Yearly Archives: 2017

Clearing the Decks

Have posted a few more remixes to my Soundcloud account, two some of you may of heard before and one you definitely won’t have!

Firstly, I’ve uploaded my remix of Jesus Jones‘ ‘Idiot Stare’ from back in 2005. Not much to say about that one other than it was already a good track, and I (hopefully) improved it a little by beefing up the drums.

The second track is a lot more exciting though, and truly a lost remix! The story behind my remix of Gabriel Rios‘ track ‘Broad Daylight’ starts in 2007. I was working for the Digital Agency LBI and one lunchtime, demonstrated to a colleague Paul how I used Sonic Foundry’s Acid software to produce my remixes. He passed me the Gabriel Rios track to see what I could do with it and this is the result.

Ten years on, and it still sounds really fresh to my ears. I should probably have put it out long ago, but better late than never!

Rounding things off is¬†one of two remixes I did of the Amanda Blank track ‘Might Like You Better’ back in 2009.

The other remix was a quick drum and bass remix, but trust me, this was by far the better version. It even has one of my trademark fake endings with bonus acid synths.

I wonder what I’ll find next ūüėČ

Simple modular sequencing with Max For Live

Have been working on Max For Live patches to sequence my Drum Skiff.

As I mentioned previously, I’m using¬†an excellent Max For Live¬†Mutable Grids emulation¬†by Mots, along with a CVPal controller patch from Spektro Audio. (Check out their CV Toolkit too!).

This outputs three channels of drum triggers (or gates) through the CV Pal module, all perfectly synced to Ableton Live. So I wanted to do something creative with the unused fourth CV Pal output.

Max For Live Patch

I came up with a simple Max For Live patch which outputs a MIDI note at regular intervals ranging from half-notes through to 32nd notes. By using this in-line with the Grids emulation and CVPal controller, it acts as a clock source for the Pico Trigger module giving me lots of trigger options for my drum modules.

Goodbye Drum Machine, hello Drum Skiff!

Have decided I needed a few more HP’s for drum synth modules, both to expand my sound palette and add extra modulation sources. So, I purchased a Make Noise 104HP Skiff and have just finished filling it up – isn’t she pretty!

Still want to revisit using Arcade buttons as triggers in the future, but for now this is providing a lot of random percussion fun! This is thanks in large part, to the three Erica Synths Pico modules which give a nice mix of controlled and uncontrolled triggers, lfo’s, sample and hold and noise. And all in bite-sized 3HP chunks!

The Bastl Instruments Tea Kick is another of the new modules and it sounds lovely and clear with a real weight behind it, but still very musical too. This is in the new, aluminium styling, rather than the wooden front panels Bastl normally use but it looks amazing.

CV Pal is being used with Max For Live to emulate the Mutable Instruments Grids, and a great job it does at that too! Dead simple to set up too, so will put together a video on that perhaps. You can get the CV Pal in a kit at Thonk for under ¬£30 (plus VAT) at the moment, and it’s well worth looking into.

Find out more about the skiff at Modular Grid.

Eurorack Drum Machine Update

Well, I’m making rapid progress. Have already built the frame for the Eurorack Drum Machine, based around a repurposed Pittsburgh Modular Cell 48 case,¬†and installed three of the modules.

The Akemies Taiko and Pip Slope modules should be arriving early next week.

The Pico Trigger is amazing and really easy to program with the browser based pattern editor which works great from my iPad. 8 patterns can be stored in the module at any one time, even after powering off.

I particularly like the way that each of the 4 tracks has an independent length parameter (1 to 16 steps), great for programming polyrhythmic patterns that change over time.

The arcade buttons aren’t yet functional, but there is a DIY section on the Doepfer website¬†which helpfully explains how to build a manual gate so I’ll start there; just waiting for some veroboard and a 6HP blank panel to be delivered first.

Also contemplating squeezing in a Synthrotek 555 LFO too to add some modulation.

Eurorack Drum Machine

Nearly finished with my rebuild of the modular synth. The Tiptop Mantis Case is full and I’ve also built a second suitcase synth based around modules from Mutable Instruments, Including the ‘Ears’ module which Santa got for me ūüôā

So now I’ve turned my attention to building a portable, Eurorack based Drum Machine. Here’s a mock-up of what it¬†could look like…

The core pattern sequencing will be handled through the Erica Synth Pico Trigg module, with the 5 arcade buttons at the bottom allowing me to manually trigger Accent and Choke on the two ALM Taiko modules as well as the Trig input on the ALM Pip Slope.

An ALM PE-1 rounds things off, doubling as a handy 2:1 mixer in addition to EQ duties.