The Transistor-80 is an analog percussion module I designed as a lo-fi incarnation of those transistor-based CR- DR- and TRs from the circa 1980 era. It is thump-y, hiss-y, and it has those click-y pops and bacon sizzle sounds. Sports 3 sounds: Bass Drum, Snare Drum, and Hats. Bass has a tone control that controls the amount of sub frequency (you may hear a slight boom if you're wearing headphones) the other two sounds have decay controls. It has individual volume knobs for each sound, and a single output jack for the mix. In this video I am feeding trigger gates from the Malekko Varigate 4, and recording output directly to Tascam DR-5.
If you're interested in hearing more check out a track on Soundcloud I made using the Transistor-80. https://soundcloud.com/gstormelectro/transistor-80
More modules will be built completely by hand in small numbers, including PCB and face plate. Further details and availability can be found on Modular Grid https://www.modulargrid.net/e/other-unknown-transistor-80.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Monday, July 10, 2017
The vintage Korg MS-20 monophonic synthesizer comes with a pulse width knob, but no way to patch a modulation to it. In this video I teardown the MS-20, and install a Pulse Width Modulation routing.
My PWM will come from the MG/T.Ext circuit that is already present on the synth. 90% of the time I want to use the MG, AKA the LFO, to modulate the Pulse Width. So all I will do is add a small pot and current limiting resistor for routing the MG/Total circuit to the Pulse Width.
What about the other 10% of the time I don't want MG going to PWM? Well the MG is only normalled to the Total/External jack. If something is patched into the Total jack, it will override the MG and be routed to the new PWM pot. It behaves exactly the same way as the MG/Total pots for Pitch/HPF/LPF. Pretty sweet.
At the end of the video I patch various things to modulate the Pulse Width. Stay safe, don't electrocute yourself, and be sure to unplug the synth at all times while doing work inside the unit.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
I've been developing a eurorack analog drum kit for some time. It's inspired by the sound of simple machines like the Boss DR-110 and the Roland TR-606. It's a basic kit made of of Bass Drum, Snare Drum, and Hi-Hat. The Hi-hat has a choke gate, so it can behave open/closed using a single voice just like a real drum kit. All 3 voices summed to a single output. It will have controls for independent voice levels, bass drum tone, snare decay and hat decay. I think you will want kill switches for all incoming gates as well. I am looking into how to integrate an accent trigger pulse as well.
In this video I audition some sounds using the Beatstep Pro as a clock, Varigate 4 for the gates, and nothing else. I didn't use a digital recorder this time, I'll save that for when the module is completed.
I added a quick soundcloud demo
Friday, June 30, 2017
In this video the Eurorack is patched for a noir future tech workout. Think Blade Runner meets Air Liquide meets Blue Room Project. Basimilus and Disting team up for filthy glitch beat detail under command of the Varigate 4. Then darkened up by the JP-6 VCF. Disting is loaded w/ TR-606 sounds, but mangled by pitch modulation. Bastl Little Nerd is spitting out gates in all directions. Pittsburgh Modular Synthbox simmers a nice PWM bass pad. Ere there be JV-2080 Mellotron Choir getting the chop-chop from Bastl Skis. Soaring leads and swells are the Juno-1, my Aurora Pad 1 patch. Timefactor Delay on the Juno-1. Mixed on a Mackie 802-VLZ3, recorded direct to Tascam DR-05.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Saturday, June 24, 2017
The Basimilus Iteritas Alter module by Noise Engineering just arrived. It's an aggressive percussion/voice module, and it's intense. I'm starting a row of percussion modules in my rack and felt this would start it off with a nice edge.
In this demo I turn out the BIA in a full frenzy of CVs and triggers from Varigate 4, S/H from Pittsburgh Modular Toolbox, a couple of Attack/Release envelopes. Getting some help from the 4MS Rotating Clock Divider. There's other tutorial vids out there, just wanted to show the module in the extreme going full throttle. Not for the squeamish or faint - you've been warned.
