MATRIXSYNTH: Search results for Keen On Keys

Showing posts sorted by date for query Keen On Keys. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query Keen On Keys. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Saturday, April 08, 2023

The VL-10 - Casio's smallest keyboard

video upload by Keen On Keys

Casio VL-10s on Reverb | and eBay

"The VL-10, released in 1982, is the smallest keyboard made by Casio. It's a mini version of the famous VL-1 and has some of it's features. It's monophonic, has 29 keys, 3 tones, 10 rhythms, a demo melody, a sequencer and a calculator. But it's missing the ADSR function, octave switch, volume control and output jack. It has two small piezo speakers and a rather beepy sound.

Support this channel and buy a song or album on Bandcamp:

0:00 Intro
0:25 Overview
3:00 A Look Inside
6:32 Tones
7:49 Rhythms
8:31 Sequencer
11:50 Conclusion
12:50 Demo Melody"

Friday, February 17, 2023

JPTR-FX Add Violence on synth and drums (no talk)

video upload by Richard DeHove

"Add Violence is a fuzz pedal but I prefer the sub-heading from JPTR-FX "Planetary Disorder Unit". With just three knobs and a switch they've managed to create a very tweak-worthy machine. At first I put an EQ in front of it but soon took it away - the pedal does a better job by itself. An EQ after might be better but I haven't got that far yet. I've only been using this for a day and was so impressed by the sound I thought I'd better record it before any of the magic evaporated.
I bought this as a pre-order a few months back and am sorry to say I'm the kind of guy who constantly messages "Are we there yet?" Sorry JPTR-FX, my excuse is I'm keen. In truth I wasn't expecting too much. I've tried a lot of overdrive, distortion and fuzz pedals and at least half of them are woeful on synth. I don't know what it is but some of them do almost nothing except add an annoying insect-like buzz. So I was overjoyed at Add Violence - it loves synths and drum machine. Even better, it's silent. My dearly beloved Dark Glass B3K overdrive fizzes and hisses like crazy, but the Add Violence is silent. And when jamming I was torn between constantly turning up the volume and being worried I was going to vibrate the cones to destruction - this thing can really amplify the low harmonics.
There's still more to explore with this pedal since you can open it open and turn it into an octave fuzz. Until then I hope you enjoy this sample of its powers. I was going to blab and blather on this video but the sound seemed to warn me off - the dirt and filth must remain pure. Instead I added a few sampled quotes just to add a little color. Other than them the sound is as you see it: raw from the DB-01 into the Add Violence and a little delay every now and then from the Boss DM-2W. With the LXR-02 I took one channel from the stereo out into the pedal, the other straight into the DAW, then centred both, so the original dry sound is still there. The on-screen waveform is from the effected channel only.
If you like this format - no talk with a few little sample enhancements - please let me know so I can do more, especially since you're one of the good and true people who've read the full description :)

0:00 Drums 1
2:32 Doom keys
3:46 Drum 2
4:49 Arp
5:18 Pattern 1
5:47 Arp 2
6:31 Doom keys 2
7:22 Drum variations
8:25 Pattern 2

Lots of downloads for supporters on Patreon:
Many thanks to my kind patrons who keep this channel ad-free
My website:"

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Yamaha MP-1 - The Keyboard with a Music Printer

video upload by Keen On Keys

"The MP-1 is the world's first and only portable keyboard with a music printer. It features 44 mid-sized keys, 8 note polyphony, 10 voices with sustain, 10 rhythms with variation, duet function, transposer and chord and melody memory. It sounds exactly the same as the PC-100 and PS-400 and was also released in 1982.

Support this channel and buy a song or album on Bandcamp:

0:00 Overview
4:34 A Look Inside
7:01 Repair
9:39 Cleaning
11:32 Ballpoint Pens
13:00 Print and Play
14:57 Memory Print
17:29 Paper Change
18:48 16th Notes
20:12 Sensitivity
21:33 Reproducing
23:09 Conclusion"

Monday, September 19, 2022

Casio SA-46 - Full Review

video upload by Keen On Keys

"The SA-46, released in 2010, is a very simple mini keyboard with 32 keys, 8 voice polyphony, 100 tones, 50 rhythm patterns and 10 songs. It is functionally and sonically identical to the SA-47, 76, 77 and 78.

