Thursday, November 9, 2017

Classic Synthesizer Filter Breadboard

My first video in HD 1080p! Today I am demonstrating a classic lowpass filter circuit study on a breadboard. Shrill audio alert! - Self-oscillation audio tests are performed here. All I can say at this time this circuit is not exactly Moog per se, and the self-oscillation droid sounds are another BIG clue. I run a pulse from my Pittsburgh Synth Box, sweep the frequency cutoff, then use CV modulations with an LFO and then sample/hold. I am planning a glorious eurorack module of this circuit so stay tuned.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Roland SH-01A Synthesizer EASY Tips + Tricks

Did you know the SH-01A has delay? How can you quickly restore your preferred system settings after booting? How can you sync LFO to your sequence? In just over 10 minutes I SHOW you the answers to these questions and more!

In my previous videos I gave a review and tutorial of the functions on the SH-01A. Today in this video I will show some interesting tips and tricks for getting even more from this little synth. Follow me on Twitter!

0:00 Opening Demo Performance
0:41 Introduction
1:06 The MiniMoog Trick?
1:38 Filter Self-Oscillation: Droids and Kicks
3:00 How to Save System Settings
4:12 Filter FM Using the Advanced LFO
4:50 Switching Poly/Mono On-The-Fly
5:17 Using LFO Trigger Mode
7:30 LFO Re-Trigger: Delay Effects
8:46 Interfacing w/ Eurorack: Patch Setup Explained
11:05 Interfacing w/ Eurorack: Demo Performance

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Roland SH-01A Synthesizer EASY Tutorial

Did you know the SH-01A has SHUFFLE? How do you change an Arpeggio to 2 Octaves? What about changing the Sequencer note scaling to something other than 16th? Like triplets! Or making the LFO speed go into audio rates?! Say whaaaaaat? Everything you wanted to know about the SH-01A, and maybe a little bit more, all in under 30 minutes.

In my previous video I gave a review/overview on the SH-01A. Today in this video I will be giving a more in-depth tutorial. This is a great synth for beginners. And this video was made just for users with little to no knowledge of synthesizers. More experienced users may want to skip ahead to topics of interest.

0:00 Introduction
0:15 Connecting a MIDI Controller or No Controller?
0:57 Factory Reset
1:40 LFO Modulation
2:14 VCO - The Sound Source
4:04 Changing the Noise Type - A Sneak Peak at the System Settings
4:51 The Filter - A Control for Brightness
6:05 VCA and Envelope - Loudness Control Over Time
7:34 Trigger Types
8:34 Ribbon Controllers
9:06 Portamento
9:34 Transpose Switch and Tune Knob
10:00 A Quick Note About the CV/GATE Out and External Clock Jacks
10:41 Saving A Patch (MENU, "1")
11:38 What In the World Is Manual Recall?
12:19 Sequencer, Setting the Note Scale, Programming Notes
13:50 Shuffle!
14:16 Saving and Recalling a Sequence Pattern (MENU, "2")
15:08 Arpeggio, Hold, Key Transpose, Setting 1 or 2 Octaves
16:12 Assignment Modes: Mono, Unison, Poly, Chord (MENU, "3")
16:51 Editing Chords In Chord Mode
System Settings (MENU, "4") use VALUE knob to scroll parameters
Press "1" to edit/exit a parameter
17:54 System - LFO Types, Tuning, MIDI Channel
19:51 System - Sync, Key Velocity, CC Output Mode
21:51 System - A Note About CV Out Settings
22:29 System - Auto-Off, LED Demo
23:19 System - Ribbon Control Scales
24:05 System - Mod Ribbon Hold
24:40 How To BACKUP Patch and Pattern Data To Computer
25:38 How To RESTORE Patch and Pattern Data To Computer

Monday, October 2, 2017

Roland Space Echo RE-201 Tape Effect Demo w/ Synthesizers #10

Today I present the Roland RE-201 Space Echo audio demo w/ synthesizers and a TR-8 drum machine. The RE-201 is a vintage delay effect from the 70s using a tape loop and Spring tank reverb. It's been used on lots of psychedelic rock, trip hop, alternative, dub, progressive house music and more. The Space Echo is the only effect used in this demo. This machine has a new 4 meter loop. It also has some wow and flutter, I love that lo-fi quality of this machine. All audio recorded direct to a Tascam DR-05 thru a Mackie mixer. Gear used here: Roland Juno-1/JV-2080/SH-01A/TR-8, Korg MS-20 mk1, E-mu ES-32 (Yamaha CP-70 sample), Arturia Beatstep Pro, M-Audio Axiom49.

