The fine folks at Old Europa Cafe are releasing A Wilderness of Cloades – A collaboration between Nordvargr and myself recorded this past winter. There will be a special limited numbered edition of 300 copies, the first 100 will come in an exclusive wooden box. There are two samples that can be found in the links below. Here is a glimpse of the artwork that Bridget Driessen, my favorite visual artist, composed for the release.
The Suit & Tie Guy Graphic Sequencer is a Eurorack format step sequencer and is the few (only?) that utilizes sliders. The length of the sequence can be anywhere between 1 to 8 steps, can loop or be a one shot, has a range of 0 to 5 volts, and can be expanded with the gate trigger module. The craftsmanship on this module is exceptional – the sliders are as smooth as butter and yearn to be touched. The front panel is among the best looking from the STG line and the lights at the tips of the sliders was a beautiful touch. The only issue I can think of is that it’s simple. At NAMM earlier this year, I was able to spend about 3 minutes with this graphic sequencer and I understood it’s functionality before even touching it. That’s the issue with this module – it keeps it simple. This is neither a compliment nor criticism, it’s just a fact worth noting.
I know people that are left crippled from being given too many options and parameters on instruments, particularly software. This is the same crippling effect I see in self-taught musicians. After learning music theory they are paralyzed with information that has them overanalyzing every interval, note and progression. An overload of information, knobs and options can leave people discouraged and overwhelmed. it the same for modules? I have both the Tip Top Audio Z8000 and the Doepfer A-155/154 combo and they’re entirely different from one another but share a complexity that makes them appealing on their own. When I start using both the sequencers at the same time on a complex patch, that’s when things get hairy and find myself retracing patch cables to find out whats happening. In the video example you can see that I team the Graphic Sequencer with a Z8000 and its relatively simple to follow.
Is it inspiring or crippling to have a lot of options? This is the question I think about a lot and almost always lean towards the “it’s better to have too many options than too little” but in this particular case, the Graphic Sequencer changed my mind. The Graphic Sequencer gives you barebones options which work in favor of it being inspiring, constructive and most importantly straightforward. Don’t get me wrong it can conjure up a lot of mayhem with the right amount of Stackables or mults but it its great at making strong patches rather than fumbling around tracing cables. If you’re looking for more complicated patches, I’d suggest something else like aforementioned Z8000, A-154/155 combo or the forthcoming RENÉ from Makenoise. There is something that feels ‘oldschool’ about this sequencer – how it feels really natural to use sliders for note values and how addictive it is to make patterns. If you’ve used vintage gear or any sequencer for that matter, you’ll be right at home with this.
This isn’t really post worthy but a couple neighbor/friends came over yesterday and showed off a bunch of great modules I’ll have to put on my list. Though one of them had a hi-hat module which I was half interested/half mocking so I asked for a demonstration. Fast forward 30 minutes and we’ve synced our systems and began making the most expensive drum machine on the planet.
This’ll be the first time out in a while as I’ve run out of excuses to not leave my apartment. I’m sure they only asked me to play because they wanted another Asian to make Marousa feel more comfortable. I’ve just received new modules and will try to put another check in my speaker casualty list. Hope to see you there!
The video doesn’t capture the perfectly honed chaos of the weather gradually turning to hell while 50 people came throughout the night. Nor does it appropriately acknowledge the effort that went into some of our guests put into coming from all corners of the United States. But here is some evidence of a successful evening with great people from all over the country. Thank you all for coming and making this the craziest and best synth meet we’ve had so far. Hail and horns! Look forward to the 7th synth meet in late Spring.
And since it’s still Winter in Chicago, I’m going to Puerto Rico this week. Goodbye. F U.
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.
electronicmusic.com: 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.
A major development to the already massive Trash_Audio & Xart Synth Meet 6 happening next Sunday, February 21st: As you can see from the updated flyer – Tony Rolando of Make Noise Music will be attending this synth meet and showing off his products. This addition makes it a true coast to coast event, Scott from Washington and Tony from North Carolina, and with the amount of response we’ve received this is hands down the biggest synthesizer meet and in the midwest this year! If you’re interested in coming e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see you there.
For the past week, I’ve seen this module popping up randomly on the intertubes and everyone was more confusing than the last. In an effort to try to explain the module to myself, I thought I’d leave the camera rolling. I break down the components and explain everything individually then show how things can get especially chaotic and inspiring. If you can’t follow the video or don’t understand – There are notes below that I followed during the video:
The Z8000 is composed of 10 separate sequencers that can run independently from each other.
Eight of the sequencers are 4 steps and these are indicated by the red lights
Four of these four step sequencers go horizontally.
The other four – four step sequencers go vertically.
The sixteen step sequences are indicated by two green lights and they both begin on the top left.
One of the sixteen step sequencers cycle through the matrix horizontally.
The other sixteen step sequencer cycles through the matrix vertically.
Some common attributes to all of the ten sequencers are:
The clock – which makes the sequencer move. All the sequencers can move to different clocks but the four step sequencers are bit different. For example the horizontal rows, 1/2/3/4, all follow row 1’s clock. This link can be broken by inserting the clock into 2/3/4 or multiple clocks into multiple rows. This also applies to the vertical rows of a/b/c/d
Reset – when it receives signal it starts the sequence back at the beginning
Direction – when this jack receives a constant positive signal – it reverses the direction of the sequencer