Video series on creating a modular for live performance

Live patching, designs, and techniques that push the performance envelope.

Moderators: lisa, luketeaford, Kent, Joe.

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clarke_e_cat
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Post by clarke_e_cat » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:27 am

These videos are really freakin' awesome man, thank you. Loads of food for thought.

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ersatzplanet
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Post by ersatzplanet » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:28 am

If a live performance synthesizer is the goal, I hope you will consider some controller modules in the rig you are building in this series. As a manufacturer of performance modules, I find typically they are the last things that a person buys for their rig. The money they have is typically spent on more sexy modules and the user puts up with manually reaching through the spaghetti of cords to turn knobs till their rig grows big enough, or the hassle grows larger enough' that they think differently. For me I use a performance skiff that sits in front of whichever section of my studio rig that I bring to the gig. It of course works on other peoples rigs too. It is sort of a demo skiff for the modules I make (I also have a second one that has joysticks from other makers) and looks like this:

Image

We also make a family of often forgotten additions to a performance rig, LAMP modules to provide lighting in a performance situation. Many time a modular performance is the player only being lit by the lightshow being projected behind them. Not an optimal situation for live performance. We make LAMP modules to remedy this:

Image

I hope this post doesn't come across as just an opportunity for me to advertise my products, I sincerely believe that performance modules are sadly not as prominent in people's rigs as they should be. These are voltage controlled systems after all, they should have controllers in them. I am often a little bummed out to see post of peoples large rigs that have NO performance modules at all in them.
-James

James Husted - Synthwerks, LLC - www.synthwerks.com - info@synthwerks.com - james@synthwerks.com
Synthwerks is a proud member of the Mostly Modular Trade Association (http://www.mostlymodular.com).
Always looking to trade for Doepfer P6 cases

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underthebigtree
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Post by underthebigtree » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:50 am

Hi James -

I absolutely agree about the need for performance interface, and appreciate your bringing it up here.

I was going to touch on that in a future episode. Here is what I've thought about thus far, though:

1) In my case, I'm actually a trained pianist/keyboardist, so interfacing with a keyboard-type device is second nature to me. My obvious primary choice would be my Minimoog Voyager Old School (no patch memory, no digital anything), which has tons of voltage sources. But it is big and takes up space.

2) The wild card in my system are the two 1U rows. I was thinking about either getting four force sensitive resistor tiles from Pulp Logic: http://pulplogic.com/product/fsr/
And tying them together, or DIY'ing something myself.

But in general, having a performance interface is hugely important, and I really like the stuff that you and your company produce. :hihi:

-Nick

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lisa
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Post by lisa » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:38 pm

underthebigtree wrote:[video][/video]
Nice review of the fundamentals. :)
Remorseless modular beat; a bit discordant but melodic too. 🦊🦂


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ersatzplanet
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Post by ersatzplanet » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:00 pm

underthebigtree wrote:Hi folks -

I'm happy to say that episode 4 has just been posted! In order to explain clocks, I ended up doing an overview of rhythm and rhythmic nomenclature, including stuff like polyrhythms, swing, compound time signatures, etc.
I just watched your clocks video and noticed something missing from your discussion of clock dividers. There are two different types of clock dividers out in Euroland. I call them "Mathematical" and "Musical". What is the difference? Mathematical dividers look at the clock input and wait until the division before outputting a pulse. A divide by 4 would be like this - one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, etc. The musical dividers output a pulse on the downbeat and then counts to the next downbeat - one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, etc. The original Doepfer dividers were mathematical in nature for instance and nowadays many dividers have switches or internal jumpers to change the type.

The easy way to tell which one the divider you have is, is to hit the reset input. On a Mathematical divider, all outs will go low, on a Musical one All go high. This is very important in synchronizing separate sequencers in a verse/chorus use where you want the sequences to start or change on the downbeat (the first note of a bar and not on the last note).

Some Graphs:
The Mathematical versions:
Image

The Musical Ones:
Image

These differences are only notices when bar boundaries change or at the start and stop of the sequences. Also you can change one kind into another by using inverters. It is something to be aware of though. I have seen many users wondering why the syncing between sequencers can go off when the sequential switches they are slaving to these dividers outputs and the switch changes on the four and not on the one.
-James

James Husted - Synthwerks, LLC - www.synthwerks.com - info@synthwerks.com - james@synthwerks.com
Synthwerks is a proud member of the Mostly Modular Trade Association (http://www.mostlymodular.com).
Always looking to trade for Doepfer P6 cases

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underthebigtree
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Post by underthebigtree » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:08 pm

Thank you for that excellent addition to the conversation, James. I had never heard of this before! I learned something new.

Zube
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Post by Zube » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:26 am

These videos are great. So is your whole channel. Keep it going!

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underthebigtree
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Post by underthebigtree » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:10 am

I am delighted to say that I've just published part 5 in the series. This one is all about sequencers.

[video][/video]

Now it is seriously time for :guinness:

The next episode, part 6, will be on signal routing. But I think I'm going to do a couple of smaller episodes before that. Stay tuned!

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Misk
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Post by Misk » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:26 pm

great videos! subscribed :)

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minigmgoit
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Post by minigmgoit » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:04 am

I’ve watched all the videos you did. I just loved how excited you were about your new case

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Class
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Post by Class » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:32 pm

I have really enjoyed this series, especially the clocking and sequencing episodes.

I have to try to understand how you setup Pam’s and utilities, for swing and such.

Great work, thank you.

marcmuon
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Post by marcmuon » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:27 pm

really enjoyed this video series, thanks for doing it!

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pinkilae
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Post by pinkilae » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:02 am

Great channel, thanks!

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tewnty_two
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Post by tewnty_two » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:38 am

Great series so far, Looking forward to more!

dave999z
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Post by dave999z » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:05 pm

So excited to have found this. Great job.

909one
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Post by 909one » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:59 am

This is awesome. I was just watching #5 a little bit. What module do you use to combine voltages with two separate sequences? Can Maths do this? Is the "Precision Adder" something that does this?

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:10 pm

909one wrote:This is awesome. I was just watching #5 a little bit. What module do you use to combine voltages with two separate sequences? Can Maths do this? Is the "Precision Adder" something that does this?
Yes, the Doepfer or VPME T43 are great for this:
Image Image

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underthebigtree
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Post by underthebigtree » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:23 am

It took a while, but I have finally completed this series. Part 6, on tying it all together, ended up being three videos: an overview, then a module by module description of my live rig, followed by an improvised performance using the system.

Thanks to everyone who has watched this series - it has turned out to be some of the most popular videos I've done.

[video][/video]
[video][/video]
[video][/video]

And here is the whole series in a playlist:
Designing a Modular System for Live Performance - Series Playlist

Zube
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Post by Zube » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:20 pm

great stuff! This series has been very helpful to me. thanks for making these videos!

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