Support this channel and buy a song or album on Bandcamp:

0:00 Overview
2:29 A Look Inside
4:46 Sound Examples
13:04 Free Sessions
13:58 Songs
15:01 Conclusion
16:24 The Lookalikes
18:23 Final Performance"

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Yamaha PS-400 - Full Review

video upload by Keen On Keys

"The PS-400 is a small keyboard with 44 mid-sized keys, 8 note polyphony, 10 voices with sustain, 10 rhythms with variation, duet function, transposer and a chord sequencer. It was released in 1982. It sounds exactly the same as the PC-100 and MP-1 and was also released in a smaller and functions reduced version as the PS-300.

Support this channel and buy a song or album on Bandcamp:

0:00 Intro
0:11 Overview
1:57 A Look Inside
5:02 Sounds
7:36 Rhythms
8:32 Accompaniment
14:14 Duet
15:23 Chord Memory
18:51 Conclusion
19:28 Final Performance

Listen to some tracks on Soundcloud:"

Saturday, March 12, 2022

TC Electronic June 60 V2 - Authentic Recreation?

video upload by Keen On Keys

Anyone ID the mini keyboard being used with the Behringer CAT at 15:17?

"In this video, I'm going to take a close look at the June 60 V2 effects pedal. It is supposed to be an authentic recreation of the legendary Roland Juno 60 Chorus. I will compare it to the original and try it out with a few other instruments."

0:00 Intro
1:04 Chorus Explanation
3:58 Unboxing
5:20 A Look Inside
7:18 Functions
8:44 Comparison
17:40 Boss ME-50 Chorus
19:22 Korg Poly 61
25:16 Mono Synth
26:11 Guitar
30:05 Bass Guitar
31:08 Conclusion
32:54 Multitrack Recording

Friday, January 28, 2022

Casio MT-400V - The keyboard with an analog filter control

video upload by Keen On Keys

"The Casio MT-400V, released in 1984, is a small keyboard with 49 mid-sized keys, 8 note polyphony, 12 styles, 20 tones, vibrato, sustain/reverb and stereo chorus. It's main feature is a filter control with ADS and LFO modulation. It uses the NEC D930/931 ICs which were used for many Casio keyboards between 1983 and 1986. There's also a larger version existing, the CT-410V.

Support this channel and buy an album on Bandcamp:

Listen to some tracks on Soundcloud:

0:00 Intro
0:05 Overview
3:36 A Look Inside
7:44 Comparison with MT-65
9:12 Filter Control
11:42 ADS Envelope
14:31 Tone Examples
17:56 Envelope Triggering
20:11 LFO Modulation
21:49 Chord Mode
22:46 Rhythm Examples
25:02 Bass/Chord Examples
28:33 Noise Examples
29:40 Conclusion
30:26 Multitrack Recording"

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Casio MT-65 - Full Review

video upload by Keen On Keys

Casio MT-65s on eBay | on Reverb

"The Casio MT-65, released in 1983, is a small keyboard with 49 mid-sized keys, 8 note polyphony, 12 styles, 20 tones, vibrato, sustain/reverb and modulation FX. It uses the NEC D930/931 ICs which were used for many Casio keyboards between 1983 and 1986. The D930 accompaniment chip is famous for it's for bass, chord and arpeggio variations, allowing a total number of 768 style variations. The MT-65 was re-released in a different colour as the MT-68 in 1984. There's also a larger version existing, the CT-405.

Support this channel and buy my little MT-65 album on Bandcamp:

or listen to some tracks on Soundcloud:

0:00 Intro
0:11 Overview
2:09 A Look Inside
6:30 Tones
15:23 Manual Bass
16:50 Drum Machine
17:53 Single Finger Mode
21:53 Fingered Mode
25:43 Conclusion
26:26 Multitrack Recording

Circuit bended MT-65 picture by S-CAT:"

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Yamaha PSS-480 - Part 1: The FM Synthesizer

video by Keen On Keys

"In this video I explain the FM synthesizer of the PSS-480 with its 9 editable parameters. The same synthesizer was also used for the 580, 680 and 780.

In part 2 [below] will look at the accompaniment section, the custom drummer, the sequencer and the midi functions.

00:00​ Intro
00:49​ Overview
01:49​ Portasound FM Keyboards
04:05​ A Look Inside
06:10​ Test Mode
06:37​ Voices & FX
12:33​ FM Synthesis Explained
15:55​ The 9 Parameters
19:14​ A Voice From Scratch
22:19​ Examples
23:42​ The Hidden Parameters
28:34​ More Examples"

Yamaha PSS-480 - Part 2: The Music Station

"In this video I will have a look at the accompaniment section, the custom drummer, the sequencer and the midi functions of the Yamaha PSS-480.

