Thursday, December 15, 2016

Korg 770 Analog Monophonic 1970s Synthesizer


In this video I explain and demo the features of the Korg 770 Monophonic Synthesizer. This one is currently available on Reverb. The 770 inherits a lot of DNA from the Minikorg 700/700S models, and it's design is the predecessor to the MS-20 model.

The features are staggering for such a simple looking synthesizer:
- External Input for the filter
- Highpass and Lowpass filter w/ variable resonance (Bright)
- a kind of Pulse Width Modulation (Chorus)
- two forms of ring modulation
- Scale Noise, a noise source which tracks w/ keyboard pitch
- OSC1 vibrato w/ delayed onset
- Automatic pitch-bend, Goldfrapp anyone?
- LFO trigger mode for the Envelopes

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Update From the Music Studio


Haven't posted any recent studio pics, here's my revised music setup. Left to right: Korg MS-02 MK-I, Oberheim Matrix-12 (still out of commission, power supply), Roland TR-8, Eurorack, Beatstep Pro, Akai S900, Mackie 802-VLZ3, pair KRK Rockit 6SE, E-Mu 1616 audio interface, Roland Alpha Juno-1, Strymon Big Sky, Eventide TimeFactor, Roland VP-03. 19" desk rack: DBX 160A, 166A, Behringer patchbay, 2x Yamaha TX81Z, 2x power conditioners. There's a better resolution photo here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Arturia Beatstep Pro Sequencer Repair Project


Did you know I have interesting things listed on Reverb? Check it out now. In this video I attempt to repair my Arturia Beatstep Pro sequencer controller. It is having intermittent power problems, I want to replace the USB port w/ a different kind. My warranty ran out in September, so no wukkas. This is only my second project doing SMT (Surface Mount Technology) type work, and I find myself needing to revise my plans. Next time I will buy some solder paste and do it right, lesson learned. At the end of the video I test my work by doing a little Acid House w/ a Korg MS-20 synthesizer and a Roland TR-8 drum machine. If you like synth and electronic guts click the LIKE button.

You may have read my post on my previous repair. I'm not sure if it didn't hold, or there was a problem w/ the USB jack/cable. Whatever the case, it was only a temporary fix.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Alesis Andromeda Unleashes Enormous Pad Soundscapes Demo #4


Did you know I have some interesting things listed on Reverb? Check it out now. The Alesis Andromeda synthesizer unleashes huge pad soundscapes. These pads range from OMG to WTF, and cut a swath right through the mix. So hide your daughters and cherished pets. I was going to do a Matrix-12 demo but that synth bricked this past weekend. Hence the sarcasm and sad face :( These are not your factory sounds. Audio recorded direct to Tascam DR-05 through a Mackie mixer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Intro to Creative Mid-Side Audio Processing in Eurorack Modular


What is Mid-Side Processing? How can you use Mid-Side in your Eurorack musical endeavors? In this video I'll show you how. Using the Worng LRMSMSLR module I provide some interesting patch examples of Mid-Side in action.

HEADPHONES OR A SET OF QUALITY AUDIO MONITORS ARE REQUIRED to hear the full effect of Mid-Side processing of stereo audio. My sound source today is a Roland Alpha Juno-1 w/ the chorus turned on. Remember, if the chorus is turned off, the synth only provides a monaural signal which is no bueno for Mid-Side processing. The Roland VP-03 Boutique Vocoder also provides an interesting ensemble choir sound that is useful.

Audio was recorded direct to Tascam DR-05 through a Mackie Mixer. No other effects were added to the sound other than the modules explained in this demo.

Other modules used in this video:
- Pittsburgh Synthesizer Box, MIDI3 module (clock)
- Pittsburgh Mix Mult (attenuators), Toolbox (S&H), Outs
- 4MS Rotating Clock Divider RCD
- Doepfer A-106-5 SEM Filter

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sketches from a Roland Alpha Juno-1 Synthesizer Demo


My first analog synth was the Roland Alpha Juno-1. Many years ago we parted ways. Now another graces the studio, peas in a pod again. There's not much to say about this synth that hasn't already been said. In this demo the Juno-1 synthesizer is featured in 4 quick vignettes using a Ditto X2, occasionally a beatstep sequencer, and some reverb/delay effects recorded to a Tascam DR-05 recorder. All original synth patches were created with the help of my stereoping controller.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Synthesis Technology E560 Deflector Shield Demo Eurorack Module


Today I demonstrate the Synthesis Technology E560 Deflector Shield module. It is a digital effects module that has Frequency Shifting, Ring Modulation, and Phase Shifting. There's not as much talking in this one. I read the documentation and still don't fully understand everything that is going on. But it sounds absolutely wicked.

