Sunday, 10 December 2017

Drone Poem

A Drone Poem on my beautiful Buchla 100. This patch uses the 185 Frequency Shifter as a phaser (by modulating it slowly and mixing the outputs with the unaffected signal)

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Top Ten

Thank you THE QUIETUS for your top 100 albums of the year list. And for putting us in your top ten!!! Well done us!!!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Phasers To Stun

I decided to test out various Notch Filters around the studio the other day. I really like the way notch filters sound - like a weird phaser. In fact some so-called phasers are done like this - for example the one in the Polyfusion system I have got. Its not real phasing, but it still sounds cool. The principle behind it is this: use a high-pass and a low-pass VCF in parallel and set them so they create a notch (see diagram below). The key to it is how they frequency shift. On some of my modulars (the ARP 2500, Moog 3C and the Emu) there is a notch filter provided, but on the others its just a case of patching together a HPF and LPF and sending an LFO to control their cutoff frequencies. The CV going to the frequency of the LPF is positive and it needs to be inverted to control the cutoff frequency of the HPF so that the notch moves up and down correctly. With some trial and error I managed to get some quite nice phaser-action happening don't you think?

Friday, 24 November 2017

Manual Box

I have made a high resolution scan of the Buchla 100 Music Box user manual, as I realised that the only one available online was a copy of a xerox of a copy of a dog-eared copy. Enjoy!

pdf document: Buchla 100 User Manual 2017.pdf

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Moog Doodle

A doodle on the Moog. Here you can see me tweaking some drum sounds made on the 3C Moog. The snare drum is the most complex sound, using 4 VCOs, noise and 2 envelope generators / VCA combos. The bass drum is a simple 1 VCO going through the 904 filter with another env gen controlling the pitch and the VCF frequency. The HH click sound is just the clock going through the fixed filter bank. I'm using the 2 sequencers to trigger the envelopes, and the matrix mixer to mix and EQ it all

Word of the Week #73

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Public Library

I am very excited and overjoyed and almost euphoric because I have just released my first library music album. You know that I am a huge fan of vintage library music albums, I have posted about them in the past, in fact there is a search label for library music over on the right of your screen. Some of my favourite albums are library albums! And finally I have now joined the fray, publishing my first record of synth based 100% pure electronic vintage analog sounds and effects. Its released over on the excellent ULTRAPHONIC library - you can check the album out over on their website. Its called Haute Synth

Sunday, 29 October 2017


You know I am not the biggest fan of in-the-box (i.e. plugin based) stuff, but I have really got excited by this new virtual modular system. Its an open platform that seems to be taking off offering totally free access to the modular world. YES ITS FREE. Check it out here. This video is fairly self explanatory but I set this up in about 15 minutes including downloading the software and some 3rd party modules. Its amazing, and even though I can't see myself selling the ARP2500 anytime soon, I'm going to be messing about with it whenever I am away from the studio. Even if you have never dabbled in synthesis before its an incredible way to learn and discover the joys of the modular without having to spend any money whatsoever. If this had been available 20 years ago I could have saved a bloody fortune, which I would be able to spend on.... vintage modular synths

About the patch - there is some crackly noise in there which I think was from one of the delay units - its creating some sort of bit-crush distortion but I quite liked it, it gives it some dirt. Anyway to make a new patch you can just start again and throw some more modules together any way you want, its pretty cool!


Strangely, having posted a few weeks ago about wanting to play in a cathedral - we found ourselves playing in a huge church in Bury! What a great experience - thank-you Curated Place. (2nd photo by Gary Sonic)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Summation Operation

My new Korg Sigma, a totally bonkers and short-lived mono synth from 1979. I wanted to try sequencing it, and as I don't have an appropriate Hz-to-Volt analog sequencer (mine are all Volt-per-Octave) I had to rig up a really cumbersome workaround. This involved using the Moog 960 sequencer to output V/Oct CV out to the Kenton CV-to-MIDI converter which output MIDI to the Future Retro Mobius sequencer MIDI input which converted to Hz/V to be sent to the CV input of the Sigma. PHEW! The drums were patched on the Moog Modular. I used two gate outputs of the sequencer to trigger the bass drum and snare sounds, which I had to sum with a mixer. Turns out this summation operation uses the Greek letter ∑ as its mathematical symbol - thats right folks, SIGMA!