Monthly Drones

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richc90
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Monthly Drones

Post by richc90 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:14 am

A diary of drones. One per month.

I’ve very much enjoyed reading the various modular diaries that people have been keeping over the last year, but most of them have been focused on the initial phase of the descent into the modular abyss. This is supposed to be more intermediate, charting what happens when I actually try to create something rather than simply learn how things work. There is no sharp line between creation and learning, of course, but hopefully the intended contrast isn’t too opaque. Roughly, I’m been through the battle of getting to grips with modular concepts, learnt a lot about the types of modules that suit me and those that don’t, and I’m now trying to find something akin to a sonic/musical identity.

In part this is a way of forcing me to actually record things and make them public. Comments, suggestions, criticisms all welcome, but go easy, I’m a delicate soul. Feel free to join in, if you like.

https://soundcloud.com/black_felt/fur-januar

This emerged from my initial experiments with DPO and Erbe-Verb. Tempi is clocked by the saw LFO from DPO-a, and in turn triggers Maths and clocks Wogglebug, creating various modulations which are in phase with the original LFO. These are then variously mixed on Maths and ModDemix and distributed to various parameters on the DPO, Ripples, and Erbe-Verb. The final out from DPO-b, which is being lightly FMed by one of the audio outputs from Wogglebug, is sent to Ripples via Optomix and ends up at Rosie. Towards the end the Piston Honda enters the scene, processing the sine output from DPO-b and self-modulated by its own LFO. This is then filtered by the A124 and ends up at Rosie. Erbe-Verb on the send covering everything in felt. Game over.
Last edited by richc90 on Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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richc90
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Post by richc90 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:21 am

Creating and refining this patch underscored one thing and taught me something else.

Attenuation, attenuation, attenuation. When I first started, there was a temptation to slap too much modulation on everything. After a while, I realized that attenatuion is best in small moderate doses and the trick is to find those sweet spots where a little modulation is all you need: this patch only really came together when I found some spots on the wavefolder of the DPO where the modulations really had a subtle yet significant effect on the timbre of the sound. More generally, I also discovered that I like my attenuators to be on board.

Secondly, recording your own patches and listening back to them is really interesting, in part because it forces you to be more deliberate with your wiggling during the recording --- which in turn means you need to have a pretty decent idea what the wiggle will do and at which point the wiggle will become too extreme --- and also because it forces you to be critical of your end results. I’ve actually only recently acquired a recording device (h4n pro, a birthday present to myself) but it’s been an eye-opener. This was actually only the third or fourth recording I've ever made. Hopefully it doesn't come across too obviously lol.

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Re: Monthly Drones

Post by starthief » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:39 am

richc90 wrote:...and I’m now trying to find something akin to a sonic/musical identity.
Good luck! I tried that from about 2003-2015 and finally accepted that my musical identity is vague, eclectic, fluid, and easily distracted by shiny things. :stardance:

Since then I've just focused on keeping the flow going.


Anyway, I like this one overall. If it were me creating this track right now (and it's not, but that's my critical perspective) I would think:

-- it's oddly uncomfortable waiting for the slow fade in at the beginning, but I would probably leave it like that since it's part of the experience; sometimes I prefer to leave in things that bug me a bit :)

-- I'd be tempted to add a sub-bass sine or triangle partway through, sort of pipe-organ like.

-- I like the increasing background hiss at the end. Background radiation of the universe and all that.

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Post by richc90 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:46 am

Thanks for the feedback man. I'd be happy with a vague and fluid identity, most of the artists I listen to the most are pretty vague and fluid --- but somehow still manage to sound like themselves if you know what I mean.

The slow fade in... yeah, so this will sound incredibly naive but it's at least in part due my unfamiliarity with recording. Probably should have tidied it up in Audacity or something... Will do some research on that front for next time.

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Post by starthief » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:01 pm

I've made a post-processing step in Sound Forge standard practice. It lets me trim the ends, fade in/out just so, apply some limiting/compression/EQ overall to the whole track, etc. more easily than during recording.

Sometimes a lot of creative work happens in that step too, as I pitch shift entire sections, extract parts and stretch/reverb them into drones for the ending or intro, insert a little space into transitions to break up the rhythm, reverse the entire track, or whatever.

Avjr

Post by Avjr » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:02 pm

Thanks for a nice listen on a boring day. Particularly enjoyed the ending of the piece. As a drone-head myself i shall be following this thread.

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Post by richc90 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:08 pm

As anyone who has looked at my Soundcloud recently will know, this month I've been obsessed with the Phonogene. It's probably the first module I've connected with on something like an emotional level: I find the textures that can be extracted from it are so full and character and life. There is a sadness to some of the things that I've got out of it that is beguiling.

