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Messages - Scott M2

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1
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: August 17, 2016, 09:28:03 AM »
[...] and now we know the meaning of VCS3, I wonder what AKS stands for  ::)  ;D

A krappy sequencer.

Aye, kool shite.

Just an idea...

Stephen

Good one!

2
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: August 16, 2016, 10:14:00 AM »
Zinovieff has actually given his approval to the iVCS3 app for iPads.

He even wrote the preface to the manual, and in what seems typical Zinovieff style, after stating "Personally I cannot criticize it in any way." concludes with "To cast myself completely back to the 1960's I would like to see a couple of random voltage generators developed next year as an add-on module."  ;D   I would not be surprized to see Apesoft do just that as they're great app developers and do take the designs further with updates on a regular basis.

The app even has rather insanely detailed options such as 6 different spring reverb algorithms (with various cpu consumption) and 3 different ring modulator algorithms with a slider for "Ring Modulator Leakage"!

Here's a couple of reviews/overviews:

http://www.keyboardmag.com/gear/1183/apesoft-ivcs-reviewed-the-ems-putney-synth-on-your-ipad/52186

https://www.warpacademy.com/ivcs3/

3
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: August 16, 2016, 09:23:45 AM »
Here's a recent interview with Peter Zinovieff (who designed the VCS-3). His history with electronic music reveals the VCS-3's "modular" roots as a wall of oscillators and such.



And another, kind of fun, interview:
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/oct/20/peter-zinovieff-ringo-ems-synths-interview

4
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: August 15, 2016, 10:10:24 AM »
A Synthi AKS (VCS-3 in a case) was my second synth (bought from David Pritchard - "Noctural Earthworm Stew" - if that means anything to you). I really appreciated all the basic synth power in a small briefcase and I felt like a secret agent (with a case full of gadgetry) when taking it home on the bus from Toronto to Ottawa the first time. I think that nowdays you could cook up a similar small, shallow Eurorack system in a briefcase (though without the speakers).

It's one of the synths I regret selling years later because it is so self-contained. Besides the basic 3 VCOs, Noise, VCF, Envelope and VCAs, it also had a great ring modulator, spring reverb and powered stereo speakers plus the wacky keyboard/sequencer. If I still owned it, it would hang on a hook in my kitchen wall like art and I'd twiddle up strange sounds while waiting for water to boil and for listening while washing dishes. Could just grab it from the hook to take to a jam.

Its self-contained nature was also the reason I sold it. Everything was non-standard. The control voltages were not 1V/octave. The Trapezoid had a linear output instead of exponential (which I prefer most of the time). The sequencer could not be synced with other instruments. I really wished for octave switches on the VCOs when I was using with my rock band. I usually just set up one patch per set during breaks and my Minimoog did the heavy lifting, as it was fast to tweak. You can wire up pins to 1/4" jacks to interface with other gear but you have to be careful about scaling, polarities and such. (The built in meter was a huge help though, for understanding what's going on. I eventually built a meter into a Moog cabinet but it didn't have the nice zero volts at 12 o'clock response to observe voltages moving through both polarities.) When I needed money to buy my first proper half-track, it was the logical instrument to go because I couldn't get it to play along with my other voltage controlled synths without convoluted patches involving the patch bay in my Korg 3100 (which had some handy modules available).

I've recently bought a VCS-3 app for my iPad which sounds very good and adds more capabilities to the original but in a confusing fashion. I believe it will reward more time spent learning its new elements and configurations.


5
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: August 04, 2016, 08:10:50 PM »
How come I always see these guy with these huge modulars but they never release any actual music dispite often superior sound..
it feels like it is only a plaything for them like toys..

If I had more analouge stuff I would make good music.. but right now I have been forced to sell off my converter so I do not even have sound in my speakers anymore.. that sucks

You definitely get the modular=lego set vibe from watching I Dream of Wires and I think that collecting modules and making weird sounds is a pretty great hobby compared to most. I suppose the guitar collectors with great instruments who never release albums would be a good comparison (although they're kind of taking the vintage instruments away from the non-wealthy players).

