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 »

Arpangel wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:42 am Ben, have you got one bag that this lot fits in to? I used to use one of those wheeled shopping trolleys for mine, although they can be a pain on underground (subway) steps.
There is a market here for good portable systems, for transporting modular.
Those Space Cases are good, they take a hell of a lot, and fold up small, but they are way too expensive.

I do! I have a gig bag for both the 6U and 3U skiffs that I got from Perfect Circuit pre-COVID. If I ever went further afield I would have to come up with something more sturdy, but for bopping around NYC, they should work fine.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Thar she blows! https://photos.app.goo.gl/4spRoj77ubm7ttqd9

Two immediate observations: it sounds fantastic. And it's very roomy with this layout. Everything I need to get my hands on is either on the closer level of the 6U or on the control skiff, with plenty of room to move dials and push buttons. And I have 18hp of expansion room 'just in case'.

6 synth voices, 4 drum voices, 2 delays, 3 reverbs ... I think I'm now set.

I ran a test patch last night just to hear everything at once. The interaction of the M32 with the SubH, sonically, is really quite moving. They sound very different but compliment each one another so well. The Boomstars now sound perfectly at home within this context and I have just enough sequencing on the NerdSeq to make it all work. :crazy:
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Arpangel »

Ben Asaro wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:08 pm
I ran a test patch last night just to hear everything at once. The interaction of the M32 with the SubH, sonically, is really quite moving. They sound very different but compliment each one another so well. The Boomstars now sound perfectly at home within this context and I have just enough sequencing on the NerdSeq to make it all work. :crazy:

Having a definite vision as to what you need, to achieve your musical goals i find hard to stick to, but it looks like it’s worked for you.
I’m trying to do this with mine, sort of, but trying to do certain things using the most logical solutions isn’t so easy, I'm using three separate sequencers, when one with more features would be better, but I don’t like digital modules with menus, so that limits me.
The Equation Composer was fantastic, but functions were all hidden, I couldn’t tell what was happening just by looking at it, the main strength of modular for me, simplicity, lots of knobs!
We are all different, that’s also the biggest attraction of modular, we can design our own instruments, and seeing other peoples racks is always interesting.
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That would be an ecumenical matter.

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

Post by Ben Asaro »

NerdSeq, Pyramid, and Circlon are probably the most extensive sequencers available for Eurorack. I've found the NerdSeq to be very intuitive, though my use case is quite simple!

I do enjoy very simple sequencers as well, my other setup made from the leftover bits (too many) will be driven by the SQ-1 and Turing Machine.

I agree with the menu diving, it's a drag, but the NerdSeq actually has virtually no diving, all of the menus are accessible from any page, it's laid out more in a horizontal fashion, than vertical, if you get what I'm saying.

Ultimately, it's all moot if no music is being made! I'm glad it's done so I can push forward, I have a few ideas now and am excited to get to writing again.

If you look closely, I'm not that fussed with things like cable lengths and screw colours, rack aesthetics, etc. I want 100% ease of use and function. I need good tracking and a simple way of tuning. Everything else, for me, takes away from the music.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Arpangel »

Ben Asaro wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:25 pm
Ultimately, it's all moot if no music is being made! I'm glad it's done so I can push forward, I have a few ideas now and am excited to get to writing again.

If you look closely, I'm not that fussed with things like cable lengths and screw colours, rack aesthetics, etc. I want 100% ease of use and function. I need good tracking and a simple way of tuning. Everything else, for me, takes away from the music.

I try and organise things into some sort of a logical order, one that makes sense to me, all modulation sources, sequencers at the top of my rack, feeding oscillators below, which in turn feed VCA's and filters below those, that’s basically it, I like feeding control voltages into VCA's and modulating the VCA's with more random sources, to this day, I never know how I got to a piece, it just happens, I like what Legowelt said about his Euro set-up, it’s like a Brian Eno thing, you know, nature, forest sounds, that kind of thing, that’s what it does for me.
I’m with him there! :D
I think he’s expanded it now though, based on a Synthacon system.
Sequencers? I've got Lifeforms, and I’m getting that Behringer 2500 sequencer, that looks really cool, three rows of eight steps, that can all interact with each other.
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That would be an ecumenical matter.

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

Post by Ben Asaro »

I think Make Noise's sequencers work that way as well, it's an interesting idea, for sure.
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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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That would be an ecumenical matter.

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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