The second issue of Tiptop Audio Records attests to the label’s attitude towards developing a nuanced sound set to become a standard for production.
The line-up for Tiptop Records includes MATT LANGE, ANGLE, JOAO CESER, MARKUS FIX, BLACK SHAPE, DRUMCELL & LUIS FLORES, HUBOT, FLORIAN MEINDL, JOHN TEJADA, SCANNER, M.O.T., RIEMANN; the names of a scene now described as ‘Modular Techno’, which consists of a fast growing group of artists interested in expanding their compositional techniques through modular synthesizer systems.
The vinyl format is a testimony to the label’s dedication to produce music in a physical form.
It is an invitation to a territory of oscillations, and a trip of 10 (+ 2 extra digital) tracks that reconsiders the concept of sound design applied to electronic club music.
No external computers or hardware were used in this performance.
A patch built around the new “Grain de Folie” ZDSP card by TipTop Audio.
The melody starting at :40 seconds is the TipTop Audio ZDSP running the “Grain de Folie” card which is processing Mutable Instruments Elements thats being sequenced by the Circadian Rhythms and z8000 with voltage quantization by the Intellijel µscale. The program used is #6 “Six Grains Stereo”. Modulation to grain sizes 1 and 2 coming from the Modcan Quad LFO.
///// from the manual /////
Granular Synthesis uses small slices of sounds (‘grains’) to compose new sounds from existing material. By combining multiple grains of differing lengths, amplitude, pitch and speed creates very characteristic sounds of modern music.
Xenakis claims to have invented the technique and indeed his ‘Analogique A-B’, composed of tiny tape splices of pure tones, is credited as the first piece of granular music in 1959. Tape editing proved extremely time consuming, but by the 1970s digital processing could take the place of tape splicing. Curtis Roads dove into the early computer based granular synthesis and made some of the classic techniques known through his recordings, teaching and texts like ‘Microsound’. Today, most computer audio programs have some sort of granular synthesis engine or plugin. Dr. Richard Boulanger has used granular synthesis in CSound to great effect and he is also a beta tester for this card.
The French phrase for the cartridge is “Grain de Folie” which could be translated as “seeds of madness”, but in French “grain” also translates to “grain”, and “madness” evokes the strange disassembling/reassembling granular process. Also, “avoir un grain de folie” is a typically French expression to describe people behaving in a non conventional way, thus a fitting play on words.
How it works:
Granular processing requires a block of memory to hold digital samples for playback, and the Z-DSP has one second of memory for the audio used in processing. From this audio buffer the grains will sample smaller sections for playback.
The number of grains in the process determine how dense the overall output sounds. These programs have 3, 4 or 6 grains for playback. Each grain plays from a random point in the audio buffer and have an independent envelope controlling their duration. The envelope time is the ‘grain size’ parameter in many of the programs.
In the context of the Z-DSP, the FV1 (the DSP brain) is really not designed for grain synthesis (due to technical choices like a “circulating” delay memory, and the lack of indirect memory access), but the chip also has other design niceties that help overcome its limitations…
This cartridge implements a simple and customised granular synthesis with a limited number of grains, and parameters that mainly control the size of grains and their positions in the sample. One nice aspect of the Z-DSP is that it uses live inputs (granular synthesis is usually based on a pre-recorded sample), so it can disassemble live input and reassemble it in real-time into a different order resulting in a (usually !) nice sonic transformation of both texture and the rhythm.
Six Grains Stereo
Six independent grains have a random playback position with control over the size of each grain. The two size controls each set the size for half the grains so two different textures or rhythms can happen at the same time. Three grains are sent to Left output and the other three to the Right creating a spatial spread.
VC-DSP1 – Live / Freeze / Feedback. See the Control section above
VC-DSP2 – Grain size 1. Sets the maximum size of half the grains
VC-DSP3- Grain size 2. Sets the maximum size of half the grains
– Datach’i Facebook
– Tip Top Audio
Apparently Alessandro is a “legend in the making”. LOL.
Alessandro Cortini’s first instrument was guitar. But when he moved from Italy to Los Angeles to study it, he fell headlong into synthesizers, and he now says it’s been ages since he’s picked up his old axe. Cortini is most widely known as a member of Nine Inch Nails, a band he’s played in and toured with on and off since the early 2000s. It was on a video shoot with the group that he came face to face with a Buchla synthesizer, and the near-mythic modular systems soon became an obsession. Over the course of the 2010s, Cortini has used his Buchla and innumerable other synths—his collection must be seen to be believed—to craft a discography ranging from thoroughly experimental ambient sounds to tracks verging on techno. Since 2013 alone, he’s released five albums under his own name: a trio of records called Forse and a pair of releases for Hospital Productions, most recently Risveglio. Jordan Rothlein caught him at the tail end of this year’s Berlin Atonal festival, where he was part of three separate performances, to hear his story.
