MATRIXSYNTH: Charlottenburg, Live Ambient Impro, Wavestate, MicroFreak v3, Volca Drum, Monologue

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Charlottenburg, Live Ambient Impro, Wavestate, MicroFreak v3, Volca Drum, Monologue

video by Waveformer

"In this live improvised jam, I introduce the Wavestate to some old and new friends - MicroFreak, Monologue, Volca Drum, Novation Circuit, 3 Zoom MS-70CDRs and Korg NTS-1. The only prerecorded sequence is the drums on Volca Drum. The rest of the jam is live playing and active use of the arpeggiators on the Wavestate and MicroFreak. The recorded video is annotated with some notes about the performance.

During the jam, I let each synth/layer have a solo part where it is up front and center - the MicroFreak, the Monologue and the two arp parts and the pad part on the Wavestate. I try to think of them as different members of a band.

My music on Bandcamp:​

The Wavestate patch/performance is a slightly modified version of "WF Charlottenburg" and is a part of the "Berlin School and Ambient Construction Kit" available here:​.

It has four layers - 2 arpeggiators, one arpeggiated bass and one pad. I added some inharmonic wavesamples to steps 9-16 of the pad sample wavesequence, moved around a few notes and rests on the timing lanes for the two arps, added some octave shifts to the pitch sequences, and some ratcheting to one of the arps.

During the jam, I play around with the wavesequence lanes for all the four layers - timing lane to change rhythm, sample lane to vary the wavesamples, pitch lane to add some octave changes to some notes, shape to add ratcheting, and gate to add some variation to note length. The wavesequence loop lengths are different from lane to lane, creating interesting polymeter effects. I also modify pan, filter cutoff, envelope decay and reverb mix through the jam.

Wavestate performance mod knobs:
Knob 1: Layer A (arp L) Octave
Knob 2: Layer B (arp R) Octave
Knob 3: Layer C (bass) Octave
Knob 4: Layer D (pad) Octave
Knob 5: Layer A (arp L) Amp Level
Knob 6: Layer B (arp R) Amp Level
Knob 7: Layer C (bass) Amp Level
Knob 8: Layer D (pad) Amp Level

The Mod Wheel and Joystick controls multimode filter cutoff and morph for the pad layer, and how they are modulated by LFOs.

The MicroFreak uses the new brilliant Bass oscillator from Noise Engineering, available in firmware 3. It is connected to a Zoom MS-70CDR for autopan and mod delay, and to the NTS-1 audio in for the excellent Cathedral reverb from Hammondeggsmusic. During the jam, I noticed my fingers were too dry to play the resistive keyboard on the Freak, so I had to add some moisturizer :-).

The Monologue patch uses two slightly detuned oscillators with square and triangle shape, and with ring modulation. It is connected to a Zoom MS-70CDR for chorus, vibrato, autopan delay and lofi reverb. I do a tiny bit of step sequence recording during the jam, for a very basic bass pattern.

The Korg Volca is connected to the Zoom MS-70CDR for filtered delays, and to the Mini Kaoss Pad 2S for the wondeful Talk Filter. The steps in the sequence contains varying probailities to make the sequence varied even though it's only 16 steps.

After around 22 minutes, the Volca Drum lost MIDI sync. I muted the most obvious parts in Audacity afterwards. Good thing I recorded the Volca drum to a separate track on the Zoom R16. I recover from the loss of MIDI sync by restarting the Volca Drum sequencer manually.

The Novation Circuit makes no sound on its own. It plays just one MIDI note at the beginning for starting the sequencers and the Wavestate wavesequence in sync, and then switches to an empty pattern just to keep the MIDI clock running.

The audio is recorded to SD card on a Zoom R16 and normalized in Audacity. Video is recorded on iPhoneX. Audio and video is synchronized in DaVinci Resolve 17.

- Korg Wavestate
- Arturia MicroFreak
- Korg Volca Drum
- Korg Monologue
- Novation Circuit (for MIDI sync)
- 3x Zoom MS-70CDR
- Korg NTS-1 (with Hammondeggsmusic Cathedral effect for reverb on audio in)
- Korg Mini Kaoss Pad 2S
- Retrokits RK-006
- Zoom R16 for recording

MIDI connections:
- MIDI out from Circuit to RK-006, and from RK-006 to MicroFreak, Monologue, Wavestate and Volca Drum.

Audio connections:
- WaveState - Zoom R16
- MicroFreak - Zoom MS-70CDR - Korg NTS-1 - Zoom R16
- Monologue - Zoom MS-70CDR - Zoom R16
- Volca Drum - Zoom MS-70CDR - Zoom R16

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