00:00​​ Rhythm Machine
01:17​ Chord Modes
02:52​​ Duet Effect
04:23​ Styles
10:02​ Custom Drummer
17:21​ Chord Banks
20:55​ Melody Banks
28:11​ Parameter Changes
29:54​ Mono Mode
30:41​ Sustain
31:10​ Midi Mode 00
33:57​ Midi Sync
35:54​ Midi Mode 99"

Yamaha PSS-480 - Part 3: The Synth Editor

video by Keen On Keys

In this video I will have a look at a synth editor for the PSS-480. A freeware program that allows to edit all parameters, even the hidden ones, and to save voices to a computer.

You can buy a full album I made with the PSS-480 on Bandcamp.
The download also includes 100 synth banks for the PSS-480.

00:00​ Intro
00:23 System Exclusive
01:34 Recording Midi Data
02:43 Synth Editor
03:36 Basic Functions
05:18 Envelopes
10:00 Key Scaling
12:15 Waveforms
12:59 Detune
15:35 FX
16:05 Percussion Voices
16:55 Other Editors
18:45 Conclusion
19:49 Final Track

Synth Editor download links:
PSS-480 Panel:
PSS Edit:
PSS Wave Editor:"

You can find additional Home Keyboard demos by Keen On Keys posted here.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Keen On Keys Home Keyboard Demos


Star Wars - CASIO PT-87 Autoplay
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life - CASIO PT-82 Autoplay
Last Christmas - Yamaha SHS-10 Demo
American Patrol - Casio SA-7 Demo
Video Killed The Radio Star - Yamaha PS-3
Pocket Calculator - Casio VL-1
Oh! Susanna - Yamaha TYU-30 Autoplay
House Of The Rising Sun - Casio VL-5 Demo
Star Trek Theme - Yamaha PC-100 Playcard
Bontempi PM 665 Demo Song
Amstrad Fidelity CKX100 - Demo
Yamaha PSS-480 Demo (with custom voices)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Schtang & Aengus - Alluvium Part 1 (Ambient Jam) feat. Octatrack mkii, Sub37, E2, Microkorg, VKeys

Published on Jan 18, 2018 Schtang

Part 2 below.

"Schtang & Aengus return for another live studio hardware jam. Changed direction and worked this introspective ambient jam with some rainforest flavours. This is part 1 of 2 installments, with the second taking on a more percussive and driving feel.
This is a slightly developed studio jam and shows us experimenting with soundscapes before progressing it into a solid piece in the second installment. Still discovering our synergy together and working at using instruments and effects that complement our playing style and taste.

Studio Talk:
The Microkorg offers the central melodic pad and some intermittent bass sounds gluing the composition together. It is being processed by the TC Electronic M300 multi effects unit to give it some more space and eloquence in the mix.
The Elektron Octatrack MKII sets the mood with some rainforest soundscapes and acts as an effects unit for the Moog Sub37
The Moog Sub37 provides a surreal arp which intermingles with the other sounds and creates the rhythmic driving element.
The Electribe 2 is the central hub and acts as the midi clock while also sequencing and processing the Korg Volca Keys.
Everything runs back into the Mackie VLZ4 2404 and all mixing was done via the console"

Schtang & Aengus - Alluvium Part 2 (Percussive Jam) ft. Octatrack mkii, E2, TR08, Sub37, Microkorg)

Published on Jan 18, 2018 Schtang

"The second installment of Alluvium by Schtang and Aengus. Picking things up from the ambience of Part 1 and developing it into a more refined and rhythmic performance.

Very excited at our progress and we will continue to post our music whether it's well crafted or not. Keen to hear how you think of our progress!

Studio yarn:
The TR-08 is the driving percussive element of the tune with its signature kicks and hats driving the progression and mood.
The Korg Microkorg adds some warmth with wide, luscious pads.
The Electribe 2 provides some backup percussive elements and sequences and processes the dark tones from the Volca Keys.
The Octatrack sets the mood for the piece with some atmospheric percussion and forest ambience.
The Sub37 provides the panning growling bass patch which shuffles in and out of the piece."

