[LAU] ["Music"] Unquantized analogue chords

Mario Lang mlang at delysid.org
Thu Jun 4 01:37:13 CEST 2020

"Jeanette C." <julien at mail.upb.de> writes:

> Jun 4 2020, Mario Lang has written:
> ...
>> https://soundcloud.com/mario-lang/sunday-afternoon-acid-house
> Hey Mario,
> what a chilly jam, congrats to your girl friend. This is nice.

Thanks.  I'll let her know :-)

> Out of idle curiosity: what's the drum synth?

I am using a number of TipTop Audio drum modules sequenced by a Acid Lab
Robokop.  The Robokop has 12 trigger outs and an all-hands-on
interface.  While it has some LEDs, there is no alphanumeric display and
the interface is complete eye-free.  A button per step (16) which also
double as trigger selectors (1-12).  A detented rotary to change pattern
groups and modes.  Regarding the actual drums, I have to admit that I
forgot if I used a TipTop Audio BD808 or BD909.  It was likely the 808.
Hats were done with TipTop Audio Hats808.
And the funny clap thing is a WMD Fracture.  This is a sort of grain
sample player that has a number of different short clicky samples to do
claps and all sort of things.  It is rather new in my rack, and I pretty
much love it.  However, in this recording, it was set a little too loud
I am afraid.  Could use a 6dB attenuation, but I don't have separate
tracks for the voices yet.

> More to the point of this list: what do you record with?

I have a pretty unusual setup I guess.  I built myself a symmetric desk
composed of 4 tables arranged in a square such that I can sit in the
middle.  I have Genelec active speakers on each corner, giving me a
quadrophonic listening area.  Each side of the square is dedicated to a
stereo signal.  To my left, I have a pair of turn tables, and looking
back I have my modular synthesizer.  All these sources go into a MOTU
8A.  I mix and route with a costum SuperCollider based setup.  I use a
Behringer MOTÖR49 as the master controller for everything.  With its
motorized faders, its perfect for a custom mixer.  Each stereo channel
has its dedicated fader, and an encoder controls the panning.  I
programmed it such that I can move the stereo signals in my quadrophonic
setup between 8 positions.  So working with the modular, I can set the
channel to play on the rear speakers.  But when moving back to my
computer keyboard/controller, I can move the signal back to the front
for better listening.

Long story short, all the audio signals in my setup end up on a bus in
scsynth.  I do recording in sclang, which makes it extremely easy to
record a number of channels on demand.  In general, these days, I do
*everything* related to computer music in SuperCollider.  The language
is ace, and the separation between RT and NRT is just a wonderful piece
of software design.  I solved all my "GUI" problems by making the
programming language the user interface.  And if I need a control for
some parameter, I just assign it to a fader/knob/pad of my Behringer.

> I assume that this is a live performance, seeing that you have four
> channels of sequencing for the chords. IRC the X0xB0x comes with its
> own sequencer and the drums probably have their own seq.

Yes.  In this setup, the x0xb0x was playing the master clock role.  The
Robokop was slaved to it, and a bit of clock dividing gave the slow
pulse for the analogue step sequencers.

> All in all: a nice relaxed track and a rather melodic and harmonious one
> for a modular jam.

Thanks for spotting this aspect of the exercise.  While I am a pretty
hardcore acid head regarding my electronic music upbringing, I tend to
feel a little anoyed by the inherent atonality of many modular jams I
hear.  I also think manufacturers could invest a lot more in doing
musical demos.  But well, tastes differ.  Still, I did this experiment
to figure out how harmonic content could be patched up without using a
digital sequencer.

> Yes, I know that others can do melodic modular too.  Still, tuning
> that stuff by ear for a modular novice is fantastic!

Yeah, I was all smiling when I watched her spontaneously understanding
whats going on there.  Modular synths are so extremely hands on, its
fascinating to watch how the process influences the results.


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