A night of cables

Last night I performed as part of the Brisbane Synthesizer Orchestra.  Something like a synth version of a Hot-Rod show there was an awesome audience turn-out for this festival of cables, knobs, synthesis.  Of particular interest to me was the beautiful sounding Buchla Music Easel and the regal Eigenharp.

Brisbane Synthesizer Orchestra - 29 August 2015. Top photo by Robert Lort. Bottom left photo by Lindsay Crawford.
Brisbane Synthesizer Orchestra – 29 August 2015.
Top photo by Robert Lort. Bottom left photo by Lindsay Crawford.

Mixed by Andrew Gibbs of the Centre for Audio Visual Experimentation i’m hoping we get to hear the audio soon as i’ve no clear idea what the mass sounded like, being focused mainly on my contribution to the greater mass.  There was some video shot as well so that could well be worth looking out for.

System-1m, Korg SQ-1, Analog Ordnance QuadLFO
System-1m, Korg SQ-1, Analog Ordnance QuadLFO

My setup was comparably minimal though I felt like I had enough to deal with.  Roland just recently released the System 100 plug-out, something I was hoping they would get to and it got some good use.  While all the functionality is not available through the hardware interface there is enough to encourage serious patching and consideration for performative controls in much the same way the Nord Modular affords.

After the gig I could not sleep so I produced the following “comprovisation” – finishing off the mix this morning.  All synth is System 100 with WebSDR running through the Scooper pitchshift / sampler and both running through the Demora delay which is being modulated by the Analog Ordnance Quad LFO.  Loops were recorded on the Loopstation and mixed with the live processing.



Onwards and upwards!


Skye from Terminal Sound System happens to be the prior owner of the fantabulous Nord Modular Rack.  The other day he seemed rather curious as to why the Nord Modular was not appearing in my setup photos.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.35.25 pm

So after a friendly suggestion from Nick G I find myself able to present in a manner fitting to my current level of geekery.

Behold the vertical…

2015-08-18 21-01-03 +1000 2015-08-18 21-01-31 +1000

*EDIT:  I guess I should expand upon this.  The V-Synth, Nord Modular, System-1m and LoopStation are all synced off Ableton through my MOTU interface and a MIDI Quadra splitter.  I can also plug the splitter into the V-Synth to sequence off that.

Up next is something pretty from my new friend Walter Stone.  It makes me think of Brian Eno playing through a broken radio – perfect ambient music.


Dream loops

Here is a new improvisation using Ableton Push to control the Roland System-1m and V-Synth via the Boss RC505 Loop Station.

My improvised workflow doesn’t get more seamless using Ableton and the Push as an instrument controlling hardware and software while creating dreamy loops – traditionally my favourite approach.  Here is my table of gear.


This was recorded direct to the Zoom R8 multitrack and then minimally processed with an additional stream of mangled YouTube audio.

Recording to the multitrack and editing in Tracktion has been mostly successful though I had some nasty crashes trying to mix the track below. Most likely I was pushing too many plugins without freezing. You’d think a quadcore i7 could handle eight tracks with no more than three plugs per track but some of the Melda processes can get a bit dicey with modulation pushing them in weird directions.

I’m mostly very happy with how things are right now as it’s very easy to get some interesting sketches done for processing later. Makes me feel like slightly less of a dilettante!

Brisbane Synth Orchestra
Brisbane Synth Orchestra

I’m actually performing live again as part of the Brisbane Synth Orchestra during the
Brisbane Fringe Festival. Should be fun and not too hard. Will be bringing the System-1m, Korg SQ-1 and Analog Ordnance Quad LFO plus maybe an effect pedal of some sort. Synths will be clocked and mixed by Andrew Gibb of The Edge Centre for Audio Visual Experimentation. Expect something Tangerine Dream like but it’s really anyone’s guess.