The EXODUS, The Full Live Album is now available!

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Dcramer
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The EXODUS, The Full Live Album is now available!

Post by Dcramer » Thu May 31, 2018 4:13 pm

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It’s been almost four months of work from start to finish. When I first got news of this project, my initial thought was: can I manage to record a live album out of this project?
After months of prep work, two setup and rehearsal days, a full day of performances, and three weeks of editing, it’s finally done:

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1123292646 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=9a64ff tracklist=false artwork=small]



The album runs a full 75 minutes and features seven movements, each its own live performance and each covering its own sonic territory within the patch. Each movement follows the same form with regards to melody, harmony, and scale/key, although some shorter movements start farther through the form.
(Sorry! It’s really long and takes a while to introduce all of the elements, if I had to pick a fav movement, I’d say the fifth which is 18 mins long and starts bout 5 minutes into the second act. Even as I performed it live I could tell it was gonna be good)

My diary of the trip/patch:

Having been invited to be a part of this amazing event, I’ve been busy for weeks creating a giant Generative patch and figuring out how to squeeze it into a mere 6U.

viewtopic.php?t=201830

Yeah, the ‘cool kids’ are gonna point and laugh at my nerdy backpack on the first day of school but I’ve managed to make it thru security with only a brief look and a ‘swab’.

I’ll update this thread as we go with detailed patch notes and pics.
I’m hoping to swing some live vid feeds to FB and YouTube if possible.

Special thanks to:
Colin Benders and his team for being so great with all of this and making it happen!
Danjel and the Intellijel team for all the ‘robot love’!
Last edited by Dcramer on Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:28 am, edited 9 times in total.

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batch
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Post by batch » Thu May 31, 2018 11:03 pm

Looking forward to your updates. You always do amazing work. Super inspiring!
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Post by pre55ure » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:49 am

Awesome!
Have fun!
Lots of good people going to be there.
Please post some video when you get back.

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Post by slow_riot » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:51 am

Congrats on the booking. 'Mad Over Mindness' is one of my fave things in my music collection.

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Dcramer
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Post by Dcramer » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:09 pm

:party: step one completed!
Landed, was picked up, hotel, and on to the site to start recreating my patch.
Thankfully everything seems to be working as it should.
Tomorrow I will fine tune everything and start some recordings.
I may be able to get in a YouTube/Facebook live stream going for parts of it.
I will also get my patching charts uploaded here.

Wow :woah: I can’t say enough about Colin Benders and his team.
His vision for this event is fantastic and their production/hosting has been top notch!
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Post by SunSpots » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:49 pm

Wow this is really cool man congratulations. Definitely want to hear some video I probably won't be able to catch anything live but link whatever you got in this thread so I can look at it when it's done. This is really cool
SunSpots

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Post by dubonaire » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:15 pm

:tu: :tu:

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Post by MindMachine » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:46 pm

:tu: :guinness: :tu:

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Post by Taylor Holliday » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:11 am

Congrats Dcramer!

Wish I could attend! Looking forward to a video :)
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Dcramer
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Post by Dcramer » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:04 am

I can’t believe how many people are into modular out here!
So many folks that I talked to were completely familiar with the instruments and music! :hail:
I’ll post a complete run through of my patch, including the notes and I should have the ‘live album’ done by the end of June!
In the meantime, Here’s a little live action vid of some of my weeblings and wobblings on Sunday:
[video][/video]

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Post by cptnal » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:30 am

:woah: There must be something in there making that noise, but all I can see is cables and mixers.

But seriously... looks (and sounds) awesome. :hail:
Is it finished?
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Post by raylinds » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:59 am

Congrats! That is really great.
Cheers,
Ray

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Post by RLK » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:06 pm

Sweet!
Sounds like variations on "Flight of the Valkyries"!

