Showing posts from April, 2022

Eurorack setups for Moon Dog

         First Patch            Second Patch          Third Patch These are the three Eurorack setups that I used in Moon Dog. They are refinements on each other as I got my head around the Silent Way plug ins. I tried out a variety on configurations in Ableton Live  settling in the end on the Follower and Trigger plugins. There are a number of ways to implement getting the CV out of the Live interface and into the modules. I basically used the instruments in Moon Dog (working title - coming soon) to drive the CV outputs, which in turn was used to drive the Oscillator. The Oscillator was synced to the Trigger plug in which was set up to provide a trigger on each chord change. The output of the oscillator was sent to nRings modulator before being fed to the texture synthesiser Beads driven by the Random sampler which was also synced to the chord changes. The generated signal was then fed to a compressor before return to Ableton's input tracks for recoding.


  Interesting tutorial on compression. John uses a visual analysis of what compression looks like from a number of angles. He looks at attack and release times and how these affect different parts of a kick drum waveform. I think it usefully helps to explain compression and how it works even if you should "mix with your ears and not your eyes" as John says.

CV software calibration

In this video the narrator explains how to calibrate the CV to modules using Silentway Voice controller software. I found his explanation confusing but it is a good starting point. Send an output from the voice controller and receive in back in. Simple. That's what I'll be doing. The manual is much clearer. Bloody YouTube!

Room acoustics


CV amplifier circuit.

 This is a schematic from Mutable Instruments for a CV amplifier. More examples are available via the link.

Sound Installation

Excellent series of articles on various facets of sound art and sound installations. Click on the image to go to the site. Wikipedia  has more information on this area.  

Warp mode

  Good video tutorial on warp mode in Ableton Live. LNA does audio has other useful tutorials. She promises to go into more depth about the warp modes in Ableton. I must find that video.

Morning Spring by Suzanne Ciani

  Suzanne Ciani · Morning Spring In this piece, which I found on Soundcloud, Suzanne Ciani plays with watery sounds mixed up with harmonic pads. There is a fluidity to the work as the sounds of flowing and dripping water intersperse with the post-industrial machinations of the synthesisers in the background. Bass gently prodding it the background can occasionally be heard punctuating the symphonic groans of the Buchla system that she is famous for using. Ciani is also an accomplished pianist playing with jazz ensembles as well as being a successful sound designer and recording artist.

Suzanne Ciani

  Renown composer and experimenter Suzanne Ciani playing with an Animmoog Z in conjunction with her modular Buchla system. The Animoog Z has been supplied to her by Moog Music for her to try out. It is certainly impressive looking software but what she does with it is masterful and eminently musical.

Music Box by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe

  Music Box by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe from the award winning film 'Candyman' uses a mixture of synthesis and the sound of a virtual(?) piano. Its foreboding feel was developed in dialogue with the films construction process which is the way Lowe prefers to works. The piano part is a simple melody backgrounded by the complex harmonics of the synthesised sounds. These sounds are eerie and hint at a post-industrial context working nicely as a backdrop to the streets of Chicago where the film is based. As part of the collection of sounds for this work he drew from late night visits to laundromats recording the sound of the machines as the worked to clean the clothes of the patrons. Inspiring stuff. Makes me want to go into poverty to buy more euro rack modules. Dangerous, too, I suspect. Anyway, hats off to Lowe for creating these works and making access to his work public.

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe @ Superbooth16

  In this video sound designer and installation artist Robert Wiki Aubrey Lowe introduces the audience to his use of modular synthesis in his creation of new works. He like the way there are no rules for modular synthesis and that this feeds into his improvisations which are central to his creative process. There is an organic sound to his work which has an element of sequenced rhythms and rich deep sounds full of harmonic content. He is concerned with vocal elements and these can be heard quite clearly in the piece he composes for the audience from scratch. There is also an industrial element which almost sounds like machines groaning under the strain of creating the music.

How To Orchestrate Like a Pro


Writing for the cello


Electronic and Experimental Music: Technology, Music and Culture

Electronic and Experimental Music: Technology, Music and Culture(4th edition) by Them Holmes is an in depth textbook covering the history of electronic music in Europe, America and Asia from 1874 to 2011, the year before publication. It is a thorough grounding in the history of music synthesis.  It has extensive chapters on analog and digital synthesis as well as on the types of music in which synthesis is used. It looks like a great reference book for any one interested in electronic music production.   

Patch & Tweak: Exploring Modular Synthesis

 Patch & Tweak: Exploring Modular Synthesis by Kim Bjørn and Chris Meyer is a book about exactly that; it looks at a select history of modular synthesis as well as delving into a series of analyses of a variety of mainly Eurorack modules. It is a handy text book. It does cover other formats as well: Buchla, Serge and Moog. It explains the building blocks of synthesis - VCOs, VCFs, VCAs, LFOs, etc., as well as having profiles on a number performing artists who expound on their philosophy and practice when it comes to composing with modular synthesis. It covers everything from the fundamentals up to the uses of a selection of commonly used Eurorack modules and their uses. Great reference book.

Creative Manifesto

  This is my creative manifesto developed in reflection on technology, artistic and ethical practices.