Monday, October 16, 2017

Keen Association Keen-o-Tron - Chamberlin and Mellotron Desktop Unit w/ Touch Keys


"We were extremely inspired by Chamberlin/Mellotron idea, sound and topology and couple of years ago started working on the musical instrument we called Keen-o-Tron.

The instrument handles sixteen meticulously selected Chamberlin and Mellotron sounds accurately sampled from the original units. Each key’s signal path consists of special independent digital sound source and optronic audio gate with specific dynamic curve. This fully polyphonic sonic array gets mixed and goes into the timbre control, optronic master gate and high precision pedal-controlled VCA at the final stage. Other highlights include MIDI input, computer USB interface, highly reliable touch keyboard, self-calibration routine, etc. Built with love and by the best Russian military quality traditions :-)"

SSSR Labs Model 220 Polyphonic Touch'n'Run Buchla Format Touch Controller

Published on Sep 28, 2017 Keen Association Moscow

Model 220 — Keyboard Mode
Model 220 — Capture Mode
Polyphonic Touch'n'Run Voltage Array Model 220

via SSSR Labs

"Polyphonic Touch`n`Run Voltage Array Model 220 is a up-to-four-voice truly polyphonic, freely tunable and scalable, pressure sensitive musical keyboard with vast sequencing capabilities. The design is based on the analogue concept so that NO voltages are being digitized and the internal microcontroller just traces the finger touches and routes them through an analogue circuitry. There’s also NO keyboard scanning, all keys work in realtime, having their dedicated logical channels.

Here’s the brief description of features:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Introducing TZM Creative Lab's Motus – Creative Motion Enhancer

Motus – Creative Motion Enhancer from TZM Creative Lab on Vimeo.

"Motus allows users to literally play music in the air. No keys, buttons or knobs. While holding Motus in hand, you can play the note and at the same time change its timbre by using different motion gestures."

See for additional details including their crowdfunding campaign for the Motus.

The following is pulled from their press release where you'll find additional pics:

"Bow without strings, play synths without pressing the keys. An exciting and simple, yet intelligent wireless musical instrument converts motion gestures to sounds

TZM Creative Lab introduces their first product, Motus – Creative Motion Enhancer. A wireless device converting motion to sound, a creative tool for professional musicians, dancers and artists, an intelligent toy for kids and grown-ups. Available on crowdfunding campaign now, for less than $100.

Motus is a mobile wireless device that turns motion to sound. In human’s language, it allows users to literally play music in the air. No keys, buttons or knobs. While holding Motus in hand, user can play the note and at the same time change it’s timbre by using different motion gestures. Instead of defining single way to play Motus, we simply offer different interaction rules. While loading a different Motus instrument, you’re redefining what it will be – shaker, air drums, violin or something else. Use each instrument just as you would in reality. Motus technology tracks user’s free movements, extracts the most important motion features (e.g. velocity, dynamics, displacement) and maps them to different sounds. It can be a real-time generated sounds, prerecorded material or even sound and light effects. The size of Motus is optimal for easy handling and excellent control.

Motus technology tracks user’s free movements, extracts the most important motion features and maps them to different sounds.

New possibilities in music

“By developing Motus we are keen to engage more people to explore new possibilities of being creative. It started as a tool that expands musical performance, however later we saw it has very broad use cases, e.g. dance, performing arts, or just having fun for people that have no connection with music at all. Anyone who is willing to experiment with digital sound is hindered by the process. Therefore, we did reverse the whole thing and made it approachable in a simple and exciting way, by using motion as a natural input into digital sound synthesis. The space around you becomes a touchless surface, a canvas you can interact with and explore. Motion with Motus turns the air into a keyboard, fret board, djembe skin, drum pads, violin bow, etc. The movement is a key to play and experiment with sound in real-time whether during casual time outdoors or on stage.” – said Mindaugas Badokas founder of TZM Creative Lab. “Motus is also, in part, about community. We seek to empower motion to open up more possibilities of creativity in sound exploration and gather the whole community which keeps that alive. Where anyone can take part from professional musicians to dancers, from grown-ups to kids (even 30 years-old kids).”

Motion with Motus turns the air into a keyboard, fret board, djembe skin, drum pads, violin bow, etc. The movement is a key to play and experiment with sound in real-time.

Three different Motus versions

Motus Classic is out-of-the-box device and can be explored instantly by anyone. It provides full Motus experience, however it should not be used for professional applications.

