MATRIXSYNTH: 0-coast ambient: shadows of self

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

0-coast ambient: shadows of self

Published on Jan 6, 2020 C Nich0lls

"Synth performance featuring the MakeNoise 0-Coast synthesizer and System Cartesian. The main theme of the track is a single-take and unedited performance on the 0-coast, being sequenced by MakeNoise Rene 2.

the shadows we cast

Patch and Recording Notes

This track revisits some ideas from earlier recordings in regards to how the melodic motif is developed. The Korg SQ-1 sequencer from previous videos is replaced by the MakeNoise Rene 2 sequencer as part of the System Cartesian. The actual sequences of pitches is fixed throughout, however the output of the 0-Coast is ‘double gated’ through the MakeNoise LxD and Moddemix from the System Cartesian. These gates are individually opened by channels 1 and 4 of Maths.

The contour shapes of Maths are continuously altered throughout the performance which ‘window’s the melody in different ways. It is experienced as a set of possible intervallic gestures rather than a single melodic line. Additionally the sequence lengths of the X,Y,Z layers of the Rene 2 are slightly different, which further obscures the underlying consistency of the pitch sequence.

The audio is principally the 0-Coast’s oscillator which is FM’ed by the sine output of the MakeNoise STO (again from the System Cartesian). Both oscillators are tracking the pitch from Rene’s X layer, but there is additional modulation from 0-Coast Contour to create a short ‘burst’ in the attack. This is a fairly basic analogue FM implementation and I plan on exploring this further in future recordings.

There are 3 independent recordings (each recorded in a single take and with no further editing) in the final track. The first is the melodic contour, the second is a noisy tone created by driving the random source on the 0-Coast with the oscillator square wave at audio rate and then FM’ing the main oscillator. This is driven by the exact same sequence as the melodic layer, but performed differently; essentially layering windows upon windows.

The last layer is a ‘kick’ drum built by using a fast decay contour to modulate the 0-Coast oscillator. This layer has the 1V/oct tracking disconnected and is then hand tuned to the other tracks.

All tracks were recorded through a custom Non-Linear reverb patch from the Strymon BigSky, with the first 2 tracks also being recorded through a custom Lo-Fi patch on the Strymon TimeLine.

There is some attention paid to maintaining the rhythmic coherence between the 3 layers, but I don’t lose sleep over it. As usual, this is something to do with observing the relationship between human and machine that is clearly an obsession.

For the original ‘demo’ version that was recorded solely with the System Cartesian, check out my SoundCloud."

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