doog – Initiation

Posted in guitar synthesizer, modular synthesizers, music, theremin, Von Doog with tags , , , on September 22, 2017 by pyraphonic

Von Doog‘s Initiation is a set of tracks from an ambient live performance on 2/3/2017 as part of the Statues And Attitudes show (created and curated by Jade Gordon and Megan Whitmarsh) at the Human Resources gallery in Los Angeles. The tracks were recorded directly from the mixer. Instruments are guitar synthesizer, modular synthesizer and theremin.

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Von Doog’s contribution to the show was to provide sonic weather, auditory incense and empathic musical feedback. Choices and decisions regarding which devices to use and their settings were influenced by oracles and oblique strategy cards. Loops were created and embellished in real time. Recurring motifs recirculate within tracks and among different tracks. Some passages are answers to questions put forth by individuals chaperoned by resident translators.

Available now:

Spotify:

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/initiation/id1286246193?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075PKG6XZ

Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Von_Doog_Initiation?id=Bnw4pmidpec5eskvoqceqoetcjm

 

 

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Modular on the Spot: 2 Year Anniversary

Posted in modular synthesizers, music, Noise Engineering, Pocket Computer, synthesizers, Uncategorized on August 26, 2017 by pyraphonic

Modular on the Spot had it’s 2 year anniversary last month and Pocket Computer (Stephen McCaul of Noise Engineering and myself) did a set to close out the evening.

(Photo above by Patrick OBrien, also a modular synth performer)


(Photo above by Ben Clark also a modular synth performer!)

It was a great night with a beautiful sunset and awesome bill of performers (Mike Dobler, Rodent516 (Eric Cheslak), Andrew Ikenberry, C1t1zen (Kylee Kennedy).

Here’s a short vid of part of our set:

@noiseeng @pyraphonic #pocketcomputer #modularonthespot #modularpicnic #eurorack #modularsynth

A post shared by modular on the spot (@modularonthespot) on

Tom Hall (yet another modular synth performer!) wrote about the evening here. And the LAist wrote a story about the LA monthly event here (the event now has spread to cities across the world).

Hats off to Bana Haffer and Rodent for managing to pull this off for 2 years!

NAMM 2017

Posted in modular synthesizers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2017 by pyraphonic

Since my first NAMM visit in 2012, every year I have posted about modular synthesizers (and other interests) at the end of the first day to get the word out to those interested.

In the intervening years, modulars have become popular enough that professional music media outlets cover all the new stuff, sometimes as early as the day before NAMM starts, so no more scoops for me. I am officially retired!

So I went to NAMM this year with a more casual attitude (on rainy Friday, day 2, even!) and chatted with lots of friends, met some people, saw a lot of cool new stuff and still have some photos to share. I won’t go into great detail about anything, since it’s covered elsewhere. Come on in and check it out!

Below are Kris and Stephen at the Noise Engineering booth. I had my pass thanks to them!


I am an occasional helper at Noise Engineering as a beta tester for their modules as well as sometimes making design and feature suggestions.

Here are the three cases they had this year, with many new modules coming out this year:


I can’t wait for this sequencer!

Synthrotek had this amazing repurposed rig for the show:

Of course Bryce Recordon, of the Waveform City podcast, was there:

And Bana Haffer was doing demos at the Make Noise booth.

The new Make Noise Morphagene below:

The Koma Electronik Field Kit is awesome:

Pittsburg Modular had these awesome video game cabinets set up:

Skein Modular had some really cool cases:

The WMD rig:

The QuBit bubble that everyone had to take a photo of!

  

LZX had some really cool video modules:


The new Malekko Voltage Block:

Sputnik Modular’s rig:

Skyler, with his Apogee Jam, recording directly into his phone to eliminate the insanely loud NAMMbience:

Some other cool random stuff I saw includes the new Stylophone, which is super fun with a built-in delay:

The handcrafted Theresyn:


They have built-in speakers and the tall ones have resonating strings.

Vintage Vibe make Rhodes style keyboards, but they had a couple new models that also sport a little ribbon synth built in (the ribbon is the silver strip just above the keys). This was a bass model. They had the lids off to show the mechanical parts. It sounded awesome, especially playing a bass line and occasionally doing a downward slide!


This beautiful Travis Bean:

A clear demo model of the Center Point Stereo Spacestation v.3. I have an older Spacestaion and love it. It is a stereo amp, but in a single cabinet. If you know how mid-side mic technique works, this is that in reverse!

 

And Lowrey – still in the game!

Thank you Noise Engineering for the pass – I had a blast!

Recent Projects and Events

Posted in Dolphinforce, modular synthesizers, synthesizers with tags , , , on January 18, 2017 by pyraphonic

PAiA Oz

I’ve always wanted a PAiA Oz, and I recently acquired not just one, but two. They both needed some work, but I’ve got the first one up and running.


I replaced all the IC chips except for the hard-to-find 50240, added a much needed handle and a Fender Twin style grill cloth, as well as a plate with an underlit power light (to cover poorly drilled holes from a previous owner), added a jack for the pitch bender (as well as one on the pitch pad itself), and switched the output jack for the trigger to 3.5mm. I have new keybed bushings on the way, so the action will be super smooth. 

Something cool I’ve discovered is that you can use the output and input jacks as a line level insert and use effects and still use the built-in speaker.
I’m loving this super portable polyphonic full-size-keyed enigma! Soon I will revive the other unit, but it is lacking the 50240 IC.

******

Modular on the Spot

I have been aware of the outdoor modular synth events happening for over a year now known as Modular on the Spot, but my sound design work always has me on the wrong side of town when they are happening. But I finally not only got to attend, but also perform. It was super cool hearing all the different sets and playing in such a surreal environment next to the Los Angeles river.


[photo courtesey of MotS]

My set up was my main Tiptop 252 case with my custom built ribbon controller.

******

Dolphinforce

Dolphinforce played an augmented DJ set (the robot couldn’t make it due to threats of rain) at the Gregorio Escalante Gallery in  Chinatown, Los Angeles for Robert Xavier Burden’s Original Myth opening. The PAiA Oz even got some mileage that gig. We had a blast! Thanks to all who came down!

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.

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!

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

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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.

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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!

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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…

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mn_tempi_2

and tinkered with the 0-Coast

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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moog_b_mg

Moog also had some museum pieces set up.

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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

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The Linnstrument is really fun and playable.

linnstrument

Three New Pocket Operators from Teenage Engineering.

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

ot_rossum_1

ot_rossum_3

ot_rossum_2

Mordax

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Soulsby

ot_soulsby_1

ot_soulsby_2

AOA

ot_aoa

DT

ot_dt

Birdkids

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

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And to wrap up, some random weird stuff:

wtf_drum

wtf_mr_sparkle

wtf_thingie

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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.