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 →

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 →

If you were ever curious about what it’s like to attend Moog’s Engineering Workshop at Moogfest – join me as I walk you through the process of building the Moog Subharmonicon, including some pretty nasty mistakes I admit to making along the way. Luckily Moog’s engineers are patient and helpful, and used to dealing with such things… Moogfest is a synth fan’s dream come true, with live shows, music making workshops and plenty of synths on hand. A small subset of Moogfest is the “VIP Engineering Workshop” – where, for a hefty price ($1,500+fees) you get to build a new, unreleased synth, with guidance byRead 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 →

In my review of DFAM and the comparison to Mother-32, I mentioned a few features that Mother-32 had and DFAM didn’t. The ability to have different length sequences – either less or more than 8 steps, the ability to sequence notes, not just continuous pitches, an LFO, glide and ratchets. And as you know me, if a feature is on my wishlist, I’m going to do my best to make it happen. This video focuses on the beauty of eurorack and semi-modular synths – where either through internal patching or with the help of a handful of modules, you can get almost everything you want.Read More →

If you’ve seen clips of Elise Trouw live looping, aside from being an amazing artist, you’ve seen her effortlessly live loop without touching a looper. All she does is play her instruments and sing, and the parts she plays loop, stop looping and then come back in again automatically at just the right times. I’ve seen comments to her clip saying it’s fake – that someone’s pressing looper buttons for her, or that it’s all just done in post, but that’s not the case. Live looping without touching a pedal is very possible, and in this clip I show three ways to do it. TheRead More →

Here’s what this clip is about: Going modular is a lot of fun but can get very expensive, very fast. But there’s a way put together a hybrid modular synth in a gradual, focused way, by only getting the modules you need in hardware form, and integrating others using software. After experimenting a lot with creating a hybrid VCV/Eurorack – I can say it works really nicely. If anyone asks me what’s my one must have Eurorack module, it’s definitely one which will let you bridge between virtual modules and real ones. In this video I review the ES-8 from Expert Sleepers and the 8ARead More →