There's still lots of folks wielding their modulars to make good music though. Living in Toronto, I get to see lots of shows with artists carting in modulars small and large. I love how much weird firepower people can pack into a choice Eurorack.

I'm very sorry to hear you've been parted from your converter. I know how much pure sound means to you. Perhaps you can find a reasonable smaller used unit to keep you working on music until you can connect with your dream unit(s) again. Good luck...

6
Everything and Nothing / Re: Forum Inactivity
« on: July 27, 2016, 09:07:40 AM »
Hi Jana, I'm fine thanks. Rather behind my own schedule regarding the projects I'm working on, though.

It seems that people have moved on to a degree (Mike included). Unfortunately, a number of people have passed on as well.

I remember my first 'Hi it's me and here's my new surround sound ambient album' post many years ago and how it was pretty much well ignored, until I stuck around and started contributing.

Pete, Tell me more about your surround album(s). Still available?

7
Everything and Nothing / Re: Forum Inactivity
« on: July 23, 2016, 10:48:01 AM »
I still enjoy the tech talk and the album discussions. I haven't landed anywhere else that has held me, but you can hear the wind blow through here sometimes. Very ambient...

8
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: June 07, 2016, 11:33:34 AM »
With all that, you won't need visuals Loren!

9
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: my introduction
« on: June 01, 2016, 11:03:32 AM »
Good track Claudio. Welcome.

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: May 27, 2016, 09:05:44 AM »
Loren, I was in the Moog Audio store in Toronto where they have a very good collection of Euro for sale. The staff are always screwing around in the modular section, which is great because they can speak with more knowlege about them. Some great sonics attracted my ears and I went over to enquire. It was this module generating the main sound and it's always been in my imaginary eurorack system ever since.  ;D  8)

11
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: recording for beginners
« on: May 15, 2016, 11:58:51 AM »
Good quality reverb is important. I'd recommend Valhalla verbs as a quality affordable option. I use their Room a lot but they're all good.

12
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Modular Musings
« on: May 10, 2016, 12:45:33 PM »
Listening while setting up gear to prep for a live set this week.

I was really enjoying the Moog Mother+ piece until it came to a section that felt too basic compared to the previous parts. I checked my computer screen to note the time... The piece had ended and Soundcloud had started a piece from someone else! ;)

I found Patch 32 to be exquisite ambience. I'm playing it now for the 3rd or 4th time.

13
Everything and Nothing / Re: RIP Tomita
« on: May 10, 2016, 10:29:21 AM »
Isao Tomita was a Grandmaster of the Moog. While Carlos set the bar incredibly high right out of the gate with the SOB recordings, Tomita floated over it on the textural clouds of Snowflakes Are Dancing.

As a lover of sound in space, I feel blessed that he has been re-releasing his earlier albums in higher-resolution surround-sound "ultimate editions". He was still creating and preparing for concerts when he died at 84. An inspiration always. RIP Tomita.

14
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: May 09, 2016, 05:27:57 PM »
Last year the Obsolete Components label (which is all about the old hardware) asked if I had an ambient track which featured my Moog on it for a chilled compilation they were assembling. I didn't, but decided to make one with the Moog as the only sound source plus copious use of my Eventide H9. It was named ADRS as the envelopes were a significant factor in its creation - and now you'll get the joke Julio. ;)

https://obsoletecomponents.bandcamp.com/track/adrs

15
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: May 09, 2016, 05:19:28 PM »
I have been staring at them for 20 minutes imagining the sound.  The Moog speak is interesting....Clamp trig, clamp point, rectangular which would be square wave or is this something unique to Moogs and is really a rectangle in shape.  Strong & weak sync.....who would dare to put the word "weak" on a product electronic or not, today, though it describes what it does it perfectly.

The 921A....Oscillator Driver.... 8), What is it?  Rectangle LFO, yet there are only inputs no outs.  Is it internally wired?

