AAS – Ultra Analog VA-2

In a world filled with reproductions and ever increasing complexity, Ultra Analog imposes itself as a unique and powerful synth that is fast, easy, and remarkably versatile. Richard Devine signature sounds: Renown sound designer Richard Devine delved into the new Ultra Analog VA-2 to forge a state-of-the-art collection of 110 presets that are simply essential.

AAS – Ultra Analog VA-2

2CAudio Interviews Richard Devine

Any other particular technologies or techniques, esoteric or otherwise, that you are really excited about these days?

I have been composing on the Eurorack modular quite a bit lately. So a lot of my recent productions have been built around the idea of creating patches and building a song out of a patch from the modular system. I have recorded almost 93 new tracks this past year. I have been really inspired by this new way of working. There isn’t any computer or other hardware involved in the process. It’s just building a patch from the ground up, and seeing what happens. It’s a very organic way of working with sound and music. I was an early adopter of analog synthesizers back when I first started making music. I originally learned about how to shape sound on a Arp-2600 synthesizer which is a semi -modular format system with 66 patch points. That synth taught me a lot about how to modulate, envelope, color, and filter sounds. I have been doing a lot of beta testing and helping with design concepts for many different euro companies. It’s been a lot of fun. I have been spending the last 6 years building up my system. My latest release on MakeNoise records called “Creature’ was just released a few months ago.

It was recorded entirely on the MakeNoise shared modular system. The concept was that each artist was sent the same system, and was only allowed to use this system to record their compositions which would be later released on to a 7” inch limited edition record with patch notes on how the piece was created. The music you hear on the records is a result of each artist’s approach using this fixed modular system. The main inspiration for my two piece was derived from the early works of Morton Subotnick. I can remember listening to Morton’s “Until Spring” and “Wild Bull” records thinking how amazing the timbres and gestures where. I loved the unusual places these pieces took me. I loved the way everything sounded so organic and rich but at the same time synthesized. I also loved how these works almost told a story in that it conjured up so many interesting spaces and images in my mind. The “Creature” series is in a way paying homage to those works. I recorded 26 different version of the Creature II track here before I got the right one.

Full Interview

Epoch Modular Benjolin Overview

The video above is a quick start guide & overview to one of the most complex and rewarding modules I’ve used. The Benjolin’s main feature is the Rungler, which, in short, is a random stepped voltage that is created by the two oscillators. Any questions you may have about the Benjolin will most likely be answered by James Cigler’s in-depth video below. Reverb was added with Tip Top Audio’s Z5000.

The following is a response I received from Sylvan when I asked specific questions as to how the Rungler and Loop functions worked.

“When the rungler is in loop mode this basically means that the content of the shift register, which consists of the data contents of these 8 stages, are being recirculated or in other words the rungler no longer accepts new data from Oscillator A. Thus, oscillator A will have no effect on the pattern (assuming bmod knob is all the way CCW, otherwise changes in the rate of OSC A will effect the loop speed indirectly). But as you will notice, you still have control over the speed of the rungler pattern through Oscillator B. In sum, the content of the loop is locked down but the speed at which the data stages recirculate is still manipulable.

If you hear a change in the sound of the filter outputs this is because the audio input of the filter comes both from the Rungler and the PWM wave which is derived from the two triangle waves. Thus when the rungler is looping, a change in the rate of oscillator A still affects the PWM’d pulse wave, but not the stepped output of the rungler. In other words, the comparator is only indirectly related to the rungler, the rungler cv affects the PWM output through manipulation of the rates of triangles A and B which comprise the inputs if the comparator and which puts out a pulse each time the voltage level of Triangle A rise and then falls below the level of B.

This is how the Rungler Loop function works: whenever a voltage rises above .7 volts (whether obtained by a CV or the use of the offset knob) the rungler locks into a looping pattern, and conversely when it drops below this threshold the pattern breaks. Thus, running a +cv into the rungler, with or without the offset creates loop-hold patterns. Likewise turning the offset knob clockwise until the the rungler begins looping and then using a negative cv creates loop-break patterns.