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Post by Dcramer » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:45 am

Thanks guys, I had a chance on the flight back to hear some of the takes for the live album I’m doing and I’m very pleased so far. I was able to get all sorts of range out of that patch.
I’ll be finishing up the live album by the end of this month but before then I’m working on an in depth look at the patch that I’ll be posting in this thread!
:party: :party: :party:

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The Exodus, patch description: Melody

Post by Dcramer » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:53 pm

These next four posts describe, in detail, the final patch I took to the Netherlands for Colin Benders’ Museum.
Each description speaks to its own layer of cables as documented in the Modulargrid pic.
The fifth post contains an absolute rarity, the Gearsluts interview in which I speak about the patch (he finally speaks!) with the second half of the video featuring a performance of the patch.
:party:

The Exodus, Melody Engine:
The idea for this patch comes from my previous work in which I started with my variation of Barton’s Krell, and then added voices to it to create a polyphonic Krell patch. Many modular users I talk to are aware of the Krell, but don’t really know where it comes from, or how exactly to patch it.

The Melody engine (my name for a sub-patch) is the central, driving part of the patch as it controls the timing and pitches of all the parts.
It’s quite simple:
Two unsynced LFOs modulate a simple Attack/Decay function generator which is self cycling.
I’m using a Flame CV recorder and Math’s channel 4, channel 4 gives me the EOC trigger which becomes the master clock for the whole patch.
This envelope created by Maths is used to control the timbre and amplitude of the melody. The oscillator in this voice gets its pitches from a simple Sample and Hold (sampling noise) which is triggered by Maths channel 4 each time it cycles.
This is the basic Krell patch.
Starting with this, I then add in my own variations;
I Offset and scale quantize the noise to produce musical scale tones (I designed my own scales for this patch)
I use the Maths envelope in various ways to create highly correlated timbres for the melody voice.
I used a Disting triangle wave as the oscillator and patched it into a VCA, then into a Doepfer LPG (in LPF mode) and the into an Intellijel Wavefolder and finally into a final VCA. This is completely backwards compared to a normal synth voice! But here’s why, the first VCA is modulated by the Maths envelope (but inverted) so that as the Maths envelope gets the higher, the VCA closes (but only a tiny amount!) this means that I’m modulating the gain going into the Doepfer filter. I’m also slightly modulating the filter’s frequency with the envelope and pitches of the melody. The filters resonance is high and will tend squeak thru as the first vca closes a little (it’s always biased open and never closes all the way)
Then the signal goes into the Wavefolder (again backwards to what is considered normal) which amplifies and folds the original triangle wave as well as the added resonance from the filter, which changes in pitch and amplitude slightly, with the Maths envelope and Melody’s pitches. Finally I patch the wavefolder’s output to a final VCA to control the output of the voice, creating the articulation.
I’m also using the third output of the Flame knob recorder as a faster, vibrato LFO. It’s signal is patched into a third VCA and from there in the Disting oscillators FM input, to create vibrato. Because I want the vibrato to fade in and out, I use the Maths channel 4 envelope (inverted) to control the third VCA. This way, the vibrato starts at the beginning of each note but fades out as the note gets louder. I’m using Maths channel one as a slew to create portemento on the melody voice. I’m modulating the portemento with the same sequence CV (Mutamix) that calls up the different scale types on the uScale quantizer.
(In Utrecht, really pushed this part of the patch and came up with some great sounding note runs of dive-bombs!)
I’ve also got all 4 channels of the SISM patched to give me control of the Melody patches note range and offset, overall brightness (by opening the LPG and the Wavefolder of the melody and all the other filters in the patch) this brightness control on the SISM also had a CV feed from the sequencer that controlled the scale type so that when the scales change the whole patch got brighter or darker. (I was letting the children who came to the event play around with these controls) channels 3 & 4 of the SISM control the range and offset of the two LFOs that modulate Maths channel four.
It’s important to get the speed of the two modulating LFOs just right in relation to Maths channel 4 envelope so that the Maths envelope is always changing its curve shape throughout its cycle, generating different envelope articulations.
And finally, the other important aspect to the patch is that each and every modulation needs to be extremely subtle, especially with the Wavefolder as it’s easy to over modulate it, or have too high an audio level going into the Wavefolder. By keeping the modulation ranges in the ‘sweet spot’ I’m able to get a much more organic, expressive sounding voice.
Having those extra days in Utrecht was great as I was able to ‘tune’ the whole patch to the environment, making it edgier, adding more bass, and giving it a little wider range. By the time Sunday came I was busy ‘playing’ the patch as it ran, pushing it in different directions.
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The Exodus, Patch description: Harmony

