Featured Listings (more)


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sonic Detours


Published on Jul 15, 2016 Sonic Detours

Playlist (full descriptions for each further below):
1. Mr. Fingers - Can You Feel It (Sonic Detours Cover)
2. Korg Volca Bass, Keys, Sample and Beats + Waldorf Rocket - Detour #1
3. Korg Volca Jam - Detour #2
4. Korg Volca + Waldorf Rocket Jam - Detour #3
5. Korg Electribe Ambient/Downtempo/Chill Without Beat - Detour #4
6. Jam with Push 2, Waldorf Rocket, Roland JU-06, Korg Volca Bass and Keys - Detour #5
7. Detour #6 - Push 2, Roland JU-06, MicroBrute, Korg Volca Bass, Keys, Beats and Sample
8. Jam with Korg Minilogue, Roland JU-06, MicroBrute, Korg Volca, Ableton Live, Push 2 - Detour #7


1. Mr. Fingers - Can You Feel It (Sonic Detours Cover)

"I bought a Roland JU-06 today and decided to celebrate with a cover of a house music classic.

Gear used:
- Roland JU-06
- Korg Volca Bass
- Korg Volca Keys
- Korg Volca Sample
- Ableton Live 9
- Ableton Push 2
- Novation Launch Control

Ableton live was used for sequencing and mixing only - all synth and drum parts were played on the hardware units."

2. Korg Volca Bass, Keys, Sample and Beats + Waldorf Rocket - Detour #1

"Performed live in one take with Ableton Live and the following hardware:

* Volca Beats
* Volca Sample
* Volca Bass
* Volca Keys
* Waldorf Rocket
* Korg nanoKontrol2

All hardware is going into Ableton Live for real-time mixing and effects. Simple kick, bass and pad loops (prepared in Reason and bounced to audio in advance) were triggered from scenes during the performance.

Both video and audio was recorded live on an iPhone 6 - no edits or mastering after the fact.

The track is also available on my sound cloud: https://soundcloud.com/sonicdetours/d..."

3. Korg Volca Jam - Detour #2

"Here is my latest performance featuring three Korg Volcas and a small 8 part step sequencer that I wrote for the Novation LaunchPad.

The sequencer is written in the Ruby programming language and as far as I know, it's the first command line sequencer in the world :-)

Hardware used in this performance:

- Korg Volca Bass
- Korg Volca Keys
- Korg Volca Sample
- Korg Monotron Delay
- ART Tube AMP
- Novation LaunchPad (with command line step sequencer running on my MacBook)

The Volca Keys is going through the Monotron for delay and noise treatment and the Bass through the tube pre amp for some smooth, warm overdrive and compression.

All Volcas go into Ableton Live for further FX processing and mixing (the hardware units are playing all parts - there are no audio clips or soft synths in Live). I set up up a 100% wet delay on the Volca Sample's right channel in Live and used the pan control on the hardware unit to control the wet/dry mix for individual parts. This actually worked out really well and allowed me to play drum parts, dubby stabs and one shot samples with immediate, hands-on control over FX balance for individual parts. I also used the internal reverb in the Volca Sample, so all in allI had a pretty nice palette to work with in terms of spatial effects.

Ableton Live is sequencing the Volca Keys. It's a really simple 1 bar pattern with 3 notes but I just don't like the sequencer in the Volca Keys. Perhaps I'll add some features to my sequencer so it can play the Volca Keys as well :-)

The Launchpad step sequencer is set up to control the first 8 parts on the Volca Sample, so I'm not using the internal sequencer on this unit either.

Together, the step sequencer and the delay send really unlocked the potential of the Volca Sample... this is a powerful little beast if you know how to use it!"

4. Korg Volca + Waldorf Rocket Jam - Detour #3

"I made a few improvements to my homemade step sequencer. I now use the LaunchControl pads to mute/unmute the first 8 tracks on the Volca Sample and the knobs control volume and wet/dry mix for each of the tracks (I'm using the right output of the Volca sample as an FX send, so the pan knob acts as a wet/dry mix).

