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 »

First successful test flight of the rig! Here's a run through of each voice playing the same pattern over the bassline, and then all of them playing the same pattern in unison. Aside from the M32, they all hold their tuning remarkably well. :D In fact, I can't even tell when the first two voices switch from Oscillation VCO 1 to VCO2, they sound that close to each other.

https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting ... rig-test-2

I hear one small fix: the Blackhole needs some predelay, but aside from that, I think the voices are as tweaked as they need to be to get something written.

The only thing on my "wish" list is a different output/headphone module. I've noticed that Rosie is definitely cutting some of the low freqs off, and the output is quite low; I have to add quite a bit of gain to record, which means it will be the same for FoH (or front of stream, as the case may be).

Otherwise, I'm VERY happy with the results so far!

The only element I need to incorporate now is something to actually perform on... and I really feel that this needs a wash of strings. In any event, I'm glad to be moving past Phase I of this project!!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Guest »

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

Post by Ben Asaro »

Thanks!

I added the final element last night: the KeyStep and JV-1010 set to a slow string patch. The JV-1010's diminutive size makes it perfect for this application.

Everything is starting to sound suitably atmospheric and dark now lol. I will need to add some processing to the strings, which will be the final step towards getting this done; probably some phase shifter/flange and a good dose of Space Echo. :)

My plan now is to get the RV-500, Blackhole, and whatever effects I use for the JV-1010 onto one of my Pedal Train boards and get that down on to the floor and off the shelf, as it's not really needed there. That should free up some valuable real estate...
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Connected my poor-man's string machine yesterday, and it works a treat! Slow string patch on the JV-1010 > MXR Script 90 > BOSS RE-20 Space Echo > Eventide Space Echo.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/PkcHzknMgjHGqnkW9

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Gv4a96sNtMREaZ1i7

https://photos.app.goo.gl/oFUaZ7kGKPukP8Md6
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Guest »

It would be nice to see a photo of the entire rig being used.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Full performance pics/video coming soon! I'll snap an as-done pic when I've sorted out the pedals, though.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Guest »

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

Post by Arpangel »

Ben, a friend came to New York about twenty years ago, he’s a musician, he loved it, I’m sure it’s changed massively since then, but he did comment on the alternative music scene, how buoyant it was, and how people were very receptive, and wanted to know what you were doing etc, he didn’t want to come back to the UK, he said it was a very positive atmosphere in NY creatively.
Are there still plenty of opportunities to play? underground clubs, interesting venues etc?
If I come there I’d like to have a good look around and check out a few places, even though it’s changed, also, check out a few modular dealers, and music shops.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

The NYC music scene of today, post 2010, is almost unrecognizable from the scene of yesteryear. Music Row disintegrated to dust, all the shops are gone or scattered. The big loss to us was 48th St Custom Guitars, that was possibly more legendary than Manny's. There are a couple of music stores of note still here, but they are very much diminished compared to what they used to be.

In terms of venues, some styles of music (like jazz and alt rock) continue to survive, if not thrive. However, once NYU gobbled up the majority of the real estate from Union Square through the East Village and into Alphabet City and the West Village, they closed down MANY legendary venues like The Bottom Line and CBGB. With them went all of the classic dive bars that subsisted from the venues, like Holiday Cocktail Lounge and Mars Bar.

It's not totally bleak, however, as one of the advantages of being the Hipster Capital of the World means a healthy dose of counterculture. The modular/synth scene is BOOMING here, with New York Modular Society being a large network of modular/synth enthusiasts that regularly holds meets and shows. They had 2 just this past week, which I've been too busy to attend lol.

For shops, we have Control, one of the best-curated modular shops in the US, right here in Brooklyn.

I hope that answers your question!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

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

Post by Arpangel »

Thanks Ben, we’re aiming for next spring, if things even vaguely get back to normal. We want to stay for about a month, a couple of excursions into Canada, if we can make it, Ontario, at least that’s on the same side as NY!
We want to visit Control, go to a few clubs, just chill out, and also go to Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton, Ontario, it’s a special place for me, like a pilgrimage.
Even though the scene in NY has all but disappeared, I have to go, I’ll just stand there and soak up the vibes of the past, it’s still a great place for me, it’s just got to be done.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

There's an AMAZING synth studio here that we can book for a few hours and have a jam!

https://tonetweakers.com/blogs/news/the ... o-in-nyc-1
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Arpangel »

Ben Asaro wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:24 pm There's an AMAZING synth studio here that we can book for a few hours and have a jam!

https://tonetweakers.com/blogs/news/the ... o-in-nyc-1

OMG! a 2500! OK, I don’t care, I’ll book a date, covid or no covid! I’ll make sure I bring a portable recorder!

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

Post by Guest »

Ben Asaro wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:24 pm There's an AMAZING synth studio here that we can book for a few hours and have a jam!

https://tonetweakers.com/blogs/news/the ... o-in-nyc-1

I get their email/newsletter thingy every so often full of gear I can’t afford, sometime in the past when I had disposable income I must have been in contact about buying something :)
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Had a decent play on the setup yesterday. Remarkably, everything is staying in tune! So, yay, reliable VCOs!

I did notice an idiosyncrasy with the Subharmonicon, though: If you power it up with v/oct cables attached, it won't make any sound until you've power cycled it a second time! I guess it has something to do with the tuning chip, as the SubH also has some strange tuning things that are resolved by power cycling the unit.

That aside, it works, and sounds great! First piece is well underway and I'm enjoying it immensely!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Had to make a couple of minor changes to the rack but the changes are becoming smaller and smaller as I zero in on the final sounds that I will need.

