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

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

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:
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16803 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

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 :)
User avatar
Guest

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!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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:
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Space for more there! ;)
User avatar
Drew Stephenson
Apprentice Guru
Posts: 25023 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
(The forumuser formerly known as Blinddrew)
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...
https://drewstephenson.bandcamp.com/

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.
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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).
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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

Post by Drew Stephenson »

It certainly looks impressive!
User avatar
Drew Stephenson
Apprentice Guru
Posts: 25023 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
(The forumuser formerly known as Blinddrew)
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...
https://drewstephenson.bandcamp.com/

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).
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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:
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16803 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

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!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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.
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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

Post by Martin Walker »

Ben Asaro wrote: Fri Aug 27, 2021 1:35 pm 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.

We're hanging on for grim death here Ben ;)

Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 20689 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

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

Post by Ben Asaro »

First piece is officially in the can! :D What a huge relief that is, it feels like forever since I started this project!

Looking forward to starting the next one! I'm home for the extended weekend and I hope I can get two of the four pieces completed by the time I go back to work.

I made another small swap in the main case: I took Rosie out and replaced it with a WMD Output Pro. So far I really like it!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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

Post by Ben Asaro »

2 months later ...

I'm finally able to pull down this patch, photograph the complete setup, and post it here!

This was a fun, time-consuming, and challenging project; I learned a lot about what I like and don't like, my workflow, and live composition and performance with the modular.

I admit, it will be a relief to step away from the patch cables for a while! I don't even know what the modular looks like unpatched. :D
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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

Post by Ben Asaro »

No going back now, the patch has been torn down!

Image

Image
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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

Post by Ben Asaro »

Workflow breakdown coming soon!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

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

Post by Ben Asaro »

Sorry for the delay in getting this done, it was a semi-daunting project getting everything labeled clearly!

This is the CONTROL SKIFF:

Image

And this is the VOICE SKIFF:

Image

There are a total of five melodic voices and four percussion voices.

The signal flow breakdown is below. Unless otherwise noted, the call outs are [CV or pitched audio related to that CV]/[VCA envelope]/[VCF envelope]

VOICE A/B/C
Oscillation #1/Make Noise Dynamix

VOICE D/E/F
Oscillation #2/Doepfer SEM

VOICE G/H/I
Subharmonicon #1/Doepfer LPF #1

VOICE J/K/L
Subharmonicon #2/Doepfer LPF #2

VOICE M/N/O
Mother-32

VOICE P/Q/R/S
808 kick, snare, open hihat, closed hihat

Z
Clock input from DAW

1-2
LFOs for PWM on Oscillation #1 and 2
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2394 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC
Post Reply