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Sunday, March 31, 2024

Playing the Osmose! - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"Developed by the French company Expressive E, this revolutionary instrument really expands the range of possibilities for real time control on a keyboard.Three different levels of polyphonic dynamics/aftertouch, polyphonic pitch control with lateral movement of the key, plus more traditional left-hand sliders... and a very poweful synth engine, the Egan Matrix, already in use on the Haken Continuum series of instruments.
On the unit I used, the sound programming was "locked", so I couldn't use the software editor, or store new sounds; I had to limit myself to tweaking some presets a little bit, and enjoying the wonderful performance capabilities."

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Playing the Korg DW-8000 - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"A jam with the Korg DW-8000, an hybrid synth with great-sounding digital oscillators and excellent analog filters that sound full and warm. With complex envelopes and a built-in digital delay (a rarity for its time), the DW-8000 is a wonderful pad/ambient machine, but equally great at bass and leads as well.
This time, only about half of the patches are my own; the other half are tweaked presets and sounds from a third-party bank.
The last of the historical analog Korg machines, the DW-8000 was released at the peak of the digital explosion, when Yamaha FM synths and the early affordable samplers were the buzzwords of the day. But this synth, in contrast, definitely excel at warm, analog-style textures.
I couldn't resist adding a very slight bit of generic reverb; however, the large majority of ambient effect in the video comes from the built-in delay.

Il Korg DW-8000 è un synth ibrido con ottimi oscillatori digitali e eccellenti filtri analogici che suonano caldi e pieni. Con inviluppi complessi e un digital delay integrato (una rarità per i suoi tempi), il DW-8000 è uno strumento superbo per pad e ambient, ma ideale anche per bassi e lead.
Questa volta, soltanto metà circa dei suoni sono di mia programmazione; l'altra metà è composta di presets modificati e suoni di un banco esterno.
Ultimo degli analogici storici della Korg, il DW-8000 esce all'apice della rivoluzione digitale, quando si parlava solo di strumenti in FM Yamaha e dei primi campionatori relativamente a buon mercato. Ma in contrasto, questo synth ha il suo punto di forza nelle calde tessiture analogiche.
Non ho resistito ad aggiungere un leggerissimo tocco di riverbero generico; ma comunque la grande maggioranza dell'effetto d'ambiente che ascoltate nel video proviene dal delay integrato."

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sequential Pro 3 first sounds - Carlo Mezzanotte

video uploads by carlomezz

Note there are three videos in the playlist above. You can use the player controls to skip around.

"Close encounters of the synth kind: A few patches on the Sequential Circuits Pro 3, a great analog/hybrid monosynth with three oscillators (2 VCOs and a wavetable), three analog filters and a ton of other features. Much more can be done with this powerful and versatile instrument; in the limited time had so far, I mostly limited myself to dynamic, playable analog sounds.
No external effects were employed. Also no eq, compression or anything else. What you hear is the straight output from the Pro 3."

5 minutes with the Oberheim Four Voice - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"When in 2021 Amedeo Tommasi - excellent pianist, teacher, composer and person - passed away, the St.Louis Music Center in Rome acquired his collection of instruments. And what a collection it was... several of the most sought after vintage synthesizers on the planet. Only thing, they were in a deplorable state, not having being played for a number of years. One of the first of these instruments to return from repair was the Oberheim Four-Voice. Still not perfect maybe, but with its magic and power clearly palpable; I couldn't resist switching it on and playing it for a while. In fact, I have played it for quite more than just the 5 minutes of this video: It's an early model without the Programmer module - which means that for each sound, you are forced to program every SEM (sound module) separately! Now, the unavoidable differences in timbre among the four voices could be pleasant sometimes, but it's still a nightmare to try and match the four modules to an acceptable level.
Also, one of the modules didn't want to know about staying in tune no matter what, and as the icing on the cake, the computer that was recording the audio ate a good chunk of the session... so I ended up with just a few minutes of presentable performance.
I couldn't resist adding a slight bit of ambience effect.
Thanks to St.Louis Music Center, and in particular to my friend and colleague Luca Spagnoletti."