Post by Dcramer » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:59 pm

Here’s a description of the second voice of my patch. It’s a single voice that loosely follows the melody to create a harmony line:
I used a second Disting as the oscillator for this voice and patched its triangle wave into an old Doepfer A-120. I used a Pittsburgh Envelope (similar to a Doepfer A-172-2) to control the volume and timbre of this voice.
The Pittsburgh Envelope gets its trigger from the EOD on the first channel of Maths. Remember that in the melody patch, the first side of Maths is used to create portamento for the melody voice. Maths still produces a trigger out, even when used as a slew generator. This trigger out only happens when Maths reaches a certain point which creates a random trigger that always lines up with the melody but happens less often. This same trigger is used to trigger a sample and hold which gets its sample CV from the output of the uScale, just like the melody. When the envelope is triggered, both the melody and harmony play the same note (the harmony is down an octave) but then the melody continues playing other notes over top of the harmony which holds its note. In order to get the sound I’m after, I also patch another cable from the harmony’s oscillator (pulse wave) into a VCA controlled by the Pittsburgh Envelope. The VCA is then patched to one of the CV inputs on the A-120 filter. This creates a little audio-rate FM modulation which gives the filter a much fatter, wider tone. The same vibrato LFO is used so that when the melody voice gets vibrato, so does the harmony voice. The Pittsburgh Envelope has a unique behaviour in that unlike Maths, it doesn’t just rise to the top and stay there until decaying. Instead it may only go up part way and fall or go up and fall down, hanging mid way. It makes for an extremely organic articulation. The A-120 filter also partially receives the harmony part’s note voltage. From there it goes to the mixer and gets a lot of reverb. The harmony voice filter also get a CV signal from SISM channel two to control brightness.
This voice was very effective as it can go quite low and produced tons of low end, great fun given the giant bass bins we were each provided with... :twisted:
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The Exodus, Patch Descritption: Chords

Post by Dcramer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:03 am

Here’s a quick look at the ‘Chordal Engine’ from my Utrecht patch. It’s pretty straight forward compared to the Melody and Harmony:
The chord sounds come from a Make Noise Telharmonic, running in ‘shift register’ mode. This mode will grab and hold a note every time a trigger is received. Because it’s a three voice module, it will hold up to three notes, producing a chord. When the fourth trigger is received, it steals one of the notes. For my piece I wanted the Telharmonic to grab three of the melody notes in succession and hold them while the melody played another 10-20 notes. This works out really cool as I simply mult the output of the uScale into the Telharmonic and it just follows along, creating interesting chords, no matter what custom scale I call up.
The only trouble was getting no more than 3 triggers into the Telharmonic in a row and then no more triggers so the chord would hold. On my big system it was easy to create a resetable logic patch that did it (although doing logic in groups of 3 is tricky) trying to recreate this in my tiny system was hard until I decided to use a sequence: I used a Brainseed (which can record a step sequence of CVs, up to 1000 steps) I recorded 3 steps of very high voltages and then about 60 steps of 0 volts. This sequence is clocked by the Krell Melody voice and is reset by a clock divider (12-16 divisions) the output of the sequencer opens a VCA which passes 3 triggers from the Krell envelope. (AND Logic) these 3 triggers tell the Telharmonic to grab 3 new notes. (The reason for the long 60 step sequence is so that the sequence is always reset before it loops and fires off the triggers) This same clock divider out is multed to a second clock divider (dividing slower) which advances the Mutamix sequencer that changes the scale type. The beauty of this clocked/logic system is that whenever all the dividers line up, a new scale is chosen, the melody picks a new note, the harmony picks a new note, and the chords get 3 new notes with all 5 of the new notes being from the newly loaded scale. After that, the rest is just simple patching; I patch out of the Telharmonic in stereo into 2 6db low pass filters, just to take the edge off and I have the two slow LFOs (that drive the Krell envelope) slowly modulating the two filters (a tiny bit!). Lastly I patch the Krell melody CV into a Disting (as a slew) and use that slowly moving CV to modulate the main timbre control on the Telharmonic. I went to great trouble to tune the stereo low pass filters and then control them with the SISM knob I used to also control the brightness of the melody and harmony. It’s also interesting to note that the entire patch relies on sample and held noise to create its note generation and the noise source I’m using is from the telharmonic noise output. That noise output changes its character as the Telharmonic’s other oscillators are modulated. It’s hard to say what effect that might have on the note choice of the S&Hs that drive the whole patch but it is a feedback loop of sorts. :hmm:
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Last edited by Dcramer on Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Exodus, Patch Description: Scale and Mix