I show what effect all controls have on the sound. This demo uses a simple sawtooth from my Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer Box as the sound input. Each knob has its own dedicated CV input, as demonstrated by passing a triangle LFO also from the Synth Box to each CV input as an example.

There are a tonnage of little sweet spots. Paul Schreiber has done an amazing job on this one. This module stereo outputs were sent to my Mackie mixer and panned hard left/right, and recorded direct to a Tascam DR-05 w/ no other effects or production so the E560 can shine in all its glory.

Contents: 0:22 Frequency Shifter
5:04 Ring Modulation
6:23 Phase Shifter

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Roland VP-03 Vocoder Synthesizer User Review VP-330 Boutique


I usually demo synth products, but today I'm going to give my review of the Roland VP-03 Vocoder. I have some experience having owned an original VP-330 MK1 and studying its synthesizer process. It inspired me to author my own VST plugin version that emulated the VP-330 sound, only it did not have the Vocoder. So check out this review and see what I think about this interesting product.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

EHX Stereo Polyphase Pedal Demo w/ A Synthesizer #7


The Electro Harmonix Stereo Polyphase is not your usual Phaser pedal. It has a lot of controls that many others do not. It is designed to accept either guitar or keyboard line level inputs. It also has a VERY interesting expression pedal input that can be used as a Control Voltage input to directly control the phase shift frequency. So this way you can match the frequency sweep timing to your song tempo using a synthesizer clock! In this demo I use the ARP Solina String Ensemble synthesizer. This has a very familiar sound similar to running an Eminent 310 through a phaser like Jean Michel Jarre.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Modular Eurorack Demo ft. Audio Damage Proton Module



I can listen to music like this for days. It ends up on the minimalism side, perhaps some influences from Air Liquide and Steve Reich. In the previous demo I showed what the Audio Damage Proton sounded like on its own. Here I build some other sounds from my rack around the Proton: DNA Symbiotic Waves and Sampleslicer. The Proton gets stereo panned with the EMW VC Pan. A very short loop is droning on the Sampleslicer, there were some other nice loop points but changing those manually in realtime got out of synchronization. Next time I may try to use a CV to achieve that. Bass drone coming from the Synthesizer Box mix out jack, run through the SEM filter. Also using a Timefactor for delays. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05, no post production.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Arturia Beatstep Pro Sequencer USB Port Jack Easy DIY Repair

Any system is only as strong as its weakest link.

Enter the Arturia Beatstep Pro Sequencer, tons of user reviews boast solid construction seemingly built like a tank. On the first few uses I would be inclined to agree. However after about a dozen uses the USB port jack on mine has become intermittent. Symptoms include sudden power blackouts and reboots, even when not touching the USB cord. You don't have to play out live to a crowd to know, this is no bueno. I am careful and take care of my gear. I am especially careful with the USB port and its cord, however I run a bunch of other connections back there and the wires usually hang up with the USB cord. Why is this happening?

One condition could be contact fatigue. If you plug/remove the USB cord a lot, the little contacts could become worn away. You will frequently see this in older cell phones. But more likely as in my scenario, the lead-free solder on the USB ground pins disintegrated resulting in a faulty solder joint at the circuit board. It would be too easy to blame the RoHS standard for requiring lead-free solder, which is structurally deficient for such a use. But if I worked in a factory around solder all day long, lead-free is the way to be. What can be done about it?

If the item is still under warranty you could send it to the company and they can fix or repair the item. There may be a repair charge if the company deems the issue to be caused by negligence. And who's to say? Even if there is no charge, you could get your sequencer back and have the same thing happen again. I'm only mentioning all of this because if you choose to repair the USB port yourself, it WILL void your warranty. Also, if you're not careful and touch something electronically sensitive, you may accidentally damage something else. I'm not liable for anything you do, so be careful not to shock yourself. If you're not confident in doing these things, there's no shame in getting an electronics friend or service tech to help. You have been warned. Now let's fix this thing already.

1. Flip the sequencer over and remove all the black screws. Remove the metal back plate. This will expose the circuit board. Remove all the little screws holding the circuit board in place.

2. In this orientation, pull the circuit board away from you to dislodge the minijacks from the case. Then lift the edge closest to you up and away. If this isn't happening, check you have removed ALL the little screws, it may be easy to miss 1 or 2.

3. Flip the circuit board over and note the location of the USB jack near the power switch.

4. Using regular rosin core solder (I use 60/40 from Radio Shack), make new solder joints on the two GROUND pin locations at the locations shown by red arrows. Make sure the pins get soldered nicely to the circuit board contact pins here. I needed a magnifier to see the work area.