My assessment: this thing is SICK! and has a tendency to take over the whole mix if you allow. I will probably take things down a notch or two when making my patches - just so there will be room to bring in other elements. I love this thing, and it takes fun to a whole new extreme.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
In this video I jam the MS-20 going through the DBX 160A on kick, Juno-1 on synth sequence and eurorack modular for all else. That kick! I tweak the MS-20 release time for those massive booms and Env2 to LP amount for more crunch. I'm pretty happy w/ those hats too - hats were synthesized using DNA Symbiotic Waves and Deflector Shield Ring Mod. The cracking snare is coming from a Disting sample of the Linndrum clap, with the initial transient clipped off. Bass is a square wave from the Synth Box going through the JP-6 VCF module. Juno-1 uses the classic factory patch 1-1 PolySynth1, has some Timefactor delay. Beatstep Pro sequences the kick, bass + synth. Varigate 4 + sequential switch + Little Nerd gates other percussion. Mixed on a Mackie 802-VLZ recorded direct to Tascam DR-5.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
This Linndrum w/ JL Cooper MIDI is currently for sale on Reverb. In this video I do a quick run through of the sounds on this Linndrum. First a quick overview, then single drum sounds, then some fun drum pattern programming.
Monday, June 12, 2017
In this video I do some funky stuff. I sampled Linndrum sounds into the Disting MK3. Of course the drum triggers are all f*** up. But also feeding clouds w/ a Jazz Rhodes sound from the JV-2080. I noticed the sequenced bassline would track (transpose) whatever I was doing on the Jazz Rhodes. So I went a full on funky improv.
Friday, June 9, 2017
In this video I jam on the Eurorack, a bit of chill electro house.
Arpeggios: Mutable Instruments Rings to JP-6 Filter BP Mode + Timefactor delay
Drums: Roland TR-606 + small amount of Big Sky Room reverb
Bass: Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer Box
Sequencer: Arturia Beatstep Pro
Mixer: Mackie 802-VLZ3
Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Happy 606 Day #606day! In this video I synchronize the Roland TR-606 drum machine to an Arturia Beatstep Pro which controls an Alpha Juno-1. This simple setup is all you really need for electro music. Juno-1 plays a basic bass pattern. On-the-fly I make a few changes to pattern, drum mix, bass transposition, filter, envelope, and throw in some chords played by hand. A Timefactor delay module adds some groove. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05.
Monday, June 5, 2017
In this video I run a Roland TR-8 direct to the Clouds input and use it to add space, texture and rhythmic motion to an otherwise standard grade drumlooop. Third in a video series demonstrating various drum machines with the Mutable Instruments Clouds.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Second in the video series dedicated to granular re-synthesizing rhythm boxes with the Mutable Instruments Clouds. In this one the Linndrum gets the treatment. Be warned, these sounds go into bizarre uncomfortable noise territory.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
In this series I run various drum machines through the Clouds eurorack module by Mutable Instruments. There are many demos already that feature its immense washy reverb soundscapes. It turns out that Clouds has a rhythmic chaos side to it. OH YEAH I gotta get on that.
In this short 2 minute video I run the Korg Volca Beats directly into the Clouds. No other effects or eq are used. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05.
Follow me on twitter to keep up w/ all the behind-the-scenes electronic music and synthesizer action.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
In this video I'm having a go with Mutable Instruments Rings with the Roland TR-8. Rings is getting signal from Synth Box, V/Oct from Beatstep Pro and going through Timefactor Delay. DRUMS. Okay the TR-8 is getting Big Sky Reverb and gated by the Bastl Skis, rhythmic trigger by Bastl Little Nerd. I'm really liking these Bastl modules! No, really. Bass sounds a little funky. The DNA is feeding the JP-6 VCF but gets lost underneath the percussion. So, yeah there's no mastering or EQ here. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-5.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
In this video I demonstrate the Ibanez Bi-Mode Chorus with a Roland Alpha Juno-1 synthesizer. This is a vintage analog chorus from the 80s that uses Panasonic BBD Chips. It has only one chorus line like most pedals. However it is modulated by two LFOs w/ corresponding width (amount) knobs on each! How does it sound with a synthesizer? You be the judge.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
This is a quick follow up to the last Ensoniq EPS 16+ Sampler demo. In my previous EPS 16 Plus demo it was suggested I use a phaser to help give the sound some movement. After all it worked for Jean Michel Jarre on his Eminent. I'm in luck! I happen to have a Boss PH-2 Super Phaser. I also use my delay trick from my previous PH-2 demo to help widen the stereo image a bit.
