Saturday, 18 April 2015

Patch 032 - tulip

Normal service is resumed after yesterday's guest contribution. This is a Sample and Hold effect patch with delay with LFO synced filter modulation. Filter 2 is offset to filter 1 by an octave and each filter has slightly different pannings to give a bit of movement, aided by the stereo delay.



m1 - lfo 1 intensity (mapped to filter frequency)
m2 - sample and hold smoothing
x - filter 1 cut-off
y - filter 1 resonance
z - filter 2 resonance

Friday, 17 April 2015

Patch 031 - MrDetpurroc's fm piano (guest contribution)

I am always on the lookout for fresh inspiration for all my music endeavours, and often end up trawling YouTube for interesting and inspiring synth videos. One day recently I ended up at MrDetpurroc's channel where I was blown away by a number of videos where MrDetpurroc combined the Micron with a Boss RC505 loopstation and a single CD DJ deck to create unique ambient tunes rich in melody and tone. And whatsmore, a man after my own heart, these tracks were created in a live single take.

I got in touch with MrDetpurroc who very kindly agreed to post a patch on my blog, so here you have it folks, my first guest contributor! Take it away MrDetpurroc...

The famous Micron FM piano patch...
It must have been around 2005-2006 that the possibility of a piano sound program for the the Alesis Ion / Micron was discussed on the web, and many users criticized the absence of patches of that kind in the factory presets. Some proposals were made by different users and results were shown frequently on YouTube. Somewhere occurred an ominous FM patch, and the existence of it was doubted - the YouTube video was dismissed as a fake. Hard to imagine nowadays, but back in 2004 when the Alesis virtual synths really hit the market and won some awards, this issue was heavily discussed...

It may have been around that time that I picked a so called FM-Piano patch out of the Ion Yahoo group, I don't remember who uploaded it, but it was suffering from harsh artefacts, and not very useful at all. I developed an own Piano patch without using FM, which is also quite okay but sounds more like an electric piano.

I frequently tried to improve the FM patch and I can say, it is not really in its final state, so I give you two versions, maybe you could try and find an even better way to get rid of the slightly occurring distortions...

Basically it is built around a negative sawtooth of Osc1, set to -1 Octave, a basic pulsewave on Osc2, set to 0/0/0 and a basic triangle on Osc3, set to 0/0/0, too. Strange thing now is, that the FM has to be set to 50% up to 100% with the type 3>2>1 linear. This normally causes tons of overtones, reaching easily wide above the audible range. But in this case it seems more to be just a trick to add a decent deformation to the waveshape of Osc1. The other Oscillators, by the way, have to be set to zero output.

The final character is provided by the lowpass al 8pole filter, no resonance, cutoff at around 200Hz and a sharp envelope 2. The big challenge is to get rid of those artefacts mentioned above, which may occur because of the tempered tuning of the synths (which by factory default cannot be changed, which is a pity...). This means that an octave interval is not a mathematically exact doubling of the frequency, it is reduced according to somewhat like the so called "Pythagorean Comma" - also called "ditonic comma". So we have to simulate a "glockenreine stimmung"* (don't know the English word for it) by using the mod matrix, altering the keytrack for the oscillators, and, maybe plus a little fine tuning. I did not manage to discover the 100% solution for this, maybe someone of you out there will find it... Please let us know.

Here are the patches:

eglof's fm piano 1
eglof's fm piano 2

(*I don't know either! - ghostly606)

Monday, 13 April 2015

Patch 030 - init (e2)

Back in March 2010 I posted an Init patch, in the absence of an initialise all feature on the Micron. This evening I have decided to revisit the concept and programme a new Init patch for using with my sequencer - the new Korg Electribe or Electribe 2 (E2 for short). I did this because the knobs on the E2 are assigned to fixed Change Controls and because the Micron relies on NRPN messages rather than CC data. I therefore had to set up all the CC routing within the Mod Matrix.

I had to make some decisions, for example filter type (ob2), what envelope to assign the attack / decay knobs on the E2 to (Env 2), what to assign the IFX knob to (FX balance) and so on. I decided to make Envelope 2 a one shot (i.e. sustain off). Here is the patch:

init (e2)

Mappings / Mod Matrix Routing

m1, m2 - unassigned, for now!
x - env 1 attack
y - env 1 release
z - delay time

Amp / EG Level (E2, cc7) - program level
Amp / EG Level (E2, cc10) - pan
Filter Resonance (E2, cc71) - filter 1 resonance
Amp / EG Level (E2, cc72) - envelope 2 decay
Amp / EG Level (E2, cc73) - envelope 2 attack
Filter (E2, cc74) - filter 1 frequency
Oscillator Edit (E2, cc82) - oscillator 1 shape
Filter EG Int (E2, cc83) - filter 1 envelope
Insert FX Edit (E2, cc87) - fx mix
I recorded a very basic test sequence whilst knob twiddling (starting with a single saw wave), and the result can be heard here:

(single live take, a little bit of reverb added afterwards)

Very much regard this patch as a work in progress, may post variations at a later date as my workflow evolves. I hope some of you find this useful!

CC80 (Oscillator Pitch on the E2) seems to be routed to Latch on the Micron, good to know!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Patch 029 - crocus

I have watched with envy videos on YouTube of the new Korg "Arp" Odyssey so wanted to hear what the filter sounded like, albeit modelled on the Micron. This patch is very much a SFX patch, play a single note and tweak the x, y and z knobs which affect the filter cut-off, resonance and intensity of the modulation of the filter cut-off by the S&H for the full effect. I love delays.

Happy Easter, folks.



m1, m2 - unassigned, for now!
x - filter 1 cut-off
y - filter 1 resonance
z - mod 1 level

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Patch 028 - daffodil

Daffodil is an e-piano sound with a fixed decay / release cycle, nice for ringing chords. Slider 1 will add vibrato.



m1 - lfo 1 intensity
m2 - unassigned
x - filter 1 cut-off
y - filter 1 resonance
z - fx mix

Friday, 3 April 2015

Patch 027 - snowdrop

After an extended break I am back, with a spring in my step, with a rhythmic pad patch, snowdrop.



m1 - lfo 1 intensity
m2 - osc 3 level
x - filter 1 cut-off
y - filter 1 resonance
z - noise level

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

"51 miles per radio"

Sorry for lack of posts, been really busy with work and life and stuff. Did manage to fit in an albums worth of tunes for RPM15 though. Entitled "51 miles per radio", with the exception of a hastily added vocal loop on one of the tracks ("going home"), all the tracks are instrumental. Gear used:

  • OP-1 (tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9)
  • Micron (tracks 4, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Electribe 2 (tracks 5, 8)
  • Monotron Delay (tracks 1, 6, 7, 9)
  • Microbrute (track 1)
  • Volca Sample (track 1)

With the exception of track 2, recorded directly to album within the OP-1, all tracks were multitracked using a Boss Micro BR.

The album is available for streaming or free download at alonetone.

Will get back to patches this weekend!