Berlin School Synth Jam With Waldorf Iridium & Modular Synthesizer

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Synthesist Martin Stürtzer shared this trip into ambient/Berlin School territory, Lai’s Dream.

The live performance features the recently released Waldorf Iridium synthesizer, paired with a Eurorack modular system.

Here’s what he has to say about the technical details:

Lal´s Dream was sequenced and recorded with Ableton. All sounds: Waldorf Iridium, U-HE Repro5, Makenoise 0-Coast, Mutable Instruments Plaits / Ripples / Veils & Doepfer A-140″

Chillwave Track Created With Just A Roland SH-01A

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Synthesist Stefano Mattia shared this music video for his track Drifting Automata.

All sounds come from one synth, a Roland SH-01a, with percussion and effects added in Logic. Mattia’s patches and arrangement work to showcase what’s possible with a single inexpensive synth.

Here’s what Mattia has to say about the technical details:

“I decided to make a space/chillwave track using my SH-01A only. I really love this synth for the immediacy with which you can dial in a particular sound you have in mind. And for how fun it is to tweak the patch while it’s playing.

Here my little blue SH-01A is in charge of arpeggio, bass line, high pitched strings, pads, lead and even some random LFO sound effects.

Delay, reverb, and chorus effects added here and there. Drums are stock Logic samples.”

Kebu Live Roland Synth Jam – “Just Another Space Odyssey”

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Sunday Synth Jam: Finnish synthesist Kebu (Sebastian Teir) shared this live performance of Just Another Space Odyssey, from his 2012 album To Jupiter And Back.

Teir created the video for Roland using an all-Roland keyboard rig, featuring both modern and vintage gear

Here’s what Teir has to say about th technical details:

“In this video, I perform “Just Another Space Odyssey” with an all-Roland keyboard rig, controlled by the Fantom’s sequencer.

The first two minutes of the tune is built up in real-time, by recording MIDI notes and looping them back. At 2:20, I start triggering pre-recorded MIDI sequences from the Fantom and play along with them.

Synths used: Roland Fantom 6, Jupiter X, Jupiter Xm, System 8, JD-XA, TR-8S, TR-808, Alpha Juno 1 & 2 and SE-02.

The audio was recorded in one take, but the video was edited from multiple takes.

Ambient Synth Jam On A Korg microKorg

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Synthesist Todd Smith shared this ambient synth jam, demonstrating a custom patch he created for the Korg microKorg synthesizer.

He also shared the patch settings:

Voice : SYT/SGL/PLY/
Pitch : -24/-2/0/2/0
OSC1 : Di9/7
OSC2 : TRI/OFF/12/5
Mixer : 127/124//1
Filter : 12.L/58/9/-4/0
Filter EG : 101/110/52/119/OFF
Amp : 127/CNT/OFF/0
Amp EG : 101/104/127/119/ON
LFO1 : S-H/VOC/OFF/11/

EQ – 160/10/7.00/10
Delay – L-R/OFF/47/111
MODFX – ENS/42/108
Patch4 – LF.1/2.TN/3
Patch3 – MOD/CUT/-10
Patch2 – LF.2/PAN/15
Patch1 -TRC/LF.2/7

“The Microkorg is still one of the most powerful budget synthesizers for the price tag,” notes Smith, “but not everyone can program it well. I hope these videos help some people.”

The video is the latest in his Free microKorg Sounds series, embedded below:

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Free MacOS Sampler, Samplr For Touchbar

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Marcos Alonso, developer of Samplr for iPad, has introduced Samplr for Touchbar – a free app that puts a touchscreen sampler into your Mac’s Touchbar.

His ‘quarantine project’, Samplr for Touchbar is a mini version of the original Samplr and is a great showcase of the underutilized potential of the Touchbar.

Alonso describes the app as “a demo of Samplr for the MacBook Touch Bar.” The app uses the multitouch display of the Touch Bar to play samples in four different ways with multiple controls and effects. The iPad app offers many more features, including four additional play modes.

Samplr for Touchbar is available now as a free download.

Note: Depending on your OS settings/version, you may have to manually authorize the app in System Preferences/Security & Privacy.

Behringer Clones Curtis CEM3396 ‘Analog Synth On A Chip’

Behringer has announced that its Coolaudio sister company has cloned the Curtis CEM3396 Dual Wave Processor, an integrated circuit from the 1980’s that they describe as an ‘analog synth on a chip’.

The V3397 Analog Synthesizer-On-A-Chip, like the original, is designed to create a synth voice, with a minimum of external components, and to make it less expensive to create full-featured analog synthesizers.

The original CEM3396 was used in the Oberheim Matrix 6, 6R, Matrix 1000, Cheetah MS6 and Elka EK-22.

Here’s what Behringer has to say about it:

“Our sister company Coolaudio,who designs highly sophisticated semiconductors, has just released a complete voice (2 multi-waveform Oscillators, a VCF plus 4 VCAs) on a single chip.

The chip is an improved version of the Curtis CM3396 and will allow us to create high-performance analog poly synths in a very compact manner.”

