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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2018 » August » 02

Try a free Minimoog Voyager – and get the Minimoog Bob wanted

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 2 Aug 2018 5:50 pm

“What would Bob Moog do” is normally a tough question to answer – but not so with the Minimoog. We know exactly what Dr. Moog thought would improve the Minimoog – and that’s all the more reason to try it for free on your Mac or Windows machine.

Robert Moog was principle designer of the 2002 Minimoog Voyager, the instrument that brought the Moog name back to life. And here’s the thing: while the original was a classic, and maybe is worth experiencing in its “pure” form, it’s possible to recommend the Voyager as a genuine improvement.

Apart from preset storage (you wimps), the Voyager maintains the original Minimoog architecture but allows deeper access to sound design. So there’s a dedicated LFO, so you have a modulation source. There are two dedicated modulation buses, allowing you to shape the sound. You get separate envelopes for filter and amplitude.

And all of these features are recreated on Blamsoft’s VK-1 Viking synth. (Available as a VST2 plug-in, compatible with macOS 10.11 or newer and 64-bit Windows XP or newer.) Now, whether this is the best Minimoog emulation ever is perhaps besides the point. It sounds great – enough so that I don’t mind just saving time doing an elaborate A/B comparison, and would get straight to music. It adds all the Voyager features. And, oh yeah, they let you set the price you want to pay.

That’s great. You can actually try this as an instrument, then support the developer with the amount of money you’ve got, not the amount of money they think you should have.

Synth Anatomy just went through a nice video tour:

You get 228 presets, but honestly, this thing is really fun to program – thanks to the LFO and two modulation buses. You can choose drive modes for the filter, which escalates the ladder filter from kinda normal to kinda awesome. An there’s enough modeling of instability to make this thing feel alive.

Now, someone needs to make a nice iPad touch template for it – Bob unintentionally predicted the iPad with the Voyager’s X/Y modulation panel, right?

Here are a bunch of sound examples from the developer:

But if those don’t appeal to you musically, a nice little community has formed around the VK-1 with tons of other music made just with this one synth.

I’d been often returning to Native Instruments’ Minimoog-inspired synth Monark – especially now that it has a Reaktor Blocks edition, so you can break it apart and use it as modules. But it’s really nice having the architectural additions of the Voyager, and the pay-what-you-will nature of the VK-1 makes it ideal for exchanging projects with others.


And raise a glass to Dr. Moog’s various accomplishments – but also to the Voyager, the synth that made the Moog renaissance possible, and all the great Moog Music stuff that has followed since.

The Voyager, in electric blue.

The post Try a free Minimoog Voyager – and get the Minimoog Bob wanted appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Free download: amps and cellos under your fingertips in the new LABS

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 2 Aug 2018 4:55 pm

If you don’t have a studio, four cellists, amps and recording equipment plus an engineer handy, try this — it’s free.

“Amplified Cello” is the latest instrument in the ongoing LABS series from our friends at Spitfire Audio, a boutique sample house in the UK. They promised some more “experimental” content, after the soft piano and strings and drums, and here you go.

Not only do these cellos get routed through amps for extra edge, but Spitfire founder Christian Henson and engineer Harry Wilson actually did that processing live during recording – cellos in one room, tracking through the amps in another.

But what really makes this interesting to play around with is, they’ve put a bunch of different articulations and gestures in the library. My graduate level musicology education here wants to use words like glissandi and tremolo, but actually, their words “evil,” “wobbly,” and “tension” are both more descriptive of the music and, let’s be honest, truer to our lives sometimes.

And there’s quite a selection:

Now, LABS are really easy and fun to play with, but here we do run up against a limitation: there are a bunch of different samples for various articulations here, and you can only get at them one at a time. Do try out the minimalist controls, as they have more of an impact on the result. It might also be worth setting up a multi-instrument to play with these. (Might get back to you on that!)

These minimal controls may confuse long-time sample users, but – don’t think too much; have a play.

To install, as before you head to the LABS page, login or register, and then click “GET” for each library you want. You can then choose where your plug-ins go, where to store the sample content (as on an external drive), and then download from the Spitfire app:


That app also has updates for Spitfire’s other LABS instruments.

Spitfire’s audio app has also improved. You can finally set a default path for VST2 (essential on Windows) and choose default install paths and plug-in paths, plus log in automatically.

I’m still surprised at readers’ resistance to these sorts of apps, but I’m guessing that means you’ve had a bad experience with some developers. (That part, I understand.) This app for me is reducing frustration, not adding to it, and I’ve tried on both Mac and Windows machines.

Enjoy! Previously:

LABS is a free series of sound tools for everyone, and you’ll want it now

Pretend you can play and produce drums with this free plug-in

The post Free download: amps and cellos under your fingertips in the new LABS appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Nikol returns to teach beginners modular – next, panning and ducking

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 2 Aug 2018 4:26 pm

Modular isn’t just about building synth sounds; it’s also about routing signal and mixing in a new way. So we welcome the return of Czech superstar Nikol Štrobach, who continues her mission to make modular accessible to beginners.

