Monday, December 30, 2019

Back and Forth

At the left side of my "living room" modular, I'm having a Battle Royale between two great modules. On the one hand is the ALM/Busy Circuits Pamela's New Workout, which is a powerhouse of time-sync'd outputs - including LFOs, Euclidian rhythms, random selections and time divisions. On the other hand is the Xaoc Zadar (#2 of 2, since I have one in permanent installation in my studio case...), which gives me a quad set of envelopes/LFOs - and that have satisfyingly long times - exceeding 30 minutes in some cases.

I go back and forth...

The PNW is great as a master clock, and does a great job of rhythm division work (which is great, in combination with the Bitbox, for rhythmic goo). When I have this in the setup (in combination with the expander, which provides MIDI to the Toolbox), I tend to do rattling bangers that are heavy on the rhythm, and light on the ambience.

When the Zadar is in play, I tend to take advantage of the long timeframes to make much more ambient, fluid work. Also, some of those shapes in the higher banks of Zadar presets can provide real 'human-sounding' LFO action, and I love to draw those in.

I really like having a settled system, but this seems like it will be a forever swap-out situation. Too bad I can't get one of those other modules to be 10HP thinner!


Monday, December 23, 2019

A Hard Decision...

Making module decisions can be difficult - and often are informed by talking with other modular users. In last week's podcast chat with Eric Schlappi (, he talked about his performance rig, and the fact that he was more than willing to dedicate 20HP on the 4ms Dual Looping Delay as part of that setup.

Which got me to remembering - I did a lot with the DLD, and bailed only to dive deep into the Clouds. But now I find myself with two Clouds and no dedicated delay, and am kinda wishing for A Better Way. I found an inexpensive DLD on Reverb, and it is rocketing to my house as we speak.

One thing, though - I hate the white-colored faceplate on those things. So, luckily, grayscale is still making the alternative faceplate for the DLD, so that went on order right away as well. It would seem that I'm all set, right. What was so hard about this decision?

It's this:

Oh My God, that's a sexy beast. Whispering sweet loops into my ear, and little touchplate geegaws for live performance, and alternative start points and loop lengths, and...

... it is almost $600. So I'm going to spend some time with the DLD, remembering the fun I had with that. But if you know me, you can bet that I'll find a way to talk about this one sooner rather than later!


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Book One ... finally!

Well, it's been in the hopper for quite a while, but I finally released ol' Book One, which is my take on Oscillators and LFOs. It continues my 'experiential' way of working with modulars - one that focuses on getting the feel of the system as well as a knowledge of what it does.

It's cheap, readable on pretty much any electronic device you have access to, and might crack open an idea or two. I'm still finishing up the online content to support this, but I should have it available in the next day or two (on; in the meantime, there's plenty of text to read and patch diagrams to decode!