Gordon's Progress Part 2

Posted: 4/17/2008 7:39:15 PM

From: Toledo, Ohio United States of America

Joined: 2/22/2006

I saw the 'Kitchen Cuts' and was captivated: musically and visually. How wonderful that some very talented people can play with the very talented Gordon.
I am waiting for more!

Good Luck!


Posted: 4/17/2008 9:07:49 PM

From: Germany

Joined: 12/12/2006

That nice comment not only makes Gordon happy :-)
Posted: 4/18/2008 4:14:13 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Arthur, I think we might have sold one!

The Kitchen Cuts - Sonic Weekender 2, by Sonic Weekend (the soundtrack of Dementia: Daughter Of Horror - The Kitchen Cut) is available at your local iTunes Store now for the budget price of £3.16 (UK) or $3.99 (US) or €3.96 (DE) etc. (DRM Free iTunes+)

[i]Buy it quickly before it congeals.[/i]
Posted: 4/18/2008 7:53:00 AM

From: Germany

Joined: 12/12/2006


i´ve already put a advertisemnent with a link onto my myspace site.
Posted: 4/21/2008 8:06:45 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

I have a friend visiting this week, Tim, brought his new Access Virus TI Keyboard (http://www.access-music.de/events/11-2004/virusti_details_keyboard.php4?product=virustikeyboard) with him.

Very nice. It's a virtual analog synth, basically. Akin to the Nord Modular G2, without the modular. Has a very polished sound to it. Kind of like analogue stuff would sound like if circuits actually did what the theory suggested rather than how it worked out. (This was dipping into the 2176 presents it comes with. Twiddling the dozens of knobs arbitrarily produced some more [i]interesting[/i] results.)

So, apparently DSP produced sound in the same price range as the Nord is fine to my ears, and yup, I definitely need modular - Tim sounds great on it - he's a good pianist and improviser and has been using various synths since I knew him at school, but it really doesn't have much that I want. Some good strong timbres feeding the etherwave through it, but letting Tim play it is way better.

Oh, and footnote - Tim has an excellent ear for pitch. So, hey! as long as I played really slowly and crept up on the pitches stealthily I was finding notes that actually matched the ones on the keyboard from time to time. (I've been feeling a bit confident about my ability to discriminate pitch since SW3. On the first evening everyone started jamming, and I tuned three beer bottles to the notes of a riff that was being repeated a lot, and joined in on makeshift pan-pipes. Seems I tuned them well enough that our producer was astonished. :-)

Which reminds me. The Annihilator - I think I've settled on The Panic Box as it's name.

From the Wikipedia entry on Pan ():

[i]Pan inspired sudden fear in lonely places; panic (panikon deima). Following the Titans' assault on Olympus, Pan claimed credit for the victory of the gods because he had inspired disorder and fear in the attackers resulting in the word 'panic' to describe these emotions. Of course, Pan was later known for his music, capable of arousing inspiration, sexuality, or panic, depending on his intentions.[/i]

Also because Tim's synth has a button combination labelled "panic" whose function, disappointingly, is not to engender panic but to silence a note that will not cease.
Posted: 4/22/2008 11:25:57 AM

From: Saint Charles, MO

Joined: 4/3/2008

I always thought those buttons should be labeled "Don't Panic" -- in large, friendly letters.

Or "Quell" just because that's such a neat word. Quell quell quell quell quell.
Posted: 4/22/2008 6:53:03 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005


As the function of the button is to make runaway modules be quiet, I think it should say [i]STFU[/i].

([b]S[/b]ilence [b]T[/b]he [b]F[/b]aulty [b]U[/b]nits.)
Posted: 4/25/2008 5:53:03 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005


No big red slab of synthy goodness for me.

Lovely as the Nord Modular G2 (http://www.clavia.se/main.asp?tm=Products&clpm=Nord_Modular_G2&clnmm=Information) is, it's not the right tool for the job. I'm relieved that I discovered this before buying it, but still...

The problem is, it's not good at long delays. Anything more than 2.7 seconds is a no-no. There are sneaky ways of doubling that, and even quadrupling it at the loss of sound quality, but basically, if you want loooooooooooong delays, you're stuffed. And I want long delays. One could attach a looper such as the Boss RC50 (http://www.bossus.com/gear/productdetails.php?ProductId=772) that can be controlled via MIDI, or a rack mount delay like the TC Electronics D-Two (http://www.tcelectronic.com/D-Two) but neither can do some of the things I want to do, and there are a limited number of audio IO channels to pass sound back and forth between external devices and the nord.


I have downloaded the 30 day trial of Max/MSP (http://www.cycling74.com/products/mmjoverview).

I like it.

I understand a lot of the general principles involved from my programming background, and the graphic interface is very good. So far I have set up a ten second multi-tap delay and looped one of the taps back on the delay at half volume, and set up a ring-mod fed with a 30Hz sine wave carrier for the classic Dalek voice. Laura and I had a lot of fun playing with those with a microphone.

Next tasks are to find out how much load I can put on the processors in my MacBook by setting a lot of the demos running at the same time; to make a simple track-pad controlled theremin emulator so I can test patches designed for the theremin during development without having to step away from the laptop to wave my arms around; and to plug the theremin into the line-in on my MacBook and see how it sounds.

OK, so it's not an impressive hunk of musical instrument, but if it's up to spec then even with a new macbook (this one is in far too much demand from the rest of the family to become a semi-permanent studio tool) it's still cheaper than a nord modular g2.

I could go that little bit further and get a Mini Mac Module (http://www.cyndustries.com/modules_minimac.cfm), but a laptop is more practical.
Posted: 4/26/2008 6:18:45 AM

From: Germany, near Munich

Joined: 11/20/2007

[i]I could go that little bit further and get a[/i] [b]Mini Mac Module[/b][i], but a laptop is more practical.[/i]

...that is about what I thought - main reason for not trying was that this would not fit into the Doepfer-Eurorack (http://www.doepfer.de) format I am using for other filters and modules...

...I am still not decided if I should continue on the hardware (filter-modules, valve-equalizer, hardware-effects unit) route or just hook up the theremin with a nice little MacBook with those 'effects' installed as plugins into - for example - Ableton-Live, which I use anyway (for MIDI-routing, recording etc.)...

...sometimes I also wish I only had [i]my problems [/i] ;o)
Posted: 4/26/2008 3:51:51 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

I know what you mean. I'd love to do it old-school - pure analogue, with bucket brigade delays and tape loops - use Max/MSP for prototyping then transfer successful ideas to hardware.

Fortunately the decision for me is easy - I can't afford both, and one solution does what I want, so that's the one I get. (But I check that it does first.)

What I am hoping is that at some point in the near future it will dawn on someone that Apple's iPhone or iPod Touch has the computational muscle to run Max/MSP (possibly it has already, I don't know.) That would make for a neat effects box to sit on top of my etherwave.

Anyway, I ran a bunch of stuff all at once and it seems my MacBook is fast enough. My virtual theremin is now functional, it has a saw tooth waveform, is linear in pitch across the screen from A#-1 to E7, and sounds terrible. It's slow work at present - the language is close enough to Forth that I have a good feel for how it works, but I don't know it, so everything is found by searching the online reference and tutorials. It's like going to a foreign country where you don't speak the language, armed with a translating dictionary and a need to explain something very detailed and specific and that you have only a sketchy understanding of to an idiot.

Continued in Gordon's Progress Part 3 (http://www.thereminworld.com/forum.asp?F=808&T=3314&cmd=p).

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