The offset can also be used to control when the loop is triggered. Say for example, you’re running triangle wave at 5 volts p/p, without the offset the loop is triggered at +.7 volts automatically, but by turning the offset knob CCW you can lower the cv input so the Rungler Loops at the peak of the wave which would otherwise be impossible.”

James Cigler thoroughly dissects the Benjolin

Madrona Labs – Kaivo Demo

“This year at Decibel Festival I’ll be teaming up with my friend James Patrick of Dubspot and Ableton to talk a little about modular synthesis software, and give a sneak preview of Kaivo, my new physical modeling synthesizer. I’ve been working on Kaivo for almost two years now. Kaivo brings Aalto’s ease of patching to a new set of modules based around physical modeling. I’m excited to show off its interface and a few of the new sonic possibilities it offers.
I’m also very excited to be part of a panel with other instrument makers from Monome and Livid Instruments. The panel is called “New Media Hardware Platforms and Communities.” We’ll discuss what the current landscape of hardware from independent makers looks like, what it’s like to be one of these independent makers, and what unique possibilities this activity of locally sourced, community-focused hardware design offers culturally and musically. And what lies ahead? Please come share your thoughts.
Brian and Kelli of Monome will also be on hand to reveal Aleph, the new music hardware that they have made in collaboration with Ezra Buchla. I know a lot of people are anticipating this one!
My session with James Patrick will be Friday at noon at Broadway Performance Hall. The Monome presentation and new hardware panel will be Thursday afternoon. Times of some of the conference programs are still shifting, so please check the Decibel Conference Program for more info and breaking news.” – Randy Jones

Madrona Labs

Harvestman – Piston Honda MK ][ Statement


“When updating the firmware on the Piston Honda mk. II, the 3-digit display will usually show a set of randomly illuminated segments as the operation proceeds. This is due to some processor pins being shared between the programming port and the home-grown display driver circuit I used. However, at the end of a successful firmware upload, the same thing always happens: the display briefly shows the number “666” before going black. I had absolutely nothing to do with this, it’s just the way the hardware behaves.

The third digit is driven from a completely different data line that isn’t anywhere near the programmer pins.” – Scott Jaeger of The Harvestman

Soundworks Collection – Gravity

Not very informative on the sound design aspect but offers insight on the immense panning requirements and mood.

In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection profile we talk with Director Alfonso Cuarón and Re-recording Mixer Skip Lievsay about the sound teams work to create a dramatic sound scape to a dark and vast outer space environment.

Soundworks Collection

Braids WTx4 By Peter Speer

Braids WTx4 from Peter Speer on Vimeo.

The “WTx4” mode on Braids is four wavetable voices, with control over wavetable position and note spacing.
Braids –> MMG –> Echophon
Z-DSP (Stereo Resonator program) in the Echophon’s feedback loop
Pressure Points is controlling MMG and feedback index VCA
Wogglebug is controlling Braids
Maths is controlling the output VCA


Psycho-Electro Nyquist Interference Synthesis

Glitchmachines – Proximity


PROXIMITY is a FREE download of 150 SFX by sound designer Ivo Ivanov.
Proximity is the third installment in our FREE Nanopack series. The goal with this series of sample packs is to bring you exclusive, high quality sound effects with the same uncompromising production values as our paid products.
Proximity features a collection of modular synthesizer sound effects featuring modules from Make Noise, Malekko and The Harvestman. You will find gritty one-shot modulations, electronic blips, bass stabs and glitches.

Glitchmachines Proximity

Indecent Machines Sample Pack

The Coil have released Indecent Machines, their first sample pack featuring 1.73 GB of 24-bit/96kHz .wav audio files and Kontakt kits intended for music producers and sound designers requiring complex textured sci-fi sounds and unique rhythmic artifacts.
“Indecent Machines is an industrial sci-fi sample collection of cybernetic machines created by producer/sound designer Chad Glenn. Inspired by a concept of mechanical disrepair and emergent AI consciousness, these sounds originated from field and studio recordings of various machines which were then processed through custom DSP algorithms using Kyma and other sound design tools. The result is a unique set of mutant robotics, mechanical snippets, evolving textures, rhythmic artifacts and menacing atmospheres appropriate for music and sound design projects of all kinds.”

The Coil