5. Put the circuit board back in and secure it to the case with the screws. This is the time to plug in and test it, making sure you DO NOT touch any of the electronic components inside while you do so. At this point you will be able to wiggle the USB cord lightly and make sure it does not blink the power. If so, you'll need to do it over. Or there may be something else going on. Hopefully this has been helpful, this is what I did to restore mine to working order. If everything is good, you can go ahead and put everything back together.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Audio Damage Proton ADM17 Eurorack Module Demo


Here it is, the new Proton Eurorack Module ADM17 from Audio Damage. There's already some good videos on what it is and how to use it. In this demo I get right to making noise, patching, and scratching the surface of this Karplus Strong synth voice and/or delay effects module. There is a wide range of sounds from fat basses, plucked banjo, delay feedback madness, and more.

Gate and sequences come from Arturia Beatstep. Some of the patching sources I use here: LFO and oscillator at slow rate, Sample/Hold, Glide. I also run the sound through a Doepfer SEM module, there's no rules here. Audio recorded direct to Tascam DR-05.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My Thoughts On the Roland VP-03 vs VP-330 Battle

Well, 909 Day has come and gone. We got a peek at some promising gear, but left wondering again when we can catch our first glimpses of these animals in the wild. YouTube user RetroSound has once again gotten first dibs on a new piece. It's the VP-03, the Boutique version of the rare and almost extinct VP-330 Vocoder with Human Voices and String Synthesizer. It's the one perhaps most notably used in the Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis. I was ecstatic about hearing this news of the VP-03, nobody wants the VP-03 to live up the hype more than me...it's like a dream come true. Take a look and listen...
Before I give my thoughts on this piece I should note two things. First I am a string synthesizer nerd, and used to use and own a real Roland VP-330 MK-I. I used it lovingly on a few tracks. The VP-330 is a special sound near and dear to my heart, however for financial reasons had to sell it to a lucky friend. Secondly, I have studied its voice and string synthesizer section intimately. I also studied the famed quad-BBD choir ensemble circuit and know exactly what makes it tick. I have used this information to author my own plug-in emulation VST, that uses NO samples BTW, called VSP-330. This VST has gotten many raves and high remarks, despite not reaching a wide audience and I didn't make a version for Mac. DOH! But that is not what we are doing today.

Today we are looking at the VP-03. How does it sound compared to the original? Can users go out and make a fortune selling their own real VP-330 now? If you liked what you heard, and are perfectly content with that - there's no need to read more. My opinion is unnecessary and you'll be perfectly happy.

The VP-03 has A LOT going for it. Out of this world...the Human Voice filters sound wonderful, the string filter - perfect, the quad-BBD Chorus Ensemble effect - perfect! Those of you that want this just for the vocoder will probably LOVE this thing, and may not care for the other features. The VP-03 sounds to me one of the better emulations out there, I applaud what Roland is trying to do but it could sound PERFECT if a couple of issues were addressed with a software update.

If you'll notice in the demo, the release time is cranked all the way up on the VP-03. But it just can't maintain a creamy and smooth note release like the real VP-330 can. The notes should hang, and linger a bit longer. Listen to them both again and you will hear this. Maybe it's because the envelope is re-triggering from zero. Or maybe the attack/release curves are not logarithmic like on the original. I'm not sure, but I know something is going on there.

At 3:49 you hear the grating buzz of non-phase-locked oscillators. "What is non-phase-locked oscillators???" you are probably wondering, and "that buzz, my God what is making that buzz?" The VP-330 is a direct descendant of organ technology. Synthesizers from the era were capable mostly of a single note polyphony. So Roland, among others, adopted the divide down organ voice technology to a synthesizer format. Heck, the ARP Solina String Ensemble IS the string circuitry ripped straight out of an Eminent organ. So the way the organ voice worked for some, use a single - Master Oscillator - to produce the waveform needed for the very top note in the organ. Another circuit, called the frequency divider, copies that note 11 times and divides it into the other 11 notes in the Top Octave. Subsequent circuitry then divides each note in that Top Octave for all the other octaves. This is why on these machines if an F# goes out, often all the other F# octave keys go dead at the same time.

Why am I telling you all of this? The whole point is, ALL notes in this circuit are directly derived IN PERFECT SYNCHRONIZATION from the master oscillator. C1 is exactly 1/2 the frequency of C2 and in PERFECT PHASE WITH IT. So what's the big deal if 6 days of the week the ear can't pick up on these things anyway. The ONE day of the week we CAN hear this problem amplified greatly is when we run it through a quad BBD Chorus Ensemble. Yes, the quad BBD Chorus Ensemble AMPLIFIES phase discrepancies between two notes played an octave apart. And it doesn't do it just now and then, it does it 99% of the time.

