This week all the attention has gone to the new VCV Rack. This is a virtual Modular synthesizer, which is free and open source, and (best of all) runs on Linux. I really had to check this one out!
This video was made without much musical intention, and I tried to use only the modules that come bundled with the program, before installing any additional modules (more on that later). There was not much of a big musical intention behind this video other than to see how this synth sounds, how stable it is and how easy it is to create something from scratch. Continue reading VCV Rack Virtual Modular Synth for Linux→
When I started this channel, I did a series of Ambient Music videos featuring Korg’s Kaossilator 2 as the main instrument (aided by its brother, the mini-KP2, for effects and recording in dome cases). But my use of the KO2 does not end in making endless looping music. For me the KO2 is a proper musical instrument: an uncluttered synth engine that focus on giving me good sounds instead to letting me spend time adjusting every possible parameter, and a user interface that sets the key, scale and tempo, but then allows me to roam freely on that scenery, instead of either passing from one key to the other, or restrain myself to already tested and tried melodic formulas that I know will work at any given key.
Of course, composing a complete track only with the KO2 requires something more other than the KO2 itself. And a DAW really comes in handy. As usual, my DAW is Ardour (http://ardour.org) running on my laptop (a 5 year old Toshiba running Arch Linux) and with six tracks (one of each is just a gate arpeggio on a Kick to be used as a side-chain when compressing the pads), I was able to come to this track in about 60 minutes. The video portraits the first 30 minutes of work (the actual composing and recording of the audio clips), speeded up to fit this 5-minute track. Sorry for the poor capturing of the screen, but I forgot to hit record on my video-capture.
This is just another of my experiments, trying to combine Linux and hardware synthesisers. There are a number of interesting details about this video I wanted to share with you here.
Fist, lets talk about the parts involved. There was one main session, with the Volca Keys being recorded (after going through the FX600 and the Nux Time Core for Chorus and Delay) to my main laptop using the Focusrite 2i2, and the Kaossilator2 (KO2) playing an arpeggio using the “Acid Bass” preset, and being recorded to my eeepc using my Behringer UCA-202. Audacity was used in both laptops to record the sound. Then, there was a second recording session with the KO2 pushing the “Deep House” pattern, and also a third recording of me warming up my fingers with the Streichfett being controlled by the MicroKeys25. These latter sessions were all recorded using the Focusrite, although the quality of the UCA-202 is good enough for these backing tracks. Everything was mixed using Ardour.
Now, for the control part. The Nanopad2 is controlling SEQ24, which contains nothing more than a few short MIDI clips. Some of them contain notes, other contain CC data to be sent to the Volca Keys. The Volca Keys is in Poly Ring mode, which gives the “glitchy character” when multiple notes are triggered at the same time. It was nice to finally understand that SEQ24 has a queueing facility, which activates a clip only at its end.
I’m currently planing a short course about SEQ24… ;)