  Kraftwerk – The Model Electro-Pop   A 8 Bar intro Bass, Drums, Synth 1   A 16 Bar verse   B 8 Bar Synth 1 Instrumental   A 16 Bar Verse   B 8 Bar Synth 1 Instrumental   A 16 Bar Synth 2 Instrumental   B 8 Bar Synth 1 Instrumental   A 16 Bar Verse   A 8 Bar Synth 2 Instrumental   A  8 Bar Outro Bass, Drums, Synth 2 ending on an Am   Key: Em A section: iv /// i/// iv/// i /// X4 B Section: VI /// i /// III /// i /// VI /// i /// iv /// V7 /// 4/4, 120 bpm Kraftwerk’s song The Model (Das Model) holds a strong 4/4 rhythm throughout and is an alternating A B patterns as set out above. Synth 1 & 2 share lead parts and counter melodies while playing in different registers to distinguish them as different instruments. It is played at a snappy Andante beat of 120 bpm and the music supports the dreamy lyrical melody.

Bob Marley and the Wailers

  Bob Marley and the Wailers – No woman no cry.   Reggae Anthem   4 bar intro   8 bar chorus   16 bar verse   8 bar chorus   16 bar verse   16 bar bridge   8 bar chorus   8 bar chorus   16 bar Instrumental   8 bar outro/chorus   Key C, 4/4,  100 bpm   Chorus:            I /// iii /// vi /// V /// I /// V /// I /// V ///   Verse and Bridge:                   I /// vi /// I /// vi /// X4   The organ and bass and percussion intro the track before male vocals and harmonies.  Then rhythm guitar joins in as organ holds harmony. Tambourine continues. Gentle drum syncopated cross rhythm. Male vocal sung in Jamaican dialect with male harmonies. Lead guitar solos in instrumental section. It is a gentle song sung in a heartfelt way. 

Colbie Caillat

  Colbie Caillat – Bubbly   Pop Ballad 4/4 130 bpm   Guitar intro, then female voice before bass and drums join in with organ/synth. Organ drops out in verse. Gentle rhythm played in a cut beat pattern making it feel slower than it is. Maybe really 2/4. Outro with voice and guitar forming a mirror image. Just a solo female voice, with sparse accompaniment of bass, drums and a quiet organ/synth.   8 bar Intro    16 bar verse   16 bar chorus   16 bar verse   16 bar chorus   6 bar bridge   16 bar chorus   16 bar instrumental   16 bar verse   16 bar chorus   16 bar chorus/outro   Pattern I /// V /// IV /// I /// X 2   Bridge  iii /// IV /// V /// ii /// iii /// IV ///   Key A

Joe Pass

  Joe Pass – Autumn Leaves   Am 32 Bar A A B A Jazz Standard 4/4 135 bpm   A ii /// V7 /// I /// IV /// vii7b5 /// III7 /// iv /// iv ///   B vii7b5 /// III7b9 /// iii /// ii /// V7 /// I /// I ///                                     iii / bIII7 / v / bV7 / IV /// III7b9 /// iii /// iii ///   Joe Pass plays with a Rubato feel coming and going from a set paced rhythm. He starts off with a straight rendition of the standard before moving into more and more complex improvisations. Just the guitar makes it feel very intimate. Just the listener and the soulful guitarist. He plays the bass line and harmonies while twisting the melody in and out.  

Sonny Rollins

       Sonny Rollins – I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star   Bb 32 bar AABA Jazz Standard 195 bpm   A I /// ii / V7 / iii / VI7 / ii / V7 / I /// ii / V7 / I /// ii / V7 /   B V / iii /  vi / II7 / V/ iii /  vi / II7 / vi /// II7 /// ii /// V7 ///   Sonny Rollins and his band go straight to the top of the standard with the sax right up front. Bass and drums are holding the rhythm along with the guitar. The rhythm section supports the tenor sax out front. Occasionally a piano comps in the background adding to the rhythm section. It is played at a steadily cracking pace with strong swing throughout. The bass is steady during the song including while improvising the break, the piano is more prominent during its improvisation tightly following the harmonic content throughout while paying homage to the melody. The guitar improvisation is restrained before the sax rejoins the group to take us once more through the melody before taking us out on a trip through the circle of fifths.  

Sketch 4

Jonesie · Sketch 4 Moon Dog This is really getting into he post-industrial ambient realm. I really like the bass that I developed from my Hydrasynth in an Instrument rack called Space Drone. That is the name of the preset on the synth. It also uses found sounds and a Drum Rack that I created from found sounds and samples from inside Ableton. It also has earned a title so that it is developing as a stand alone work.

Sketch 5

Jonesie · Sketch 5 Imperative Ver1 Sketch 5 is also titled and I think that it forms the basis of a larger piece. The textures could be expanded and the melody worked on. It is drawn out from a trumpet solo piece at the moment. Again this could also do with some cross pollination with logic as far as the trumpet sound is concerned though I quite like the texture of it at the moment after processing.

Sketch 3

Jonesie · Sketch 3 Ver14 Vibes Sketch 3 has a name which for me means that it has started to evolve within itself as a star alone piece. It has a post-industrial ambient vibe and is probably played at too fast a tempo here . Could slow down 10-20 bpm. It is based around a progression in Ab with a bridge in the key of G. It works with b5 changes as it progresses through a series of key changes. I think that the textures could be built up along with some synth overlays and some electric guitar pieces as well as appropriate percussion.