If Roland could just take care of those two things it would be a perfect unit. I am so serious. Just fix the release time thing and the phase problems and it would otherwise be as close to a perfect emulation as it could ever be. Just modeling the voicing for proper divide down organ behavior might actually save some of the CPU overhead, although it might take more man-hours to see the job through. I know firsthand, this is what I had to do for my own plug-in VST.

Oberheim Matrix-12 Programming Tips + Tricks [#2 Kick Drum]


Quick how-to video making an electronic kick drum on the Oberheim Matrix-12 Synthesizer. You can use any programmable synthesizer that has filter self-oscillation, usually but not limited to a 4-pole (24 db/oct) filter slope. A couple of the tricks I employ here may surprise you, and can be used on other kinds of synth sounds. Be sure to stay for the end of the video, where I fatten my kick drum sound through a vintage audio compressor.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Oberheim Matrix-12 Programming Tips + Tricks [FM]


FM Synthesis is not just for DX7 and Yamaha synths. The Oberheim Matrix-12 can do primitive FM as well, albeit a single carrier and modulator pair. Here are some tips and tricks for exploring the FM possibilities. Some of the ideas come from my Getting Started Programming FM video, so you may want to check that out too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Roland RE-20 Space Echo Audio Demo w/ Synthesizers #6


This is my follow-up video demo of the Roland Boss Space Echo RE-20 pedal. Previously I talked at length about what the functions do. This time I give more audio examples w/ various synthesizers, lead sounds, bass, arpeggios, and a drum machine. Included here are Roland System-1, TR-606, and XP-30. As well as an ARP Solina String Ensemble, and a Korg 770. Audio recorded direct from mixer into a Tascam DR-05 recorder, no other effects processing other than the RE-20.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ecstasy (Deep Desire Remix) [Dreamy Electronic Music]


Chill out to this dreamy electronic music remix. Textures from the Alesis Andromeda are layered with eurorack sounds, and a TR-8 providing 909 rhythms. Listening with an appropriate sound system or headphones is recommended. Video edited in Adobe Premiere Elements.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Korg MS-20 Mult-Track Demo #4


This is a Multi-Track demo with all sounds coming from the Korg MS-20 analog monophonic synthesizer. Going for some aggressive Acid House sounds today, putting up some of the patches of these sounds, and a tribute to some bands that have used MS-20 in studio or on stage.

The track is called No Refunds. It is inspired by the VCA noise controversy that apparently spawned a few synth returns in music stores. I shall not be refunding mine. :)

Friday, September 9, 2016

ROLAND VP-330 SOUND COMPARED TO ARP SOLINA + LOGAN STRING MELODY II

Presented for your viewing pleasure are three of the creamiest string synthesizer elite: Logan/Honer String Melody II, ARP/Eminent Solina SE-IV, and the VP-330 MKI. Behold these heavenly machines in a side-by-side sound comparison. With a special appearance by my hand built Jurgen Haible Triple Chorus ensemble module, auditioned with a dry Solina signal run through.

SWEET ROLAND SYNTHESIZER DEMOS - HAPPY 909 DAY

Happy 909 day. Here are a couple of playlists of my wonderful Roland synthesizers. Enjoy!
This is my SWEET ROLAND SYSTEM-1 PLAYLIST


THIS IS MY EPIC ROLAND SYNTHESIZER PLAYLIST.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

100TH SYNTHESIZER VIDEO UPLOAD SPECIAL


Today is my 100th video upload. So I thought I would take this opportunity to do something a little different and have some fun with it.
In this video I will have
- Commentary on my Top 5 Synthesizer Demos
- Bottom 5 Videos
- Interesting and Controversial User Comments
- Epic Sound Bytes
Along the way there are a couple of out-takes. If you watch the whole video you might find an Easter egg somewhere...hmmm. So strap yourself in, it will be a fun ride.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Visit the G-Storm Store on Reverb

Be sure to check out my listings at Reverb.com. It's an excellent place for musicians to get all kinds of gear.
Shop My Store on Reverb

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

KORG MS-20 Synthesizer Getting Started EASY Video Demo



So you've heard some cool MS-20 demos and you decide to pick one up. You get it home, take it out of the box, and then realize OMG what do I do now? My friend, this demo is for you, don't run away from your MS-20. I will show you how to EASILY get up to speed quickly WITHOUT taking away your whole weekend.