Monday, May 22, 2017
In this video I am running various synthesizers through a Boss/Roland PH-2 Super Phaser Pedal. The PH-2 is an analog pedal made from the mid 80's to 2001. Since the PH-2 is monophonic I will be auditioning it in both mono, and with stereo widening provided by an Eventide Timefactor. Sounds range from Jean Michel Jarre to Polymoog Vox Humana as heard on Gary Numan 'Cars'.
0:57 Roland Alpha Juno-1 Mono
1:27 Roland AlphaJuno-1 Stereo
2:13 Korg MS-20 Mono
2:59 Korg MS-20 Stereo
3:25 ARP Solina String Ensemble Mono
4:17 ARP Solina String Ensemble Stereo
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
In this video I am showing what the DRE4MTR4CK sequencer module does best: dealing with fast incoming clock signals. With the DRE4MTR4CK I change octaves and patterns for each part, and rotate the track data.
Track 1: Synthesizer Box
Track 2: DNA Symbiotic Waves going to the JP-6 VCF
Track 3: Disting Osc going to Doepfer SEM filter
Tracks 1-3 going to Deflector Shield Phase Shifter and Big Sky
Clock randomization by 4MS RCD, getting its data rotated by Pittsburgh Toolbox S/H.
Track 4: Bass Pads by Juno-1 played off-camera (right hand), my own patch called Aurora Pad 2.
Monday, May 8, 2017
Today I am messing around with a vintage Ensoniq EPS 16 Plus sampler. These were made around 1990 (27 years ago!) and are an excellent crunchy sampler alternative to Akai S-900 and E-mu Emulator. For this video I sampled an ARP Solina String Ensemble. This is less of a tutorial and more of a comparison. Does the sampler do the Solina any justice? Check it out and see. Be sure to click 'LIKE' and thanks for watching.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
In this video I show what I did to resolve my power supply issues on the Oberheim Matrix-12 analog synthesizer. Symptoms were intermittent non-boot, locking up, and the dreaded Voice 1 Processor Malfunction message. Along the way I'll talk about how the power supply works and how it is different than many synths from the era prior to this. Even though the Oberheim Xpander is a little different than the Matrix-12, its power supply works exactly the same. This may not enable you to fix your Matrix-12/Xpander completely, nor answer ALL questions you may have...but hopefully it will be helpful information.
YOU ASSUME ALL RISK WHEN REPAIRING YOUR OWN ELECTRONIC INSTRUMENTS! There's no shame in asking a friend for help or taking it to a reputable synthesizer technician. BE SURE TO UNPLUG THE SYNTH PRIOR TO DOING THIS KIND OF WORK.
1:10 Getting Started
1:54 Dealing with an SMPS
3:16 Why did Oberheim use an SMPS?
3:40 Why I'm NOT going to troubleshoot this power supply
4:38 Power Supply Restoration and Results
Here are the Mouser parts numbers:
Power Entry Module - 871-B84771A0001A000
2W Shunt Resistors 0.1ohm - 667-ERX-2SZGR10V
sorry I don't have capacitor numbers, I did that work 2 years ago
Monday, April 24, 2017
The Oberheim Matrix-12 was cooperating today, so I thought I better make a video before something happens again. Using some reverb and delay, recorded direct and no audio post processing.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Rolling out some new patches for the Juno-1/2 available on my download post for this blog. A full bank of patches including the sounds from Demo #1. In this video I have selected a few of my personal favorites: bass, arpeggios, and soundscapes/pads. There are copious amounts of Big Sky reverb, a couple of sounds use the Timefactor delay. Basses don't usually need anything. Sounds were programmed using the indispensable Stereoping synth controller, also used briefly in this demo. Recorded direct through a Mackie 802-VLZ mixer to a Tascam DR-05.
0:00 Cloud Bank
0:56 Aurora Pad 2
1:14 Bass Arp 01
2:14 Mod Bass
2:25 Juno Crush
2:37 Alpha Synth
2:51 Micro Fab
3:24 Bass Pedalr
3:35 Mono Bass
4:10 Synth Mutes
4:25 Fake Wurli
6:07 Psycho Sweep
6:32 Pure Space
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Designing a module such as this has its challenges. Things happen when you are designing a module on your own, and building it with your own two hands. Just last week I thought the project was dead in the water. But I persevered once more. I have risked everything, all my cards are on the table. The DRE4MTR4CK has been my labor of love for over 2 months in the making. With hard work, persistence, and steady dedication the DRE4MTR4CK is now a reality. An organic melody progression sequencer, with polyrhythmic capability.
