Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Here’s a photo of the fished product, all patched up, https://photos.app.goo.gl/syCUbD4no2zeWu1t7

I was very tempted to keep the Lyra-8, but I think it may be more than I can safely chew right now. :) Plus, I need the space! So for drones, I will either play samples or loops recorded from the L8.

The range and depth of sounds is surprisingly wide (and deep) and having the extra set of EGs for the filters gives an additional tonal range. As I am already familiar with how it all works, the next step is to get busy writing and practicing on it!

@The Elf and @Folderol it is a little terrifying, especially not having any real polyphony; it’s going to stretch my meager music theory knowledge to the limit to make it sound interesting.

I can definitely see now why when people play modular live it tends to fall into either the ambient or techno genres. Composing evolving structures this way is really challenging, but I’m looking forward to it!

I’ll post my first proof of concept here!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by OneWorld »

Ben Asaro wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 1:25 pm Here’s a photo of the fished product, all patched up, https://photos.app.goo.gl/syCUbD4no2zeWu1t7

I was very tempted to keep the Lyra-8, but I think it may be more than I can safely chew right now. :) Plus, I need the space! So for drones, I will either play samples or loops recorded from the L8.

The range and depth of sounds is surprisingly wide (and deep) and having the extra set of EGs for the filters gives an additional tonal range. As I am already familiar with how it all works, the next step is to get busy writing and practicing on it!

@The Elf and @Folderol it is a little terrifying, especially not having any real polyphony; it’s going to stretch my meager music theory knowledge to the limit to make it sound interesting.

I can definitely see now why when people play modular live it tends to fall into either the ambient or techno genres. Composing evolving structures this way is really challenging, but I’m looking forward to it!

I’ll post my first proof of concept here!

Wow, all those cables, looks like an explosion in a spaghetti factory!

But brings back warm feelings, I am almost welling up, thinking back to the time when I first became sucked in by the allure of the original analogs and spending almost every waking moment scouring through the various mags back in the day and learning how to build a module/synth. Most of which I sold for buttons when the initial fad died out and synths were considered naff and subsequently the 'axe' resumed its prominence and synths went the way of platform heels and hot pants (no I never wore hot pants LOL)
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Martin Walker »

Ben Asaro wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 1:25 pm I’ll post my first proof of concept here!

Looking forward to it! :thumbup:

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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Been picking at the system in little bits, getting used to the new sounds. I realized that I’ve pretty much only used the SEM filter with Oscillation, and it sounds quite different with the ladder filters! I do love the range of the CV inputs, however; there are so many tonal options, and rhythmic ones, using EGs and LFOs into the CV inputs of the filters.

I’ve snuck up on a key center (Gm/G Phrygian) and chord progression as well, playing around with Notion. Now begins the process of turning that into music!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Quick update: this has been an incredible learning experience, I’m really enjoying it, but … I’m not loving the sound of the MOPHO in this context. On its own, it sounds SUPERB, but against the modular, either too loud or too soft. That usually indicates an EQ/masking issue, but that’s not so easily dealt with in this arena!

The other, smaller issue I’m having has to do with the KeyStep Pro. Once again: I love the machine, it’s amazing but … I really don’t like using a standard keyboard with the modular! I think this mostly stems from my terrible keyboard skills. It’s just too much mental overhead for me and my choices are: play a very lame line at moderate speed, or a decent one at half that speed.

So I will probably be removing the KSP/MOPHO from the setup and replace them with something/somethings that are more in my wheelhouse. As the footprint for the KSP is large, I have a couple of options.

I will not be able to experiment further until after the weekend, but I’m still really excited to keep pushing forward with this setup! It’s so close, I just have to get it like my guitar rigs, where it’s hand in glove with nothing holding back the ideas I want to express.

Stay tuned! :D
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Back home tonight after spending the past 3 days visiting family in Philadelphia. Was a great time, and a necessary counter reset. Looking forward to diving back into the thick of things tomorrow!

We visited the Franklin Institute today and there was one exhibit on moire patterns that really struck me ... the idea of musical moire patterns and palindromes ... the beginnings of a new idea, I can feel it resonating around in my brain looking for a way out! :D
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by John Stafford »

Looking good! Is that your Subharmonicon case?

Talking of moiré patterns, I think the Subharmonicon is great for that kind of thing. Two sequencers that are not synchronised at all but have similar patterns can be great too.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

John Stafford wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 5:42 am Looking good! Is that your Subharmonicon case?

One 60hp case is from my Mother-32 (which will be going into my 6U rack case as a stand alone separate system).

Talking of moiré patterns, I think the Subharmonicon is great for that kind of thing. Two sequencers that are not synchronised at all but have similar patterns can be great too.

I agree! Looking forward to having a play after work today!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

I only had a few scant moments yesterday to work on the system, but I was able to get sound from all sources, so that was a major win!

The current iteration of the setup is:

:: Eurorack voices > RV-500 fx chain A
:: Subharmonicon > Lyra-8 > TU-3S > RV-500 fx chain B

:: RV-500 A & B > Blackhole (set to mono) > Rosie channel A

:: Drum voices > Mixup > Rosie channel B

As both my Mother-32 and Lyra-8 allow for external audio input and the M32 is much easier to tune, I may end up using the former for drone/textures, I really need to experiment with the current setup.

Sonically, there's a lot of independence in that I can have a separate delay and reverb for the SubH and L8 than the sequences from the NerdSeq, which adds a lot of versatility.

It's also surprisingly compact without a keyboard taking up valuable real estate. Whether this is a good idea or not remains to be seen lol. :) Being able to "play" the voices from the Lyra-8 should add a human element to the proceedings, though...
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Had a chance to give the system a nice, long play last night; will be making the next round of consolidation today.

I'm not convinced that the Lyra-8 actually makes this setup better. I mean, it's amazing for ultra low notes, but its sound is very difficult to mesh with the other voices. I also realize that I'm going to have to get the filters moved to the side car so that I can have immediate access to them. For performance, the three things I access the most are the EGs (adjusting their attack and release times) and the filters; so I think I want to have all of those to hand.

In the Plus column, I have a nice motive that I've started to develop, which is going a long way towards getting the system finalized.

In the Minus column, we're going to blow way past my original goal of 104hp! I think that just the control skiff will be 80-104hp, with another 208hp for the rest. But still no keyboard lol :D

(I suppose it's still better than schlepping all 15U out ...)
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Arpangel »

Glad it’s shaping up, I can remember my portable, a Pittsburgh 104 case, with lid, all based around that legendary module the Equation Composer, without which I would have been very lost, saw me through a few gigs.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Arpangel wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 4:21 pm Glad it’s shaping up, I can remember my portable, a Pittsburgh 104 case, with lid, all based around that legendary module the Equation Composer, without which I would have been very lost, saw me through a few gigs.

I think I've got it to the point where there's very little compromise but is still portable; ie, it can fit into 2 cases that can be easily transported on the subway.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ezytqPuL8p3JEJV1A

With the Delta variant on the rise here it remains to be seen if this Summer will be doable for in-person gigs, but I'm going to get some virtual ones booked as well.

The best part is that this has thus far only cost me $25, which is the price I paid for the control skiff stand to tilt it back.

Now to patch it up and see how it works!
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