We will do it all. Using the LFO. Doing a Ladytron patch. A sample-and-hold patch. A weird random self-playing patch. And not forgetting to run a drum machine through the External Signal Generator.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

FM Synthesizer Programming Tips Tricks Video Yamaha TX81Z


This demo shows many cool, EASY, and fun tips and tricks for programming FM Synthesizers. I'm using a Yamaha TX81Z but these tips will work on ANY digital FM synthesizer or FM plugin instrument. I cover setting up a Blank Patch as a starting point. Then I show how to make Organ, Bass, Digital Pads and Choir sounds. Be sure to stay for the end of the video where I summarize the 5 Most Important Things to Edit on an FM Synthesizer.

If you're just getting started in programming you may want to check out my primer video first.

Also look into getting a Sysex controller or computer editor for editing sounds on your FM Synthesizer. This makes editing a lot faster. I'm using a Stereoping controller as shown in my other video.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Yamaha TX81Z FM Synthesizer Demo #3 Alpha Wave



This demo is a multi-track rendition using only the Yamaha TX81Z FM synthesizer as a sound source. All custom FM patches including drums, no factory presets. Some of the sounds are available on my blog, new ones will be available soon. Effects used: Big Sky, Timefactor, and RE-20 Space Echo.

EDIT: for some reason I can't reply to posts. For the question about loading tx81z sounds into other yamaha synths, patcharena.com posted "Each (tx81z) bank holds 32 voices...DX27, DX27S & DX100 users can load these but only the 1st 24 voices of a bank are accessible."

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dive Deep Into Synthesis the Easy Way with a Stereoping MIDI Controller Programmer Video Demo



This is a demo of the Stereoping Synthesizer MIDI Controller Programmer. This is the 81Z edition for editing the Yamaha TX-81Z rack synthesizer. However, these can be reprogrammed via MIDI sysex to work for other synthesizers like the JX-8P and Matrix-6. Refer the Stereoping website for supported synthesizers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hear My Story in My New 2 Minute YouTube Synthesizer Channel Trailer


Welcome to the G-Storm Electro Channel from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I got my first Casio whan I was 15, soon after it was all about the synthesizers. This is the story of how I got started posting synthesizer demos on YouTube. There have been some hard times, and some fun times. It's an experiment, and endeavor that is still moving forward. Let's see what happens next.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

G-Storm Electro Gets 1 Million Views on Youtube

Hope your week is going well. My channel has hit 1 Million views on YouTube. In the world of YouTube it's not really a big deal, but it's a big deal to me. Big thank you to everyone who has watched and subscribed! Currently there are 1541 subscribers. Also, I am finishing a very special video that has been in the works for some time. Now just seems like the right occasion. It should be posted very soon, from me to you. Stay tuned, you won't want to miss it.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Roland Jupiter-6 Synthesizer Demo #3 - Critical Mass



Analog multi-mode filter madness, soundscapes and big ol' Jupiter stabs are the order of the day. Lots of reverb and delays here. A TR-8 again provides minimal slo-jam electro beats.
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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Boss CE-1 Chorus Pedal Demo w/ A Synthesizer


The Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble is a vintage piece that can provide analog warmth for your synthesizer tone. In this demo the CE-1 is auditioned with a Roland System-1 bass, lead, and pads. Later I deploy my Korg MS-20 for bass and lead demonstration.
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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Roland JX-8P Demo #3 - Skywriter



This is the Roland JX-8P, possibly one of the most under-rated synthesizers. This time I have multi-tracked live takes with Big Sky and Timfactor effects-fueled production chock full of EQ, compression and a few dubious mastering techniques. The TR-8 drum machine is barely breaking a sweat, churning out a painfully simple beat. There are some factoids relating to the JX-8P along the way. What is this music? I call it a cheesy 80's dream pop rendition in 3/4 time with almost a two step feel. I know, I'm scratching my head too...I was very tempted to scrap this during recording. But it was too fun to see it through, too odd not to post, too catchy for me to easily dismiss.