Performance using evolving chord changes with my custom DRE4MTR4CK Euro module. It has 4 independent tracks of polyphonic pitch control:
Track 1: Pittsburgh Synth Box, internal filter
Track 2: DNA Symbiotic Waves, JP-6 Filter clone
Track 3: Disting MK3, Doepfer SEM filter
Track 4: Rings, no filter.
Clocking direct to envelopes, triggering pitch changes manually. Track 1 pitch CV is going through a PM Toolbox slew limiter. Mix is going to Timefactor delay. Recorded direct through a Mackie 802 to a Tascam DR-05.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
The DRE4MTR4CK is a simple and intuitive Pitch CV sequencer. It has 4 steps, and it has 4 Individual tracks. Each track has its own clock input, clock output, and Pitch CV output. In this way, it can behave like 4 completely independent sequencers.
In this video I show how to use the DRE4MTR4CK in more detail.
1:23 Installation Options
Correction: the graphics say -5v when it should say +5v (positive 5v).
3:06 Boot-Up Defaults
3:32 Connections and Operations
DRE4MTR4CK is a custom module built by hand. Full specs available on my previous post.
Monday, March 20, 2017
The DRE4MTR4CK is my custom Eurorack module that has been two months in development. DRE4MTR4CK is a simple and intuitive Polyrhythmic Organic Melody Progression Sequencer in a mere 12HP.
It has 4 independent, externally clocked tracks with 4 steps each. Each track sends pitch CV to one of your VCO modules. With external clocking, you decide if timing is slow and dreamy, bouncy and up-tempo, or all out fury going into audio rates.
Unused clock inputs are multiples from input 1. Clocking can be interrupted for a track by inserting a floating patchcord. Manually trigger a track step using the TRIG buttons. Intuitively build evolving chords or poly-rhythmic note progressions.
Simple pattern modes and Octave transpose for each track provide seemingly endless note progression. Mix things up with Step reset and track data Rotate to re-circulate CVs among your VCOs. 16 memories are provided for program note data storage. Recall of programs during performance provides changes in melodic or chord structures on-the-fly.
***** SPECS ******
4-steps per track
Chromatic Scale Note Quantization
4x4 LED Matrix
EACH TRACK has
- 1 external clock input.
- 1 duplicated, unbuffered clock out signal for clocking other devices
- Independent Pattern selection: Forward/Reverse/Forward-Reverse/ZIGZAG
- pitch CV output 1v/oct over 5v range
- Octave Transpose +/- 2 octaves selection
- Store/Recall 16 non-volitile memories in EEPROM
- Note programming on a per-step basis
Clocking Behaviour Options
- Unused clock inputs are duplicated from input #1
- Interrupt clocking by inserting a floating patchcord
- Manual trigger sent to clock out using the TRIG buttons
- 1 Data Pot
- 12 Momentary Buttons
- 16 LEDs
Memory and Processing
- 16 non-volatile memories in EEPROM for note data
- Processing Speed: 20MHz
INPUT 1/8" MINIJACKS
- 4 clock inputs
- 1 control input for RESET
- 1 control input for ROTATE
OUTPUT 1/8" MINIJACKS
- 4 unbuffered clock outputs (multed from inputs) + manual trigger
- 4 buffered 1V/oct pitch CV outputs, each 0-5v
Internal Clocking: none
External Clocking: 4 inputs
SIZE: 12 HP (60.60mm) Eurorack format, 3U high
Accepts standard keyed 2x8 (16-pin) eurorack ribbon cable (included)
- Option #1. (default) uses 5v input from your system power supply (if provided)
- Option #2. Draws power from +12v line. Requires Maxim Integrated
700-REF02CP 5v regulator (sold separately)
MEASURED CURRENT DRAW
Option #1 (default): 5v from Euro Power
+12v @ 3 mA
-12v @ 3 mA
+5v @ 103 mA Peak, 5 mA typical
Option #2: 5v from REF02 chip
+12v @ 64 mA Peak, 8 mA typical
-12v @ 3 mA
The DRE4MTR4CK module has no affiliation with any persons with similar name.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
This track is called Day DRE4M In Electric Space, video is a teaser of a Eurorack module that I designed. The module is in the top row obscured by other things, where a bundle of patch cords are going. I am using a Timefactor delay also in this one. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-05.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
For the past two months I have been designing something mysterious and interesting. In this somewhat misleading teaser video I am tweaking its extreme aspects, a series of acid tests meant to discover its limits. The design intent is quite different from what you see here. It will still do these things if that's the sort of things you are into. I hope to have more to show very soon. Stay tuned.