Motus Pro is made for professional performers, it comes with an external Bridg receiver and precision sensors, its connectivity rage is up to 30 meters and possibility to connect up to 12 devices simultaneously. It is a perfect fit for using on stage and demanding tasks of any performance.

Motus Hacker is offered for the adventurous DIY enthusiasts seeking to make their own customized device, it comes without usual body and each part has to be soldered together by the user. Depending on added elements it may be used on stage, however this is highly variable, therefore it is not recommended for professional application but more for the experimentalists.

Motus comes together with its software, where users are able to select Motus instruments and play them instantly. It as well can be used as a controller with any DAW of choice—it is compatible with MIDI, OSC and ReWire. Ableton Live users will be provided with M4L device to make the set-up easier. Max users will be offered a pack of externals and abstractions.

In contemporary dance scene for 2 years
Usually dancer follows the music and technicians follows the dancer to implement the image and audible atmosphere of the show. Motus enables dancers to directly control and improvise with sound, live visuals or lighting. Dance troupe Aura has been using Motus prototype for the past three seasons in the play “Make a Switch from me”, which was premiered in Italy, Lithuania and Poland. Composer found Motus being a versatile tool. “Motus helps to communicate message faster and gives an opportunity to expand your fantasy but still keep the audience in it.”, explained Antanas Jasenka, Composer.

Motus not only provided an immersive experience for the audience but as well for the dancers. Francesco Dalmasso, dancer at Aura Dance Theatre said “You have really close connection that you’re actually creating the choreography yourself and at the same time creating the music, sounds, so you’re both – choreographer and composer and a dancer. It’s very rich.”

Dance troupe Aura has been using Motus prototype for the past three seasons in the play “Make a Switch from me”

Coolgarden – the app store for Motus
TZM Creative Lab will be opening a standardized platform, Coolgarden – app store for Motus. Coolgarden is a place where Motus users will be able to find all Motus instruments and creative applications. Therefore, developers are invited to develop Motus instruments and offer them for Motus users through Coolgarden. Developers can offer everything from synths, audio effects, visual generators or interactive games which can be monetized or free for users.

Embedding latest technologies
In the last years scientific approaches to human-computer interfaces and interactions for musical performance gained increasing attention from scholars. Some of the reasons for this are computational speed progress and microcontrollers price drop, which have opened new possibilities in the realm of real-time musical interactions. Motus is an outcome of many experiments and scientific endeavors. We’re bringing cutting edge technologies straight to the user. By doing this we can exit alpha stage faster and implement exciting features found only in scientific papers and research facilities.

Available on crowdfunding
Motus was launched on a self-starter crowdfunding campaign on 21th of October. The company seeks to reach its crowdfunding goal of $28,000 in 30-day period until the 20th of November. During a campaign Motus devices are offered for an introductory price starting from $80. First supporters will be able to purchase a limited number of devices for even more discounted price. The collected funds will be used for securing first batch of production: finalizing the product, setting up manufacturing and future development."

Monday, August 31, 2015

X1L3 - circuit bent casio PT-82 and yamaha DD-7 doing NIN

Published on Aug 31, 2015 manufacturedZ3R0 .

"Two birds with one stone.

I wanted to demo the gate out on the DD7 and do a musical run on the PT before i got down to making some evil noise with it. Turns out i could do both at once since i needed the pro one for the cv on the pt 82's filter. And what better to drive it than another bent bit of gear.

So here it is, the dd7 is hooked up to reason which is triggering the drums and driving the gate. The gate out on the dd7 is driving the pro one sequencer which is then outputting control voltage to the cv in on the pt82 to animate the filter cutoff. And i'm just doing the usual lofi nine inch nails cover thing i'm so keen on when it comes to youtube jamming.

I'm using the drone distortion and filter mostly on the pt. Cranking the resonance to max to add definition to the cv sequencing. You can hear it chirping away to itself at the end. The delay was set up before the track to give a syncopated echo and kicks in a little way in to add an air of ambience to the keys."

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Synths of Jodorowsky's Dune (2014)

Jodorowsky's Dune (2014) - HD Trailer Published on Feb 14, 2014 Giles Thomas·70 videos

Update: please see this post for some unfortunate news regarding Kurt Stenzel.