All parts are played by the hardware units you see in the video and routed to Ableton Live on my MacBook for mixing.

Gear used for this performance:

- Korg Volca Sample
- Korg Volca Beats
- Korg Volca Bass
- Korg Volca Keys
- Waldorf Rocket
- ART Tube Pre Amp
- Novation LaunchControl
- Home made step sequencer (available on github.com/sonicdetours)
- Home made Midi Thru box (schematics available on sonicdetours.com)
- Ableton Live 8

I also used a Novation LaunchPad Mini (with my home made sequencer) and a Korg nanoKey while programming the parts.

The Volca Keys is playing the pad that starts off the performance, and the Waldorf Rocket plays the lead that kicks in after 8 bars. Both of these are sequenced by Ableton Live, and I set up a few scenes in advance that fit the arrangement I had in mind. I use one of the arrow buttons on the LaunchControl to switch scenes during the performance.

The Volca Sample plays the wet snare drum and the electric piano chords. I put the same electric piano sample on four individual tracks and messed around with the speed (while holding down the Func button to get clean semitones) until I had something interesting.

I think this is great way to get some quick and very usable results from the Volca Sample. Having the pitched samples on multiple tracks allows you to mute and unmute them individually to change to pattern, like I do in the intro. The 4 bar loop I get with my home made step sequencer also helps of course but I am sure you could get good results with the one bar internal Volca Sample sequencer as well. This approach could probably be taken a lot further by adding more samples at different pitches to allow for interesting pattern variations during the performance.... maybe I will do that next time.

The Volca Bass plays 2 layered patterns: A bass pattern in the lower octaves and a higher pitched lead. My original thought was to introduce these patterns at different points in time with the mute + part buttons but in the end chose to bring them in at the same time... it just worked better that way. I also programmed a small variation with a slide in the lead pattern which I'm using towards the end.

The Volca Bass goes trough a small tube pre amp for some smooth distortion and compression and then into Ableton live. I use a delay send with a high pass filter in Live to add a touch of delay to the pitched lead (while leaving the bass alone).

The Volca Beats plays all drums and percussion, except the wet snare that is played by the Sample. To make things more interesting, I use a delay send with a high pass filter in Ableton Live to get some more interesting percussion and hihat patterns without effecting the kick drum (just as I did on the Volca Bass).

I'm still surprised how much music you can actually get out these small machines, especially the Volcas. I'm sure it could be taken a lot further than I do in these videos."

5. Korg Electribe Ambient/Downtempo/Chill Without Beat - Detour #4

"The synth waveforms on my new Korg Electribe 2 are pretty cool and I thought I would try to put something together with only those and a couple of analog desktop synths. The drums of the Electribe are OK, but the synth waveforms and variable filters is where this unit really shines in my opinion.

Gear used:

- Korg Electribe 2
- Korg Volca Bass
- Korg Volca Keys
- Waldorf Rocket
- Ableton Live 8

The Volca Bass and Waldorf Rocket are sequenced by the Electribe. The Rocket is just playing a single tied note and I use the cutoff to make filter sweeps during the performance. I'm playing the Volca Keys live... or at least I'm trying to. My new Volca stand (which I'm otherwise quite happy with) made things a bit difficult. Maybe I should pick up one of those Korg Minilogues and use it as a master MIDI keyboard... :-)

Everything goes into Ableton live for effects and mixing. I use no soft synths or prerecorded tracks - all sounds come from the units on the table and they were recorded to stereo master in one take, just as you see it in the video."

6. Jam with Push 2, Waldorf Rocket, Roland JU-06, Korg Volca Bass and Keys - Detour #5

"Gear used:

- Waldorf Rocket
- Korg Volca Keys
- Korg Volca Bass
- Roland JU-06
- Ableton Live
- Ableton Push 2
- Novation Launch Control

Everything is sequenced and mixed in Ableton Live. Drums from a 606 drum rack in Live, everything else is from the hardware synths.