Re- the 921A, as Loren said, is wired to the 921Bs at the back of the modules. In the larger Moog systems you'll find three 921Bs attached to each 921A. I think it's meant save patching into each individual oscillator to save multiples and wires.

And because they were pretty much the first, the "common" nomenclature was not standardized yet. Yes, the "rectangular" wave is commonly called a "pulse" wave now and with the Width knob at 12 o'clock it's a square wave. The Minimoog had some unique naming too. Emphasis for Resonance (Q) on the VCF and the Envelopes were called Contours. On the Modulars they were called Envelope Generators but instead of the now-common ADSR layout they used T1 (Time1), T2, T3, Esus or effectively ADRS. They also used the uncommon "S-Trigger" instead of an incoming voltage to trigger them. It made it easy to use an simple external switch to trigger them.

Here's a photo of my 911 Envelopes (which I also build LEDs into) and a less common 911A Dual Trigger Delay to which I added a 1/4" jack with a voltage to S-trigger converter and a switch to bypass the delays - which add a tiny delay even at their lowest setting. I use an MPU-101 MIDI to CV converter which uses voltage triggers, so the converter is always used. It's also handy for triggering from an LFO. (This is kind of fun revisiting little mods made decades ago - which I just take for granted now.)


16
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: May 06, 2016, 09:53:27 PM »
Alright Julio. I'll take some proper snaps soon. This is a screen grab from Netflix of my system's brief cameo in I Dream Of Wires.  :)

Thats cool that you were part of "I dream of wires".....a movie star in are midst  8).  I have only watched parts of it so I will stream it off netflix.

Your Moog is an early(vintage) Model 15?  I know Moog has reissued the Model 15 and larger systems.

Julio, Mine is from the seventies and so is "vintage" but not one of the earliest models. I bought it bit by bit from my friend Eric Hopper (Sylken) but that's another story.

The earlier Moogs had 901 series oscillators which were known for pitch instabilities and they're probably the ones that Forrest suffered with. Moog improved the stability greatly with the 921 series - which is what Loren and I have/had.

Since we're discussing oscillators, I snapped this with my iPhone.



The main 921 is the gem... super-wide frequency range, clamping (to reset where the waveform starts) plus a waveform switch and dedicated attenuator for fast realtime changes. I waste its extreme high-range by primarily using it as an LFO, which its very good at. You might spot the LED I built in which glows red to green depending on the polarity and yellow in the audio range. A simple thing that I've found really useful.

The Sync is not the more typical kind you find in a Prophet 5 where you can create those agressive timbres when detuning one oscillator. The Moog ones just snap out of tune when you push them a bit. I think their sync is intended more for preventing any drift between oscillators when that suits your sound design.

The main tidbit I can pass on is that the 921 oscillators are super-stable if you don't use the Moog keyboard - which I believe is the main cause of drift (from a lackluster sample/hold circuit (probably just a capacitor) and glitches from dirty j-wire/bus-bar contacts (which needed cleaning more than once a year). Once I switched to using a Roland MPU-101 MIDI to CV interface the oscillators became very reliable.  :)

17
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: May 04, 2016, 10:48:46 AM »
A nicely varied array of machines Loren! I used to have strong desires for the ARP sequencer because of the quantizing. My little PAIA sequencer was very tedious to tune up - and the knobs interacted - probably due to me building it.  :o

18
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: May 03, 2016, 09:22:55 PM »
Alright Julio. I'll take some proper snaps soon. This is a screen grab from Netflix of my system's brief cameo in I Dream Of Wires.  :)

19
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Modular Synthesizer Thread
« on: May 03, 2016, 05:30:29 PM »
This seems like an appropriate place to slip this in... I paid over a hundred times more for my Moog Modular System 15.

http://www.keyboardmag.com/gear/1183/listenwatch-moogs-new-model-15-modular-synth-ios-app/57895

20
Everything and Nothing / Re: R.I.P. Jeff Kowal aka Terra Ambient
« on: April 28, 2016, 07:21:55 AM »
More sadness. RIP Jeff.

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