Based on the classic SYSTEM-100m modular synthesizer, the SYSTEM-500 is a fully analog recreation of one of the most revered electronic instruments of all time. Newly designed in Eurorack format, the SYSTEM-500 delivers the classic character and functionality of the original with the advantages of a modern instrument. Built in the USA and assembled in Japan, the SYSTEM-500 is made to exacting standards with top-quality components and solid controls. And it’s surprisingly affordable, turning the fantasy of finally owning this legendary instrument into reality.
Classic System. New Format.
The SYSTEM-500 consists of Eurorack format modules that you can mix and match in any combination to create the ultimate Roland modular synthesizer. Each module is completely analog and has been designed for maximum compatibility with the world of contemporary synthesizer and effects modules. The SYSTEM-500 is a compact, powerful system that opens up vast possibilities for sound design and musical exploration.
512 DUAL VCO
The 512 Dual VCO (voltage controlled oscillator) is a single module consisting of two voltage controlled oscillators. Each independent VCO produces frequencies across a wide range with 1V/octave tracking and dedicated pulse, triangle, and saw wave outputs. Variable pulse width is available via panel control or CV modulation. Each oscillator’s frequency can also be synchronized to the other in weak or strong modes to achieve a unique “sync” sound.
521 DUAL VCF
The 521 Dual VCF (voltage controlled filter) module features two separate low pass filters for modifying the timbre of audio sources. Each filter has its own dedicated controls for frequency cutoff, resonance, and a fixed high pass filter with two switchable cutoff points. Audio and CV input mixers on each channel allow the blending of multiple audio signals and modulation sources.
540 DUAL ENVELOPE GENERATOR + LFO
The 540 Dual Envelope Generator and LFO (low frequency oscillator) is a multi-purpose modulation source. This unit features two independent ADSR (attack, decay, sustain, release) envelope sections that produce variable voltages for controlling other Eurorack format synthesizer modules such as oscillators, filters, and VCAs. Each section can be triggered externally, internally, or manually with dedicated jacks for each envelope, as well as an inverted output.
530 DUAL VCA
The 530 Dual VCA (voltage controlled Amplifier) features two independent voltage controlled amplifiers for controlling the loudness of audio signals. Each VCA has three sliders for an audio input mixer, three sliders to mix CV inputs, and a selector switch for linear or exponential response modes.
572 PHASE SHIFTER + DELAY + LFO
The 572 Phase Shifter, Delay and LFO is a time-based, multi-effects module. The 572 includes a five-stage phase shifter, analog audio delay, a control voltage gate delay, and an LFO. The phase shifter has panel controls for shift frequency and resonance amount that can vary from subtle to a deep, lush analog effect. Similarly, the audio delay has independent knob control of delay time and resonance (or feedback) for short chorus-like modulation delays. Both the phase shifter and delay can be modulated by the 572’s internal LFO or external CV signals and feature wet/dry effects mix controllable via the front panel or with CV.
The LFO section has a knob for controlling frequency and features both normal and inverted output jacks. The gate delay has knobs to control threshold, delay time, and gate time for modifying incoming gate signals from other modules.
Having the previous two Driven Machine Drum sample banks, I can say without a doubt that these are among the highest quality samples for electronic percussion. For $77 (until November 25th), its an incredible deal – and if you want a taste, DMD has a 131 demo sample available. Read more about it: HERE!
4 modular systems to generate fresh and unique analog percussive sounds:
MakeNoise Modular System
Wiard / Richter / Malekko Modular System
Hordijk Modular System
SP-1200 processing for a classic hip-hop sounds:
Gotharman SP-Box with SP-1200 D/A converters and analog vca + filter
Modern Digital FSU machines:
Gotharman Little Deformer 2
Noise Engineering Basimilus Iteritas
Physical Modeling for electroacoustic hybrid sounds:
Nord Drum 2
Korg Wavedrum Oriental
Elektron Machine Drum
Modern and Classic analog drum sources:
Vermona Kick Lancet
TTA 808 Modules
Vintage Digital Sources:
Additional creative analog effects processing:
Cwejman MMF-6 analogue filter
Cwejman FSH-1 frequency shifter
Intellijel uFold II wavefolder
Dynacord VRS-23 analog delay
Ibanez AD-202 analog delay
Demeter RV-1 spring reverb
Doepfer A-199 spring reverb
Additional analog processing to boost harmonics and shape the samples:
Atlas Pro Juggernaut Twin (with iron and nickel transformers)
Angel Lofte Source +
NOS French Mazda Tubes
NOS Valvo Tubes
Foote Control P3S
Valley People Dynamite
Kush Elektra Electrified Transient Equalizer (19” rack)
AMS Neve 1081
API 5500 Dual Equalizer
Got some hands on time with the beta, can’t wait to mess with the final!
