Got me a Falcon

No... not that Falcon!
No… not that Falcon!
This Falcon!
This Falcon!

A hybrid synth/sampler from UVI.

“Hang on…”  I hear you cry.  “Did you not say in an earlier post that you weren’t getting any new software or hardware?”

Fair question… this Falcon bares more than an aesthetic similar to something I own and have discussed in these pages before.

Oh look it's that amazing Synth/Sampler hybrid that is nearly impossible to get!
Oh look it’s that amazing Synth/Sampler hybrid that is nearly impossible to get!

UVI taking control of their baby means there is now a digital manual for you to peruse.

The update also adds some extra granular and wavetable oscillators and some more effects.

It doesn’t replace stuff like Kontakt but for me this is a desert island software synth for creativity due to the extensive modulation possibilities and the ability to layer seemingly endless parts mixing granular synthesis with various types of virtual analog.  I find myself using it in way not dissimilar to the V-Synth, but the granular synth modulation brings me much joy!

Dan Worrall’s Overview on the site takes you through the parts with some dreadful cheesy music.  I prefer Simon Stockhausen’s demo videos.

Loads of predictable bitching on KVR.  No upgrade path for previous users is a bit stinko.  I traded my Soundtoys 5 and U-he Diva licenses to afford this one and I have no regrets.  It’s not for the faint of heart but for those who like to tinker i’d argue this is the most modular flexible sound design tools around.

N.B.  I was not paid to advertise this…  I am but a chump with an opinion.


Juggling plates of sound

Sonic loops: I can’t escape them – and if i’m honest the fact is I desire them.

This week I was drawn to the layers of cyclic beauty comprising Jonas Reinhardt’s Ganymede.  A release that on the evidence of the following seems to be close to what I was striving for with my AV 4/5 years ago.

It inspired me to bring the RC505 Loopstation out of my gig bag to incorporate back into the current table setup.

It synthesises, it samples, it loops.
It synthesises, it samples, it loops!

The goal is still of course to focus on what I’ve got – layering with the Zoom R8, mixing the tracks in Tracktion for a late November (possibly more like December) release.

This is an example of one layer with the Loopstation.  It’s quite a thick paste so the multi-tracking on this would more likely be to add nuance and sidereal diversion.

I’ve also put the morph setup (minus the SP-404 and RC-505) through an improvisatory test alongside Paul Forbes Mitchell and the following is a jagged weird jam that I think holds promise for much future goodness.


Thought I should take a pic of the rest of the setup for balance.

2015-10-24 13-01-33 +1000

The V-Synth is currently not hooked up to generate MIDI as i’m using the Push mostly for that.  It’s really more there for adding pad sounds and weirdness.  My only issue at the moment as the D-Beam cannot be calibrated properly due to the close proximity of shelf above it.  If I didn’t need the keyboard it would be OK but… :/

Limitations that are strengths.

Going to Liquid Architecture seems to have reset my sanity clock somewhat.  Seeing artists making music within clear boundaries provides a nice reality check away from hermit life and the unreasonable expectations I place upon myself.

Choke On Em!
Sanity? What’s that?

I also recently stumbled across some interesting stuff from Søren Kierkegaard including a quote where, after broadly describing the English as lifeless, manages to diagnose my ennui and propose a cure:

So, how to overcome boredom?  Here, as everywhere, cool deliberation is clearly called for. My view is expressed in the phrase ‘crop rotation’. This phrase might seem to contain an ambiguity, in that it might be taken to involve changing the soil. This rotation is the vulgar, the inartistic method. One is tired of living in the country, one moves to the city; one is tired of one’s native land, one travels abroad; one is European, one goes to America, and finally dreams of travelling from star to star. The method I propose consists not in changing the soil but, as in the real rotation of crops, in changing the method of cultivation and type of grain.
A little dramatic perhaps but the notion of flitting from one experiment to the next is a mode of existence i’ve been struggling to escape from for a while.  I’ve rotated the crops but the method of cultivation needs refocusing.  He continues…
Here, straightaway, we have the principle of limitation, which is the only saving one in the world. The more you limit yourself, the more resourceful you become. A prisoner in solitary confinement for life is most resourceful, a spider can cause him much amusement. The more inventive one can be in changing the mode of cultivation, the better. Only when one has thrown hope overboard is it possible to live artistically.

Again – quite dramatic and I wouldn’t know what hope I’d scramble enough to throw overboard but the principle of limitation connects with some things Lawrence English, Paul Forbes Mitchell and I were talking about.   I’m returning to thoughts about rendered and real-time spectral morphing as a way of generating more unique sounding material and have come up with a setup that will help with this.

Home Setup

With this approach i’m using the Push to trigger and sequence live synthesis from the System-1m, Nord Modular or VSTi routing through Zynaptiq Morph with more complex sample based audio channels.  These morphed elements will be layered using the Zoom R8track recorder and finalised in Tracktion 6 with possible Metasynth assistance.   Here is an example of a run-through with only one layer.

Powerful stuff – dense but with the potential for variety given the methodology.

The plan is to work towards a late November / Early December release so I’m putting a hold on all musical software or hardware purchases.  Working title is “The Archipelago” and it will be released under my birth name.  The title is mostly reflective of the audio work – a series of distinctive sonic islands grouped together through proximity and process.  There is however an interesting story haunting my thoughts that may hold some influence over my constructions.

There is also a Live variation on the aforementioned process utilising Usine and Leap Motion along with the Loop Station and Nord or V-Synth.  I’m going to use this setup for improvisations but it could well be part of a performance if the appropriate situation arises.



Euclidean Mode engaged

Lately i’ve been playing with the Patterning iPad drum machine and the PolyPin Max 4 Live patch and I think I finally know what Euclidean Sequencing is.

It’s quite cool and not as hard to understand as I was mistakenly lead to believe.


Instead of beats being broken into divisible multiples of the current time signature, beats are broken into an equal ratios of the time.

So instead of 5/4 meaning five quarter notes to a bar – in Euclidean time it flips the equation so that the length of the 4 beat bar is broken into 5 segments of the current time with each beat being .8 of that time.  What this means is… polyrhythms that can still be made to sync to clock.

Patterning provides the ridiculous rhythm, System-1m is the bass and bell sounds with Nord Modular put through CrusherX granular synth making the buzzing / scraping noises and a lot of semi-random YouTube filling out the schizophonics.  For this track I put the Roland V-Synth in its (temporary) coffin and reduced my jam setup to this manageable bundle.

Rocket Shipusine

I found the V-Synth took over my workspace and increased my tendency toward Vangelis style pads.  Given my current approach to building tracks between the Zoom R8 and Tracktion 6 I think it will become much more valuable later in the tracking phase or in live situations.  Speaking to Lawrence English at Liquid Architecture last night it’s apparently a good tactic to closet the synths that are distracting or dominating.  Apparently a certain synth guy that contributed a substantial amount to the recent Nine Inch Nails sound has quite a lot of closet space filled with occasional wonders.

Though i’m putting a dirty laptop back into the jam setup it does have some clear affordances:

  1. I can have a clearer perspective on the Nord Modular and System-1m/System100 patches and edit them as needed.
  2. I can bring Usine back (at the moment running into the Nord Modular) for additional crazy.

The following electro-acoustic comprovisation corresponds to the second photo above.