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Desc:Extremely catchy use of custom autoaccompaniment with a modular synthesizer
Category:Science & Technology, Arts
Tags:Synthesizer, earworm, beep boop, auto accompaniment, Better Grandpas
Submitted:Old_Zircon
Date:06/08/16
Views:341
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Comment count is 21
StanleyPain
Hah, it took me almost the entire song to realise the GIGANTIC sequencer was actually a video insert of the control panel. I legitimately thought he had maybe made some custom, wall-sized sequencer.
Old_Zircon
Same here.

Scrimmjob
I am interested in finding an analog sequencer that has a save/recall feature. I have a pretty nice, although simple 16 step sequencer. Every time I come up with something cool I'm weary to change it because I'm doubtful I'll be able to recreate the old sequence. It seems like the way to do this is probably using some kind of software, but I'm trying to avoid that at the moment.
badideasinaction
Are you looking for pure analog value storage? If you've fallen down the Eurorack hole there was Make Noise Analog Memory to store values in another module (Pressure Points) they had, but that's discontinued. Most store scale quantized values like the Renee which isn't quite as analog as you might like.

Best overall bang for buck sequencer is the Beatstep pro, though I'm sure that stores it quantized as well. Good utility piece of gear, though; finally picked one up recently.

Scrimmjob
I'm just beginning down the eurorack rabbit hole. I built a Doepfer DIY kit into an old anvil briefcase I had lying around. I have bought a few modules, and have been running them through the filter of the Doepfer DIY kit for now, which has been working pretty well so far. That Arturio beatstep pro looks pretty cool, and affordable.

Old_Zircon
scrimm, if you know anyone with electronix experience, the Midibox Seq V4 is a big undertaking but there's nothing else like it on the market, DIY or commercial. IF you don't need a fancy alumnum panel and OLED screens you can make one with around 0 in parts, including trigger and CV outputs on top of the 64 channels of MIDI i/o. I'm not done with mine.


In this video, the sequencing is actually done with the autoaccompaniment section of the Korg i30 driving the modular and additional sequencers via MIDI to CV,as far as I can tell.


I think your best bet unless you want to get into expensive Eurorack turf is to get a MIDI sequencer and a MIDI to CV converter (althougha MBSeq would cost less).

On paper the Arturia Beatstep Pro does exactly what you want but I have one and it's kind of buggy, although still perfectly useable, it just occasionally drops note-off messages over DIN midi and has some thing where when you first press play the first analog trigger pulse is way below the normal voltage and doesn't trigger most things correctly. After the first one it's totally fine until you stop it and start it again, and it has done that with every version of the firmware. Still a lot of fun though, and mechanically really solid for the money. That said, I'd sell it to you for 5 if you want to hit me up on the Google group. It's hardly used. and complete including unused registration card. I'd even throw in this custom made (by me) aluminum rack that can hold it and a couple of small tabletop synths:

http://imgur.com/X72fy6c

I didn't put in any effort toward making it look good but it's really overbuilt and will last forever.


Offer is open to anyone else, if Scrimm doesn't want it. Like I said it's good as new and lots of fun but I'm building a MBSeq slowly and when it's done it will do everything the BSP does and more, with the same footprint. Plus lately I've jsut been using a Roland RS09 string synth running through a weird, forgotten Roland EF303 DJ effects thing into a looper so I can fit everything into two cases and start playing synth shows without having to buy a car I can't afford just to move gear.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/poetv-monday-night-mov ies

Old_Zircon
Literally the only thing about it that isn't in absolutely mint condition is that it got a couple of grey smudges on it from the raw aluminum when I was mounting it in that rack. It still has the little plastic sticker over the screen and everything.

Old_Zircon
You will be funding me getting a new pinch roller for my reel to reel so I can use it again.

Scrimmjob
I will hit you up for that on the group OZ. I do have a friend who has built one of those midibox systems, he is more into building stuff than he is using it though, and doesn't really do much with it, regardless he is not willing to part with it, and I wouldn't either with the amount of work he's put into it.

Old_Zircon
I totally understand and struggle with that myself, Scrimm.

Old_Zircon
This was sequenced entirely on it (except for the bass line that was playing on an x0xb0x slaved to the BSP) in a single pass, recorded straight to stereo:

http://tinyurl.com/hqaazg2

Old_Zircon
Salient point beant that the monosynth lead that's dominant in the second half was all Beatstep Pro sequences controlling the synth via control voltage, you can't really get those kind of slides as well with MIDI.

It's really fast to work with, I mostly just felt too constrained by the limited track count after years of sequencing on the MPC2000xl.

Oh, one thing to be aware of that a lot of other people have had trouble with too is that if you use the ground isolating dongle thingy on the USB jack to get rid of ground loops when you're plugging it in to a computer, the software editor won't recognize it, but USB midi still works fine. It's not a problem with all setups but I have had ground loop hum get in to the audio path from the CV outputs if it's plugged in to a computer via USB from time to time (because the grounding in virtually all computers makes no attempt to isolate the ground on the USB jacks or anything, because why would they need to in 99.9% of cases?) and that dongle eliminates it, but if you need to edit presets or update the firmware or something you'll want to take it out. Just want you to know to eliminate a lot of frustration down the road, it took a while to figure out what the trouble was when it first happened. I almost never need the editor though, just for setup stuff, backing up your sequences and updating firmware, so it's not even a hassle.

Old_Zircon
Plus even with the dongle you can still do all of the controller assignment type stuff, it usually only affects downloading data from the hardware to the computer and firmware updates.

Old_Zircon
tl;dr you're going to have a good time with this thing!

Scrimmjob
I like the little tune you posted. I'm not sure if the grounding thing will be an issue, as I've stated earlier, I'm trying to avoid using my computer for anything besides maybe recording, on account of once the computer comes into the equation I end up spending all my time trying to figure that out and it usually stops being much fun.

If anyone is interested here are some photos of the DIY kit I built.

http://imgur.com/a/iitnX

Thanks again OZ for selling me that sequencer, looking forward to playing with it.

Old_Zircon
The only time I had ground loop trouble was when it was powered from a laptop or a USB power supply that has other things plugged in to it at the same time. I powered it from an old iPod charger and a couple different phone chargers with no trouble.

It's a USB issue, not specific to this. I've got other things that have an even worse time.

Old_Zircon
That doepfer looks great!

I've got most of the PCBs collected to build a kind of haphazard analog drum module with some 909 voices and a few other analog drum voices, but I haven't started building it, and I'm trying to decide if it makes sense to spend the money to get a set of aluminum Eurorack panels made for my Anushri and put it in the same box as the drum boards.

Old_Zircon
I like the homemade look of that panel on your synth. It's more polished than the talkbox I made last week, too. No photos of that handy, though.

Scrimmjob
I wasn't super happy with the painting of the controls, but it's grown on me a bit! I used Front Panel Express to design the panel. I'm sure I could have done it much cheaper elsewhere, but it was really convenient, and made sense since I'm not that good with metal work.

StanleyPain
So, does MIDI really clock as well as pure analog? There are some people who insist that MIDI, to this day, still does not play well with analog hardware (Vince Clarke, for example, famously will not use MIDI in his studio except for extremely minor things, so much so that he actually got a retired synth engineer to update the software of one of his sequencers back in the early 2000s).
I have never actually tried any of this modular stuff. In my noodling with music, I have always used separate devices and never linked them or had any dependencies.
Old_Zircon
Theoretically at least, I don't have the money or space to really get deep enough into analog to say from experience. I definitely notice a lot of difference in the midi timing of different pieces of hardware though. On the other hand I usually keep things loose and unquantized anyway so it's not a huge issue.

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