Modular Synths and Jazz?

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

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vampiresrock
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Modular Synths and Jazz?

Post by vampiresrock » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:43 pm

As a musician my primary genre is jazz and jazz-inspired jamming, and my second love is modular synths. Anyone know of anyone integrating modular synths into jazz/soul/funk/RnB? Also, any ideas for how you would set up a modular for jazz? This thread is half just-for-fun and half because-i-need-some-ideas ahaha. Would love to hear from the jazz community here if there is one anyway.

Keep it cool 8-)

Keltie
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Post by Keltie » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:57 pm

I often read that the euro artist steevio makes modular jazz. I’m not sure I quite agree, though I’m not intimately familiar with his work ( nor jazz, lol)

But maybe worth checking him out....

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cptnal
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Post by cptnal » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:29 pm

Here's one, albeit a small piece of the whole...

[video][/video]

:sb: :sb: :goo: :sb:

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milkshake
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Post by milkshake » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:30 am

Weather report tale spinning uses TONTO.

The black market melody is played with a reverse keyboard with the Arp 2600. Try soloing with that, Joe did exactly that :eek:

Morton Subotnik came from avant-garde jazz.


Setting up a modular for jazz is exactly the same as setting it up for other music.
What you do is make a patch, then control it with the interface of your choice. Interfaces for jazz could be keyboards, joysticks, ribbon controllers, sequencers, touch plates, envelope folowers etc.
Shall I ... blablabla ... to thee.

The more you pay for something, the less likely you are to critise it.

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Kid Narco
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Post by Kid Narco » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:25 am

These two tracks both featuring Pete Judge from Get The Blessing. Freak-out free jazz and a Gil Mele-inspired homage to The Andromeda Strain.




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BugBrand
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Post by BugBrand » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:36 am

Ah ffff, I've not listened to what Pete (Judge) has been up to for ages.
I seem to remember some bits being somewhat akin to Chicago Underground - who would be a tip to the iceberg of exciting music that mixes musicians from Jazz, Rock and all sorts. Bloody loads of interest over 25 years - Tortoise being one of the mains (though again haven't heard anything much recently - just refound Jeff Parker = lovely)

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Fallen_lassen
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Post by Fallen_lassen » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:39 am

‘The sea and cake’ uses modular synths and is some kind of jazzy.

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dubonaire
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Post by dubonaire » Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:25 am

cptnal wrote:Here's one, albeit a small piece of the whole...

:sb: :sb: :goo: :sb:
Awesome drumming!

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NewAndImprov
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Post by NewAndImprov » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:42 pm

Not to be too self-promotional here, but my trio Stockhausen Syndrome does a kind of avant-fusion meets electronics kind of thing, and I play modular along with my keyboard rig. The studio stuff we are working on now is more modular intensive, but none of it is done at the moment. Here's a video from a show from last year:

[video][/video]

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NewAndImprov
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Post by NewAndImprov » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:50 pm

Herbie Hancock's Sextant is pretty much the gold standard of modular synths in jazz, would love to hear of anyone modern doing similar stuff.

cycad73

Post by cycad73 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:31 pm

circuit-bent modular experimental free jazz 1978... amazing this artist (michel waisvisz) gets so few mentions

[video][/video]

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wackelpeter
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Post by wackelpeter » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:17 am

[video] [/video]

and well, Maybe not really modular related but a lot of nice electronics on this great record:

[video] [/video]

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sandettie
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Post by sandettie » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:11 am

Szun Waves employ some modular.

[video][/video]

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davidh
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Post by davidh » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:42 am

you can also check this compilation : https://modular-jazz.bandcamp.com

cycad73

Post by cycad73 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:39 am

wackelpeter wrote:[video] [/video]

and well, Maybe not really modular related but a lot of nice electronics on this great record:

[video] [/video]
Very nice, an RSF modular 11 was used on the first (Barney Wilen), you can actually see it in the picture. I always wonder if any RSF modular systems are working today. It has long been a dream of mine to find one.

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Randy
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Post by Randy » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:49 am

Depends on your definition of "jazz." Genre names seem to be a bit fluid now-a-days.

Chick Corea used a Moog Model 15 in the Return to Forever days (Romantic Warrior is a good record for that). Mostly east coast stuff.