Nikol is juggling mom duties with modular – we’ve even seen her kid Lumír. And our patching professor, after a year and a half of video production, did have to take a parenting sabbatical. But she’s returned with a new set of advanced tips and tricks, say our friends at Bastl Instruments. And she’s even added English-language narration (though we rather enjoyed the Czech).

Next up, panning (ooh, stereo!):

And ducking (using amplifiers to have one signal control another):

Bastl tells us this is just the start – two episodes are finished and scheduled for the next couple of weeks, with more in production.

Previously, a classic:

Watch a perfect explanation of modular physical modeling

The post Nikol returns to teach beginners modular – next, panning and ducking appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Readers recommend playlist: songs inspired by India

Delivered... George Boyland | Scene | Thu 2 Aug 2018 12:00 pm

Artists taking musical inspiration on our final playlist include the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Monsoon and David Sylvian

The readers recommend series is coming to a close this week. Here are songs on the final topic of India, picked by a reader from hundreds of your suggestions last week. Thanks for taking part – and hear more about the closure of the series at the end of the piece.

This week, Readers recommend has listened closely to the influence Indian music has had on other genres, with some surprising results.

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Half the World in 49 Songs

Delivered... Philipp Rhensius (Norient) | Scene | Thu 2 Aug 2018 6:00 am

The musician and composer Cedrik Fermont cuts lanes through the highly constructed geographical and imagined landscapes of our world. The recently released compilation Uchronia from his label «Syrphe» consists of 49 songs from artists of 32 different Asian countries. We asked him about his 5 favourite songs.

Old Map of Central Asia (Photo © by Flickr/cea)

«Asia is not a continent». This is not an unusual start in conversations with Cedrik Fermont. If one had to describe the musician, sound artist, and essayist in one term, the most appropriate would probably be: networker. But given the fact that this term is infected by neoliberal´s most beautiful dream (the constant commercial utilization of relationships), it would be better to describe him as personifying crossroads. On his constant tours as a musician and label owner, Fermont meets hundreds of musicians and sound artists from all over the world, and has established a lot of long term relationships and created a huge network of underground musicians Syrphe.

The recently released compilation Uchronia consists of 49 artists from noise, and free improvised music from 32 Asian countries and the diaspora. With the aim of reaching «beyond the obvious structures as well as beyond the connections to Europe and USA», the compilation shows how music is able to travel without borders, and to create alternative, non-eurocentric maps of the world. Norient editor Philipp Rhensius met him in Berlin to pick out his 5 favourite songs of the compilation. But before we move on, let`s clarify the statement from the beginning. Fermont writes in the accompanying essay, «geographical Asia is a cultural artifact», later claiming that «Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, South, Central and Southeast Asia, and Russia all shared various cultural and historical events as as scientific discoveries and trends.» And this–the compilation– is how experimental music from these countries sound.

Cdrik Fermont (Photo © by Frank Sebastian Hansen)

1. Gülce Özen Gürkan – Fag Boy Jesus

«It´s a very important piece and it is very political, maybe the only explicit one. Gülce Özen Gürkan is really active in the field of veganism, human rights and LGBT rights. The piece sounds like very old school electro acoustic music. The piece was made for an exhibition in Istanbul but it was censored because of the title, which is a big provocation in Turkey. It is about a homosexual being bullied but I won´t tell you more because it is important to listen to the text, spoken by a synthetic voice.»

2. Saadet Türköz, Zeynep Sarıkartal, Başar Ünder – Shine

«This piece is from a kazakh turkish project. It was hard to find musicians from Kazakhstan until somebody recommended Saadet Türköz, an experimental vocalist. But by the time I finally reached her, I just had 5 days left to finish the compilation. She told me she had no time to provide anything. Then I learned that another musician I know, Başar Ünder, was performing with her in Istanbul. I asked him to record the session. Normally I don´t release live sessions but this one turned out to be very well recorded.»

3. Children Of Cathode Ray – Mantracks

«This band is an audio visual project from the Philippines. I´m really happy that they are on it because they are the pioneers of the Philippine experimental music scene which started in the 80s. I love their music and they gave me a very old piece, which was probably
recorded around 1989 – 1990. I like the way they experiment with sound and visuals and especially their DIY approach of making music.»

4. Phu Pham – What Could

«This decision is purely based on my personal taste. I really like this piece because it is just beautiful, very emotional and very minimalistic. It is an introspective piece and you need to listen to it in a very quiet environment with all its organic details. It is a bit like a living being.»

5. Hygy Hairr – Heartscape

«Hygy Hairr is from Sri Lanka and she works with tapes and loops. It is interesting to see that she works like this as it is pretty old fashioned and uncommon nowadays. Her piece reminds me a lot on my past and the tape scene of the 80s. It was a time when I myself collected a lot of tapes and published tapes as well. The piece sounds a bit broken and it has a very eerie and strange melody, probably made with flutes. It sounds like a melancholic ceremony in a weird way.»

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