Spring Synth Project: An update

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Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by Ben Asaro »

(Apologies in advance, this may end up being longer than intended).

So -- I mentioned a little while back (probably early Spring) that I'm starting a new project specifically because I wanted to use bits of gear that have hitherto gone unused; namely, my Boutique JP-08 and KeyStep Pro.

My original plan was to use two drum machines: the DR-550 and SR-16. The plan in my head was that one drum machine would play a suite of percussion sounds and the other machine would play just a handful of sounds but at preset velocities to make sequencing easier.

Well, this turned out to be a bit of a disaster because that only works if you are triggering the drums directly from the drum machine's pads. :headbang:

Okay, I thought; such is life. My next hurdle was to then see if I could get a suite of sounds on the DR-550 to play from the KSP; the idea was simple: use the KSP's extended range to play more sounds than are available on the unit itself. AND THIS WORKS -- kinda, sorta. The issue is that you can still only assign the 12 pads to specific MIDI notes ... so the rest is just a random soup of sounds, which was very difficult to recall which notes, on which octave, triggered which sounds.

FINALLY, I had a bit of a breakthrough, but using the BeatStep Pro. Setting the BSP to Custom mode for the Drum sequencer, I was able to customise each pad so that it triggered the exact drum sounds I wanted without having to resort to using traditional keys and without having to remap the drum machine itself, which would ultimately leave me with 4 unused pads.

SOOOOO .... that's Step One accomplished! :D
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Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by Ben Asaro »

I've had a few jams with the BSP and DR-550, getting used to adjusting the velocity of the drum sounds and trying to figure out what ranges work for each sound. It's actually been a lot of fun hanging out at the dining room table with the BSP, DR-550 and cup of tea. :)

After that was out of the way, I sat down with the Big Kahouna: the KSP and JP-08. I really had no idea if this idea would even work which made the process very liberating: low stakes!

I assigned Tracks 1-3 to the same MIDI channel and dove straight in using a pluck sound I had made seemingly ages ago on the JP-08. After a few passes with the KSP cheat sheet, something resembling actual music started to emerge. :)

It was a tonne of fun sculpting the piece in real time and using the KSP in the simplest form possible: 3 interlocking loops that wove in and out of each other using muting. Having just one filter to sculpt the dynamics of all 3 voices was a neat experience and not nearly as limiting as I thought it was going to be.

I immediately began to wonder how much bigger the sound might get if I introduced the RC-5 into the fray and looped sequences panned across the stereo field -- that will probably be my next experiment!

I recorded the first JP-08 jam because it accidentally came out rather cool and is an interesting proof of concept and then added reverb and delay in post, but am also interested in trying this with the the Blackhole/RV-500 combo.
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Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by Ben Asaro »

Almost forgot to post a link to the experiment in case anyone is interested.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1E6RZIe ... sp=sharing
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Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by blinddrew »

Listening now :thumbup:
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Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by Eddy Deegan »

I like the percussive nature of the groove you've got going on in there Ben. As it evolves it's a really nice texture!
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Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by Folderol »

That's really impressive :thumbup:
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Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by Ben Asaro »

Yeah, not a bad doodle! I was able to use it in a commission as well! :D
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Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by Martin Walker »

Woo - impressive Ben! :clap:

Your compositions really do flow well from their theoretical origins. A seriously good real-time knob-twiddling session with most excellent atmosphere! 8-)

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Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by MarkOne »

I really liked that.

Though I have to say when I read the title I thought you meant that you were designing a synth that somehow involved springs!
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Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by Ben Asaro »

MarkOne wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 10:08 am I really liked that.

Though I have to say when I read the title I thought you meant that you were designing a synth that somehow involved springs!

HA! I can see that!
"Move over, motor synth! Here comes .... SPRING SYNTH!" :mrgreen:
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Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by Arpangel »

This is annoying, I can’t listen to it on my iPad, can’t play the file.
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That’s another thing

Re: Spring Synth Project: An update

Post by Ben Asaro »

After doing a bit of research, it looks like I can hire a translation team and Japanese singer for this project. :)
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