MATRIXSYNTH: 0-coast ambient: data.ghost

Thursday, March 29, 2018

0-coast ambient: data.ghost

Published on Mar 29, 2018 C Nich0lls

"Analogue synth performance featuring the Makenoise 0-Coast synthesizer. The core of this track is a single take performance, with a motif sequenced by the Malekko Varigate 8+.

data and the imperfect mirror

Patch and Recording Notes

On the surface this track might seem a little different, but the process and themes build on some earlier ideas. The central theme is an unedited, single take. Although the CV sequencing pitch remains unchanged throughout, the 2 gate streams firing the Contour and Slope generators take advantage of the Varigate 8+'s probability features. This leads to the underlying pattern or data, being constantly reshaped by the 'sampling' of the gate streams.

Additionally, there are 4 more CV outputs from a Malekko AD/LFO routed to Contour Dcy (via volt math), Overtn, Balnc, and Slope Time. These are free-running LFO's which creates a constantly shifting timbre. The amount of modulation to those destinations is increased through the recording.

The last part of the modulation is the routing of the random source (clocked by the sq wave) to the lin FM of the Oscillator. The amount of noise is adjusted throughout the performance.

The idea was to create a single pattern, whose overall audible shape and timbre constantly shifted throughout the piece. You catch glimpses of it and then it settles back into the murk.

Two additional passes were recorded and these used the exact same gate stream, but did not use the CV. They are a low 'kick' drum and higher pitched percussion. All 3 tracks were generated from the same gate source, but the probability and offsets obscure the pattern. I wanted a to create a rhythm that was persistent, but remained elusive.

The central theme is completely unedited. As a final mix I hand edited the level of each percussive track to either accent or reduce their interactions with the theme. No compression or EQ is used anywhere in the recording. I wanted to retain as much of the natural dynamics of the 0-Coast as possible (as they are amazing). The final mix is simply balanced by detailed adjustments to the levels of the percussion tracks.

The central theme was recorded through the Strymon BigSky running a custom 'Chorale' patch which went direct to the Strymon TimeLine running a custom LoFi patch. There is quite a lot of pre-delay on the reverb, so the wash becomes quite layered. The use of very short and very long notes is deliberate and creates shifting harmonies and pulses.

The 2 percussive tracks were recorded through a custom 'NonLinear' patch on Strymon 'BigSky'.

As usual, very little concern was shown to the notion of synching up all of the different timing elements! :-)

The interaction between a carefully planned patch and live performance is something I am finding very rewarding, both as a creator and a listener."

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