The audio was recoded live on my iPhone (which I used to shoot the video) with a small stereo audio interface and no subsequent edits were made."

7. Detour #6 - Push 2, Roland JU-06, MicroBrute, Korg Volca Bass, Keys, Beats and Sample

"This is my first proper live performance with both my new Roland JU-06 and MicroBrute. I really like both of these synths!

I came across this really fat patch on the Volva Bass (the "drone" in the intro) and tried to build the tune around that. The flanging effect is achieved by modulating the pitch of the oscillators ever so slightly with the LFO on the Volca Bass. There are no external effects on the bass other than the compressor used with a side chain i Ableton to create the pumping effect along with the kick drum.

The JU-06 plays the delayed chords and the MicroBrute handles the high pitched notes. The open hihat is played by the Volca Beats (I love the hats on this machine), and the remaining drums are from the Volca Sample. The Volca Keys plays the arpeggio that is introduced in the break.

All synths are sequenced and mixed with Push 2 and Ableton Live. No soft synths were used.

I did try to do a bit of sampling on this track with Push 2 and Ableton Live, but I'm not really satisfied with the result... I'll have to do better next time!

I didn't find any use for the Waldorf Rocket on this tune, so it's silent although it's in the shot.

Gear used:

- Roland JU-06
- MicroBrute
- Volca Bass
- Volca Keys
- Volca Sample
- Volca Beats
- Push 2
- Ableton Live"

8. Jam with Korg Minilogue, Roland JU-06, MicroBrute, Korg Volca, Ableton Live, Push 2 - Detour #7

"I got lucky the other day and bypassed the waiting list for a Korg Minilogue at my local music shop. I have been wanting one of these since they came out and I was not disappointed... this is a fantastic synth!

Here's my first performance with my new silver beast. Be sure to listen with head phones or external speakers... the bass is pretty deep and I can't hear it on my MacBook internal speakers at all.

As usual, everything was sequenced and mixed in Ableton Live, using plenty of compressors, reverbs and delays. Apart from the drums, all parts were made with the hardware synths you see in the video and the stereo master was recorded in real time on my iPhone 6, along with the video. No multi tracking of post processing - everything was played "live".

Gear used:

- Korg Minilogue
- Roland Boutique JU-06
- Korg Volca Bass
- Art Tube Preamp
- Korg Volca Keys
- Arturia MicroBrute
- Ableton Live
- Push 2
- Novation LaunchControl

The main chord progression in this performance is the first 4 bars of the "Liquid Pad" preset on the Minilogue. I came across this pattern while flicking through the presents and I just had to do something with it.

The bass is delivered by the MicroBrute... just a simple square/sine wave patch with pulse width modulation and the filter cutoff way down.

I'm playing the JU-06 live on the Minilogue keyboard (local MIDI control is off). I really enjoy playing a real keyboard after being stuck with the Push 2 pads for a while... man I hate being locked into a key and scale when I play! I've been a bit worried about the size of the keys on the Minilogue, but they worked out great - no problem at all.

The Volca Keys plays the high pitched lead that is introduced in the first breakdown, and the Volca Bass is responsible for the 303 style pattern in the last part of the performance. I use a small Art Tube Preamp on the Volca Bass to create some warm, fuzzy distortion (not in the shot).

I use two drum racks in Ableton Live for the drums - one with TR 808 samples and one based on the lesser known but super cool Boss D55 drum machine (I just love that rim shot). I'm not using the Volca Beats for this performance at all.

The hardware synths were sequenced in Ableton Live and the patterns arranged in scenes, allowing me to "perform" the arrangement in real time. I mapped the buttons on the LaunchControl to mutes on individual drum voices, so they could easily be switched in and out during the performance."

No comments:

Post a Comment