Monday, July 4, 2016

15 Filter Types of the Oberheim Matrix-12/Xpander


In this demo I audition all 15 Matrix-12 filter modes, with various Resonance settings. At the end of the video I max out the resonance characteristics for each type. Which one is your favorite? Along the way you'll see some interesting factoids. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED - be careful with your audio level settings, the audio can go from very quiet to very loud resonant sound from out of nowhere.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Modular Mayhem On The Alesis Andromeda Synthesizer


The A6 is virtually a modular synthesizer. You can patch just about any modulation to any destination. This results in sounds that are completely out there. These patches unleash some of the deeper functions of the A6:
0:00 Binary Hell (Computer Glitch)
0:30 R2 On Drugs (Droid Malfunction)
0:56 Squeaker (Rhythmic Percussion)
1:14 Shimmery Clip (Glitch Lead)
1:47 Machine Language (Computer Glitch)
2:20 Snappy
2:32 Robot Attack (Sci-fi FX)
2:57 Multiples (???)
3:22 Super Pong (Pong Game on Steroids)
3:51 Kar Ride (Karplus Strong inspired delay feedback)
4:22 Perky Chippy (Percussive Glitch)

These patches are available as A6 Patch Set 02 available now on my download post.
The patches from the A6 Synthesizer Ecstasy demo are also in Patch Set 02.
I have added patch names/descriptions to my A6 Synthesizer Ecstasy demo post as well.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ultralight ft. Eurorack DNA Symbiotic Waves Worng LRMSMSLR TR-606



Modular piece featuring the Pittsburgh DNA Symbiotic Waves and the Worng LRMSMSLR mid/side modules. Listening on cell phones and laptops won't do, there's a lot of detailed stereo image stuff happening. So get out your headphones or listen on a decent monitor system.

There's all kinds of stuff going on. Mid is processed through the low pass gate from the Synthesiser Box. The Beatstep velocity is also modulating the VCA there. The Side is processed through the Doepfer SEM filter, controlled by my DIY Dual AR Envelope module. Toolbox sample-hold is controlling the EMW VC Pan and the DNA Balance CV.

The TR-606 is the master clock controlling the Beatstep Pro in slave mode. The 606 is going through a ProCo Rat and then to the Timefactor delay. Recorded direct through a Mackie mixer to a Tascam portable recorder. No other effects or mastering.

For more information on my DIY Dual AR Envelope project check out this post.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Eurorack Dual AR Envelope Project

This is my Eurorack Dual AR Envelope. It takes a trigger/gate in and outputs a simple AR contour. It's not the snappiest attack in the west, but it gets the job done. My objective was to take a simple, cost-effective circuit that could fit on a 6HP panel. I wanted to build the Nonlinearcircuits Triad design, which has three AR envelopes, but did not want to do any SMT soldering. So I opted to layout my own through-hole PCB. I like their circuit for the simplicity, and it uses only easy-to-source parts that I already had on hand. The link to my adaptation of their design is HERE. I have included front panel, hole locations, and the original schematics for reference. I substituted BC547 NPN transistors on mine and they work fine. I measured current consumption at 25mA on +12v, 23mA on -12v, 5v is not used. I am not affiliated with Nonlinearcircuits.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

G-Storm Electro - Aurora (Eurorack, System-1)



Putting my new Euro setup through some paces. Got an EMW VC Panner, 4MS Rotating Clock Divider, Doepfer SEM filter. I use the Sampleslicer at the beginning and end of the piece. Also appearing, a Roland System-1.

Mixed on a Mackie, some Timefactor delay added, recorded direct to a Tascam digital recorder. No computer, mastering, eq, or post work of any kind.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Synth Meet 2014 Grand Prairie, TX Found Footage



Discovered old footage of the 2014 Synth Meet or.... AKA under the spell of the Minikorg.

So yeah, I did not get much footage but only Brian and Seth's stuff. I missed filming Brandon and Zane's gear. I didn't even capture my own stuff. If memory serves I rocked a Drumulator, System-1, and brand-spanking new Sub-37....first time out of the box. It was an unboxing live haha.

Um, so what you see briefly is and ARP 2600, Brian's modular tower case, and about 85% fiddling the minikorg.

Ginko Synthese SampleSlicer 12-Bit Eurorack Sampler Demo



Demonstrating the Ginko Synthese SampleSlicer 12-Bit Eurorack Sampler. Yes 12-bit sampling, just like those old Akai S-900, S612 and MPC-60 samplers. I ordered it from Modular Addict and they shipped very quickly. This module required assembly and good soldering skills, and took me a couple of hours to build.

It uses an incoming clock to control sample recording and playback.

Recording: Control of sample length which controls how big or small the slices are. Input can be switched to audio or to record Control Voltages.

Playback: Realtime control of changes in sample length. Increasing length causes repeats, decreasing length chopped-off segments that run faster and can result in semi-granular type sounds. Also has realtime controls for pitch, start time, and length of the entire sample.

0:00 AUDIO sample of the DNA Symbiotic Waves Sequence. 1:00 CV sample of the DNA Symbiotic Waves Sequence. 1:34 AUDIO sample of DNA doing weird things 2:45 MIXING together the sample and modulating the original audio 3:57 AUDIO sample of acoustic guitar from iPod (signal boosted by mixer).