Many of you I am sure are familiar with Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel Dune as well as the film adaptation by David Lynch in 1984 and the 2000 miniseries by John Harrison.  If you are not, see this article on Wikipedia and then head back.  Unknown to many, there was a planned film adaptation in 1973 by Alejandro Jodorowsky. It was to feature art by H. R. Giger (Aliens) and Jean Giraud, possibly music from Pink Floyd and Magma; the cast of actors was to include Salvador DalĂ­, Orson Welles, and Gloria Swanson.   The adaptation never made it due to financial reasons.  Jodorowsky's Dune (2014) is a documentary on the undertaking of the film that never was.

The film launches in the US today. You'll find the cities and dates and additional details on the film's website here:

As for the synth connection, the soundtrack was composed by Kurt Stenzel who reached out to me. I asked him if he could give us more info on the synths used in the soundtrack and particularly what we hear in the trailer. The following is what he had to say (scroll down to Specifically for this Trailer in red if you want to jump to what you are hearing in the trailer):

"I did this soundtrack using a rig that I have used for years in Cookin With Kurt, Beyond-o-Matic and SpacEKrafT.  Since I play out at events in San Francisco I go for as much analog goodness as I can carry- so these synths are throughout the movie.

I have an original Novation Bass Station with keys (it has a really unique filter in my opinion), a Dave Smith Tetra (HEAVY!), an Oberheim Matrix 1000 (god-like), and for the sake of portability, I do get into some of the more recent analog modellers that all have some merit- I have a MicroKorg 2, a Novation Xio 25, and a Quasimidi Sirius.

 In the 'digital that's special' I have TWO CZ101s (the synth I learned on when it was new) and a Yamaha TG-33 vector synth.

Larger analogs that are hard to gig with, include a Moog Source (don't cry, I got this for $40 on the street when analog was uncool) and a rather GRITTY MicroMoog, and the 'head' part of a Moog Taurus 2, and a very handy Roland Juno 6. I also used a Korg Poly 61 and a Korg Poly 800, as well as one studio session with a real Rhodes, a real Celeste (no joke it was the one you see Susan Dey play in Partridge Family episodes-- the studio owns THE one) and they also had a Roland String Machine. The Celeste and Rhodes didn't make it to the film though--Director Frank Pavich though they were 'too normal' Ha! .

I also use Casiotones quite a bit--an original MT-60 my Dad bought in Japan when they were really novel, and a Concertmate from Radio Shack. I mention the Conccertmate as I realized that sucker has appeared on EVERY recording I have ever done--some of the low bit string sounds are ethereal and I run that through effects. It's very beat up from 20 years of gigs. God bless Radio Shack.

I also have lots of effects and toys like the Bliptronic, the Buddha Box, old school Kaos pad, and I use my kids Nintendo DS's to sync up 3 programs on 3 DS devices. I also got a Korg Monotribe and the Korg Monotron. Toys are good.

I used some very low fi techniques for sound design too. Oh, and my buddy Dave Miranda recorded me on his Dave Smith Poly Evolver keyboard as a last minute thing in NY and it wound up being a crucial scene-- that required no overdubs or any treatments-- that thing sounds amazing.

Also noteworthy, I am a hardcore user of the Roland SP-808 for sound design. That has been a platform for me since it came out, so my zip discs were flying on this project.

There's about 9 minutes of SpacEKrafT music in this film as well- that is my duo with Edward Dahl here in San Francisco. Ed uses Ableton and plays guitar and we have lots of toys--Alesis Air Synth and Air Effects. I use my aforementioned rig in various settings with SpacEKrafT. I also played a fair amount of guitar on the soundtrack, as well as some vocalizations. Some screaming, which came natural as I am also the singer in NY band "Six and Violence". When I am not tinkling on the keys.

SPECIFICALLY on the TRAILER: Zero to :40 is a relatively rare Yamaha SS-30 which I think has become fetishized since Sigur Ros uses one. That thing is way fun, and I have to thank Peter Fuhry from Beyond-o-Matic for loaning me that and the MicroMoog for many years.

In the trailer, when you hear the arpeggiation kick in at :40, that's one of my favorite synths ever, the Matrix 1000. That thing is my secret weapon. I love it. I am using the arpeggiator on the Quasimidi Sirius (and playing) to drive and alter the pattern. I know Sirius keyboards are rare nowadays, glad I never got rid of it. I mean, it has real Kraftwerk demoss in it straight from Germany!

The loud "blast" at 1:37, no joke, is a 'thunder tube' which is basically a tube with a drum head and a reverb spring--I banged it and slid the whole tube over an omnidirectional mic running through pitch shifting and all kinds of stuff. Don't tell Hollywood!

