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Tip Top Audio – MIXZ

TRASH_AUDIO 2013 Gear Picks

modular 10

Here is some of our favorite gear from 2013. Richard & Surachai are limited to Eurorack modules. Alessandro & Justin picked gear they used on the road.

Surachai’s List (No Particular Order)
Mutable Instruments – Braids

A digital oscillator with around 30 types of synthesis. Braids has since been updated since this video, several new modes were implemented and general sound quality was updated, insane.

Modcan – Quad LFO
With over 200 combinations per output, and a total of four outputs, this is one of the most versatile and feature packed modules that happens to be an LFO.

Harvestman – Piston Honda II
The sounds are very similar to the old Piston Honda but there are extra features on this module that make it more versatile and easier to use. With its designated EXT In jack, 2 outputs, and 3 axises of 4096 factory waveforms, its quite a step up from the original.

Tip Top Audio – Trigger Riot

The Trigger Riot is capable of the most simple and intensely complex trigger sequencing with sequences that can go up to 255 bars, it can also save/recall up to 16 of your sequences.

Harvestman – Malgorithm Mark ][

Distortion and delays – two of my favorite things and Harvestman quenched my distortion thirst with the digital Malgorithm ][. When Harvestman revised this stereo version of the Malgorithm, he went all out with 256 different waveshaper modes, mix knob and cv control over input knob.

5 Most Used Modules:
Cwejman S1 MKII
It’s not a module, it’s not even Eurorack but its my favorite synth. It’s semi-modular nature allows the different sections to be broken out and used with Eurorack gear or vice versa. Expect an album next year where I utilized only the Cwejman S1 and the Make Noise RENE.

Harvestman Double Andore

In my opinion, the Double Andore is the most versatile module in the modular realm. In short, it is a dual envelope generator, a mixer, vca, cross modulator, and a crude dual oscillator – and pretty confusing if you don’t spend some time with it. Among the many features of the Double Andore, it actually has a sustain mode, meaning if you trigger it and continue to send it constant voltage – the envelope stays open.

Make Noise RENE
Most of the time, I use snake mode which is utilizing about 10% of the RENE’s full capability. It can be a very straight forward sequencer but with some time, it can get extremely complex patterns that rarely repeat. One day, I’ll figure it all out.

Livewire Chaos Computer
A few months back I wrote a post about the Chaos Computer and what Mike Brown and Steve Rightnour mean to me. Having written that post, I find the Chaos Computer in almost all of my patches. Despite its size and its primitive nature – its still a beautiful machine that succeeds in both form and function.

Make Noise Wogglebug

With only a handful of random CV modules out there, I keep reaching for the Wogglebug because of its manageability. It’s taken me far too long to get completely comfortable with the Wogglebug but now that I have, its one of my most used CV sources.

Justin’s Pick
Leatherman – Surge Tool

This tool has gotten me out of (and into) more sticky situations than a full season of Macgyver. Many times I’d be running across a stage and the knife would go flying, so I added the quick release lanyard which allows me to have the Surge in my pocket, but clipped into the pockets edge. I lost my Surge on tour and promptly bought a second one because I love it so much. It’s highly flexible in the amount of tools it offers and is built extremely well. Goes great with optional Ghost Hunters LED Flashlight.

100 Gallon Propane Tanks – Hicks Gas
They just arrived yesterday and now the studio is finally above 50 degrees. They had to drag the tanks pretty far through the snow. Life is dangerous.

Richard’s List
1. Intellijel – Shapeshifter

2. Modcan – Quad LFO
3. Mutable Instruments – Braids

4. Macro Machines – Memory Manager (for the Mungo d0 / g0)

5. Audio Damage FreqShift / Grain Shift

6. Intellijel – Metropolis sequencer
7. TipTop – Trigger Riot

8. Harvestman Piston Honda MK II

9. Antimatter Audio – Brain Seed

10. LiveWire – Chaos Computer

Alessandro’s List
Korg Volcas
Korg is doing everything right: first the Monotron and Monotribe, then the MS20 mini, and now the Volcas. You cannot go wrong with a 150$ a piece analog instrument, cleverly laid out, good sounding and battery powered. Wake up Roland.