Great module for glitch. My iPod signal was pretty weak so it needed to be boosted by a mixer, it handled my other module signals like a champ. Also, maybe in future versions it could include reverse sampling.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Synth Spotting at 2016 Synthe Summer Grand Prairie, Texas



Special thanks to Brandon at Elegant Accents for hosting. Yamaha rep brought the new Montage, amazing sound quality BTW, and an array of Reface products. Social Entropy showcased the Engine sequencer with the CV output option controlling a TTSH. I brought the Korg 770 and my Pittsburgh setup with my newly acquired/built Ginko Sampleslicer which I will post a demo very soon. I had a lot of fun on the Prophet-6 and Seth's Minikorg 700. Did I see Giorgio?...hmmm.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

G-Storm Live Chillout: Ether



Chill out music. Been a while since I made anything live. Looping the S900 for pads, Ditto X2 on Korg 770 bass. DIN sync Roland TR-606. System-1 played/tweaked live receiving clocked arpeggiator with on-board delay/reverb. No further effects or processing. Be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/gstormelectro.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Korg 770 Synthesizer Troubleshooting Intermittent Pitch Problems



This is a concise, technical, and hopefully well-presented account of how to resolve an intermittent problem on a vintage synthesizer. I learned a lot, and hopefully others could as well. As with all electronics projects take the necessary precautions to prevent electrocution, injury and death.

This old Korg 770 synthesizer was having intermittent pitch problems.
Intermittent problems are the mother-of-all problems to resolve.
Like finding a needle in a haystack...
if your needle is made of glass...
and the haystack takes half a city block.

The keys to the game are four D's:
- Dumping vast amounts of time into the project
- Drawing a map (schematics, diagrams), and marking the places you have already explored.
- Discipline and persistence.
- Deploying the right tools: Voltmeter, Oscilloscope, Iron, and a good rework gun like the Hakko 808.

Other things not covered in this video I dealt with during this restoration were:
- Replaced 3 broken keys
- Re-aligned a bent keybed frame
- Replaced a broken pot and broken switch
- replaced DOZENS tiny pot metal screws that were stripping out.
- Installed a 3-prong AC Power Entry module
- Added an Earth Ground to the chassis

I would like to send special thanks to cykong.com for taking to time to provide graphically enhanced schematics available. Without this I may have not been able to resolve this extremely difficult situation.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Korg 770 vs Volca Bass - Synthesizer Filter Comparison


Quick comparison of the Volca Bass filter to the Korg 770 lowpass filter. Different settings for the peak are explored.

The Volca Bass takes its filter design from the diode ring filter of the 700/700S miniKorg synths of the 70's. The Korg 770 has the identical filter design except replaces matched diodes for a diode array. Do the filters sound the same? To me they sound darn close, but you be the judge.

However the oscillators themselves sound different to me. The Volca Bass has a lot more bottom end than the 770, listen with headphones or a nice set of powered monitors.

Friday, April 1, 2016

AKAI AX73 Analog Synthesizer Ad Infinitum


In this video I share some helpful tips and info on the Akai AX73.

All synthesizer audio comes from the AX73 using all original patches. No outboard effects were used, only a few instances of the built-in chorus. Rhythm provided by a Roland TR-8. Thanks for watching. Be sure to subscribe, like and comment.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Alesis Andromeda Analog Synthesizer Ecstasy



All synthesizer audio coming from the Andromeda comprising
over 30 original hella-programmed patches:
0:00 State Variable MW (SEM filter aggression w/ Mod Wheel Control)
0:04 Wet Alarm (FX)
0:12 Delirium Sphere (Modulated Pad)
0:16 The Honey Badger (Fat sweep)
0:20 Snap Dragon (Punchy Bass)
0:28 Future Airship (Sweepy FX)
0:36 Strange Bass (Aggressive Bass Seq)
0:52 XXXtasy (Heavily modulated Pad w/ Mod Wheel control), Bubble Bass (Punchy Bass)
1:08 Juno-106 Bass
1:24 Random Trigger (Synth Stab, random timing), Popcorn MW (glitchy noisy yet melodic ear candy), 80s Arcade (FX)
1:40 8-Stack Bass (Fat Unison Detuned Bass), Ring Screamer MW (Screaming Lead)
1:56 Gran Prix (Driving Bass Sequence), Watery Tart (Ephemeral Pad), Percussion Hall (FX w/ Reverb wash)
2:12 Negative Saw (Synth Arpeggiator)
2:28 Transient Bass (Punchy Bass Seq), Motion Control (Modulated Sequence)
2:24 Eurowrecked (Synth Sequence)
3:00 Tribalware (Aggressive Bass Stabs), Popcorn SuperGlider (Synth Portamento Glides)
3:16 The Red Bull (12db/oct SEM filter meyhem, named for red A6)
3:32 Dark Energy (Bass Sequence), Speed Junkie (Snappy Synth Sequence)
3:48 2x Speed Junkie
4:02 Self Destruct Reso (FX)
4:04 Ratchet AT (Ratchet Bass controlled by Aftertouch), TwoTimer (variation of XXXtasy patch)
4:28 Jawdropper (FX)

In this video the Andromeda deploys an onslaught of non-stop analog sensory bombardment.

