Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Droid Razr 'Strong Blade' Commercial BASSLINE - by Venom

***I have no affiliation with the ad company nor Verizon*** I originally set out to re-create the cool tech-y bass sound from the Droid commercial

...but realized - I ALREADY HAD something very close! Just download my patches for the Venom and there's one called 'Deep Bass', and turn up the delay amount. That's it! I think they're playing a D-note in the commercial.
BASSLINE by Venom - Droid Razr Commercial "Strong Blade" by gstormelectro

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Callate Gate update

The Noise Gate soldering of the PCB is complete. In looking for the 500k pot for 'sensitivity' control, I was lead to believe the Radioshack 'Volume Pot' rated 500k would work even with a missing solder connector. Turns out not to be the case, there is no third solder lug nor conductor trace to be found - so be warned - it does not behave like a normal potentiometer (voltage divider fashion). To remedy this I went to the only kind of place in this one horse town that stocks a 500k pot: a guitar store. There I dropped $10 on a fancy Fender brand-name pot, my buyers remorse being offset by having solved the problem and moving forward once again. After my initial tests of the Noise Gate, it does not appear the 'Q3' MPF102 N Chanel RF Amp is working out. Audio is simply passing through without being gated, no matter what the settings. I have tried the Q3 transistor in both orientations, since a couple of builders on the builder's report log describe the transistor being shown in the incorrect orientation. Looks like this project is going on the shelf until my next order from Mouser.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Building a Callate Gate 2

It's well known the Hohner String Melody II has a pretty high noise floor. One of the most popular solutions is to run the synth through a decent noise gate. Noise gates are very simple: when there is no sound the gate closes and the noise goes away, when you play the synth the gate opens allowing the sound through. I've found plans to build a clone of an MXR Noise Gate at for a design called Callate Gate 2, this second version having mods for attack/release times plus an input attenuator. Today I rounded-up all the parts, etched a PCB, and drilled holes. I'll be soldering it together tonight and, with any luck, will have it boxed tomorrow. For anyone building this I would like to note Radioshack does not carry the "Q3" N Channel RF Amp 2N5485, but they DO carry an MPF102 with similar specs and same pinout. Let's see how it does.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Boss RE-20 Space Echo with a Venom Synthesizer

Firstly, this video is unveiling my new 10-second opening title. Pretty shnazzy, eh?

Anyway, it's a demo of my favorite effect pedal, the Boss/Roland RE-20 Space Echo. The RE-20 is a savagely beautiful emulation of the tape-delays from the 70's, and the typical sound has been used countless music acts from Pink Floyd, Portishead, and Radiohead. This video isn't a full review, just showing some quick sound flavors if you're thinking about routing a synthesizer through it.

Synthesizer: M-Audio Venom
Synth Patch: Europa_JP can be downloaded here
Mixer: Mackie 402-VLZ3
Audio recorder: Tascam DR-05

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some thoughts about the Akai Miniak Synthesizer

So yeah I traded my Microkorg for the Miniak synthesizer. Now that I've had a chance to mess with programming it a bit I just wanted to share some initial thoughts. Please don't think as this as a full review of the Miniak. There are many good reviews out there and I just wanted to supplement them with my own findings at this moment. I'll also compare the Miniak to the Microkorg and the Venom as well.


Miniak Filters
Having two filters per program, in addition to the pre- and post- mixer sections is the best thing about having Alesis/Micron DNA in your Miniak synthesizer: the Andromeda filters were setup in that exact kind of architecture! So the range of sounds that become possible don't only multiply, but increase exponentially. The filters are interestingly phat and flexible. The filters that are represented like oberheim 2-pole, moog, arp mostly sound very convincing and useable. The TB-303 filter not-so-much. To me the JP filter sounds more like JP-8000 than say a Jupiter-8, which is fine on a synth of this price range - not looking for miracles here.

Miniak sound quality.
Miniak does vintage synths sounds very well to a degree, like say the VCO digital/analog hybrid synths from the mid-80s. To me this makes it ideal for bass sounds. There is some great mojo about the Miniak that makes basses sound really full, thick and in-your-face. And to me that's a beautiful thing, and ideally suited to a synth that has only 37 keys just like the wonderful bass synths of yesteryear. It bears to mention the Venom can serve bass synth duties very well, but I have been maxing-out polyphony generating the other song parts so that a second synth became necessary. So, on the Miniak after auditioning presets and programming original sounds, it can either sound completely amazing OR can turn bad and cheesy on a dime. The trick seems to be a finesse game. The effects are not that great as the reverb gets these snap-crackle-pop artifacts going if you load the input to the effects section too much. But I've noticed some of the presets behaving this way. The compressor doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the Venom, either. So the way to go, it seems, is to do things in moderation: keep the wet/dry signal around 50/50 or below, keep the oscillator levels away from the 100% mark, and not to go overboard with the modulation amounts.

