MATRIXSYNTH: Synth Jams by Jay Hosking

Monday, July 29, 2019

Synth Jams by Jay Hosking


Published on Jul 26, 2019 Jay Hosking

Spotted the first video in the playlist above on discchord.com. The Playlist contains 21 videos. You can use the player controls to skip around. Descriptions for each are below. All videos feature various gear so you should be able to get an idea of some of the capabilities of each featured. You can check out Jay Hosking's music at https://jayhosking.bandcamp.com/.

Note, more will likely get added over time. The following playlist is as of this post:

1. Jam w/ Vermona PERfourMER MkII, Elektron Analog Rytm MkII, OTO Bam, Styrmon Big Sky, Fugue Machine
A live, semi-improvised performance, all on hardware, and inspired by some pretty tough news that has me sentimental.

I loved the Elektron Analog Four MkII so much that I picked up the Analog Rytm MkII. My feelings on the Rytm are mixed. On the one hand, it's missing that spontaneity and spark of units like the Arturia DrumBrute Impact and Teenage Engineering OP-Z, with no readymade performance effects, roller bar, or global randomization, and a slower workflow. On the other hand, I really like its analogue sound engines, any unused tracks can be converted into impressive analogue mono synths, it does beautiful things to samples, and like all Elektron boxes it integrates the effects into the sequencer really nicely.

As for the Vermona PERfourMER MkII, I'd been pining over it for ages, and it was fun to finally tinker with it. The Perfourmer definitely excels in the mid- and high- range, and I love how the independent voices making really interesting voices for chords.

Vermona PERfourMER MkII + OTO Bam — Three synths (left chord note, right chord note, melody)
Vermona PERfourMER MkII + Strymon Big Sky — Bass chord note synth
Elektron Analog Rytm MkII — Drums, samples, sample melody, punchy bass
Fugue Machine (iOS) — Sequencing
IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo — MIDI out from iOS

Written and performed within a 24-hour period, and uploaded as is, with only a little sidechain compression on the Perfourmer (to emphasize the sound that the Rytm was already making), and compression/limiting on the master.

https://jayhosking.bandcamp.com/
2. High energy jam w/ Elektron Analog Four MkII, Digitone, Arturia DrumBrute Impact, Zoia, Big Sky, Ola
A live, semi-improvised performance, all on hardware, and inspired by a day alone with my agitated feelings. The Analog Four continues to floor me; I wasn't expecting much, and I have heard little buzz about it, but holy mackinaw it's a beautiful beast.

Elektron Analog Four MkII — Four analogue, subtractive synth parts (arp, bass, ghost oooh, melody)
Arturia DrumBrute Impact + Strymon Big Sky + Strymon Ola — Drums
Elektron Digitone + Zoia — Three FM synth parts (plucks 1, plucks 2, garbles)
3. Duo jam w/ Elektron Analog Four MkII, Korg Electribe EMX-1, Fender Jazzmaster
A live, semi-improvised jam, all on hardware, and inspired by a last-minute trip to Toronto. I brought along an Elektron Analog Four MkII and stayed a day with a good friend of mine, Phil Wilson. Phil graciously pulled out his trusty Electribe and we carved out an hour to write and record this jam. Considering we had very little time, and we'd never jammed like this before, I'm super happy with the results.

Also: wow, the Analog Four MkII is a hell of a synth. I picked it up as a trial, to see if I'd care for it after I fell in love with the Digitone, and I'm astounded with the results. As an analogue subtractive synth, I think it sounds incredible, and as a groovebox thing, it's pretty great too (though I miss the Digitone's eight voices).

Elektron Analog MkII — Four synth voices (arp, spooky ambience, weird melody thing, bass)
Korg Electribe EMX-1 — Drums
Fender Jazzmaster + Kuassa Vermillion + Synapse Legend FX — Guitar stuff

Written and recorded within a 12-hour period, and uploaded as is, with only a little compression/limiting on the master.
4. Ambient jam w/ Arturia MicroFreak, Novation Peak, Hades, Model D, Zoia, OTO Bam, Meris Mercury 7
A live, semi-improvised jam, all on hardware, and inspired by the creative limitations of Fugue Machine. This is my first foray into iPad-sequencing territory, and I'm impressed with how unlike Fugue Machine is to anything else I have. I'm looking forward to composing more with it.

Alexandernaut Fugue Machine (on an iPad) — sequencer
Novation Peak — slow, high thing
Arturia MicroFreak + Empress Zoia — faster arp thing
Dreadbox Hades + Meris Mercury 7 — melodic thing
Behringer Model D + OTO Bam — bass thing
5. Jam w/ Synthstrom Deluge, Dreadbox Abyss, Moog Subsequent 37, Minitaur, Volca FM, Zoia, Strymon, H9
A live synth performance, all on hardware, and accidentally inspired by the grandeur and rhythms of 80s fantasy-movie soundtracks. I swear it started as a sombre track!

