Here’s something I made last weekend… partly inspired by the Delay Lama plugin (hence the track’s title), which I tried to recreate in the Microkorg. One nice thing about programming synths is that you start of with an idea of what you want, but then you start talking to the synth and new ideas emerge… All I ever wanted was a patch… ended up with a track.

The Volca Beats provides a much needed fill of the sonic spectrum. I hope your weekend was as good as mine, and which you a good week. Thanks for watching and listening.

Analogue Meets Digital 2: The Microkorg and the Volca Keys

The Volca Keys we all know and love (it is still my favourite Volca) can play up to 3 voices in POLY mode… It’s not true polyphony, because it shares the same filter and envelope, but it is still useful for playing chords. However, the envelope generator of the Keys is rather limited and playing good pads on the instrument can be very frustrating. In this video I explore the Microkorg-Volca Keys hybrid (analogue/digital) system. During this process you may hear a handful of interesting pad sounds.

The Microkorg and the Volca Keys are connected the same way I used with the Volca Bass a few days ago: the Microkorg is the centre of the system, sending MIDI data to the Volca, and receiving the audio output of the latter through its Line In for further processing. One thing I didn’t mentioned in the video is that Continue reading “Analogue Meets Digital 2: The Microkorg and the Volca Keys”

Behringer Reverb Machine RV600

Last November, I started to do some demos of some of the inexpensive FX pedals I own. In this video, Behringer’s RV600 (Reverb Machine) takes the sound of Korg’s Volca Keys and gives it some spread using each its 11 reverb algorithms.

They say everything sounds better with a reverb, and it’s true. This pedal does a pretty good job at spreading the sound of the also inexpensive Volca Keys. The TONE knob is basically a low-pass filter that cuts the higher harmonics, allowing bass and middle register sound to sit well on the mix.

Some Cons not mentioned on the video: The battery compartment is located beneath the switch. So, changing the batteries involves some disassembling of the pedal: I’d stick to using a power adaptor. Also, the pedal is nice to use on the desk, but I don’t know how long would it last if you use it as a stomp box. Some say the pedal is noisy, but I could not confirm that with my unit (the recording is almost clipping at some points, and no noise above -54dB is noticed). However, I’m using a good, regulated, 2A power supply on a pedal that only consumed 0.1A. Also, notice that when using an electric guitar, the amplifier usually sits after this pedal, while on a synth (specially in a studio), most amplification is done within the synthesizer, so any artefact created by the pedal can go unnoticed.

This is one of the most inexpensive reverb pedals out there. You can buy them for about  $50 on amazon, or about £30 on amazon (UK), if you live in the UK or in mainland Europe (yes, they deliver this item to most European countries).

Ambient Kaos, Chapter 6

I can not believe its been 6 months since I first started making videos… I can not believe its been 6 months since I tool the challenge of delivering 12 pieces of ambient (or ambient-related) music using such simple and limited devices… This video marks the middle of the journey. Who knows which soundscapes lie beyond?

NUX PG-2: The guitar “pedal” that almost put me off from using guitar pedals

The NUX-PG2 is sold as a “Portable Guitar Effects”. This is not a pedal: it does not have stompers, and it has a little clip on the back to fix it to your belt, probably. Still, it was designed to be used with an electric guitar, as a basic amp simulator with a couple of sound effects, an EQ, a metronome and a tuner. A demo of this pedal using the Volca Bass can be seen in the video bellow.

A quick inspection of the device shows a simple interface with four pentagonal knobs, three switches and seven buttons on the front panel, as well as a large display on the centre. On the left side there is a Noise Reduction switch and a stereo Aux In mini-jack socket. Incidentally, the audio coming in from this socket is not processed. On the top there are 1/4″ TS (mono) jack sockets for input and output and also a stereo headphones mini-jack socket. On the right-side panel we can see a 9 Volt power supply socket (centre negative, like most guitar pedals), and a three position power switch with off, on and on with backlight options. Around the back, we have a metal clip (possibly to attach it to your clothes, and also the battery compartment (it takes only two 1.5V AA batteries, and they will last for quite some time). Continue reading “NUX PG-2: The guitar “pedal” that almost put me off from using guitar pedals”