Category Archives: MicroKorg

Ambient Explorations 6

Up until now I’ve been using mostly minor scales on this series, but this is becoming boring, specially with all the nice, warmer summer time getting closer. So I decided to move on to the Major Scale. This was a four-track recording, two of them made with the Streichfett being controlled from the SQ-1. There was little intervention from my part (apart from programming the melodies in the SQ-1) so I didn’t record any video from those two sessions. The other two tracks (which were recorded  to make the video part) were done using the MicroKorg.

A few things happened when making this track. For once, I decided to use the Solo section of the Streichfett, which I’ve been neglecting since ever. I also when forward to program something that reminds me of Tomita’s work (although I cannot point exactly when he used it): a noise-resonant filter patch for the microKorg. I also recorded all four track “dry”, so all the audio FX (delays, reverbs) were done in the DAW using Calf Plugins (EQ and vintage delay) and also the very interesting TAP Reverberator (also a free and open source plugin). I noticed the compressor at the end of the sound chain was destroying the attack transients of the Tomita patch, so I replaced it for the Calf Saturator. I think the end result is much more full-bodied than the Compressed version, but I’ll leave that to your better judgement.

Oh… I also changed my audio references for mixing and mastering… I hope the sound is now more balanced.




As usual, the audio for this video was recorded and mixed using Ardour, and the final video was assembled using KdenLive, on an Arch Linux machine.

Berlin School Experiment #8

This song started with me exploring the MicroKorg’s Arp in order to make some Bass & Strings sound for another project of mine. However, just playing some chords on this patch was inspiring enough to start planning another of mine Berlin School Experiments.

I have the Bass Arp and background strings on the Microkorg serving as a foundation on top of which an improvised melody is played live on the Volca Bass. The short film “Moral Decay” from the Internet archive (https://archive.org/details/MoralDecay) served as inspiration for the decaying melody in the key f G minor. It is also mangled and played over the footage of the live recording of this track. I wanted to give the impression of human anxiety in a world dominated by industrial machines, where the ever changing rhythm of the human heart tries to fit the rigid metronome of the machines (most likely inspired by my latest reading of Zamiatine’s “We”).




As always, I hope you enjoy this track as much as I did making it. :).

Microkorg Patches

Hello all!

It’s been a while since I updated this site. Today I started a new section, devoted to one of my favourite synths: the Microkorg! In this new section I’ll share some of my patches with you. This is more of a personal complement to the microkorg cookbook website. However, in this site, I can assure you that all the patches were originally developed by myself, and are available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Bellow, you’ll find the video demonstrating how I assembled the first patch to be published here: FM Bells.

Destination

After reviewing the Behringer VP-1 Vintage Phaser, I pluged the MicroKorg into it. The white noise going through it creates that great Jean-Michel Jarre Oxygene sound you heard in the beginning and end of the review/demo video. The phaser plays great with some of the factory presets, specially those on the SE/Hit section.

Not only does it sound great, it inspired me to record some riffs, I then started improvising on top of them and then it came the time when I decided to actually put some music sheet in front of me and write the melody and chord sequence. This took me about a week, just to make the chords work with the riff, then place a D Dorian melody on top of it (with a small modulation to D minor).

Finally it came to recording, Continue reading Destination

Synthesizers of the world: UNITE!

Ok, so this is a little bit of a joke. Earlier this year Korg launched the Minilogue, and soon enough the internet was flooded with cry babies complaining that the Minilogue clicks a lot. So last weekend I decided to do a kind of a parody over these complaints, using the clickiest of all my synths: The Monotribe.

So, the video is mostly raw footage from the backing track, with extracts from the movie “The Truth About Communism” obtained from the Internet Archive.

Musically speaking, this was a little more of a challenge. The backing track was performed live and the signal chain goes as follows: the Volca Beats gives sync pulses to the SQ-1. It is also giving me some rhythm track to guide me, although it is not recorded (in the video you can see the audio out is unplugged). The SQ-1 is controlling the Monotribe using CV and gate (to see how I did the adaptor, check this and this video). Since I have the Monotribe calibrated to accept the CV from the MicroBrute and didn’t care for tuning, the track sounds atonal. The Sound from the monotribe goes into the FX600 for a little bit of chorus, then into the Nux Time Core for some time sync’ed Ping Pong Delay, and then finally to the RV600 for some cave reverb (which has a little bit of a delay character). The idea was for the click to be musically meaningful… something between a kind of percussion  and bombs detonating in the distance. I think I managed to do ok with that.




On post-production, three tracks were added using sounds from the Streichfett: a long Cello pedal, some vocal chords and an arpeggio for the second half of the song (using the arpeggiator from the MicroKorg). Finally the rhythmic pattern from the beats was recorded onto a fifth track. As usual, the audio production was made in ardour, and the video later edited using kdenlive.  I hope you enjoy listen to it as much as I did making it.

Analogue Meets Digital 3: The MicroKorg and the MicroBrute

This is the first of two videos dedicated to exploring the world of sound that exists when you hook up a MicroKorg with a MicroBrute. In this episode of Analogue Meets Digital the MicroBrute is used as a Sound module controlled and processed by the MicroKorg.

This is an extremely easy way to link the two machines: a MIDI cable goes from the MIDI OUT port of the MicroKorg into the MIDI IN of the MicroBrute (if you use a MiniBrute instead of the Micro, make sure you don’t accidentally connect both MIDI OUT ports).  At the same time, use a TS 1/4″ cable to connect the Line Output of the MicroBrute to the Audio 1 Line In port of the MicroKorg. This is essentially the same setup I did with the Volcas, although working the MicroBrute is much more satisfying experience, in my opinion. One thing to have in mind: the MicroBrute is muck louder than the Volcas, so you have to be extra-careful not to clip the input on the MicroKorg. Despite this, the MicroBrute is a monophonic Analogue synth, much like the Volca Bass (and most voice modes of the Volca Keys), and the operation of the MicroBrute in this setup is similar to that shown in previous episodes.