Randy

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Post by Homepage Englisch » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:24 pm

Setup: I would feed keyboard out (or even random voltages) into a quantizer, providing quantizer can store custom scales and they can be controlled with CV in real time. With some knowledge of jazz modes, substitutes etc you would get great results for any given chord progression.

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Randy
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Post by Randy » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:17 pm

Homepage Englisch wrote:Setup: I would feed keyboard out (or even random voltages) into a quantizer, providing quantizer can store custom scales and they can be controlled with CV in real time. With some knowledge of jazz modes, substitutes etc you would get great results for any given chord progression.
if you're into building your own, PM Foundations will load custom scales into their quantizer for you.

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soundslikejoe
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Post by soundslikejoe » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:53 pm

Interesting thread. I definitely think Steevio fits into an adaption of "normal" jazz elements... improvisation, swing, 7#9 chord usage, etc.

Another way to look at it is the "spirit of jazz" - which to me, aligns very closely with the modern modular scene. I spent many years studying classic jazz... learning Charlie Parker to Pat Metheny... and the cornerstone for those guys was to take some contemporary popular music, advance it technically, and then freely improvise around a structure. That's modular to me.

I fell out of love with jazz as a genre... see Nicholas Payton's rant about jazz being "not cool" and then play Autumn Leaves three nights a week for 10 years.... and it just felt like the spirit of jazz that I loved has been replaced by a conservatory mindset. I began to resent it. Fast-forward to now... and all of my exploration, improvisation, and expression that I used to love while playing jazz guitar happens on modular. (maybe more of a personal problem than a real criticism of what jazz is today)

So... want to blend jazz and modular? Pick a musical element and patch it. Get a QCD (or some module capable of trigger delay) and dial up swing-feeling clocks... get a Harmonaig to crunch your harmonic theory.... get a precision adder to help with transpositions... poof. That's jazz.

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Post by milkshake » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:01 am

soundslikejoe wrote: So... want to blend jazz and modular? Pick a musical element and patch it. Get a QCD (or some module capable of trigger delay) and dial up swing-feeling clocks... get a Harmonaig to crunch your harmonic theory.... get a precision adder to help with transpositions... poof. That's jazz.
You just cost me a lot of money.
Thank sex I already have enough sequencers to sequence the Harmonaig.
Shall I ... blablabla ... to thee.

The more you pay for something, the less likely you are to critise it.

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Post by Gizmo » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:40 am

I hadn't thought about the modular specifically in the jazz context, and yes in retrospect it was very rare that the top players used monophonic instruments. Chick was not a stranger to electronics (going big-time with the CKEB) and gave the Minimoog a good exercise with Return to Forever. Jan Hammer was another Minimoog virtuoso. But they rather quickly moved on to the OBs, Kurz, Korgs etc. as they became available. Lyle Mays and Jay Oliver are a couple others of my favorites who embraced electronics but apparently bypassed the modular. Too limiting?

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Post by diller » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:12 am

milkshake wrote:Weather report tale spinning uses TONTO.

The black market melody is played with a reverse keyboard with the Arp 2600. Try soloing with that, Joe did exactly that :eek:

Morton Subotnik came from avant-garde jazz.


Setting up a modular for jazz is exactly the same as setting it up for other music.
What you do is make a patch, then control it with the interface of your choice. Interfaces for jazz could be keyboards, joysticks, ribbon controllers, sequencers, touch plates, envelope folowers etc.

Black Market melody on the recording is actually 2 mirrored 2600s. One with the keyboard plugged in regular and one backwards.

Here is a video of the backward 2600 live.

[video][/video]

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Post by Cybananna » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:15 pm

When I saw KBD live they were somewhat jazz. Experiments and abstract jazz. They had a modular synth, drums, and a guy with a trumpet and various noise makers.

KBD the noisy attic

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Re: Modular Synths and Jazz?

Post by beepberry » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:03 am

I have a performance question--- using a Pittsburgh SV-1 as the sound source:

How can I get the mod wheel to open the filter and bring in the LFO for vibrato simultaneously?

I would prefer only using one oscillator (as opposed to two oscillators.) I want the basic tone to be a very specific sine or muted sawtooth - ala George Duke or Jan Hammer, -for soloing.

thanks
bob

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cptnal
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Re: Modular Synths and Jazz?

Post by cptnal » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:16 am

Me, I'd pass the vibrato LFO through a VCA and open it with the same CV that opens the filter. Unless this is a question related specifically to that device... :hmm:

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