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Hey, musicians!


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you know, like the guitar thread, but for people who play other stuff.

Portland has this cool synthesizer "library" that I've been taking advantage of this year. first I got a Moog Mother-32. decently cool, and the first Moog I'd gotten my hands on. my next checkout was a Novation Bass Station II, and I'm gonna have to buy one of those. just waiting for the local synth shop to have one of their 10%-off sales so I can get it for under $400.

and right now, I have a Moog subharmonicon. kind of a squirrely little sucker, but I'm getting the hang of it. I think some people call it the "happy accident" synth, and I have to agree, since I mostly make it sound like crap until I get the sequencers' rhythm knobs lined up just right and it starts playing the greatest thing ever. last night I had just such an experience, and then I decided around midnight that it needed a beat, so I just had to dig out my drum machine. I was screwing around with all that till like 5 or 5:30 AM, and I was so jacked up by it that I didn't fall asleep till probably almost 8. ugh.

signal-2022-02-20-142920.thumb.jpeg.880b5c5025c5708edf7b26f01dc9d0cf.jpeg

 

what other sorts of music makers do we have around here?

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I know a shitload of people who used to play guitar in bands around Detroit that turned to synths and stuff over the last dozen or so years.  

I personally don't think I've given synths enough time.    I love how they sound (sometimes) and I used to own a Micro Korg a few years ago.... I messed around with it for like 3 hours and was it didn't click so I gave up.    Stupid lack of persistence from an instrument player.   I know it will take longer than that! 

I'm just not much of a knob turner, I don't like tweaking knobs on pedals and amps in guitar either, so it's probably just me.  

One thing I've wondered.... and maybe it's not really an issue.   Let's say you got something super sweet going.   It rocks the shit out of those 7506s.  Is it easy to reproduce it "exactly" a couple days later when you're looking at turning nobs at such fine frequencies and shit?  (I put exactly in quotes as I realize I don't reproduce my guitar parts exactly every time).

 

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10 hours ago, pfife said:

I'm just not much of a knob turner, I don't like tweaking knobs on pedals and amps in guitar either, so it's probably just me.

I don't mess with knobs too much when I play guitar, but I looooove it with synths. not necessarily while I'm playing on a keyboard, but if I'm messing with a longer sequenced part, then yeah, totally.

10 hours ago, pfife said:

One thing I've wondered.... and maybe it's not really an issue.   Let's say you got something super sweet going.   It rocks the shit out of those 7506s.  Is it easy to reproduce it "exactly" a couple days later when you're looking at turning nobs at such fine frequencies and shit?  (I put exactly in quotes as I realize I don't reproduce my guitar parts exactly every time).

it depends on the synth. this Subharmonicon I'm messing with can quantize frequencies, and, well, I don't have a ton of hardware experience, but I think most polyphonic synths and stuff with keyboards and/or digital readouts can. the Mother-32 I had last month doesn't, so unless you have perfect pitch, you're breaking out your tuner.

as for tone parameters, that depends even more on the synth. something relatively simple like the Moogs I've borrowed doesn't have much, just a simple envelope or two and the standard cutoff and resonance knobs for the filter. can't even select low-pass/high-pass/band-pass/24dB/12dB on those (except HP/LP on the Mother-32). but a complex modular system... you better document your patches or you might not get them back. at least if you're a sub-amateur like me.

here's me twisting knobs while the Subharmonicon's sequencers do their things:

 

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  • 1 month later...

New toy.

636293635_PXL_20220324_0511432492.thumb.jpg.239f164cb096a978c4a73673b5bc0b91.jpg

Being a cheap bastard, I do a fair amount of software synth. When I got my first Raspberry Pi, I tried my usual setup on it, just to see if it would work, and it kind of did. Tried it again more recently and found it was terrible, huge lag between hitting a key on the keyboard and getting sound. Plus the on-board audio isn't great in general, just 11-bit, and I wanted some improvement.

So I got this HiFiBerry DAC/sound card with XLR outputs and a case to fit it all in, and it's pretty sweet. Went with the XLR outputs so that I could hook it to my multitrack recorder without having to screw with random cables and adapters and crap. And now I can do soft-synth stuff without needing my music station to be near my computer desk. Very important now that I've upgraded to a 24-track recorder.

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On 2/21/2022 at 7:18 PM, Crazy Cat Gentleman said:

 

I don't know how I missed that you had posted this.   It sounds super rad dude!   I love how you meld from one thing to the next.   

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2 hours ago, pfife said:

I don't know how I missed that you had posted this.   It sounds super rad dude!   I love how you meld from one thing to the next.   

thanks! I'm super-pleased with how it turned out, given the near-total lack of mixing ability I had when making it. glad someone else gets a kick out of it, too!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

oh, sweet!

just today, I got a second tier for my keyboard stand so I can keep the Bass Station II in a convenient spot:

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I also got my Raspberry Pi finished up recently. that's it behind the recorder, the grey box with notes cut out of the lid. the big keyboard hooks to that via MIDI, and the laptop is displaying synth software running on the Pi. (laptop is a Chromebook, so I can't install synth software on it.)

Edited by Crazy Cat Gentleman
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  • 4 weeks later...

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