$385 – limited edition preorder ships early 2016
Macro Machines presents an incredibly versatile new addition in the world of eurorack modules. The Omnimod will make a powerful new ally in your adventures through the universe of sound. Omni means all, and mod stands for modulation of control voltage.
Create unique new combinations of envelopes, LFOs and step sequences quickly and easily with the simple and intuitive waveform design interface. Centered around a crisp, high contrast OLED screen, the Omnimod provides vivid visual feedback for precise editing, as well as a scope mode to aid in configuring the inputs. This allows for deep, yet intuitive control over complex modulation sequencing. Endless possibilities become child’s play.
Once you have sculpted the perfect waveforms, you can store them for later, and recall them at any time in the future. You can also use the Macro Machines Storage Strip to allow multiple modules on the same power bus line to store and recall their settings at the same time, creating something never before possible in eurorack, instantaneous system wide storage and recall of entirely different configurations.
The Omnimod features:
– 4 powerful channels of LFOs, Step Sequencing, Envelope Generation and Envelope Following, in limitless combinations.
– user friendly interface with intuitive visual feedback.
– an oscilloscope mode to visualize input signals: fine tune the extraction of triggers, select different modes, and smooth or scale envelope following.
– full storage and recall of all parameters automagically before power cycling,
– user definable waves for reusing complex individual channel settings.
– 64 storable, recallable, sequence-able, and randomize-able presets
– only 14HP wide, packs loads of useful possibilities in a small space.
Located atop the beautiful OLED screen, there are four (4) inputs and four (4) outputs using the highest quality 1/8th inch jacks and four (4) eye catching white LED buttons that continually fade to show the output of each of the 4 channels. Below the screen are two encoders, the left encoder is stepped for parameter and point selection and the right encoder allows smooth parameter editing. This simple and quick to grasp control scheme will have you mastering this module quickly, manipulating and sculpting your own unique waveforms.
Settings are automatically saved between power cycles to easily resume where you left off. If used on the same power bus board as a Macro Machines “Storage Strip” module, several banks of settings can be stored, recalled and sequenced to allow even more possibilities from studio to stage.
Macro Machines first product, the Storage Strip realizes an entirely new method for complete patch storage and recall using the standard eurorack power bus board. When used in tandem with their second product, the Dynamic Destiny dual 4 to 1 switch router, entirely different patch cable routings can be saved and sequenced. You can, for example, create one setting with a deep analogue sub oscillator routed through a lowpass filter, and instantly switch this to be a complex high pitch FM oscillator through a spring reverb. This gives owners a new possibility to refine and explore vastly different sounds and come back to them in an instant.
Adding the Macro Machines Omnimod to the Storage Strip and Dynamic Destiny, the user could design an entire group of different settings using any modules they currenty have, and come back to them, refine, record different takes, perform and jam with quickly accessible, reliable start points.
One of my favorite companies releases another beautiful sounding plug-in. Incredible price and no iLok, which means I’ll be using this everywhere/anytime!
You will ride eternal, shiny and chrome.
ValhallaPlate is our algorithmic take on the classic plate reverberation sound. Seven original algorithms emulate the sound and behavior of real world steel plate reverbs, and take the sound into dimensions that physical plates can’t touch.
Interesting idea of consolidating and curating a scene that has blown up exponentially the past couple years. Excited to see what DivKid does with future issues! Link at the bottom.
Issue #1 October 2015
Published on 29 October 2015 in “Music, Hobbies”, language — English. 6 pages.
The first issue, seems like a big step forward seeing this go live and public. Already ideas are flying around for how to develop this so feel free to get in touch about it at any of the links inside.
A magazine to support and promote the modular synth scene based around the video demo work of DivKid – http://www.youtube.com/divkidvideo You’ll find news and features from around the web alongside more personal news from me and an interview each month.