| br>This most recent Halloween, I was the "stay at home" parent and needed to
set the mood fast. I put a few small strobes in the windows, put on a white
lab coat, and pushed my Roland KC-60 into the garage window. I
set up my Dotcom by the porch door so I could play it while the trick-or-treaters
And I played the Dotcom *live*. No keyboards, no controllers, just knobs and
cables, for about two hours straight, while using the UEG and LFOs to keep it
interesting even if I had to go to the door to hand out candy.
It was wonderful! I channeled "Forbidden Planet" and "Frankenstein" and
Tangerine Dream and had an absolute blast. Even better, the
trick-or-treaters loved it! I got responses like "Best on the street" and
"You really kicked it up a notch." and "Wow. Totally UFO-ville".
One said "It makes the whole neighborhood more halloweeny." "Oh, should
I turn it down?" "No, it's good this way." It is glory to be told NOT to turn it down.
And best of all, at the end, a parental unit even asked if it was "one of those
synthesizers like ... uh...um..." and made plugging-and-unplugging motions. "Like
a telephone switchboard", I asked innocently. "Yeah, like that!". "Yep, that's
my modular synthesizer!". "Wow..."
I'm hooked on this now. I gotta go play live again. (sadly, I did not record the
performance; I didn't have a working recorder then. More's the pity; some of it
was pretty darn good.)
- Bill br> br>
| br>Get hooked!!
Actually playing is where it is at.
Any controller is cool in my book but people need to take the modulars out more! br> br>
| br>it constantly surprises me that these beautiful systems commonly don't find their way out of the house... play out, dude! i hope you got the positive reinforcement that you needed! br> br>
| br>And.... this halloween I did it again. No oops (mostly) - came out great. Multiple complements including "THIS IS THE BEST HOUSE EVER!!!"
I had a couple of K-mart color strobes in the dormers, a "short circuit special effect" lamp in the droplight hung in the
garage, and a Crate Limo 50 stuck out a window.
This year, I went with a 6U "Ridgid" Eurorack case (the famed Home Depot case). It didn't have the creepies that my
MU portable or the Buchla had, for some reason.
But ... go with the flow. If you can't be it the synth you love, love with the synth you're with.
it wasn't supercreepy. But it had a nice four-on-the-floor rawness that occasionally diverged into actual
sensuality (*), while the random factors from the SSF UltraRandom and the Turing Machine gave me time to actually
think at a higher level as to where I wanted to _go_ musically.
(*) You know how some music is just _raw_ in a very sexual sense? I think I started channeling NIN a couple of
times and had to yank myself out of it; this is a FAMILY neighborhood, and even without lyrics and on Halloween I gotta
say I wasn't sure if the sounds were culturally appropriate.
But hey, LOADS of fun.... y'all gotta try this next halloween. Live improv modular is a big challenge but the most fun I'd had all month long.
The patch went something like this (and it got repatched a bit)
Ultra-Random Clock out as master heartbeat to the system
- clock out to Turing Machine clock in and Rene clock in
- sample B out to Math chan 1 speed
Maths creates a couple of envelopes:
- chan 1 out to Optimix 1 gain 1
- chan 4 out to ModEmux 1 gain 2
Rene creates a pseudomelodic background and some clocks
- quantized CV out to 4MS spectral multiband resonator CV rotate in
- unquantized CV out to Hertz Donut primary CV in
- X-clock out to Maths chan 1 trigger
- Y-clock out to Maths chan 4 trigger
Turing Machine in 16-bit mode creates a permuting counter-melody to the Rene:
- OUT to hacked EON (*) CV in
Hacked EON creates an actual waveform - either phase-distorted sine or supersaw
- OUT 2 audio thru Otoole scope to ModEmux 2 audio in.
MoDemux 2 takes the enveloped-by-Maths-channel-4 waveform and
- SUM OUT to Synthrotek DLY(*) signal IN
Synthrotek DLY (never quite calibrated it right!) does a delay-echo-crushing-reverb-chatter and outputs mangled pseudopercussion:
- DLY OUT to ROSIE output mixer channel A
Meanwhile, there's still the Hertz Donut. I set it up for audio TZFM from the internal secondary osc, both making sines, and:
- MAIN OUT to Optomix Chan 1 audio (where it gets eveloped by Maths channel 1)
Optomix out went into a WMD DPLR delay line set for near-self-resonance, and
- DPLR A OUT splits - one line to 4MS spectral multiband resonator audio in
- and also directly into ModEmux "aux input", where it gets added to what
goes into the Synthrotek DLY
The 4MS SMR gets pitch-nudged from a pressure points, and the output after mangling
by all of those moving resonances goes
- 4MS SMR OUT to Rosie B channel.
And the Rosie goes to the big amp stuck in the window.
The whole thing can run off batteries (the 6U of Eurorack from a car-jumpstart box, the Crate Limo from it's own internal battery.
Alas, I did not record. I didn't want to have anything subpeonable for a noise complaint. :-)
(*) the hacked EON is still not "right" - I've not changed the hardware, just the software. And if anyone can tell me
if they get crosstalk on the CV or TRIG in on their EON causing it to switch from Oscillator to Noise or
even Envelope, please let me know! I might have toasted mine and i intentionally did not scan out the original
binary so I couldn't be accused of copyright infringement. Note also that the EON's cpu is the same as an
Arduino Uno R3 so I'm using the Arduino dev environment to do the hacking.
- Bill br> br>
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