Next in the trailer, the brass at 1:55 is the Quasimidi Sirius which has an amazing factory patch named 'Shine On' (Floyd was supposed to do the original Dune) so it was a great coincidence, as I feel that patch is very cinematic--I have been using it for years--sounds great in a club (or now a movie theater). I probably ran some analog under it, the Matrix 1000 and the Tetra just via MIDI. 

This whole project was done largely with a MIDI 8x splitter as I improvise and play, so to get the multiple textures and voices at once, I fire the whole rig up and play my mixer faders live to weave textures. I did NOT use any computer based sequencing, almost no overdubs-- the synths sound beautiful as their own voices.

I played and mostly recorded myself. I pulled all-nighters as I had a full time day job, 2 kids, a lovely fiancee and band gigs the whole time this was happening. Frank Pavich essentially typecast me as he knew I was such a fan of Jodorowsky, all things 70's and analog, etc. This was not just a soundtrack, it was already my own personal and spiritual journey with or without the movie.

One last story of gratitude- I was very intent on getting my hands on a REAL Yamaha CS-80 -- granted that was a little later than the 1975 time period of the documentary, but I love Eddie Jobson's 'Alaska' solo, and obviously Vangelis used it so well on Blade Runner. I was very envious that Daft Punk seemed to have one on the Tron soundtrack. I asked all around-I know synth people- I know the guys in Devo a little and their crew is really cool- they almost got me one. NO ONE had a working CS-80, not even in Los Angeles. One night I came on a YouTube Tutorial called 'Vangelis Bladerunner sound JUNO 60' and followed it and dialed up such a great sound from my good old Juno 6. So I want to THANK "magevers" whoever you are on YouTube. That to me is what the synth community is all about-- people who really have a keen interest and are WAY INTO THE SYNTHS. Like you Matrix Synth Jones, THANKS BROTHER- hope you get to see this movie-- Jodorowsky will blow your mind and you will want to go and CREATE ART!"

Can't wait.  Thank you Kurt!

Update: some links via Edward W. Dahl in the comments:

"I am co-captain of SpacEKrafT and you might have seen this video posted here on Matrixsynth a little over a year ago."


Update 4/13/2014:

Q&A with Dune Composer Kurt Stenzel

Published on Apr 8, 2014 hellspreetube·39 videos

"Q&A with Kurt Stenzel, soundtrack composer for "Jodorowsky's Dune," after a showing at One Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA, April 5, 2014."

via David Wilson-Okamura on The MATRIXSYNTH Lounge

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sequentix P3 analogue sequencer

via this auction

"Sequentix - P3 Sequencer

P3 provides everything you ever wanted to have in a analog style sequencer but the most inspirational feature (for me personally) with the P3 are the super deep algorithmic compositional and sequencing features that provide you with absolutely fantastic possibilities to make evolving melodic and rhythmic patterns that never seem to repeat. Its like having a full fledged free jazz band at your disposal but you have the knob to control how much they improvise! You can have the lead notes be stolen or swapped by the bass notes or mental drum hits muted and repeated and affected by any and all of the other patterns. It is crazy! And the best thing is that when you switch a pattern you completely change the behavior of the track by introducing a full new set of rules. It is like a max msp algorithmic composing environment in a self contained box! Also when making music with the P3 you become lighting fast in it and are really able immerse yourself with the machine.

This particular unit is in MINT condition, never gigged and has had a home in a smoke free studio. The surface contains absolutely no scratches, dents or unwanted marks of any kind. All pots and switches feel like brand new. Rack mounting kit is also included yet not pictured.

This unit is a factory built by Sequentix. Some P3 units have had problems with the scree failing and going dead. The screen in this unit has been upgraded and works flawlessly!

The unit features the latest V4.5 operating system (a major revision!) that add tons of user friendly features well beyond the capabilities of the original P3.

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The P3 Sequencer is an 8 track, hardware MIDI sequencer, with a user interface comprised of knobs, keys and LEDs. A sixteen character by two line PLED display provides confirmation of pattern data and access to advanced features and configuration options.

P3 allows real-time control of track mutes and simple pattern or pattern chain selection across multiple tracks, plus analogue-style editing of patterns. Each of its 384 patterns has independent values for note, velocity, tie, gate, length, gate delay, and a combination of up to four MIDI controllers, extra notes, or 'auxiliary events', per step.