Post by Dcramer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:09 am

In this final layer of the patch, I show the clock divider and sequencer that call up the scale types and I show the simple mixer patch with effects.
I really wanted the piece to be in stereo and to have reverb on it. It was a shame not to have more rack space so I really had to squeeze things in. The clump of cables in the top right simply patches the mixer outs to the output/headphone module and creates an effects to a reverb and mixes it into the stereo master outs. (The Flame FX-6 stereo reverb preset has no dry mix!)
The mix was simple, with the Chords being panned in stereo and the melody and harmony spread out a little (often the harmony part was very low in pitch!)
The harmony was sent to lots of reverb, the melody and chords less so.
The rest of the cables are used to call up different custom scales in the uScale once both clock dividers have reached their maximum division. The bottom clock divider gets its trigger from the top so it moves very slow. When it finally triggers it advances the Mutamix one step forward (some versions of the patch call up random sequence steps) and a new scale loads. For Utrecht, I created 12 custom scales and the Mutamix was able to call up six of them throughout a performance. (I was able to pre choose which scales and what order)
Because both clock dividers were triggered by the Krell voice, I am able to calculate how long an entire movement (cycle of all six scales) takes in actual notes, even though the notes are constantly changing speed. For most of my performances on the three days I’d programmed it to generate 864 melody notes per movement, with the movements running between 10-18 minutes in length.
I was able to make many decent quality recordings of the patch and I’ve managed to strip those down to 7 movements for the live album that will be released on June 30, 2018, the day after a festival performance of the piece in my own home town :cloud:
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Post by Dcramer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:16 am

And finally, the Gearsluts video interview and performance from Utrecht in which I actually speak! :woah:
It’s followed by a very good quality recording of a single movement performance of the patch.
(Thanks Jan!)

[video][/video]

:party: :party: :party:

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Post by cptnal » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:32 am

A most generous contribution, sir. Looking forward to getting into this in great detail. :tu:
Is it finished?
Latest Tune:
Sounds: SoundCloud , Freesound
Racks: Big Case, Skiff, Waveform Laboratory, Funboat

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Post by pieter » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:30 am

Thank you so much for that detailed description of your patch, I'm going to try to replicate the core of it. I love the performance at the end of the video. (Did you really need reverb on the modular in that massive hall? :hihi:)

Also, I hope you enjoyed my old home town of Utrecht!

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Post by amop » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:38 pm

Congratulations! :yay: That is an achievement few of us get to...achieve. :party:

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Post by RecycleYourPets » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:21 pm

Incredible patch and very thoughtful breakdown!
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Post by cptnal » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:57 am

The key things I've got out of this are subtlety and economy - a little goes a long way. But I'll tell you what - that shift register idea is a doozey! I've got Shifty in hocketing mode with the CV outs of the first three channels stacking up the chord, and the gate out of the fourth firing an envelope. Clock divider + logic spacing the chords out. Once again I am privileged to nick all your best ideas. :hail:
Is it finished?
Latest Tune:
Sounds: SoundCloud , Freesound
Racks: Big Case, Skiff, Waveform Laboratory, Funboat

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Post by SunSpots » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:10 pm

Dcramer wrote:And finally, the Gearsluts video interview and performance from Utrecht in which I actually speak! :woah:
It’s followed by a very good quality recording of a single movement performance of the patch.
(Thanks Jan!)

[video][/video]

:party: :party: :party:
I love the reminder for constraint. With all the 100 different things you were doing, the one reminder was clear and obvious. Thanks for educating and creating at the same time.
SunSpots

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