Suzanne Ciani is an electronic music pioneer, composer, sound designer responsible for iconic sounds in commercials and video games, AND not only a pioneer but someone who is still leading the pack today with amazing modular performances. But what you won’t get to really know about Suzanne’s performance until you attend one of her concerts is that all her shows are strictly quadraphonic, and the experience is amazing. That experience can be recreated in the studio, so I set out to create series of videos about creating quadraphonic music and performance. Here’s Part 1 of that series – a master class with Suzanne Ciani. Suzanne’sRead More →

Grandmother is the latest semi-modular analog synth from Moog. There have been increasingly more and more semi modular synths released in recent years and the demand for rewiring synths and interfacing them with other modular gear grows. In this clip I explore what’s special about Moog’s Grandmother, and it turns out there’s quite a lot there, especially if you look beneath the surface. For example, while the front panel seems to show only two oscillators and one envelope, in reality, Grandmother has three fully functioning volt/octave oscillators (four if you count the self resonating filter), two and even three envelopes, and is capable of beingRead More →

In this clip I’ll look at a few ideas to take your semi-modular synth to the next level with Eurorack modules. In particular, I focus on a few that might make a big difference in what you can do with your semi-modular synth. Most semi-modulars come with “synth basics” such as oscillators, envelopes, lfos, filters and a sequencer. This clip looks at ways to extend these basic capabilities by patching internally and using external modular gear. There are plenty of great semi-modular synths – Mother-32, MiniBrute 2 and 2S and many others. I’ll be using the MatrixBrute in this video, though most of the tipsRead More →

The Moog Subharmonicon is a lovely instrument that unfortunately, as of June 2018, isn’t available other than the 100 attendees that built it at the 2018 Moogfest Engineering Workshop. What’s unique about the Subharmonicon is its ability to take a core oscillator and generate sub oscillators at special sub-harmonic frequencies, which can produce harmonically pleasing results. It also has the ability to subdivide a tempo clock and the result is a poly-rhythmic clock that creates interesting patterns, when combined with other sequences clocked at different sub-divisions. Maths by Make Noise however, is one of the most popular eurorack modules, and it turns out you canRead More →

Maths by Make Noise is by far the #1 eurorack module on Modular Grid – both in terms of rating and popularity. In this video, I explain what Maths is and why it’s so popular. Maths sounds complicated and if you’ve heard some of the terms used to describe it – an analog computer, a function generator and various other quadratic equations, it may seem a bit intimidating, but overall, it has three core components: attentuverters, a mixer and slew rate limiters. It is however the combination of these things, which a few bonus features, that makes Maths such a versatile module. In this clipRead More →

The Behringer Model D is a great analog synth – and by design it’s monophonic. However, if you’ve seen my channel before, you know I’m not going to let that stop me from trying to play more than one note at a time with it, something that has a unique characteristic in synthesizers that are intended to be monophonic. You can’t control any of its 3 oscillators separately, but there’s a fourth oscillator that can be controlled independently, and that’s the filter – via a dedicated CV input – and when you crank up emphasis all the way, it resonates and creates its own tone.Read More →

I recently received for review the VariFO, a new and relatively cheap quad LFO module from VoicAs – a new eurorack company. With so many LFOs on tap, it inspired me to put together a clip with beginner as well as more advanced and creative LFO uses. In this clip I explain what an LFO is, demonstrate how its basic parameters work (depth, rate, shape), and show ten different things you can do with LFOs: 1. Tremolo 2. Vibrato 3. FM synthesis 4. A Wobble effect with two LFOs 5. How an LFO can also be used as a clock or trigger in a modular setupRead More →

This is a relatively short clip, but conveys an idea I’ve not seen elsewhere. The idea is to get out of the monotony of “standard” repetitive LFO shape modulation by applying a wavefolding to a regular LFO, creating much more rhythmically interesting patterns. These new complex LFO shapes can then be applied to any number of destinations (AMP, filter, oscilliator shape, etc). I’m showing it using the MiniBrute 2 and TipTop Audio Fold Processor but you can really use any “metalizer” or wave folder for this, as long as you can send it an input and receive its output. Digitone is in the background hereRead More →