In some ways the following piece sums up my experience with the PG: beauty emerges out of dust in ways that I cannot predict or explain. It sounds like an orchestral loop. But it isn't: it's actually a small snippet of choral music (voice only) slowed down, reversed, looped, and processed to all hell by Ripples, the A124 and my new Verbos ATC (who provides the woody sound processed by the Echophon). There is a lot of subtle modulation knocking around from various places (Wogglebug, sloth, etc.) and the frequencies of the filters are being modulated by various colours of noise. Another trick I picked up was using the CV out from the Erbe-Verb to control the depth, so that it shimmers when the volume is low.

https://soundcloud.com/black_felt/februar
Last edited by richc90 on Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Artaos » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:32 pm

I like your thread and your music. Subscribed.

Futuresound

Post by Futuresound » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:53 pm

richc90 wrote:As anyone who has looked at my Soundcloud recently will know, this month I've been obsessed with the Phonogene. It's probably the first module I've connected with on something like an emotional level: I find the textures that can bed extracted from it are so full and character and life. There is a sadness to some of the things that I've got out of it that is beguiling.

In some ways the following piece sums up my experience with the PG: beauty emerges out of dust in ways that I cannot predict or explain. It sounds like an orchestral loop. But it isn't: it's actually a small snippet of choral music (voice only) slowed down, reversed, looped, and processed to all hell by Ripples, the A124 and my new Verbos ATC (who provides the woody sound processed by the Echophon). There is a lot of subtle modulation knocking around from various places (Wogglebug, sloth, etc.) and the frequencies of the filters are being modulated by various colours of noise. Another trick I picked up was using the CV out from the Erbe-Verb to control the depth, so that it shimmers when the volume is low.

http://soundcloud.com/rich-c90/februar
This is gorgeous, well done.

I'm nearing the point now in my own journey where I need to start recording (again). I've spent a lot of time learning, and lots of zen hours making cool stuff - time to put it all to use the a different way and commit things to disk.

Thanks for sharing.
Last edited by Futuresound on Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by wigwig » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:31 pm

Really swell.
Thanks for posting this. :tu:



It's a good time to love the PG :wink:
Mabel encounters a peahen.

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Post by BonJoey » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:24 pm

I enjoy this thread a great deal

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Post by starthief » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:00 pm

Nice!

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Post by franman69 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:55 pm

nice stuff...

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Post by tau_seti » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:16 pm

Great thread.How did you make Spare Parts?

I've never gelled with my Phonogene, this is making me want to get rid of everything else and just use that.

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Post by richc90 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:07 am

Thanks for the nice words.
tau_ceti wrote:How did you make Spare Parts?
That was actually the first thing I ever did with the PG. It was a piano loop slowed down quite a lot with a weird network of triggers and parallel processing. Something like: EOS on the PG triggered an envelope on Maths-1, and EOR on that triggered Maths-4, and EOC on that clocked Wogglebug, which selected a new value for the stepped random that was send to the slide input on PG... that network of triggers now now loops around whilst the loop in PG slides around... The output of the PG was parallel processed by the two filters in my other case, Ripples and A124, which resulted in LP and HP versions of the loop being pushed through two channels of Optomix, which was being opened by the two Maths channels. One of these was being sent through the Echophon and then Rosie, and the other was sent to Rosie directly. Erbe-Verb on the aux.

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Post by Aaronautical001 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:00 am

Both lovely pieces richc90. My love of drone has only increased I started building my modular, and I feel I should start recording more.

I particularly like the phonogene piece and the control of the sample you used at the end, particularly inspiring as mine is probably feeling a little neglected. I'll be following this thread closely and your soundcloud.

Keep up he great work! :tu:

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Post by richc90 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:14 am

Not had enough time to play with the modular this month, but ended up with another PG exploration.

https://soundcloud.com/black_felt/fur-marz
Last edited by richc90 on Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by deltaAquarii » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:33 am

fuer maerz is super beautiful! :hail:

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Post by ImNotDedYet » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:00 am

richc90 wrote:Not had enough time to play with the modular this month, but ended up with another PG exploration.

https://soundcloud.com/rich-c90/fur-marz
Fantastic stuff! Thanks for posting!

Futuresound

Post by Futuresound » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:04 am

richc90 wrote:Not had enough time to play with the modular this month, but ended up with another PG exploration.

https://soundcloud.com/rich-c90/fur-marz
Yes, that is just fantastic.

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Post by Aaronautical001 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:54 pm

Inspirational stuff again. Beautiful.
And what's more it's making me realise there is still so much I can do with the phonogene, no need to lust after the morphagene when things like this are possible.

Keep it up!

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Post by neilmcm1975 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:00 pm

superb that is stunning

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Post by dhulsey » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:57 pm

Very excited to follow and see where your musical journey leads!

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Post by djd_oz » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:36 am

Awesome duide!

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Post by Bjarlstedt » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:08 am

I just want to join the choir: great stuff, indeed! Just curious, are your stuff all in take or are you layering? And what's your recording source? And third: all modular?
I'm sorry for making you repeat yourself, if you've already typed this down that is.

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