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“Making Waves Make Waves”

A first upload from my new experiments in modular synthesis

I continue to explore modular synthesis, with my nascent Eurorack (small format) setup assembled, and then expanded thanks to some loaner modules from a friend. The above track is the first thing I thought was vaguely upload-worthy. It’s titled “Making Waves Make Waves” because it’s an early attempt at using waves as both sound and as patterns for effects. Here’s what I wrote about it on SoundCloud:

I’ve begun fiddling with a simple modular synthesis setup, using module components in the Eurorack format. This is a recording I made in the afternoon of June 2, 2014. As shown in the accompanying picture, I’m using six modules to accomplish this, one of which (a Doepfer A180) is just to get the audio out. The main sound is from an oscillator. It’s a triangle wave being fed into this filter called the Harvestman Polivoks. An LFO, the Doepfer A-145, is affecting the Polivoks filter as the result of a saw wave. That same LFO is outputting a sine wave that is feeding into the Ginkosynthese, which is affecting a horizontal wave distortion (if I understand correctly, which I likely don’t), which, to bring things full circle, is triggering note values in that original oscillator mentioned at the start of all this. One thing not visible in the accompanying photo is that I used a fairly slow pace to set the tempo with the Ginkosynthese. Anyhow, I’ve been fiddling with this stuff for a few weeks, and this is the first thing that felt uploadable.

Here’s a short loop of that same piece in Vine:

These are the loaner modules I mentioned:

And my explorations of this can be followed intermittently via the #modular tag.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , , / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. justinbuckley
    [ Posted June 5, 2014, at 11:29 pm ]

    If you can find a copy, the first few chapters of Allen Strange’s book Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques and Controls is a really great introduction to specifically modular synthesis. There are lots of books about synthesis in general, but that book outlines how to use control voltages effectively. Just wanted to mention it as you’ve wrote that you’re new to modular synthesis and so you might find it helpful.

  2. Larry Johnson
    [ Posted June 7, 2014, at 6:45 pm ]

    Used your experiment in modular synthesis to create this rather noisy remix: https://soundcloud.com/l-a-j-1/making-waves-make-waves-marc-weidenbaum-making-waves-make-noise-edit-laj

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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