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Computer Modular Interface

As far as I’m aware there are only two choices to interface your DAW to your modular synth: MOTU’s Volta and Expert Sleeper’s Silent Way. My current problem with both of these options is that they require an audio interface with DC coupled outs. The list of these interfaces are limited as can be seen here: Here

If I were going to get in the game at this point I’d be limited to only my headphone outputs as a means of communication between modular and computer which… is rather limited. Thankfully Expert Sleepers found a way to make any interface with balanced outputs have access to this modular computer communication. Originally they suggested you make cables yourself that encoded AC cables with DC properties while they provided the software to integrate it with the rest of Silent Way. But it seems like someone on their team took the initiative to make a breakout box so you could bypass making your own cables.

Now it seems that someone just needs to build so I can buy them because I’m sure as hell too retarded to put this together myself.

Silent Way Software Encoder Information

Expert Sleepers Silent Way

Motu Volta

Silent Way AC Encoder from Andrew Ostler on Vimeo.

Free Samples from H/Ptic Audio

After downloading a couple of their small banks, I don’t see why these shouldn’t be in everyone’s hard drives. Watch out for the random fake titties on the abstract percussion kit – If you’re browsing at work that is.

The site will be giving away samples, kits, and instruments for free each month (in theory), and we’ve just gotten everything relatively dialed in and the first 3 releases are posted in the ‘catalogue’ section of the site. Or you can use the links below:

HAPTIC01 (abstract percussion kit): Download

HAPTIC02 (Multi-Band Atmospheric Instrument): Download

HAPTIC03 (Multi-Sample SFX kit): Download

H/Ptic Audio

Richard Lainhart Live…(right now)

Meet Richard Lainhart. Check out a live stream his doing right this moment:

Broadcasting Live with Ustream.TV

Stretta: Free Modular Synth Library

Stretta has compiled a library of 120 bpm loops made showcasing the Z8000. I won’t talk about something thats already well explained:

If you woke up this morning thinking, “Gee, I wish I could download two gigabytes of 120 BPM modular synth loops”, I have some good news for you.

I’ve been using the TipTop Audio Z8000 for a while now, collecting material for a video, but I also kept a DAW file handy and recorded bursts of interesting output at various intervals. This process generated a lot of materal, but it is clear to me it would be more useful in someone else’s hands.

120bpm modular loop library preview by stretta

– Download for yourself: HERE!

Interview with Scott Jaeger: The Harvestman…

Here’s a great interview with Scott via Before we get started talking about The Harvestman, can you tell our readers a little about yourself, specifically your background in electronic music equipment production?

Scott Jaeger: I was born into brotherhood with a pair of hairfarmers – thrash is in my blood. The younger of the two (drummer) was gifted with a Casio SK-1 and some Synsonics drums in late 1986. That was my first hands-on encounter with electronically generated sounds.

Full Article

Fitting in

Where does a modular synthesizer go in your studio? Some of the modulars are companions and some are centerpieces or are the entire studio.I figured I’ll show you a fraction of what you’re missing on the Muffwiggler forums since you don’t know how to use the internet. Also, a REMINDER the T_A & Xart Synth meet with Grant Richter, Scott Jaeger and Suit & Tie Guy is a little over a week away. The e-mail is to the right if you’re interested in coming, we have only a few spots left.

Droctave – New Jersey Shore, NJ

Coony – Belgium – Myspace

Tim Pebble – Wellington, New Zealand – Music of Sound

Dave Jones – Boston, MA – Attack Sustain

Rafael – Brooklyn, NY

Idealist – Zurich, Switzerland Myspace

Economic Slave – Norman, Oklahoma

dkcg Soundcloud

Richard Molyneux – Vancouver, Canada

Suit & Tie Guy – Sequencer Family

Suit & Tie Guy and STG soundlabs is slowly moving his products into the Eurorack format and all I can say is: Welcome – we need you! I manage to play with the graphic sequencer at NAMM and was surprised at how easy, fun and quick it was to get something interesting out of the module. The LEDS at the tip of every fader is definitely a plus for those dark studios and live situations. I haven’t messed with the trigger sequencer but can tell it’ll be an essential pairing. They’ll be hitting Analog Haven next week.

Prices are: $295for the Graphic Sequencer, $325 for the Trigger Sequencer and $120 for the Time Buffer.

Come check out these modules for yourself at the next Trash_Audio & Xart Synth Meet on February 21st.

