Monday, March 4, 2019

Arturia Beat Step Pro

I bought an Arturia Beat Step Pro a few years ago when my friend Andrew Horton decided to sell his.  I had been interested in them but hadn't got around to buying one yet. So... I agreed to buy Andrew's and was excited to use it.

...  then it sat on a rack next to modular gear for about a year and a half.  I hardly even turned it on.  Though I have a lot of equipment, I like to have uses for things.  I simply had not found a use for it yet and I was wondering if I should sell it or pass it on. 

... until I was rearranging some equipment and I realized that I needed some clocks to reach across the studio to another part where some mono synths were.  I didn't want to run several 1/4" clock cables from various modules and devices across this space, so I took 1 sync cable to go to an MSQ-700, which is connected to sequence the Jupier-8, then the sync is daisy chained to another MSQ-700, which is connected to sequence a Juno-60, then the sync is daisy chained to the Beat Step Pro, which is distributed to clock the Sequential Pro One, CSQ-600, etc.  It finally has a very useful spot in the studio!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Patch routing for Wave Replacement Synthesis

Please know that at this time, Patch and Tweak has not released their standardized symbol language for modular synthesis and I am using older notation that was popular throughout the 70's and 80's, but I think you will get the idea anyway.  :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Knobcon 2018!

I will be speaking on Saturday at this year's Knobcon event. 

I will be talking about replacement synthesis and showing examples of this. 

If you have any interest in synthesizers or electronic music, do yourself a favor and visit Chicago this weekend for the annual Knobcon Event!

Monday, May 21, 2018

MP3 album of Live tracks

I have an appointment scheduled to master the live tracks with Cauliflower Audio on June 12th.  After that, I will start sending the album to those of you who have contacted me with your links or those who have obvious links that I have seen posted.

Thank you all for the support and help with getting this video circulated!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Travelogue Live Video

So this video is compiled from the 3 shows that I performed back in November with Sound of Ceres.  For each of the shows, at least 2 cameras were recording footage.  The audio from each of the shows were recorded into a 4 channel recorder (2 stereo ambient/audience/room microphones, 1 vocal feed, and 1 feed of the live instruments).  These recordings were added to the backing track Protools session, where all in all, the 12 live tracks/takes and 30 backing tracks were combined into 1 mix of my favorite moments/sounds in the concert.  With this initial rough mix, I had my friend Jeff Mackey edit the video.  From this point, there was a lot of back and forth - editing this, cutting that, changing from this audio track to that audio track, changing from this video track to that video track, editing color and such that all the footage looks congruent.

After a few months of back and forth editing, I am proud to present this TRAVELOGUE LIVE video:

Please watch this, comment, like, and subscribe.  If you really like this and would like to get high quality MP3s of these versions, just do one of 2 things:  1) post this video in a public place(FB, blog, etc)  or 2) talk about this video in a public place (forum, FB, message board, etc) - and be sure to send me an email showing the proof of this - then I will send a link to download the files.  (the files are being mixed separately and will be in mastering soon - should be available by mid-June)

Also, please know that I intend to upload the individual videos of each song eventually so if there is a moment that you want to watch again or refer to, the individual vids should be up soon.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Wave Replacement Modulation: Wave Replacement Synthesis

Suit and Tie Guy made this video showing different applications for using a voltage controlled switch.  He shows methods of wave replacement around 10:00 and refers to my post on wave replacement modulation and chaining that I wrote about here:

Here is the video: 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Vintage Lap Steel with Custom Whammy Bar (sort of)

This is a custom bar that I created for my lap steel that is inspired by the levers from a pedal steel. A few things to note:  First of all, this is a non-destructive modification: The 2 bolts that hold the lever to the head go through the space allocated for the tuners, with careful consideration to leave enough room for the tuners to move and tune the strings.  Secondly, there are two bend contacts to the strings and these are adjustable to allow an upward bend on any two strings.  Furthermore, the bend contacts are made of aluminum and covered in a felt so a strong quiet bend is achieved.  The set screw is to keep the bend contacts on the desired strings.

In the past (before this modification), I would usually use an open major chord, where a Major Triad was tuned on the lower 3 strings, then the same triad an octave higher on the upper 3 strings.  This works great if you are playing major chords :).  However, when a minor chord was needed, I would have to carefully not play certain strings to avoid a major third to sound, or I would have to settle for playing a relative major and act like I am playing a minor 7th chord.  

Now I tune the lap steel to a minor chord.  If I stay in minor chords, I leave the bar up (as in the photo on the left).  This does take a level of comfort to work around the bar and get used to sliding the slide over the bar.  I considered putting the bar on the opposite (far) side of the neck, but an equally awkward muscle skill would have to be learned to reach fingers out to bend.  Besides, it really didn't take that long to get used to having a bar under my wrist.

The photo on the right shows how a major chord is played.  By pressing in the bar, it raises the minor thirds (2nd and 4th string in this case).  The bar follows the lap steel in a way that you can move it to the major chord from anywhere along the slide board.  It is also high enough that it won't interfere with the body of the guitar or scratch any part of the guitar.  The bar is made of steel and does not easily bend without a vise and hammer. 

I did not use any plans or templates in building this.  I simply followed out the idea in my head, cut the wood and bent the steel until it fit this lap steel that it was intended for.