I had to wait to record this one, because the Deluge and my previous MIDI-through box were causing ghost notes, stuck notes, and random program changes to the other hardware. Happy to say my new MIDI-through box, the Kenton MIDI Thru 5, works like a charm so far.

Synthstrom Deluge — Sequencing and drums
Moog Subsequent 37 + Strymon Big Sky — Arp
Korg Volca FM + Strymon Magneto + MI Clouds + DSI DSM02 + Eventide H9 — Melody
Dreadbox Abyss + Empress Zoia — Second melody and chords
Moog Minitaur + Meris Polymoon — Bass

Performed live and uploaded as is, with only a little compression/limiting on the master.
6. Simple setup jam w/ Arturia MicroFreak, DrumBrute Impact, OTO Bam, Strymon pedals, H9, PO-33
A live, semi-improvised performance, all on hardware, and inspired by long, sprawling mornings full of potential. I have a much more elaborate jam set up in my usual space, but my MIDI-through device is sending ghost notes and random program changes to all the hardware, so that one has to wait until next week.

While waiting for a new MIDI-through box to arrive, I set up this arrangement on a whim, and centred it around the new synth in my collection, the Arturia MicroFreak. I hope you'll agree that the MicroFreak sounds great and has some awesome features (four-note paraphony, multiple voice types, analogue filter) for the price point.

Arturia MicroFreak + Eventide H9 + Strymon Ola — Main synth sequence and lead
Arturia DrumBrute Impact + OTO Bam — Drums
Teenage Engineering PO-33 + Strymon Deco — Bass

Written and performed within a 12-hour period, and uploaded as is, with only a little compression/limiting on the master.
7. Jam in the woods w/ Elektron Digitone, Novation Peak, Empress Zoia, Teenage Engineering OP-Z
A live, semi-improvised performance, all on hardware, and inspired by spending a week in the woods. I wanted a "small" setup for travelling, so I only brought the Digitone and Peak with me, along with the OP-Z for sequencing and the Zoia for some effects goodness.

Teenage Engineering OP-Z — All sequencing and drums
Elektron Digitone — Four synth voices (noisy drone, arp, bass, pluck things)
Novation Peak + Empress Zoia + Arturia KeyStep — melody/lead

Written in my week in the woods, and performed live, with some compression and limiting on the master.
8. Big jam w/ Peak, Sirin, Minitaur, Model D, DrumBrute Impact, Zoia, BAM, Clouds, Polymoon, Magneto
A live, semi-improvised performance, all on hardware, and inspired by making amends in the spring. I was so in love with the Novation Circuit Mono Station's filter and drive that I thought I'd give the Peak a shot, and I'm pleased by their similarity.

A note on the video: The quality sucks, and the framing's off. I know, and I know. I hate it. My camera is unpredictable and it's hard to view the quality when it's up on my "boom", which is just a microphone stand with a clip. I'm looking into solutions.

Teenage Engineering OP-Z — Sequencing
Novation Peak — Pad
Behringer Model D + Mutable Instruments Clouds + Strymon Magneto + Dreadbox Theta + DSI DSM02 — Grimy melody thing
Arturia DrumBrute Impact + Meris Polymoon — Drums
Moog Minitaur + Oto BAM — Bass
Moog Sirin + Empress Zoia — Arpeggio

Written and performed within a 24-hour period, and uploaded as is, with only a little compression/limiting on the master.
9. Fired up jam w/ Moog Sirin, Deepmind 12D, Circuit Mono Station, Minitaur, Meris and Strymon effects
A live, semi-improvised performance, all on hardware (DAWless, if you will), and inspired by the excitement that comes from having some downtime. I recently got the MIDI module for the OP-Z, and wanted to try controlling some external hardware with it. I'm very happy with the results, especially with how many of the OP-Z's best features (e.g. smart chord transposition) extend effortlessly to the hardware.

Teenage Engineering OP-Z — Sequencing, drums
Moog Sirin + Meris Polymoon — Melody
Moog Minitaur + Strymon Deco + Strymon Big Sky — Bass
Behringer Deepmind 12D — Tremolo pad
Novation Circuit Mono Station + Meris Mercury 7 — Arpeggio

Written and performed within a 24-hour period, and uploaded as is, with only a little compression/limiting on the master.
10. Ambient jam with the NDLR, Digitone, Mutable Instruments Clouds, and H9
A live, semi-improvised jam, all on hardware (DAWless, if you will), featuring the NDLR (controlling the Digitone) and Clouds (controlling a sample from a Shannon Wright song). Once again, the NDLR proves itself an inspiration machine.