Monday, February 27, 2017
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Just kick back and enjoy these wicked analog multi-mode filter sounds. Lots of little sweet spots on this filter, if you skip around you might miss something really good. It definitely has that Roland sound.
Today I am demonstrating the Jupiter-6 filter clone I just finished building. See demo #1 for all the details. Basically the circuits and chips are the same as demo 1 breadboard test, just now they are stuffed into a 10HP eurorack module w/ some illuminated sliders.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
This video demos a Roland Jupiter-6 synthesizer clone filter VCF. This breadboard build took two days, and for me is the largest one I've built yet. Does this circuit sound as good as the original? You be the judge. Anyway, I really wanted to hear what it sounded like before deciding about building my own module.
I came across schematics for the Roland Jupiter-6 at amsynths.co.uk. They actually sell completed modules and PCBs, however they seem to be perpetually out of stock. This will be a nice companion multi-mode filter to go next to my SEM module. IMHO the SEM sounds buttery and creamy, and the Jupiter-6 is a complete savage with outrageous low end.
The details: The sound source is the Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer Box. I like to use a pulse wave w/ variable pulse controlled by LFO. The Synth Box filter is wide open, its envelope is passed to the JP-6 CV input #1. I don't have switches hooked up to the filter modes, so I'm pulling/resetting jumpers on the breadboard to achieve that. In this video I also crank the VCO to overdrive the pre-filter INPUT on the filter clone. I don't think you can do this on the original Jupiter-6, but you CAN push the post-filter VCA level into distortion much of the time.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
I've been down w/ hay fever, but inspiration struck in the 11th hour last night. Right after I tweeted about not feeling the groove. Haha. This downtempo track starts with the ideas from my last demo about sequential switches. I build on that patch idea by adding TR-8 beats, and a Sampleslicer loop fed by a phrase played on the Juno-1. Using a little bit of Big Sky reverb and Timefactor delay. This track is doing everything live in one go, so there will be happy accidents along the way. Sequencing on the Arturia Beatstep Pro, and also for triggering different loop start points on the Sampleslicer. Influences by Underworld, Royksopp, and ???
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
I spent this past week building a Sequential Switch module for my Eurorack. In this video I talk about what a Sequential Switch can do, and then I demo a patch I made. If you haven't seen it already check out Mylarmelodies excellent demo using a Sequential Switch to change up melody progressions on the fly at https://youtu.be/QbxaWluHXEU
After watching his video I KNEW the Sequential Switch was damn cool and I HAD to build one for myself. It works by taking each input trigger pulse, and sequentially advances one of 4 signals to be routed to a bi-lateral destination. Mine is a clone, functionally anyways, of the Doepfer A-151. Although I found the schematics elsewhere. I generated a circuit board layout in Osmond Cocoa, made a prototype PCB and populated it for my own learning experience. It turns out the a Sequential Switch can do more than pass control voltages around, it can deal with audio signals as well.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Audio track Bright Sky At Midnight c.2017 by G-Storm Electro
This track was inspired by a strange dream. The subconscious was aware it was late night, yet there was the persistence of daylight. To resolve this, many unusual things were born. City light noise, meteor showers, lightning, and aerobatic displays by fleets of UFOs. The air was electric. Afraid and mesmerized at the same time, I didn't want to wake up.
Other Percussion DNA Symbiotic Waves
Arpeggios Pittsburgh Synth Box
Sequencing Beatstep Pro
FX RE-20, Big Sky, Timefactor
DAW Cubase SX3