Playing the Roland SH-201 - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"For a while, the Roland SH-201 was the king of the cost-effective VA synthesizers, with a rich sound and a good dotation of features. The most important functions have dedicated knobs/sliders/switches on the front panel, while the more sophisticated ones require double-button pushes (which aren't always easy to remember), or the use of its software editor. The onboard effects aren't top-quality perhaps, but they pair quite well with the sound of the oscillators and filters; and the onboard sequencer is more than respectable. The case is plastic but sturdy, making the instrument ridiculously light at 5 kg. A lot of power in a rather unassuming package.
I put together this video very quickly, just before selling my SH. A mix of my own patches and a few tweaked presets."

Uno Synth Pro - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"Uno Synth Pro is a small but very powerful analog monosynth from Italian manufacturer IK Multimedia. 3 VCOs with continuosly variable waveforms, dual filter with serial or parallel configuration, 2 ADSRs, 2 LFOs, FM, Ring Mod, 16-slot Matrix Mod, a good quality Fatar keyboard with aftertouch, analog drive + 3 effect stages, and a personal, distinct voice."

Playing the Anyma Phi - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"A few sound examples from the Anyma Phi, a 3-oscillator monophonic/paraphonic desktop synthesizer from French manufacturer Aodyo - one of the very few hardware synthesizers based on Physical Modeling technology. This demo includes patches that use OS 1.1.0, a new release that gives the Anyma Phi a substantial feature boost. It now sports 45 oscillator types, 47 modulator types and 34 FX module types.

To manage its complex synthesis architecture, the Anyma Phi comes with a computer editor, but it can also be programmed using the front panel only. A nice addition is the inclusion of a piezoelectric pick-up, allowing the musician to play percussively just tapping on the panel.

A polyphonic version, the Anyma Omega, is in the works."


video upload by carlomezz

"UPDATE: I'm happy to let you know that my bank of sounds for the Hydrasynth is now available for free download at the Music Player Network. Here's a link to get it (it's at the MPN store, but the price is $0.00 😊 ). Enjoy!

There are plenty of Hydrasynth videos and demos on the net, most of them focusing on morphing, swirling textures, thanks to the Hydrasynth's complex synthesis channel and especially its great Macro implementation, which permits to assign multiple parameters to the eight encoders on the panel.
For this video, however, I thought to consider a real-world situation where the keyboardist is usually busy with both hands most of the time, or wants to play big chords, so he doesn't always have immediate access to the panel controls. Consequently, I tried to build sounds with some kind of internal life, which would sound rich and vibrant to begin with - leaving to expressive *playing*, rather than tweaking, all the shaping and phrasing. I started with classic synth and imitative sounds, venturing later into more creative territory.
I only used left-hand controllers and aftertouch; not even the ribbon was used.
NOTE: Some sounds have a brief written description of the techniques employed - but of course, these are just rhe main ingredients. Every sound was tailored with several modulations (usually 20 or more) to achieve the final results."

Sound Bank for the Hypersynth Xenophone - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"Here's a presentation of the 128-patch sound bank that I have programmed for the great Hypersynth Xenophone analog monosynth. 3 oscs, 3 envs, 3 LFOs, 4 ring modulators, 12 filter types, large matrix mod, analog distortion, sequencer, digital effects and a great voice!

Hypersynth will include this bank as Bank Four in all future units (although it's called Bank Three, as they start from Zero!); previous owners can download it here:

No external effects or eq have been added.

Not every patch is demoed in this video; however, I tried to represent each one of the several categories into which I have divided the bank.
Here they are, in the same order in which they appear in the synth:

0:00 - Classic synth leads
2:35 - "Larger than life" synth sounds
3:50 - Aggressive synth sounds
6:55 - Woodwinds impressions
8:38 - Percussive synth sounds
10:37 - Tuned percussions impressions
12:07 - Ambient sounds
14:02 - Basses
15:30 - Solo strings & sweeps
16:39 - Drums and percussions sounds
17:37 - Variations on a classic sweep
18:41 - FX, various and - a bit of fun : - )"

Playing & tweaking the Creamware Pro 12 ASB - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"Some real-time tweaking with the powerful Pro 12 ASB from Creamware. It's a faithful recreation of the Sequential Prophet 5, the classic and iconic synthesizer designed by Dave Smith in 1977 - and it sounds really good.
Other than replicating the original front panel, it adds 12-note polyphony, MIDI, velocity and aftertouch response, and 2 high-quality digital effects. You can stack several voices in unison and detune them, and all parameters are controllable via MIDI CCs."

