Live Patch #002. A harmonious soundscape in just intonation. Sampled some notes into an old MPC3000 for the melody. Recorded live to 8-track.
Live Patch #001. First in a series of filmed live modular performances; a hypnotic bass drone with some Moog delay textures, hi-hat-like white noise, and random arpeggiation as a "solo".
For each in this series I will come up with a modular patch, an arrangement of knob tweaks within that patch, and record it live to 8-track while filming.
Well, the new modular synth is up and running!
Why modular? If you're into the primordial thing that is sound itself, not a specific instrument, it's the ideal sound-shaping tool for studio work. You can craft nearly any imaginable sound using a modular; strings, bells, percussion, cymbals, ocean waves, a dying cat, as well as otherworldly abstract sounds. The audio quality, and all the available outputs, make it a serious tool in the studio.
The system uses MU modules (which stands for "Moog Unit"), the original large format of the 70s. The system is equally split between MOTM and MacBeth modules. MOTM modules have a clean "modern" tone, big as a house sound, and highly musical. MacBeth has a slightly more "retro" tone. Both are among the best sounding synths available, very hi-fi to my ears.
The modules are controlled by a central unit -- the MOTM-650 (one of those rare "vintage digital" pieces that is long out of production but simply can't be beat). This unit takes notes played on the keyboard and converts them into controlled voltage, which is sent out to the modules. What makes it special is that it outputs pure intonation with deadly accuracy (1.00 volt = root note, 1.25v = a major third, 1.50v = a perfect fifth, 2.00v = octave, etc, all user programable). And it's polyphonic, controlling up to four oscillators gracefully.
Rhythmic patches are controlled by a MOTM-730 (also discontinued, but Paul Schreiber built me one).
Ross Lamond in the UK created a fantastic custom cabinet out of cherry wood, outfitted with dual power supplies...
Finally, for monitors I wired up a pair of Focal CMS-50. These little guys have fantastic thick midrange, which is where you want the focus for synth recording.