Programming the Miniak.
So the biggest drawback with the Miniak: the process of editing is a bit slow and tedious. Turns out its editor method is taken almost directly from the Roland Alpha Juno-1/2 whereby all the actions have to pass through a single data wheel. I've always felt it was widely understood this programming method was a shortcoming of the wonderful sounding Alpha-Juno synths, only to see history repeating itself once more unfortunately. It turns out there are some nice software MIDI editors available for price such as from But when you lump the costs of editors together with the initial price of the synth itself I think this defeats the cost effectiveness of the Miniak. If you're going to edit a hardware synth with a computer I would rather recommend something much greater sound-quality-wise such as the Venom for the money. Before getting Miniak I thought very seriously about getting a second Venom. All that said, I'll not be getting an editor and just endure the editor data-knob.

Some comparison to Microkorg
My main reason for trading the Microkorg for the Miniak is to get away from those miniature keys. The Miniak has rewarded me greatly for that decision having a sturdy full-size keybed. Sound-wise I think Korg has a better overall sound quality especially with their effects on the Microkorg. Both synths have the vocoder, but the mic for the Miniak seems to be a little more sturdy. MicroKorg has only two oscillators per voice whereas the Miniak has three. For bass synth duties I would have to defer to the Miniak, it really knows how to perfectly rumble the monitors in a sweetly desirable manner. As far as hardware editors go, I would rather have the mod matrix of Korg - and a big plus - Korg offers their excellent software patch editor for free on their website. It's been my hope that manufacturers would stop going to the data-dial mode of editing operations altogether.

So, the result.
I am thinking about the Miniak as a bass synth in my setup, a very capable and versatile bass synth is where it excels. I'll definitely be using Miniak that way in future live video performances. So, As long as you don't mind the editing method being slightly more laborious I can recommend the Miniak as a good alternative to Micorkorg.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


The small mini-keys on the Microkorg are a thorn in my side no more. Enter this little beastie.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thermion (live)

At last, here is my first live performance video featuring the track 'Thermion'.

- M-Audio Venom lead, pads
- Korg Microkorg bass
- E-mu ESI-32 samples, drums
- Roland MC-50 mk-I
Main FX Chain
- Kaoss Quad, Custom GSSL Compressor, BBE
- MXR Phase 100, Boss RE-20, RT-20
- Alesis Multimix-8

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Setup

The new setup is pretty close to done. I've replaced the EFX-500 with a Kaoss Quad for live looping and other realtime effects. The MC-50 has also taken the place of the MMT-8 sequencer. The MMT-8 was a breeze to use but had severely limited memory storage even with the midi data skimmed way back. I've also needed to bring in a MicroKorg to help with the synth tracks as the Venom can only do so much. Here are some updated pics. Live performances are soon to commence and post on youtube!
^ A look at the rack case: ESI-32 sampler (top), power strip, BBE, and a couple of custom built units - the GSSL mixbus compressor and JH Triple Chorus (bottom).
^ The Alesis Multimix-8 is working out really well with 2 effects sends/returns and 3-band eq.
^ Suitcase starting from top corner: RE-20, RT-20, Phase-100, Kaoss Quad, MC-50.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Update on what's going on around here. It has been quite inspiring to see many interesting YouTube videos of electronic musicians sharing their live music-making processes. So much so that now I am building a small live rig to generate some live videos of my own. In that endeavor it is my hope to fuel some exciting new creative processes. It is very much in the spirit of breaking away from my comfort zone to discover something unrealized, untapped creative potential. I know it's a vague notion but it has been my experience the process of discovery often leads to new and rewarding places and ideas. Some quick photos showing a glimpse of the live rig layout with my new rack and suitcase....


The suitcase was an interesting project that took about a week including shopping hardware parts. The 'box' structure is recycled wood taken from old kitchen cabinets I am currently re-facing. I had put to good use my experience re-covering Rhodes electric pianos for this black vinyl-covered beauty. It's built more like a pedalboard on the inside, with a slightly elevated "pegboard" platform where power cables raceway underneath out of the way of signal cables. The power strip resides in the back right corner pit where all the 'wall-wart' transformers seemed to collect ad infinitum.