One Multipurpose Post! NAMM, Chromeo, Rock Band!

First topic, is anyone going to the NAMM show this year? We’ll be there but there’s also a cool event happening this Friday evening with a nice lineup of performers, including: John Tejada, Richard Devine, Deru, Laura Escude, Scott Pagano, CPU, DJ Kero, Acid Circus, Derek Michael, Baseck, Eezir, Trifonic, DJ G Ov, Moldover, Henry Strange, Peter Kirn and very likely more that are not mentioned. You can find Workspace and Environment interviews/photos with three of the artists mentioned by checking out the sidebar on the right. This way —>

Besides that, I just found this awesome interview with Chromeo where they are talking a bit about gear:

– Do you ever buy a keyboard or a synthesizer just because you know it was used by someone you look up to?

– Chromeo: Oh yeah. Like I know, pretty much, you can give me any song and I’ll tell you what keyboard was used.

– [Hall and Oates’ 1981 hit single] “Private Eyes”?

– Chromeo: Private Eyes!? That’s a CR78 drum machine, a CT70 Piano. I actually, when I bought by CT70, I recreated [that] song. Cause I had all those machines. [Laughs]. And most of Hall and Oates is CR78, LM1 drum machine, or CT70 piano. And I also know that ‘cause we’ve done shit with them. [Laughs]

Checkout the full interview here.

And finally, I just came across a video demonstrating the ‘Rock Band Network’ which will essentially let users upload their own music content but also embed the rock band performance data within, so a user can ‘sequence’ their own patterns to their own songs. I think this will become pretty insane when it launches:

Roland TR-808 Sample Pack

Justin graciously let me borrow his Roland TR-808 and when trying to program some patterns I noticed a few problems. A) I’m clearly too stupid to work this machine – I eventually figured it out but off the bat, both the Pattern knob the Auto Fill In knob were double teaming my brain and left me staring at shifting patterns that mocked me with changing tempos. B) The sequencing buttons themselves have been accumulating grime over the years which makes it difficult to activate a note. I would gladly take this thing apart and clean it but it’s not mine. C) It’s outdated. While the interface is preferred for many people, I’d rather do this on a computer or something more flexible like a Machinedrum. Long story short, I decided to sample it and save people the hassle of finding/buying one. Oh yeah and it’s free.

The Process

All the audio came out of the Hi Level Master Output of the TR-808 into a Focusrite Platinum Voicemaster Preamp then hit a RME Fireface UC and was recorded at 24 bit 48 kHz in Logic and saved as AIFF files. I used AudioFinder to create fade in and outs manually on every sample, batch normalize and rename. I tried to keep the signal chain as short as possible as I’ve heard TR-808 sample banks that sound like processed garbage. I have two versions of this sample pack – the first one being a dynamic version that includes one shots of the samples as they hit my interface, with the different parameters on the Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Cymbals, etc. the volume changes dramatically. Additionally there is an alternate version where all the samples are normalized to 0 dB. I see reasons to have both as an option but if you’re in doubt, grab the normalized version. I made this for myself and was going to share it with a few close friends but figured the world might find some use for it.

Download Here (20MB)

Suggested $3 Donation.

Surachai Modular Sample Kit

Vinyl Runout Groove Bank

Linndrum LM-2 Samples

Trifonic: Next Step Audio

Between Justin and I, we have seen some of the most horrific tutorials online – but surprisingly we always go back when we’re trying to figure out new software or learn some tricks not in manuals. I’ve watched the videos on Next Step Audio and it’s so well done that I feel accomplished just watching it.

A few months ago we mentioned we’d be launching a production blog where we talk about how we make our music, and I’m happy to say that it’s finally here: Next Step Audio

The idea behind Next Step Audio is to show you specifically how Trifonic works in the studio, and demonstrate some advanced techniques for producing electronic music. Over time we plan to offer various downloads and more in-depth tutorials for the folks that are interested.

We’ll be posting new videos every week, so please go check out the site and, if you like what you see, subscribe to the Next Step Audio RSS feed. Hope you find the production tutorials useful, and please let us know what you think!

And for those of you who would rather just have Trifonic make the music, we’re hard at work on the next release, which we hope to have ready in the first half of this year… we’ll certainly keep you posted.


LT and Brian

Trifonic: Editing Beats – Part 2 from Next Step Audio on Vimeo.