Modular Update 2016 #2

The new rack is starting to take shape, but have hit a bit of a snag! The case (made by Tip Top Audio) isn’t deep enough to house my Mark 1 Z3000 oscillator (also made by Tip Top Audio)!

More selling on ebay methinks!

Modular update 2016 #1

Decided to have a major upgrade of my studio and also try and fully integrate the modular with my laptop setup.

First purchase was the Maschine Jam which has really renewed my love for Maschine and should elevate it beyond the role of ‘just’ a drum machine.

I then ordered some Expert Sleepers ES-40, ES-8CV and ES-8GT modules to let me trigger the modular from within Ableton, Maschine and Reaktor – only really scratched the surface but it looks to be a really flexible solution, and the integration with Reaktor is mind blowing.

Today, I took delivery of a new modular case, a Tiptop Audio Mantis, and it’s a beautiful piece of engineering for a brilliant price (at least, relative to other Eurorack cases).

Here’s the empty case which I’ll be filling up this evening as I transfer my modules across.

Mantis

Tiptop Audio Mantis case

Also replaced my beloved Nord Drum with a Dinky’s Taiko drum synthesizer module too which I’ll be trying out later this evening. (I’ve multi-sampled the Nord into 20 or so Maschine kits, so still have access to its electro sounds – might even put those kits up for sale at some point).

Final piece I’ve ordered is a second Tiptop Audio Z3000 oscillator to compliment my old Mk1 module, which is waiting for me at the local post office.

Can’t wait to write some new music with it all!

breakfast_in_bread

Native Meetup London

Had an excellent time at the Native Meetup today at London’s Point Blank studios. Lot’s of really interesting tutorials throughout the day and great to meet so many talented and friendly London based musicians and DJ’s.

Highlight for me (apart from the ‘Breakfast in Bread’ lunch by the canal with my fellow attendees Colin and Rob) was trying out the new Native Instruments Maschine Jam and it’s brilliant. Particularly like the touch strips and the way you can use them to ‘strum’ instruments. It’s really intuitive and lots of fun too – will definitely be getting one of those soon!

They are planning to run these sessions every two months or so and the next will be on Sunday 4th December. More details will be on their facebook page…

www.facebook.com/groups/1168432673181443/

Jack Dangers

Meat Beat Manifesto – ScarKord Mixtape

Another mix from my archives. This time, a mini mixtape of sorts built around drum and synth loops from various Meat Beat Manifesto tracks, remixes and solo tracks by Jack Dangers. Includes the obligatory ‘Radio Babylon’ too but with a new, dirty acid bassline I added in there to spice things up a little. “It’s in my brain now…” and hopefully, in yours too

werd

Who we are? (ScarKord Remix)

Just finished my second remix for Savage Sound System featuring vocals by Werd. Couldn’t decide whether to go uptempo or downtempo, so included elements of both in the same mix

Very different sounding to the original, both musically but also in terms of the vocals which have tons of microedits to get the timing to fit. Really happy with how it turned out, particularly the switch to the double time ‘rap’ section at around 1:15.

The instrumental part from 1:45 onwards reminds me a little of Orbital now I think of it, but this was entirely unintentional 😉

sonicpi

Sonic Pi random sequencing

I bought a Raspberry Pi when they first came out, with plans to turn it into a MIDI arpeggiator or something similar. Like many of my ideas though, I never actually got around to doing anything about it so the Pi has sat in a drawer for the last couple of years, never once being powered on.

I then read a post on lifehacker.com about adding a mini touchscreen to it. A few days later, and I became the proud owner of an Adafruit PiTFT which has given the abandoned Pi a new lease of life!

This evening, I’ve been dabbling with Sonic Pi, a simple audio programming language that comes pre-installed on Raspbian.

With very little effort, I managed to get a nice, random sequence generator up and running in 5 lines of code:-

with_tempo 240
with_synth "dull_bell"
loop do
play_pattern [45, 50, 60, 72, 79, 84].shuffle
end

Version 2.0 of Sonic Pi is currently in Beta and promises to do a lot more than simple pattern playback including sample manipulation, more synthesis models and some effects processing too. Definitely worth checking out if you already have a Raspberry Pi and maybe an excuse to get one if you don’t!

Follow Sonic Pi’s twitter feed for more info about Version 2.0