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 »

Well, I got the thing tuned (took much less time than I was expecting, so that was good) and started messing with basic sounds just to see how the thing plays. I'm happy with the sounds I've got thus far and was even able to make a test recording, and that's only 4 voices! I still have another SubH as far as pitched voices, plus the drums, and possibly the Lyra-8, to add.

https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting ... rig-test-1
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Arpangel »

Ben Asaro wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:22 am Well, I got the thing tuned (took much less time than I was expecting, so that was good) and started messing with basic sounds just to see how the thing plays. I'm happy with the sounds I've got thus far and was even able to make a test recording, and that's only 4 voices! I still have another SubH as far as pitched voices, plus the drums, and possibly the Lyra-8, to add.

https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting ... rig-test-1

All sounding good, did you program the sequencer with a keyboard?

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

Post by BobTheDog »

Sounds good to me as well :thumbup:
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Folderol »

Sounds pretty good.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Arpangel wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:11 am
Ben Asaro wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:22 am Well, I got the thing tuned (took much less time than I was expecting, so that was good) and started messing with basic sounds just to see how the thing plays. I'm happy with the sounds I've got thus far and was even able to make a test recording, and that's only 4 voices! I still have another SubH as far as pitched voices, plus the drums, and possibly the Lyra-8, to add.

https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting ... rig-test-1

All sounding good, did you program the sequencer with a keyboard?

:think:

Nope, the first two voices were written into the Nerd Seq in real time as it played using the tracker style input. The bass is the Mother-32. The third voice that enters is the Subharmonicon playing its own sequence and sync'd to the NerdSeq.

Keeping the M32 in VCA mode means that as you raise the cutoff the notes sustain indefinitely.

Next step today will be to add drums and play round with getting the second set of envelopes to modulate the filters. I find that just slapping an envelope into the CV input of the filter doesn't quite give me the sound I'm looking for, so I'm going to play with attenuators and see if they can add some flexibility to the sound?
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Arpangel wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:11 am
All sounding good, did you program the sequencer with a keyboard?

:think:

Oh, I should also mention that I rarely work out motives on the fly; most of them are already written in some form using Notion long before I sit down to the synth, so I already have an idea of what direction I'm going in ...

For example, for my new composition, I already know that it's going to be based on a progression in G Phrygian and have the motives pre written. All that's left is to play them with the sequencer and add and take away until I have enough variations that I'm happy with.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/zuVQWQYwTn26iMAK8

In this case, the motive is based on a quarter note and three eights notes per bar, with the voices being staggered.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Arpangel »

Ben Asaro wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:59 pm
Arpangel wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:11 am
All sounding good, did you program the sequencer with a keyboard?

:think:

Oh, I should also mention that I rarely work out motives on the fly; most of them are already written in some form using Notion long before I sit down to the synth, so I already have an idea of what direction I'm going in ...

For example, for my new composition, I already know that it's going to be based on a progression in G Phrygian and have the motives pre written. All that's left is to play them with the sequencer and add and take away until I have enough variations that I'm happy with.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/zuVQWQYwTn26iMAK8

In this case, the motive is based on a quarter note and three eights notes per bar, with the voices being staggered.

That’s a very productive way of working, pre-planning, it guarantees a result.
If you’ve tried it all out, and all is working, great.
I only wish I’d written down a lot of my piano music, but I simply don’t have the knowledge, so I can never play some pieces ever again.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Started working on a new piece of music last night using the performance setup. It worked a treat, but took a bit of work to get the Lyra-8 to sonically mesh with all of the Moog-y-ness going on. I ended up running the L8 through a Doepfer SEM filter and modulating it with a slow moving LFO. Combined with the modulated delay of the L8 itself, it sounds pretty massive! Of course, I didn't record anything and I hope I can get a somewhat similar sound when I return to the piece lol :D .

It was an enjoyable 2+ hour rabbit hole getting the Lyra-8 to where I wanted it, I didn't even realize the amount of time I had spent until my legs started to feel tired. I thought, O, I've been standing for 40 minutes or so, makes sense ... lol nope!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Well, I just learned a very important lesson about letting my eyes dictate my actions instead of my ears.

I started out using this setup with the Boomstars going into the Doepfer LPFs. And I was beginning to get frustrated at the sound. The Oscillation always sounded AMAZING before, going into the Doepfer SEM filter, but it sounds rather anemic going through the LPFs, and has a weird peak resonance that I thought just sounded rather uninspiring.