OUT: Disting Mk4, Doepfer attnuator

IN: Doepfer SEM filter

CURRENT LIST OF MODULES:
XOR Electronics NerdSeq, More Triggers
Moog Mother-32, Subharmonicon
Intellijel Quadra, Quad VCA, Mixup
Dreadbox Eudemonia
Doepfer Low Pass Filter (x2), SEM filter
WORNG Sound Stage
strymon AA.1
Steady State Fate Modbox
Make Noise Rosie
Tip Top BD808, SD808, HATS808

Since I want to have independence for both of the Boomstar VCOs, they really need their own filters. Using the Eudemonia for one and the SEM for the other gives them totally different characters which really makes them stand out from each other as well as the Moog voices. This is great news, as Moog takes up 50% of the current voice count!

The new piece is underway as well, constantly being refined and driving the final audio setup changes. The key center has shifted from G Phrygian to G Dorian but I'm really liking the chord progression for the first subject! (Gm - Cm - Bb/G - Fsus4 - F/G)

The final effects routing is a bit complex as I have so many sources and some are going to the RV-500, some are going to the Blackhole, the JV has its own effects chain entirely, and some are dry. :headbang:
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Another small update:

I added my Loop Station to the rig for playback only, going through the B input on the Space Echo pedal -- sounds great! I'm only using it for musique concrete style loop playback, not doing live looping.

Aside from waiting for my custom stand for the 6U case from Italy and getting the pedals onto my Pedal Train board, I think it's safe to call this done! I've already begun writing my first performance piece on it, have about half of it done (clocking in at just under 8 minutes at the moment).

Photos (and hopefully vieo) of the final setup coming soon!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

After an insane shipping delay, the stand for my case finally made it to the US! It's currently in Philadelphia, so hopefully I'll see it early next week!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Pedal board is laid out, connected, and working!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/z8aUMyDjLQmrjKtX9
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Space for more there! ;)
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

lol I originally had a board half this size (like everything else in this project), but it only fit the three larger pedals. It's surpisingly heavy, and will stay the way it is. :D

I'm still chuffed that my total expenditure for this whole thing has been just under $100.
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Quick update -- I had one of those oh, duh moments last night. I was looking at the pedal board and remembered, hang on, doesn't the RV-500 have a Space Echo emulation on it? Turns out, yes, it does!

My hope is that the Space Echo emulation on the RV-500 is the same one that's on the RE-20. If so, I can a) use the RV-500 in Dual Mode, b) set the patches to operate in parallel, c) remove the RE-20 from the effects chain and downsize down to a Pedaltrain Nano board.

I won't get a chance to test the Space Echo algorithm on the RV-500 until later today, but I'm hopeful that it will have at least some of the mojo of the RE-20 (which is a stellar Space Echo emulation).
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

I was able to give this a quick test whilst waiting for my tea to brew; the sound is definitely not the same as the RE-20... BUT, it will cut the overall size in half, so it'll do! :D (A wise man once told me, sometimes good enough is good enough.)

The sound reminds me of the same "problem" I have with my Vulca FM vs the TX7. The Vulca FM sounds almost too high resolution compared to the original; too clean and has none of the weird colourations.

However, as this is for live use, smaller = better, and it's a much more economical use of the RV-500, as I was only using half of it. Also, it's not like the sound is bad -- it sounds brilliant, just different than what I am used to.

So, it looks like the refinement/evolution isn't done just yet, but I'm getting close!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Done, but needs to be wired up still.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/XwhjAgysuaKyxRGL8
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Finally hooked up the B case with all of the 'cast offs' and tested it. It's actually quite a serious modular in its own right, which is what I was going for: one performance-driven, deterministic case and one random/generative-based exploration case.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/fHPWDNMzNGjB9STs7

Getting the stand for my 6U case has been an absolute customs nightmare; I just hope it actually shows up some day in one piece at this point!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Drew Stephenson »

It certainly looks impressive!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

blinddrew wrote: Sat Aug 14, 2021 12:20 pm It certainly looks impressive!

Ha, I suppose it does! It's a bit of a ring in the snout of a pig, however, if I don't get any music done on it, though! (imo -- there is an alarming number of people that buy into modular, get lost/disheartened/disenchanted, lose interest and stop making music altogether).
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Arpangel »

Ben Asaro wrote: Sat Aug 14, 2021 1:38 pm get lost/disheartened/disenchanted, lose interest and stop making music altogether).

Yes, all of those, got the T-Shirt.
But I ignored the printed warning "please patch responsibly"
I’m back now, and I’m far more responsible, the benefit of a traumatic previous relationship.
Your case is looking great though, a good balance of functionality and aesthetics.

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

Post by Ben Asaro »

Did my first round of serious recording last night with the new setup, it worked flawlessly. :D

I used Logic as the primary clock and went mio USB/MIDI > Erica Synths MIDI <> CLK > NerdSeq, sync'd at 24 PPQ. Audio followed the live chain exactly going straight from Rosie to the 18i20.

The first piece I wrote for the live setup is long and pretty involved, it took ages to record it one part at a time in real time, but I am very happy with the final result!

I should be able to record the poly synth parts tonight, and then move onto song #2!
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Re: Here we go -- single-skiff performance synth in 104hp?

Post by Ben Asaro »

Quick update: recordings continue to move forward. Haven’t forgotten about the overview photo/breakdown , but I think I will wait until I can tear the patch down so there’s a clear view of the modular.
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