Behringer has not officially announced any new synths based on the V3397 Analog Synthesizer-On-A-Chip, at this point, and details on the chip are still to come at the Coolaudio site.

The nanoPi Is A DIY Synth Based On The Raspberry Pi

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The nanoPi is a DIY synth project, based on the Raspberry Pi microcomputer. It combines a raspberry Pi Zero W, 10000mAh battery, and a Korg nanoKEY2 into a single portable synthesizer.

Because it runs on a raspberry Pi, the possibilities for software are open. This build is based on fluidsynth. The video also demonstrates how to use a phone as a controller to change instruments and other settings.

The synthesizer also features external USB inputs, which allow it to be controlled by external MIDI devices. Additionally, the device works in MIDI mode to control a computer and even doubles as a battery to charge a phone or other devices.

The second video, embedded below, covers the software install:

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Details on parts are available on geordie‘s Youtube page.

NASA Shares ‘A Decade Of Sun’

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Off topic, but interesting: NASA recently shared this video, A Decade Of Sun, that captures a 10-year time-lapse of the sun, created with images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, and paired with an ambient electronic music soundtrack by synthesist Lars Leonhard.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has now been watching the Sun non-stop for over a full decade. From its orbit in space around the Earth, SDO has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the Sun, amassing 20 million gigabytes of data over the past 10 years. This information has enabled countless new discoveries about the workings of our closest star and how it influences the solar system.

The SDO captures an image of the Sun every 0.75 seconds. The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument alone captures images every 12 seconds at 10 different wavelengths of light. This 10-year time lapse showcases photos taken at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, which is an extreme ultraviolet wavelength that shows the Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer — the corona. Compiling one photo every hour, the movie condenses a decade of the Sun into 61 minutes.

The video shows the rise and fall in activity that occurs as part of the Sun’s 11-year solar cycle and notable events, like transiting planets and eruptions.

Some noteworthy events appear briefly in this time lapse:

  • 6:20 June 7, 2011– A massive prominence eruption explodes from the lower right of the Sun.
  • 12:24 June 5, 2012– The transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. Won’t happen again until 2117.
  • 13:06 July 19, 2012– A complex loop of magnetic fields and plasma forms and lasts for hours.
  • 13:50 Aug. 31, 2012– The most iconic eruption of this solar cycle bursts from the lower left of the Sun.
  • 20:25 Sept. 29, 2013– A prominence eruption forms a long ‘canyon’ that is then covered with loops of plasma.
  • 26:39 Oct. 8, 2014– Active regions on the Sun resemble a jack o’ lantern just in time for Halloween.
  • 36:18 May 9, 2016– Mercury transits across the face of the Sun. Smaller and more distant than Venus it is hard to spot.
  • 43:20 July 5, 2017– A large sunspot group spends two weeks crossing the face of the Sun.
  • 44:20 Sept. 6, 2017– The most powerful sequence of flares during this solar cycle crackle for several days, peaking at X9.3.
  • 57:38 Nov. 11, 2019– Mercury transits the Sun once more for SDO. The next transit won’t be until 2032.

The soundtrack, titled Solar Observer, was composed German composer Lars Leonhard , who has been working with NASA for several years. An earlier NASA video paired his music with 4k sun footage:

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More information is available at the NASA site.

New Music From Synthesists Howard Givens & Craig Padilla, ‘The Bodhi Mantra’

Synthesists Howard Givens and Craig Padilla have released a new album, The Bodhi Mantra, described as ‘a formative work of deeply immersive music’.

On the new album, their third collaboration, Givens and Padilla continue a musical journey that follows the concepts introduced in their previous album, Being of Light.

The duo uses a variety of analog, digital and modular synthesizers to create hypnotic and meditative music.

“This new album evolved from our personal journey of music, which is based on our appreciation of the way we have been experiencing the perception of consciousness. This is The Bodhi Mantra,” note Padilla.

Craig Padilla at work

“Bodhi is a Sanskrit word translated as ‘enlightenment’ or ‘awakening’, which relates to a Buddhist concept,”” adds Padilla. “Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana, being freed from hate, greed and ego. The Mantra is the musical expression of this serene offering. We represented this idea in the music by making it sound warm and peaceful; hypnotic and uplifting.”

Givens, who is also the founder and co-owner of the Spotted Peccary Music label, adds “There’s a powerful experience that comes from the synergy of working together, especially when those moments of an unspoken, mutual tapping into a stream-of-consciousness flow happens.”

Synthesist and label founder Howard Givens

“That’s when the magic really happens, at least from my perspective. I believe that this whole “conversation” of music is complete when the listener then becomes involved, creating their own vision, their own experience with the music.”

The album is available now on LP and in digital formats via Bandcamp, and also via streaming services. The LP is a 140 gram 12″ vinyl record, pressed on teal and blue splatter-colored vinyl with color insert with liner notes.

You can preview the album below:


1. Prana (13:01)
2. Serenity, The Peaceful Place (09:29)
3. Leaving Behind the Now (18:50)

Note: Spotted Peccary Music is currently running its annual Summer Sale on Bandcamp, offering its catalog at 25% off with the code “summer25”.