0:00 Radiohead - Lotus Flower, spring tank reverb on snare only
1:00 Introduction
1:43 Portishead - Cowboys, delay on electric piano
2:30 M83 - Skin of the Night, delay on CP-70 piano sample
2:59 Quick explanation of inputs
3:15 Steve Miller Band - Fly Like an Eagle, delay on synth glissando
3:41 A look inside and beautiful ladies?
4:15 Tycho - Dive, delay on opening synth
5:18 How I'm using the RE-201 on these examples
5:53 Underworld - Born Slippy, delay on everything
7:13 About this particular machine
7:49 Tangerine Dream - Love On a Real Train, delay on arpeggio

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Roland SH-01A Synthesizer User Review SH-101

The Roland SH-01A boutique synthesizer is a recreation of the coveted SH-101 monosynth. In this video I will be getting down to the bottom of some questions. What's the big deal with the SH-101? How does the SH-01A sound? Is it worth the money? Is this something I can recommend? Was this review helpful? Click the LIKE button. Join me on Twitter

0:00 Gesaffelstein 'Pursuit'
0:33 Intro
1:06 What's the big deal with the SH-101?
1:49 Orbital 'Halcyon' Bass
2:20 Royksopp 'Remind'
2:35 Design and Construction
3:27 Poly Mode - Desire 'Under Your Spell'
4:21 Features and Sound
6:38 Things you need to know about the Sequencer
7:21 A trick using External Clock for Shuffle
8:37 My only lament, as redeemed by the sequencer
9:28 Realtime Pattern Changes - Eurythmics 'Here Comes The Rain'
9:47 About Poly Mode
10:27 Poly Mode - G-storm 'Harp-y'
10:52 In Summary
11:43 Outro - 808 State 'Magical Dream'

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Auditioned the Roland SH-01A Synthesizer Today

I had a brief audition with the new Roland SH-01A boutique synthesizer today. It's a DSP simulation of one of the classics from the 80s: the original SH-101 analog monosynth. How does it sound? Is it worth the money? Did I buy one today? Patience young grasshoppa, all will be revealed.
While Roland's proprietary DSP has gotten the surname ACB it means nothing more than Analog Circuit Behavior. This has given Roland a string of hits lately including the TR-09, which many agree is a superb emulation of the coveted TR-909 drum machine. Sitting down with the SH-01A for the first time I brought some high expectations for the sound - having recently owned and then sold, a real SH-101. And I must say the sound does not disappoint. I really go for the filter on this one, so classic, so Roland. The SH-101 is one of my favorites with pulse width modulation and sub-octave added. The portamento sounds really nice with the sequencer sequencer. I had the LFO modulating the filter w/ the random waveform. Roland really has gotten so close to the sound of their counterparts. Honestly, I only used mono mode. For me, POLY mode on this one is a bit of a sacrilege. Is it worth the moeny? I should say so! A fully working SH-101 would cost $1000 and still may require periodic mainenance, so that makes this one a no-brainer. Especially since the sound is so darn close. Did I buy it today? Well, let me answer that with a statement. Make that two statements...
The first: the SH-01A does NOT have INPUTS for CV/Gate - it does have the OUTPUTS - but not the inputs. If you're looking for something that can play nice w/ my Eurorack like I am, you would need a CV/gate-to-MIDI converter. Probably something costly by Kenton costing over $300. That puts you in the ballpark of getting a real, perhaps disgraced, SH-101 unit needing work. And second: there is NO external input for the filter. There IS a mix input for chaining audio between multiple units, but NO filter INPUT. It would have been nice, but the original SH-101 didn't have one either. But that filter is so nice! Did I buy it anyway? While I was content to stroll out empty handed I still yearn for that sound. I do have a birthday coming up, perhaps it could still make it to the studio. IF not, next year I can get one used for cheap. We'll see. Oh, and not to forget Behringer did tease something interesting recently. -g PS - I went back the next day and got it. Perhaps a proper review is coming on?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Eurorack + Juno-1 + MS-20 "Harp-y"

Downtempo Lo-Fi track I threw together today. Juno-1 'Harp-y' patch, MS-20 bass, Eurorack for all else.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Delta VCF Eurorack Filter Module Korg Clone Demo (Poly-61)

The Delta VCF is my faithful eurorack clone of the Korg Delta synthesizer filter. The lowpass filter circuit was also found in the Poly-61. In this video I demonstrate the features and sound of the filter by running various signals, control voltages, and sequencing through it.

Features: Illuminated Frequency and Resonance Slider pots. Mix together two different input oscillators at the input jacks w/ signal attenuation/gain pots. These inputs can overdrive the filter. Modulate the filter cutoff with two different input control voltages w/ signal attenuation pots. Two select-able filter slopes: original 4-pole, and 2-pole. Two select-able filter modes: lowpass or bandpass. The filter is all analog, using the same OTA chips and dual transistor design of the original Delta.

Listening w/ headphones or quality monitors is recommended. Watch your levels, some resonance and filter overdrive settings may cause discomfort or strain your monitors. This demo was recorded direct to Tascam DR-05 through a Mackie mixer. No effects, no EQ, just some normalization on video edit.

More details and availability can be found at Modular Grid.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mystery Module

I've got a very interesting eurorack module brewing, and it's not messing around. What could it be? Announcement coming very soon.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Jupiter-6 VCF Eurorack Filter In-Depth Demo Roland Clone

In this video I do a more in-depth demo with my Jupiter-6 VCF multi-mode filter clone eurorack module. It's a very colorful filter that gets more interesting with more complex signals you feed into it. It also has an aggressive nature that comes out when the inputs are overdriven.

Two different oscillators can then be mixed together. A sawtooth oscillator is used, a square/PWM wave is used. Different filter modes can be selected: 4-pole lowpass, 2-pole bandpass, 4-pole highpass. Also, two different control voltage modulations can be mixed together to change the frequency. I run a decay envelope from the Bastl Skis along with a triangle LFO, then I use Sample-and-hold. The oscillators are coming from my Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer Box. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05 from my Mackie mixer, no effects, no normalization. Beware some low and high frequencies, so watch your levels while listening to the demo.

More information about this module can be found at