Friday, August 29, 2008

More Mankato stuff

After posting the previous blog about the Mankato filter , Stephen Drake wrote me and gives some feedback on his use of one, and where to get parts etc.
Steve says:
They're not terribly difficult to build, and the bridechamber has the panel I used (usually, they're out of stock currently), and the pcb and hard to find parts are available from Magic Smoke. It's all not too expensive - the pots and knobs are going to be your greatest expense.
I haven't been really impressed with it yet overall - but I haven't used it much, and I haven't even gotten around to calibrating it yet. I haven't experimented with using it as a vco yet at all - I think that's where it's really supposed to be interesting. As a filter it doesn't have much character - and it has a lower output level than the motm fllters, so it tends to get lost in multi-filter applications like the video you posted. "

He kindly allowed me to poke around on his Flickr page for a picture of his MOTM Mankato filter, which I've promptly posted with this article. Thank you Steve for your feedback. :-)


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Mankato filter

Here's a filter design that's been around for a while now, and originally designed by Thomas Henry.
I thought I would get some more info about it, as it was being used in the previous post on the Klee Sequencer.
The Mankato Filter is a four-pole lowpass filter with positive and negative outputs at every pole, giving you slopes of 6 dB/oct, 12 dB/oct, 18 dB/oct, and 24 dB/oct simultaneously. the negative slope outputs allow you to use the Mankato as a quadrature sine oscillator with 8 available phases. the Mankato will self-resonate from subaudio to superaudio, and responds to one volt per octave through its unattenuated control inputs. the signal inputs are DC coupled, which allows you to use the Mankato as a voltage-controlled slew limiter. The picture shows the Mankato filter as produced and sold by STG Soundlabs, in the MOTM format, albeit cosmetically closer to the Moogs and Synth dot com modules.
Some sample links are below via Magic Smoke Electronics, who also produce a PCB , should you fancy building one yourselves from scratch :-)
Mankato Sequence 1
Mankato 6db
This second demo uses two Mankato's and here's how it was done:
"I fed an ARP Odyssey into Mankato 1; that's the low drone you hear at the very beginning. For CVs I had a standard LFO modulating Mankato 2 -- set to oscillate -- and the output of the prototype modulating Mankato 1. Various settings of the LFO, Mankato 2 (acting as a VC-LFO), and Mankato 1 (acting as a VCF) yielded all sorts of craziness. Very little tweaking was done on the Ody. I didn't really need to! ;-) There are a few spots where it sounds like there's a splatty "distortion" -- this is actually the VCLFO driving up into the audio range. Tip: Listen to it on a system with good bass response. The difference is pronounced. Crank that subwoofer and you'll get some serious rumbleys!"


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Klee sequencer by Stephen Drake

Stephen Drake reported that he posted a new video on Youtube, showing his Klee sequencer, in MOTM style.
He writes:" I've put a new video on youtube - while it only shows my new klee sequencer, all the other modules used are motm, with the exception of a mankato filter on one of the middle voices.
I'm controlling 3 voices with it - all MOTM 300 vco's through various filters and vcas. All in real time with no input from other sources. The sound quality's not the greatest - just using the camera mike - I had the monitors up pretty loud but the sequencer was closer so there's still sound from the switches."

More on the Klee sequencer (a DIY project) can be found at Scott's synth DIY and also here at Electro Music.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

All MOTM album available on iTunes

Mike Marsh, reported that he has created an 'album' available on iTunes, consisting of music made entirely with his MOTM based synthesizer. Look for " Cult of the individual", album title, is "Absolute Truth"
I'd class the music as experimental, it may not be everyones cup of tea, but even if you don't like the music, it gives you a good impression of what you can do with a modular synth, and the MOTM's sonic capability.
Have a listen, or even buy it, I did, so go on and support fellow MOTM'ers :-)


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quick blurb

Wow, one week has passed already since my return from holiday. I've had little time to work with my Synth, although I've recorded one new version of "Flight of the bumblebee", but I'm still not happy with it, so I am going to give it another try.I've been busy doing domestic chores, had my birthday, and some needed DIY, as well as a broken central heating/hotwater boiler, so I had to spend time on that too, all in all, not much of an MOTM week. There has been little news from Synthtech, or even on the newsgroup, I guess holiday time is affecting us all , hopefully all positive, and everyone is having a great time.
Oh, and I've spend time on Facebook, where I've finally signed on to, after being nagged by some friends. It's been fun, but I need to get back to the MOTM, so hopefully, this week will be better.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Alison Project

I suggest to have a look and listen to: The Alison Project.
Among others , he uses a large MOTM format modular, see picture below (this picture is a little older (January 08), so the current modular will probably have grown a little :-) )
On his site he writes: "The Alison Project is a project based out of Canada which came to life in mid-2005 when I started to build a modular synthesizer. The goal of The Alison Project is to produce experimental music that is both dark and unsettling to listen to. The Alison Project creates atmosphere that triggers adrenaline and inspires dis-ease in those unfortunate enough to hear it. The first full length, entitled "The Nature of Dis-Ease" will be released in 2008 and work is currently underway on a second full length entitled "Once Upon a Fiend". "

I've also spotted another favourite synth of mine in his set up :-)

There are plently of MP3's to be found on the site, to give you a taste of his work over the last couple of years.
Check it out.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Back home and a new post

2 weeks on holiday, and no internet, so I'm playing catch up with what's going on in the music world and that of the MOTM synth.
Stephen Drake send me this vid of a patch he made a few days after I left on holiday, so I'm sorry for the delay in posting it.