Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Helpful advise from Robert Rich.

Creative ways of patching up new sounds on your MOTM (or other) modular synth.

Helpful advice from Robert Rich, starting with soft sync....

The best use I found for soft sync on the 300 is to add the essential non-linear element for chaos patches. The "talking chaos" patch, for example, has two 300s cross-modulating each other with sign waves, both set to approximately the same basic frequency. The sync buss is connected, and both are set to soft sync. That creates a complex interaction where the modules get stuck and unstuck. Wiggling one a tiny bit(with a low lagged sample&hold random voltage for example) will prevent them from getting locked into a pattern.

The trick of modulating VCO pulse width with a high frequency sine for example adds a great "fret buzz" sort of timbre to bass sounds. For timbral variation within patches, try audio-frequency modulating anything with something else. Sine waves often make the best sources for audio rate modulation, because there's already plenty of overtones resulting, so I frequently put a filter into full resonance for that purpose.

If you have two LFOs with FM input, try cross-modulating them for complex interactions. If you put that output into the VC-in on an oscillator, you'll open up a wide range of bleebly sounds, birds, wiggly bits, etc.

Split the output of a filter and process one half with other filters and VCAs before putting that signal back into an input on the same filter (either audio input or the FM input). The feedback loop will affect the resonance, and dynamic processing will make the interaction very complex.

For the above idea and for any other patch, add a time-domain digital effect - like echo, reverb, chorus, flanging, etc - to the inside of a patch. Use outboard effects as if they are modules in the system. This opens up an entire realm of options for feedback-type patches.

Rethink the standard use for a module. Did you know that a lag processor is a low pass filter? An envelope generator is a lag processor? An envelope can even be a waveshaper for low audio frequencies at its fastest settings. Likewise the 320 LFO makes a good audio-rate oscillator for bass sounds with very cool waveshaping features.

Two oscillators at their highest frequencies - above hearing - can cross-modulate each other to create difference tones you can hear. That's how a Theremin works, and radio. You can do it on MOTM oscillators.Try modulating a super-sonic VCO with an external audio signal. It's very odd. You can do the same with resonating filters.

Speaking of resonating filters, you can "ping" them when they are almost ringing by putting a sharp envelope blip into their audio input. It makes a very ghostly gamelan-like sound.

The idea behind all of these tips is to break the established paradigms and rethink the possible role of each module. Don't assume a patch has to go VCO-VCF-VCA.

I hope this helps a bit. - Robert Rich


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love you robert rich :-D

7:05 AM  

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