Not pictured is the primary synth I'll be using, the new Venom. Also not shown, Korg Kaoss Pad Quad that has just been put on order and should get here next week, and it will be going in place of the computer keyboard (in photo). No computer pc or laptops will be part of this rig. Instead there will be a vintage sampler, sequencer, and plenty of effects. The general idea being a simplified slice from the studio with capability to easily re-patch various components, the ability to freestyle the outcome with every performance (remix on-the-fly), and introduce live DJ effects-style shenanigans.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oberheim Matrix-12 Demo

This is sound demo of the Oberheim Matrix-12 synthesizer. All but two of the patches are my original creation and hopefully shows some of the ridiculously flexible sound architecture that is possible with this board. I'm playing some riffs both of my own original music and from some of the bands that have influenced me. The last bit, Intro to Gunslinger, while it is short it DID take a couple of weeks practice to get it right and is backed by a Machinedrum.

A summary of song riffs played:
G-Storm - Miranda (By The Sea)
Radiohead - All I Need
Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence
G-Storm - Cerulean Deraileur
Jimmy Van M ft. Terra Deva - bassline from Love Like Sleep
G-Storm - Spaced Out Beauty
New Order - Blue Monday
G-Storm - Aerial
808 State - breakdown from In Yer Face
Garbage - You Look So Fine
Sasha - Mr Tiddles
Go West - intro to Call Me
G-Storm - untitled track
G-Storm - Expectations (a really old unrecorded track of mine)
Spaced Out Beauty
M83 - You Appearing
Immersion Domain - 1000 Images (I used the same Limuidz factory patch on the Xpander for that track)
Van Halen - I'll Wait (Eddie used an OB-Xa, I believe)
G-Storm - Descendant
Vangelis - Blade Runner (Opening Titles)
G-Storm - Gunslinger
G-Storm - intro to Gunslinger

Recorded via Alesis Multimix-8 and into Macbook w/ only occasional additional effects from the Multimix added for select sounds.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

NEW TRACK - Spaced Out Beauty

I've always been fascinated by vintage analogue choir sounds. You know, the ethereal stuff sprinkled in the background soundtrack of sci-fi films like Blade Runner. I've especially been interested in doing a track where the analogue choirs are right up in your face. 'Spaced Out Beauty' is such a track, and it is extra-special since I also created the free VSP-330 plugin that is making those analogue choir sounds. As an extra treat I have dropped the track behind some recently unearthed interesting film footage of a squirrel fighting yellow perimeter tape used in construction. Makes for some fine film making I must say, enjoy. -g

Monday, June 27, 2011

Synth Demo Delta

Here is a re-post of an old demo of a synth that unfortunately I no longer own the Delta.
The DW-8000 sounds great but it is a heavy space-monger in the studio. A lot of folks opt for the rackmount version: the EX-8000.
The Delta has the flexibility of having both a synth and stringer all-in-one, even if the synth osc is a simple square. Albeit the string sound is a little cheesy organ sounding, too. The warm multi-mode filter and joystick help make this one a favorite of synth fans.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Ahhh, here it is - the brand new track 'Star Killers'. The first track following quite a hiatus. Spacy psychedelia meets modern sonic textures.

DEATH BY VENOM: Avid/M-Audio Synth Demo III

Another quick-n-dirty youtube demo showing the sonic versatility of M-Audio's new synth, the Venom. All patches are my original creation.

All original patches in this vid are by me:
Atlas Sound - Sonics inspired by the band w/ the same name. RE: Quick Canal
Sinister FM - Evil FM bass sound
Whirrrrr - FX sound, like a computer fan
OBStringz - Gritty Obie String Sound
OBLimuidz - Recreation of probably my favorite factory patch from the Oberheim Matrix Synths
Gunslinger - Recreation of a Memorymoog lead patch I made for my track 'Gunslinger'
Organ Drive - Distort-y Organ going through a guitar amp
Wavepunkd - Steampunk sound from the Korg Wavestation or PPG Wave
MS-TRON - MS-20 lead used a lot on Ladytron's stuff
USA Muscle - Classic Minimoog lead sound
JunoBass01 - Classic Roland Bass
Vintage Vibe - Nostalgic 70's keys
LatelyBass - Yamaha DX-series (DX7, TX81Z, etc) bass heard on countless recordings
System 100 - Nice chunky Roland sequence bass
Comeback - Super-chunky Oberheim Matrix bass like on my track "Miranda By The Sea'
Short&Long - Minimoog bass w/ fast attack and swell RE: FSOL 'Calcium'
DeepFM - Entrancing progressive house harmonics
Poly6Bass - Korg Polysix unison bass.
MingLovesU - A cross between Ming the Merciless theme and Prince's 'Lets Go Crazy' organ sound.

