Archive for The Harvestman

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!

Advertisements

NAMM 2014

Posted in modular synthesizers, music, synthesizers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2014 by pyraphonic

NAMM 2014 is upon us. This post is NAMM through my narrow lens of interest, mainly modular synthesizers,  and is not meant to be comprehensive, so sit back and enjoy the ride without the incredible sonic wall of noise that pervades the convention.

IMG_3863

IMG_4065
First stop is the Eurorack modular booth hosted by WMD in Hall E.

IMG_3868
The Harvestman rig.

IMG_3876

IMG_3879

IMG_3878

IMG_4025
This showed up later in the day (a SubCon Vampire in The Harvestman’s case).

IMG_3872
Stephen and the Noise Engineering collection.

IMG_3874

IMG_3880
The Ataraxic Translatron in 2 flavors (just different faceplates) and an amazing kick drum module.

IMG_3881
A new oscillator and a new filter. Also a rectifier and divider, which can do far more to a sound than I had imagined.

IMG_3883
A new gate sequencer and a new mixer on the bottom.

IMG_3884
A super unique rhythm generator is in there as well.

IMG_3909
One of the 2 Make Noise systems at NAMM.

IMG_3891 IMG_3893
These are the 2 new control modules which add preset-like functionality to modulars. The CTRLSEL-G can be used to control one or more CTRLSEL-Vs to add precision to live performance situations. They communicate via the power bus, or a cable if in different cases.

IMG_3895
The Teleplexer is an unexpected offering. It works like this: you take a cable coming from a CV source and if you touch the tip to one of the plates, the voltage is sent to the corresponding output(s). The plates are set up so the top row of three route the voltages out of outputs one, two or three, respectively. The second row sends the voltages to one and two, or two and three. The third sends to just one and three, and the fourth is to all three. Below, the same scenario is repeated, but negative voltages are sent to those destinations. With multiple cables at play, things can get complicated.

IMG_3898
The Make Noise reverb, which with certain settings, sounded unlike any reverb I’ve heard before. There are no presets and all parameters are brought out to the front panel and can be controlled via CV.

IMG_3899
Mysteron, the mystery module aka the digital wavguide, arrives!

IMG_3905
Rosie – the cue system with an effects loop.

IMG_4070
A couple close-ups of the 1U mult/utility

IMG_3894

wmd_ssf_case
The WMD/Steady State Fate set up with new modules Amplitude, Pole-Zero, Spectrum, Ultrafold, VCMiniSlew, and the Quad Attenuator. Also Snazzy FX modules in there including the new Telephone Game module. Sorry, this shot is pretty blurry. Can’t win ’em all.

IMG_3918

IMG_3902

IMG_3901

IMG_3921
The newly announced Verbos Electronics set. Looking great, out of the gate, with the cool Rogan knobs Buchla nod and unique color scheme. These look aesthetically and functionally great. They sound as cool as they look as well.

IMG_3923
Mark showing the very skiffable Voltage Multistage.

IMG_3924
That is a thick circuit board!

IMG_3903
4MS with their new modular modular case/boats which look like a great solution for people who are ever expanding, rearrange their system a lot, or want to be able to detach a portion of their system for live use.

IMG_3914
The QCD expander (on the left), which packs a lot of punch in a small space.

IMG_3930
The Delptronics Thunderbell, a CV-able cowbell.

IMG_3932
I believe it will be offered in both Eurorack as well as mounted in a real cowbell. CV for the pitch and the decay. It sounds great.

IMG_3933
Delptronics General MIDI module prototype.

IMG_4005
STG stuff

IMG_3887

IMG_3889

IMG_4007
New Hexinverter modules.

IMG_4060
Koma’s set up.

IMG_4017
Moon Modular sequencer.

IMG_3943
Next I went to check out Gur and Tomio at Tiptop in Hall A in the Big City booth. Sean Costello’s Valhalla Reverb card for the Z-DSP sounds amazing. It is my most anticipated modular purchase of 2014.

IMG_3944

IMG_3945

IMG_3946
An elaborate new sequencer from Tiptop called the Circadian Rhythm.

IMG_3952

IMG_3949
Serge Wilson Analog Delay in eurorack.

IMG_3953
A very capable and flexible looking quantizer.

IMG_3962
Eowave modules.

IMG_3971
Another case at the Big City booth.

IMG_3989
Here’s Todd Barton with the Buchla Music Easel reissue.

IMG_3982

IMG_3976
They were showing the new preset card that links to the iPad via bluetooth.

IMG_3979

IMG_3984
It also looks like they have added (reinstated?) the nuts to the switches.

IMG_3937
The Moog Sub37. Roger O’Donnell (The Cure, Psychedelic Furs, etc.) is the hand model, btw.

IMG_3938

IMG_3941
The Moog Theremini. I’m not gonna lie, I want one! I already have a Big Briar theremin with the CV mods done to it, but this thing was fun to play (it has quantizing) and has a great design.

IMG_3992
The Prophet 12 from Dave Smith.

IMG_3998
An Alquier guitar I checked out.

IMG_4071
They ship with a really unique display/stand that hooks on the back via strap locks.

IMG_4020
The Haken Continuum. This isn’t new, but it was the first time I sat and played it. It is really expressive. Mark Smart played Bach’s Air for me using it and it sounded amazing.

IMG_4045
The Pittsburg Modular Phase Shifter.

IMG_4051
Also the new Pittsburg / Studio Electronics collaboration filter set.

IMG_4078
Critter and Guitari eurorack gear.

IMG_4056
If this Roots board sounds as good as it looks…

IMG_4083
These giant wooden cassette coffee tables from Tayble are lovely.

NAMM is exhausting but fun. I hope I just saved you $12 in parking and a day of traffic jams, lines, noise and crowds. Thank you to Stephen from Noise Engineering and William from WMD for the pass!