Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Playing Games with Samples

I'm in the process of making the next 'special purpose' skiff for my system - this one being specific to working with samples. After digging in to a number of different sample-based modules, and actually getting hands-on most of them, I've decided that a 1010 Music bitbox is my future. The fact of the matter is that it speaks to me in a similar fashion to the MPC Live, and a nice cluster of firing inputs, is only modestly hyper-complex and looks damned cool.

I'll reveal the entire skiff next week (after I'm back from Expo), but suffice to say that it is built off an Intellijel 4u x 108hp skiff-ish case. I've got most of it pulled together - a lot of it was pieces that I got in trade or had hanging around the house. But it seems like a good sitting-on-the-soft rig, and I'm looking forward to adding this setup to my performance rig.

More anon!


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Berna Down The House!

I was rumbling around Synthtopia today, getting caught up on the latest news and checking out some of the coolische videos that tend to show up on Sundays. Looking at some older messages, I saw a winnerGiorgio Sancristoforo has created a version of Berna 2 for Windows!

I've long been a Berna fan - mainly because it forces you to think differently about synthesis. Because it is emulating an old tape music studio, you have to consider different ways of creating events (no envelopes!), contours (still no envelopes!) and pitch changes (no keyboards, either!).
These limits cause you to steer clear of your favorite techniques - because you just can't do 'em. Instead, you find yourself thinking about mixing and modulation ideas, creative ways of using a ring modulator, and splicing/mixing action on the bank of virtual tape machines.
If love this software - much like I love the other goodies by Sancristoforo. If you haven't tried out Berna, check it out at his site: http://www.giorgiosancristoforo.net/softwares/berna/


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Can't Do It...

So, with the recent destruction of my studio space, I needed to pare down my physical keyboard stack. My 'next studio' is probably going to be an Output Platform workstation/desk and a sidecar for the small modular - and that'll be it.

My first thought was that I could let the Nord Lead 3 pass along - so I pulled it out of the closet and set it up to make sure there weren't any problems with the encoders or buttons.

Ran through everything and found it all working as expected. Then I started selecting presets and tweaking controls. Bliss. I could take any preset and, with a few nudges, turn them into something that I could love. The way that the indicators give you an immediate sense of what's going on means that you always stayed connected to the patch - even with some of the less-used controls.

I realized that the reason I was obsessed with this synth - and the reason I went out of my comfort zone to buy it - was exactly this: no surprises. No hidden crap. No trick settings. All of it is right there for you to see.

I can't imagine anyone trying to make one of these today - it flies in the face of the 'endless encoder debacle' from DSI, and the parts count has to be humiliating. But I love it, and I can't sell it, and something else is going to have to go if I have to clear out some room.



Thursday, April 4, 2019

Why Do They Have To Take All The Good Stuff Away?

I was really sad to see that Red Bull and Yadastar have decided to pull the plug on the RBMA, Red Bull Radio and other projects related to global electronic music support. From what I can tell, they are going to roll things back to the country-level support, meaning that we will be less likely to see these amazing talks, on a comfy couch, with our heroes.

It was easy to take potshots at RBMA - they were supported by Those Evil Drink Makers, the were hogging the attention, or they were taking advantage of 'the scene' for their own profit planning. But I've probably learned more about some of my favorite artists by watching RBMA videos than almost anything else.

Some favorites? Let's try these (the links give the artist away...):


Amazing stuff. 'Nuff said?