Recorded straight into Macbook w/ no additional effects - ALL VENOM.

Download the single patches Venom Patches on this post (link updated) The zip file contains all the previous patches I created before, and all the new patches I made to date.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quick update

May has been so unkind. Thankfully still here after 5 tornado warnings went off last week. Also, my Oberheim has developed some issues and requires service. This probably means no new music this month since it was to get heavy use on the forthcoming tracks. On the bright side I have some new Venom patches and video cued-up for posting soon. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo, New Tracks

All the more reason to celebrate. I'm happy to announce two unreleased recordings have been completed since the last posting.

- Starkiller -
The results are 'stellar'. :) The idea for this track came out of my Venom synth demo which can be heard at 1:38 in this video.

- Spaced Out Beauty -
A serendipitous track based heavily on an ethereal, haunting VSP-330 choir synth demo I made called Solemn Beauty I had generated back in February. Be sure to read my other postings about the VSP-330 project.

These tracks should come available soon. I'm pushing myself to finish one track a month, but as always not rushing things and taking my time to make this album to my complete satisfaction. Just as long as it's not a whole year between tracks that's okay.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Back in the studio

It's great to be back in full swing in the studio this past two weeks recording new material (it's no April fools joke). The hiatus has been far too long - since November 2009. During that time I've been playing around with a lot of new song ideas and creating sounds. The first new track picks up where the first five tracks left off, without skipping a beat, and must say is sounding 'stellar'. With any luck my goal is to finish the new album this year.

Monday, March 21, 2011

M-Audio Venom: 48 patches for download

I have uploaded 19 original selected patches to These are patches featured in my youtube videos and soundcloud demos. Unfortunately the venomsynth site is still fresh and doesn't appear to have a way to navigate all the available patches yet. But their home page assures "As a brand new website there are bound to be a number of little gotchas in the design that are sure to cause mild annoyances, but rest assured we are not asleep at the switch"

The Vyzone feature on still doesn't have a way to navigate all of the available patches so I will make them available here as a zip file.
All Venom Patches: Download here
Thanks for checking out my free use patches and I'd definitely be interested in hearing any tracks that are using them.

Monday, March 7, 2011

M-Audio Venom Synth: No Antidote For The Sickness

This is a third impromptu sound demo showing more of my original patches from M-Audio's new synth, the Venom.
M-Audio Venom Demo 3 by gstormelectro
All original single patches in this audio demo are by me:
aXiOn+On - a synth hit that sounds like something I've heard in Orbital's Out There Somewhere.
***GHX*** - self explanatory.
5 Millenia - inspired by a distinctive sound heard in 5 Millenia Later from the 5th Element Soundtrack. Turns out that it makes a nice melodic patch.
Funky D X - Sounds exactly like a DX27 I used to own. Oh the memories!
Fizzy Pad - Sounds just like an Ensoniq Fizmo I used to own. More memories.
B3-8'-4' - By request I conjured a Hammond patch. The initial transient clicks supplied by the "09 Tom Hi" waveform assigned to oscillator 3.
Europa JP - My first attempt at a Jupiter-6 synth sound with a high pass filter. Sounds flat in the headphones since the real JP-6 was mono output, so in keeping with that I turned off the Venom FX so we can hear the oscillators and filters for what they are. First chords are played, then a nice arpeggio.
Space Port - Another crazy weird synth lead patch as the result of happy accidents. Amazing!

Recorded straight into Macbook w/ no additional effects - ALL VENOM.  See the first two Venom demos I made at

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Taste of Venom Demo M-Audio Avid

Recently picked up a new instrument, the M-Audio Venom synthesizer. Here is a rough demo of my first sounds I made this weekend. Fantastic piece of kit. I'll be using the sounds at 1:38 in a track to come for sure.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A First Time For Everything The Thirteenth Time

Hello and welcome to the information hub of my latest musical endeavor, G-Storm Electro.  Here you will be able to keep up with the happenings and track releases.  A few quick tidbits.  It has been thirteen months since my last track, and I'm going quite stir-crazy.  But I'm determined to overcome much adversity to make this musical journey to resume again.  Plagued with job losses and selling off most of my studio gear, a major studio computer crash claiming two hard-drives, and relocating the studio to a somewhat chaotic and cramped environment - it has been no easy thirteen months!  As of this moment the studio computer has been re-built, all apps re-loaded, much synth programming has taken place on what I do still own, and the studio is once again taking shape.  Whew!  I am here to finish the new and yet untitled album that I started so long ago and know deep down it will be worth my renewed efforts.  I am looking forward to a new year once again full of musical possibilities.