Korg Little Bits
I have known Paul Rothman, the mind behind Little Bits for a long time. We both followed different paths at different times, but we always kept in touch. It was a great feeling to see Korg, once again, making the right decision by teaming up with Little Bits and offering a sound generation kit. It’s small, affordable, and an immediate source of fun (and usable) sounds. I have a few pieces loose in my backpack at all times, since you never know when you’ll need a drone these days.

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12
I’ve had one since the NIN rehearsals earlier this year. It’s an interesting and unique sounding instrument, with a very intuitive interface. I used it to redo a lot of the NIN live synth sounds for the past tour and it will be with me for a long time.

Synthi AKS
I never tried one before, but fell in love with it after seeing a video of Thomas Lehn performing with it. It’s probably the most broken sounding, fuzzy and warm noise box I have had the pleasure to work with.
Despite its quirky nature, it’s been fun to try and use it to come up with melodic material…the KS part (keyboard/sequencer) help a lot.
Another unique sounding piece.

Izotope Iris
One of the most interesting and creative ways to play and modify samples and recordings. It turns everything into an instrument.

Madrona Labs Soundplane
It’s the only controller that allows you to control software with the same level of expression and tactile feedback that you get from an acoustic instrument. Pair it with their software, Aalto, which is designed to work with it out of the box.

Harvestman – Voltage Apparitions

Harvestman – Voltage Apparitions from Richard Devine on Vimeo.

I recently borrowed Scott Jaeger’s 6U harvestman case after our last trash audio synth meet. This patch is an experiment using some of his latest modules, Tyme Safari mark II, Zorlon Cannon Mark II, Hertz Donut Mark II, Piston Honda Mark II, Stillson Hammer, Bionic Lester, Double Andore and Polivoks VCF. The only other modules used where the MakeNoise Pressure Points, stg soundlabs .mix and Synthwerks FSR-4 Quad force sensing resistor module. The idea was to try and create a patch that utilized all of the modules in one performance. No sequencing of any kind just a play on textures and timbres using my hands. The only external effects used in this patch where the Eventide space and Strymon blue sky pedal. The Zorlon Cannon provided fluttering gates into the Double Andore trigger inputs. Top mix output on the Zorlon Cannon ran into the “B” input on the Bionic lester. For the low to high low bit bursts of noise filtered in band pass mode, with moderate gain input setting. Multiple sputtering gate outputs from the “A” outs section running into the “A Sound of Thunder” input sections triggering on and off the bend and format effects at different intervals to create complex digital clustering. Then taking the output of the “Tyme Sefari mark II” into the “A” input on the Bionic lester, creating the repeating glitching stutters scattered through out the performance. The Hertz Donut output is running into left side on the Double Andore, then CV controlled by the left side envelope output. Right side output from Double Andore going into the Piston Honda CV input then running both signals out the summed output. Combination CV outputs going into the Double Andore from the synthwerks top outputs. Drone pitches created via the pressure points tuned voyaged output top row yellow cable. There is also some gate and pressure outputs running into piston honda and time safari CV input. Double Andore right side output into the the Polivoks filter, filtering the wavemorphing of the Piston Honda. All inputs running into an STG soundlbabs .mix. Entire mix running through a Eventide space “custom preset”. Hertz Donut output running into the Strymon “bluesky” reverb pedal in shimmer mode then back into channel 1 on the sty sound labs .mix.


Ken Macbeth – Filters Walkthrough

Love this video of Ken Macbeth going through a couple filters he built.

“I’ve been experimenting with Diode Ladder Filters…….I’ve attempted to design something that is not harsh or RaWkus when it hits a resonant peak! I made one awful one, but learnt from it- here are two- one based on the English Magazine from the seventies- the Minisonic Diode Ladder, and secondly, loosely based around the rather fantastic Roland System 100 Diode Ladder filter!…… the end of a long few days- I present!……….apologies for the low volume audio here…….but you’ll get the idea, none the less!”

