Music Technology

Apr 102022

Music Technology

Another oscillator was added to the rack in the form of the Sputnik Modular Variable Waveform Generator.

Not a digital one this time but a traditional analogue with some interesting tonal variation possibilities.

For some strange reason, there is no manual available either with the unit or from the website, luckily it is pretty straightforward to use but would be useful to know a bit more about it.

Oct 172021

Music Technology

After many years of service, my old Korg DW-8000 has decided it has had enough.

My limited electrical knowledge stretches as far as replacing the external and internal fuses but neither bring the old girl to life.

There does not appear to be anything obviously burnt out internally but it is way beyond my comfort zone.

Oct 102021

Music Technology

Time for more expansion!

The idea of getting small units to fully utilize the available space sounds good but you end up with a very cramped work surface so I have moved away from that.

The first unit I got was a Behringer 130 Dual VCA, you can never have enough VCAs. To complete the top row I also went for a Behringer 121 Dual VCF. To make room I relegated the original Behringer 110 to the second rack and thanked it for its service 😉

I also added a couple of Erica Synths Buffered Multiples, these have a very useful voltage shift switch that will act to shift pitch on Oscillators.

Aug 222021

Music Technology

It is fair to say I got a bit carried away recently!

I had been after a Behringer 1004 Oscillator but they were out of stock everywhere with a long lead time so was not expecting to get one any time soon then surprisingly Amazon had some so I got one straight away. This also spurred me on getting the matching Behringer 1047 Multi-mode Filter.

About the same time, I was struggling to use the Doepfer mixer which just didn’t work how I wanted it to, and also decided to bite the bullet and relegate the other unsatisfactory units, the TipTop Audio Wave Folder, and the Mutable Instruments Shelves, to the old NiftyCase to free up room in the main rack.

To fill this newfound space I then added a Behringer 112 Dual Oscillator and 305 EQ/Mixer. The latter seems to do what Doepfer and Shelves were meant to do but much better.

Will now hold fire on new purchases for a bit.

Jun 222021

Music Technology

Well, I decided to add a mixer to make it easier to combine the 3 (currently) oscillator sources available and liked the idea of the Doepfer A-135-2v as it was a VCA as well. Unfortunately, it didn’t work in quite the way I had hoped (far too difficult to explain). This caused me to have a rethink and I decided the easiest and cheapest way to get what I wanted was to add two 2hp units, a Dual VCA, and an ADSR Envelope Generator. This worked like a dream.

While I was in a buying mood I thought it would be nice to have a simple delay effect in the system which did not rely on me using the Neutrons built-in delay so I went for the Dreadbox Nostalgia. Apart from some early disappointment with the sound which I found was down to me using the wrong input I am quite pleased with it.

May 072021

Music Technology

My Eurorack system got its first expansion today.

The Behringer Oscillator was rather basic so I added a Mutable Instruments Plaits which describes itself as a Macro-Oscillator which in layman’s terms means a digital oscillator. It certainly adds a lot more variety to my sound options.

The second unit I got was a small 2hp Buff which is a buffered multiple. It does not actually make or modify any sound but does multiply a signal with no loss of the original voltage which is very important for CV especially with pitch control. I had previously been using the Multiples on the Behringer Neutron to achieve this

Apr 172021

Music Technology

Modular synthesizers were always something that intrigued me but seemed over-complicated for the end result so that had put me off. My early experience with the Behringer Neutron patch bay had not alleviated this concern either as the manual contains no real information on it.

But nothing ventured nothing gained so I made the leap and started my own Eurorack, how advanced it gets will depend on cost, space and dedication.

This, unfortunately, meant I had to do some drastic cutting of my current gear to make space so the Korg DW8000 has been retired along with the little-used NanoBass, NanoSynth and Roland JV-1010. The CZ-101 has been relocated but I may continue to use this. I also lost the Zoom and Roland drum machines as the PC supplies my drum patterns.

I wanted to start with something simple so I got two basic Behringer units the 110 and 140 (copies of the vintage Roland System 100) and a Cre8audio case that has a built-in MIDI to CV converter.

Everything works perfectly

Aug 242020

Music Technology

This was not a longterm planned buy, I was always intending to get a Modal Argon8 and possibly still will but ended up with this instead.

I had started to take a partial interest in modular synths with a long term plan of maybe one day building a Eurorack. This seemed a good starting point. Have to say on initial experience my Eurorack plans are on hold, patching is not easy.

Worried at first as it made no noise out of the box even though it was clearly getting a signal but found an initial setup guide online that pointed me to my error (Overdrive Level set at Zero)

It has some interesting tonal possibilites and for a Behringer does seem a solid build, jury is still out.

Aug 242019

Music Technology

Finally got myself an Novation Ultranova.

My fourth attempt at buying one of these. Every previous time I was sold one they decided they were out of stock. This was possibly the last new one in the UK.

I love it, so many options, almost too many. Who really needs 6 Envelopes!

The Wavetables I would say are the only disappointment when compared to what the MS2000B gives but the basic waveforms on offer and how you can vary them more than makes up for it.

Kept me occupied while my Internet was out for over a week!

Oct 022018

Music Technology

Love my old Casio CZ-101 but it does suffer from a lack of memory with limited onboard storage which needs some rather heavy batteries to maintain and the cartridges never seemed to hold the memory for long either.

I came across an article on Vintage Synth Explorer where someone was discussing a modification to add an internal battery backup when someone posted this rather neat little gadget, the CZPL Patch Library. Not exactly cheap being in excess of £125  but it does a great job.

Ordered from the US and very much a home project evidenced by the hobbyist plastic case and sticky labels but what it offers is great. Long-term storage and comes complete with over 2000+ sounds and even adds an arpeggiator!

Well worth the money