No outboard effects were used, only a few instances of the built-in delays and reverb. All sequencing and arpeggios also from on-board. Rhythm provided by a Roland TR-8.

The rarer red panel version of the Andromeda A6 is featured.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Oberheim Matrix-12 Synthesizer Nebula


Happy Valentines Day. Here is my love letter to the Oberheim Matrix-12, my most favorite synthesizer. All audio comes from the Matrix-12 with TR-8 providing beats.

I had to use some lo-cut EQ recording a couple of tracks, hope you don't mind. Some use of the Big Sky and Timefactor.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Programming State Variable Filter Behavior on the Oberheim Matrix-12 and Xpander


This is NOT a step-by-step tutorial. This DOES show how I set up a couple of patches to get STATE VARIABLE filter behavior on FIXED filter synthesizers like the Oberheim Matrix-12 and Xpander. To be clear, I leave out all the programming steps where I save and rename the patches as you must.

This method works on most any programmable, multi-timbral, polysynth where different filter modes are configurable. The downside to this method is the overall polyphony will be cut in half. On the Xpander this means 3 voices. But hey, on the SEM it uses only one voice.

0:10 Intro, what is a State Variable Filter
0:55 How the State Variable filter works
1:22 My settings for two Single patches
1:58 My setings for the Multi patch
3:12 So you want to sweep the filter cutoff, too....don't you?

Some modern synthesizers allow you to do this within one patch, but they MUST have TWO configurable filters PER PATCH. Waldorf Blofeld, Novation Ultranova, Elektron Analog 4 and Analog Keys, Dave Smith Prophet-12, Access Virus and TI Snow, and more.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Waldorf Blofeld Synthesizer Archnemesis


All tracks generated using custom patches I made on the Blofeld with a TR-8 providing rhythm backing. I sent the choir sounds through a JH Triple Chorus module I built.

Big Sky and Timefactor effects used here and there. All tracks recorded direct to Cubase SX3 via E-mu 1616. NO additional eq, compressors, etc. were used.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Korg PolySix Mojo Machine



This is the Korg Polysix with the Kiwisix upgrade. This demo features both original patches and factory presets. The main advantage of the Polysix is the 3-BBD chip ensemble effect, which shares the likes of ARP Solina and many others.

Another really cool feature is the external filter control input. No, it cannot filter external sounds. But it can take voltages from external devices like a sequencer and use that to step-modulate the filter.

The Polysix is also good at arpeggios and bass. What's better than bass?...more bass!...you can stack all six voices in unison mode for insane bass action.

There is a trick you can do to achieve filter high-resonance self-oscillation, and nothing else. To defeat the main oscillators, set the OSC to Pulse Width and set the Width to maximum. Make sure the sub osc is also turned off.

0:00 Choir sound, filter self-oscillation FX
0:28 to 2:24 Filter is being modulated, via the external filter control jack, by a control voltage coming from the Beatstep Pro
2:24 to 3:22 String Ensemble

ALL synthesizer sounds originate from the Polysix. A Volca Beats provided rhythm backing, Big Sky and Timefactor for effects. All tracks were recorded direct to Cubase SX3 via E-mu 1616. NO additional production, eq, compressors, mastering, etc. was used.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Maestro Phase Shifter PS-1B demo w/ a Synthesizer


Demo of the Maestro PS-1B Phase Shifter. This is the rarer version with the Variable Speed knob. The knob does exactly what the switches do, with the ability to set the speed anywhere in between. The knob only works when the slow phase switch is set. As the switches OR knob settings are changed you will notice a smooth and gradual transition in speed.

The synthesizer is the Korg reissue ARP Odyssey. If you're interested in the patches hopefully the footage shows the patch settings to some degree. I added a small amount of delay for stereo widening. During one section I use the Moroder delay trick to change simple 8th notes to stereo-panned 16-th notes, and then apply the phaser. I was recording levels pretty hot, sorry there is some clipping in parts of the audio.