Richard Devine Remix Annie Hall – Bandit2893

Remix for Annie Hall’s “Bandit2893” track from the Random Paraphilia EP on Detroit Underground Records: DETUND 21

Detroit Underground Information
Listen / Buy

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 2.07.58 PM

IDOW Extended Interview #10: Trent Reznor & Alessandro Cortini

Quote on the age of digitizing and compromising keyboards for price: “… and everything had to have a fucking piano sound, whats the bell sound sound like? Does it look like fucking bells? Then why….?”

The Wikidrummer

… or you could use convolution reverb.

Richard Devine – Nord Lead 4 Bank

Richard Devine is an artist and sound designer based in Atlanta GA. He’s a man of many skills and his portfolio includes releasing music on the cult label WARP, remixing Ryuichi Sakamoto, sound design for Microsoft Windows 7 and doing sound libraries for many innovative companies like Ableton, Native Instruments, Propellerheads, Izotope and many more! Richard also did some brilliant patches the Nord Modular G2 back in the day, so he can proudly call himself real Clavian!

Richard Devine’s Nord Lead 4 Banks
Nord Lead 4

Glitchmachines – Polygon

Polygon is a new sampler plugin designed to facilitate the creation of stunning composite sound effects. Co-developed by Ivo Ivanov and Thomas Hennebert, Polygon was conceived from the ground up with unconventional attributes and a fast, forward-thinking workflow.

Layering samples is only the beginning. Polygon’s unique granular mode will bend your samples into fresh material while its clean and logical interface, extensive modulation options and distinctive sonic fingerprint make it an invaluable tool for creative sound design.

At the heart of Polygon, you will find 4 Sampler modules featuring a granular mode and various play and loop modes with focus and loop range sliders. The modules are supported by 8 LFOs, 4 modulation envelopes with variable slopes, two multi-mode filters, three effects processors, a sub oscillator and various global parameters. All of Polygon’s components work in conjunction with its modulation matrix to allow you to achieve extremely dynamic results with relative ease.

Polygon’s sound set was compiled to facilitate the broadest possible range of sonic flexibility. Its core is driven by a 1.2 GB sample library comprised of brand new material and previously unreleased alternate edits from our entire range of sound ware products. To get you started, we included factory presets from Ivo Ivanov, Thomas Hennebert, Nicholas Yochum and Daed. Load any of your existing samples and listen as Polygon takes things in exciting new directions.

1.2 GB 24bit/96khz .wav sample library
4 monophonic Sampler Modules with Granular Mode
Play & Loop modes with Range Sliders
4 Mod Envelopes with Cycle Mode and variable slopes
8 LFOs with Retrig, Sync and built-in Multipliers
3 FX Processors: Metalizer, Stutter and FM Ring Mod
Sub Oscillator with Sine & Square wave with PWM
Comprehensive Modulation Matrix and Global RND Isolate Suite
Cross-platform compatibility (PC/Mac – VST/AU 32bit & 64bit)

Glitchmachine Polygon

Nine Inch Nails 2013, Pt. 2 (VEVO Tour Exposed)

Great synopsis of the production side of NIN. You never know if things will work out until they do. Lots of Alessandro and Justin cameos.

“Free 14-song Nine Inch Nails show filmed in LA last month, streaming in HD. I’m excited that we were able to get this show documented and that we can put it out for everyone to see. It puts a great bookend on an amazing tour. I’m more excited for the Blu-ray release next year though – I spent last week sitting with the editor of this Vevo cut, finessing it and making tweaks and doing color corrections, and there’s a lot of detail that gets lost here but will really shine on Blu-ray. Plus there are some great production moments from the show which aren’t in this cut, but will be on the final release. We’ll have details and pre-orders on all that stuff soon, we’re still getting the specifics worked out. For now, set this to full screen 1080p with the sound cranked, and enjoy.” – Rob Sheridan