MATRIXSYNTH: Improvisation LXXV: Prophet '08 PWM Pad

Monday, January 09, 2017

Improvisation LXXV: Prophet '08 PWM Pad

Published on Jan 8, 2017 Sacred Synthesis

"As often happens when I sit to improvise, I start at the massive eight-voice Poly Evolver Keyboard with the intention of creating both a new patch and a new piece of music. The habitual presumption is that the greater the resources the greater the outcome. Then, at some point, I turn to the much simpler Prophet '08 for a few chords or a little melody, and the next thing I know, I'm thoroughly engrossed with that instrument, both sonically and musically. This is what happened tonight, so here's another piece of Prophet '08 music.

I find two qualities constantly helpful in composing: simplicity and limitation. I find complexity terribly distracting to creativity, like trying to write the next line of a difficult poem in a messy room. So, I would never want the sort of instrument that "does it all." As much as I love working with the fairly sophisticated Poly Evolver and its wide range of tones, I far prefer the simplicity and directness of the Prophet '08. The limitations of its design help to get and keep me focused on music, rather than on other technical tangents. Limitation challenges the mind to work extra hard and doubly search and strive for beauty with a smaller set of resources; and in so exerting itself, the mind achieves a higher good, a nobler beauty.

This piece uses a complex pulse width modulation pad that includes four oscillators of pulse width, each being slowly modulated at different rates. Between the four oscillators and the two P'08 units, there is an immense amount of detuning, making for a rich if slightly nasal end result. As usual, the modulation wheel is set to open the filter.

The musical idea behind this piece is simply contrary stepwise motion - the keyboard lines descending, with the pedal lines often ascending, or vice versa.

DSI Prophet '08 Keyboard
DSI Prophet '08 Module
DSI Evolver Desktop
Hammond XPK 200L

Lexicon MX300 for reverb

Performed and recorded live and directly to CD


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