P3's unique auxiliary events allow the creation of dynamically self-modifying patterns. They can grab values from other tracks, randomizes steps, alter track and global settings, and much more. There are three modulation 'accumulators' per track, that can be used as LFOs, perform arpeggiation effects or enable complex pattern progressions.
Furthermore, you can assign front panel knobs to modify or mask these events in real-time, allowing you to create interactive patterns that change predictably as you adjust the knobs - varying in complexity, controlling levels of randomness, even 'morphing' from one pattern to another.

A Force-to-scale option provides preset and user-defined scales to keep everything in key (but defeat-able per pattern step if required), and a configurable 'change mode' allows patterns with different lengths and/or time-bases to free-run, or be synced to a global bar.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sequentix P3 Midi Step Sequencer

via this auction

This one is cross posted on MATRIXSYNTH-P.

"I am selling a sequential P3 sequencer designed and built by Colin Fraiser. This is one of around 200 that were built as production units. Many of these were built as kits and don't have the build quality that this one has. Worried about solar flares? This unit sports a heavy duty metal case with rack ears. I also have the wooden sides if you you are going for the retro look over the industrial. The LCD is new, original units had a green LCD that burned out. This P3 also has the MEMX expansion but the unit has an older more stable OS. All of the information you need can be found on the sequentix website.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Flame Midi Talking Synthesizer

via this auction

"The unit is built around two of the analogue Speakjet chips, produced by the US Company Magnevation LLC. Originally for talking tasks in the usual robot-toned voice, they’ve been further developed into making sound effects and various 8-bit blips and beeps.

Using two chips not only makes the unit tonally richer but they also provide a pseudo stereo type output on the (32kHz PWM output) regular quarter inch jack stereo socket but the first thing you notice about this unit is how many controls are jammed across its surface and how well it’s built.

Switching between chips is at a flick of a switch and a mix rotary lets you blend the sound of each chip together. It’s powered by a 9V DC adaptor and has both MIDI in and out, meaning the unit can also send MIDI messages, making it capable of controlling other devices too via its rotaries, switches and joysticks.

Dual mode
There are two modes the unit can operate in, Sequencer mode and Expander mode. Sequencer mode lets you operate the unit manually using the talk joystick to trigger sounds and internal MIDI clock controlled tremelo, which can interrupt sounds depending on the tempo set on the MIDI clock.

Where the joystick is positioned affects how sounds are triggered, with upwards movements triggering the individual sounds, words or vowel sounds and downwards movements triggering these sounds in sequence. The other joystick takes care of pitch and movements of both joysticks can be recorded when the ‘Rec’ switch is activated. It takes some time to get used to the way this synth works but a simple manual explains procedures.

Triggering the unit via MIDI is taken care of by the Expander mode and words are triggered via the keys on a controller keyboard or a sequence in your DAW (although you must output on MIDI channel 10). You can alter the pitch and speed while in MIDI mode, allowing words to be shaped more specifically.

Retro tone
The actual sound quality this unit kicks out is great – traditionally retro in its tone and with some decent experimentation it can deliver some brilliant results. If you’re keen to get a Speak & Spell, it may be worth stumping up the extra cash for something much more usable and ultimately sonically superior.

This is a very specific kit and might not be for everyone. It’s not going to start singing over your tune, unless you have the patience for some heavy MIDI programming. But as a lovely sounding retro item that forces a decent amount of experimentation it’s a great purchase. It slots perfectly into the current ‘scene’ and when it’s blips and sound effects are ramped through some guitar pedals it can sound pretty cool."

Monday, July 06, 2009

aliens ate my babysitter

YouTube via analoq
"I wrote a synthesizer "server" for the iPhone that can be controlled over Wi-Fi, as well as a Mac client to parse the MIDI data from my controller and send it over UDP.

By sticking the phone in my mouth it functions as a very awkward talkbox (and I thought enunciating with the Banshee was hard...). The slight network lag makes my timing a little weird on the keys. Even so, it's pretty fun to play with.

I'm performing the theme from classic DOS game Commander Keen: Aliens Ate My Babysitter
The (incomprehensible, sorry) lyrics are from the Keen FAQ:"

Patch n Tweak
Switched On Make Synthesizer Evolution Vintage Synthesizers Creating Sound Fundlementals of Synthesizer Programming Kraftwerk

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