Well, when I got round to trying to figure out what role the Subharmonicon was going to play in all this, I felt immediately hamstrung -- then I realized, of course! I typically use the SubH with each VCO going out through the LPFs, which sound amazing when used together.

So, I got to thinking ... and recalled my lowly Dreadbox Eudemonia filter/mixer/VCA. I've actually barely used it since I purchased it because it didn't really work with the SubH the way I wanted it to, and tbh I mostly got it because it's inexpensive and wanted to see what all the fuss was about with Dreadbox.

I took the Boomstars and rerouted them a bit, running them through their VCAs and then into the Eudemonia, just to see if it would sound better. JACKPOT! They immediately came to life and now it sounds terrific, very inspiring, indeed! (In general, I do tend to think that a SEM style VCO sounds better going VCO > VCA > filter, rather than the typical way round)

As a side benefit, I learned that the filter in the Eudemonia is self-oscillating, but not in a nice way -- it a howling, screeching, feedback-drenched whale song from Hell. It sounds, in short, stellar. :D So that happy accident has now become the intro to the new piece I'm working on.

And it taught me a valuable lesson: just because it looks good on paper doesn't mean it sounds its best; you have to try everything!!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Arpangel »

Ben Asaro wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:44 am Well, I just learned a very important lesson about letting my eyes dictate my actions instead of my ears.

I started out using this setup with the Boomstars going into the Doepfer LPFs. And I was beginning to get frustrated at the sound. The Oscillation always sounded AMAZING before, going into the Doepfer SEM filter, but it sounds rather anemic going through the LPFs, and has a weird peak resonance that I thought just sounded rather uninspiring.

Well, when I got round to trying to figure out what role the Subharmonicon was going to play in all this, I felt immediately hamstrung -- then I realized, of course! I typically use the SubH with each VCO going out through the LPFs, which sound amazing when used together.

So, I got to thinking ... and recalled my lowly Dreadbox Eudemonia filter/mixer/VCA. I've actually barely used it since I purchased it because it didn't really work with the SubH the way I wanted it to, and tbh I mostly got it because it's inexpensive and wanted to see what all the fuss was about with Dreadbox.

I took the Boomstars and rerouted them a bit, running them through their VCAs and then into the Eudemonia, just to see if it would sound better. JACKPOT! They immediately came to life and now it sounds terrific, very inspiring, indeed! (In general, I do tend to think that a SEM style VCO sounds better going VCO > VCA > filter, rather than the typical way round)

As a side benefit, I learned that the filter in the Eudemonia is self-oscillating, but not in a nice way -- it a howling, screeching, feedback-drenched whale song from Hell. It sounds, in short, stellar. :D So that happy accident has now become the intro to the new piece I'm working on.

And it taught me a valuable lesson: just because it looks good on paper doesn't mean it sounds its best; you have to try everything!!

As an aside, I have a Doepfer Wasp, and 120 LP, the Wasp is fabulous, really ads character, also, the 120 is a very underrated filter, lovely dark smooth sound.
I always put things through my Grandmother filter if I need something with "that" sound.
Yes, some filters are hyped up, and when you try them they are a bit of a let down, one that you should check out if you have some spare cash is the Verbos Four Pole, worth every penny, and deserved of all the hype!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Verbose makes amazing products.

One of the goals for this skiff was to not buy new modules, but use what I have to the extent possible. Right now I’m only out about $80 for a couple of cables and the custom stand for the 6U case.

If I were to get a new filter, it would probably be the Jove, I love that filter’s sound. Fortunately, I don’t have to!

I’ve realized that with the Boomstar VCOs, they sound best (to my ears) when there is a bit of overhang in the bass. The bass with the 24dB ladder filter is too tight, and there’s something with the midrange that just wasn’t working.

The Eudemonia being a mixer also makes my life easier, I can filter both voices at once, and I can run the Mother -32’s noise output through it as well.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Had a very productive day working with the modular yesterday! Perhaps the biggest breakthrough was getting a great Berlin School style pluck; it took a lot of experimenting but now that I know what the secret is, I can replicate it.

And The Secret Is … having a filter envelope with an adjustable peak! I was using an analog EG on the filter but even with an attenuator on it, it was problematic getting it to sound right. (Plus, I have more voices that I have attenuators.)

I ended up using the MOD outs from the NerdSeq with a very short AR envelope on it, and while notes were playing, adjusted the peak level until there was just the right amount of filter movement.
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