Conductive Labs NDLR — Sequencing magic
Elektron Digitone — Four synth parts (pad, bass, slower arp, faster arp)
Eventide H9 — Lo-fi grit on the Digitone
Mutable Instruments Clouds — Granular looped weird vocals
Dreadbox Theta — Modulation of the Clouds
DSI DSM02 — Colour on the Clouds
11. Ambient sketch with Elektron Digitone, Moog Sirin, Mutable Instruments Clouds, Strymon Ola, and more
A live, semi-improvised jam all on hardware (DAWless, if you will), and inspired by the unease of life transitions. The idea of the track came out of tinkering with FM synthesis via the Digitone.

Elektron Digitone + Strymon Ola — Four FM synthesis parts (slower arp, faster arp, pad/bass, melody thing) plus some tape warble
Moog Sirin + Mutable Instruments Clouds + DSI DSM02 + Dreadbox Theta — Randomly spliced analog synth loop thing
Arturia KeyStep — Controller for the Digitone
12. Restless jam w/ Moog Sirin, DrumBrute Impact, Deluge, Minitaur, Subsequent 37, Abyss, Warped Vinyl
A live, semi-improvised performance, all on hardware (DAWless, if you will), and inspired by spring restlessness. I'm especially floored by the DrumBrute Impact, which I bought for a song and sounds just great.

Synthstrom Audible Deluge — Sequencer, arpeggio
Dreadbox Abyss + Mutable Instruments Clouds + DSI DSM02 — Ambient cloud lead thing
Moog Sirin + Eventide H9 — Brassy synth loop
Drumbrute Impact + Chase Bliss Warped Vinyl HiFi — Drums
Moog Minitaur + Strymon Big Sky — Bass
13. The Two Laws (live with the Teenage Engineering OP-Z, PO-33, and vocals)
This is a completely live performance of a song of mine; even the vocal harmonies are being triggered live by the PO-33. The Teenage Engineering OP-Z continues to inspire.

Uploaded as is, with only a little compression/limiting on the master.

Teenage Engineering OP-Z — All instruments
Teenage Engineering PO-33 — Sample trigger for vocal harmonies/doubling
Electro-Voice RE20 (mic) + Allen & Heath Qu-16 (gate and compressor) — Vocals
14. Mood music jam w/ Deluge, Deepmind 12D, Dreadbox Erebus v3 & Abyss, Minitaur, OTO Bam, BigSky, Space
A live performance, all on hardware (DAWless, if you will), and inspired by some time alone. The idea came about while tinkering with a new piece of gear, the Behringer Deepmind 12D. I'm impressed with this thing, especially its on-board effects.

Synthstrom Audible Deluge — Sequencer, drums
Behringer Deepmind 12 — Poly
Dreadbox Erebus v3 + OTO Bam — Melody
Moog Minitaur + Strymon Big Sky — Bass
Dreadbox Abyss + Eventide Space — Pad
15. Winter ambience with Dreadbox Erebus v3 & Abyss, OTO Bam, Minitaur, Deluge, Model D, Space, Big Sky
Buy this song on an album here!: https://jayhosking.bandcamp.com/album...

A live, semi-improvised jam, all on hardware (DAWless, if you will), and inspired by winter melancholy. The idea for the track came out of tinkering with some new gear (the Erebus v3 and the OTO Bam).

Synthstrom Deluge — Sequencer, MIDI controller
Dreadbox Erebus v3 + OTO Bam — Slow arp and spooky reverb
Dreadbox Abyss + Eventide Space — Melody and chords
Moog Minitaur + Strymon Big Sky — Huge bass
Behringer Model D + Line 6 HX Effects — Pad/drone thing

Written and performed in the same day, and uploaded as is, with only a little compression/limiting on the master.
16. Improv with the NDLR, Subsequent 37, MInitaur, Dreadbox Abyss, Model D, effects
A midwinter improvisation with Conductive Labs' NDLR at the heart. I was toying with adding movement via the Line 6 HX Effects, which is mostly meant for guitars but also plays well with synths. I also tried out some patching with the Model D, having the LFO control both the pitch of the oscillators and the cutoff of the filter.

Written and recorded on the spot, with only a little compression and limiting on the master.

Conductive Labs NDLR — MIDI-generating inspiration brain-thing
Moog Subsequent 37 + Line 6 HX Effects — Motif 1 (fast, high arp)
Moog Minitaur + Strymon Big Sky — Motif 2 (bass)
Behringer Model D + Eventide H9 — Drone
Dreadbox Abyss + Eventide Space — Pad
17. Teenage Engineering OP-Z - performance in seven
A live performance of a single pattern on the Teenage Engineering OP-Z. I thought that the OP-Z deserved a video where the unit was being "played" a little more, especially in the performance effects / step components. This whole song is made from sixteen steps or less on every track. Recorded and performed live, with only a little bit of compression and limiting on the master.