A brief encounter with the Studiologic Sledge - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"I had this Studiologic Sledge at home for a few days en route to the school, so I took a couple of hours to make a few patches. Of course much more could be done with this nice synth, but given the little time I had, I decided to test it on a bunch of classic sounds.

I found that the Sledge has a rather aggressive basic sound, with a definite personality. A more extended modulation matrix would have been welcome, but I guess that the goal here was to achieve that one-knob-per-function feel.

All sounds programmed from scratch, with no external effects or processing except for a little bit of eq."

Playing the Waldorf Q - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"I have owned the Waldorf Q for a while, but only in recent times I have had the opportunity to really sink my teeth into its very powerful synthesis architecture.

The first batch of patches that I have programmed includes several well-known synth timbres, plus a few more adventurous sounds. I find this an excellent approach to familiarize with an instrument. I didn't try to directly imitate the warmth of analog vintage synths; the Q has a strong personality in itself, and a big, aggressive basic sound. All the mod routings allow for very complex timbres of a special kind, cold and precise, but also full and satisfying.

What you hear in this video is all single patches, no multis. Only the internal effects were used, with no external processing except a little bit of eq."

Playing the Waldorf Q - Carlo Mezzanotte (Part 2)

"Here's the second part of my Waldorf Q programming adventures, where I try my hands at more complex sounds, plus a short multitracked improvisation at the end. With FM, ring mod, wavetables, oscillator sync, four multi-stage envelopes, comb filters, and plenty of modulation options - there's a lot of ground to explore. In particular, I like to ride the fine line between tonal and non-tonal timbres, where the sidebands build up in a dynamic way, creating groups of partials which can grow until they 'almost' become noise, but always keeping the original root clear. (well - almost always. : - ) ) Very often, I have programmed aftertouch and the mod wheel to change important details of the harmonic spectrum.

For some reason, several of these sounds ended up with a strong ambient/hypnotic connotation... I guess it's just an inclination that I have. : - )

Again, what you hear in this video is all single patches, no multis. And again, only the internal effects were used, with no external processing except a little bit of eq.

At 15:52, I did a brief improvisation using some of these sounds, plus a couple from Part 1. I used 4 stereo tracks, without adding any external effects.
I had some fun with video editing, but I'm a total amateur at that.... the moral: better to focus on the sounds! : - )"

Playing the Minimoog Model D - Carlo Mezzanotte

video upload by carlomezz

"Some fun - actually, a whole lot of fun - with a vintage Minimoog model D from the Seventies. Just some tweaking/playing, messing around with the controls with no set plan. It has just been serviced, and it's a joy to play.

First of all, the pitch bending is all wrong*! This Mini has the original implementation of the pitch wheel; not only the bend range is that crazy sharp fifth (or flat minor sixth) which is the norm for all non-modified Minis; the pitch wheel also has *no return spring - which makes for a rather crazy pitch-bending experience!

It also has the older oscillator bank, which is said to be more unstable but fatter as well. It tends to drift a lot for sure, as you can hear in many of the segments. And it sounds really fat!

It was recorded directly. And since this video wasn't intended as a demonstration of any kind, I couldn't resist adding some slight ambient effects, which only becomes really noticeable with percussive sounds.

As you will hear and see, I used the old "filter feedback" trick rather liberally; low-output into ext input creates a saturation of the filter circuit. You can see it every time the overload indicator lights up. Also, in several sounds I used a slight amount of audio-range oscillator FM.

This particular Mini belonged to someone I knew; a good musician and a friend, who sadly passed away not long ago. Playing it has been an intense and emotional experience, and of course a treat as well.

The audio went slightly out of sync with the video during the conversion process; I apologize for that. Also, there's a very short black spot in the video around the halfway point."

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sounds for the Mono Evolver Keyboard - Carlo Mezzanotte

Published on Mar 18, 2015 carlomezz

"I was asked to do a series of short instructional video clips to demonstrate synth programming to a non-specialized audience. After these videos were delivered, I took some of them, edited out the spoken parts in Italian, then I strung them together for a demo of my own sounds on the MEK. The main purpose of the original project was divulgation, so much of you'll hear will be melodic, linear sounds.... but you'll find some more complex sounds as well, especially in the second half of this video."

DSI Evolvers on eBay

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

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