The OP-Z is a step sequencer, four synthesizers (bass, melody, chord-friendly, and arpeggio), four drum tracks (each with polyphony), two send effects (four to choose from), tape looper, master chorus/compressor, performance effects, chord progression monster, and a lot more. It can also synch to an iOS screen if you want visuals to accompany the controls, which is useful until you learn the device.

The real charm of the OP-Z, in my opinion, is 1) the combination of adjustable pattern lengths and resolutions for each track, 2) its performance effects /step components, which can take a single bar and transform it into an eight-bar sequence (or longer) of interesting variations, and 3) the ability to intelligently move through chord progressions across all the synthesizers, or only some.
18. Ambient jam with the NDLR! (+ Dreadbox Abyss & Hades, Moog Minitaur, Model D, H9 & Space, Big Sky)
The Conductive Labs NDLR is a fantastic little inspiration machine. It generates MIDI for four instruments (a pad, a drone, and two motifs that can act as arpeggios, bass lines, etc.). As such, it can control four hardware devices—more actually, since polyphonic information can be split to different channels/devices—or four virtual instruments in your DAW, or a mix of both.

You simply select a key and a tempo, and then start editing the instrument parameters. The pad instrument gives you access to the position and spread of your chords, the drone can stay on the root note or follow the chord progression, and the motifs have tons of control over width, direction, rate, and so on.

What makes the NDLR so special is how you can change the chording, including variations, and the instruments will intelligently follow your changes. It encourages and rewards improvisation and can easily lead to you getting lost in generating long, interesting compositions on the fly.

The NDLR is made by an awesome little team in the States, has an awesome build quality, and is quite fairly priced. Check them out at: https://conductivelabs.com/
19. Circuit jam (Novation Circuit, Circuit Mono Station, Eventide Space, and TE PO-33)
A live, semi-improvised jam, all on hardware (DAWless, if you will). Written and recorded today, and inspired by the first—and probably only—snowfall this winter. Uploaded without any edits, just a little compression and limiting on the master.

Novation Circuit Mono Station into Eventide Space — Slow arp
Novation Circuit — Drums, bass, pad, effects
Teenage Engineering PO-33 K.O. — Vocal melody garbage
20. No sequencing jam (Dreadbox Polyend Medusa, Abyss, Hades, Subsequent 37, Korg Prologue, PO-32)
OK, yeah, sure, there's a one-bar sequence on the Pocket Operator. But everything else is unquantized audio recording! Written and performed in the same day, with only these single-take overdubs (I don't have enough hands).

Original performance:
Dreadbox Polyend Medusa through Eventide H9 Max: murky arp thing
Dreadbox Abyss through Eventide Space: lead melody
Teenage Engineering PO-32: drums
Synthstrom Audible Deluge: playing surface for Dreadbox Abyss

Overdubs:
Dreadbox Hades: bass
Korg Prologue 16: wide stereo arp
Moog Subsequent 37 through Strymon Big Sky: lead
21. Lowkey jam w/ Dreadbox Abyss, Dreadbox Polyend Medusa, Moog Subsequent 37, Synthstrom Deluge, PO-33
A live, semi-improvised jam, all on hardware (DAWless, if you will), and inspired by getting sick and sentimental.

Dreadbox Abyss into Eventide Space — Ambient poly
Dreadbox Polyend Medusa into Eventide H9 Max — Lead and frozen ambience
Moog Subsequent 37 into Strymon Big Sky — Bass
Teenage Engineering PO-33 KO — Vocal sample mess
Synthstrom Audible Deluge — Main sequencer/controller for Abyss/Sub37/PO-33, 808 drums

Written and performed in the same night, and uploaded without any edits (just a little compression and limiting on the master). Again, I'm still figuring out this video thing, so go easy on me.
22. Live jam with Dreadbox Polyend Medusa, Dreadbox Abyss, Synthstrom Deluge, Moog Subsequent 37, PO-32
A live, semi-improvised jam, all on hardware, and inspired by winter uneasiness.

Dreadbox Polyend Medusa into Eventide H9 Max — Arp
Dreadbox Abyss into Eventide Space — High ambience and melody
Moog Subsequent 37 into Big Sky — Bass
Teenage Engineering PO-32 Tonic — Drum mess
Synthstrom Audible Deluge — Main sequencer/controller for Abyss/Sub37, 808 drums

Written and performed in the same night. This was a spontaneous idea, so go easy on me for the camera angle, open laptop, and tennis-elbow brace.

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