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Starthief: No Place

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  • Starthief: No Place

    Starthief: No Place

    A recent form thread elsewhere, concurrent with reading an essay on the nature of ambient music, made me realize that my music is most often about *scenes*, rather than stories or people or other subjects. Some of them are specific, real places I have visited, but more are about a general type of scene which should be at least somewhat familiar to most people, even if they've never been there themselves -- a cave, a storm, the deep ocean.

    This album is, instead, about the secret scenes of my imagination. Scenes that are not places. The settings of recurring nightmares, childhood imagination, spirit travel, and stories whose plots and characters were never well developed but the scene remains vivid in my mind.

    One-take improvisations with Eurorack modular integrated with Bitwig Studio, Yamaha Reface CS and Arturia Microbrute.

    Patch notes are here.

  • #2
    I have the Yamaha Reface DX. In the old days, I had a Yamaha DX-100 back in the 1980's, which was pretty similar as it was an FM synthesizer. The CS is analog synthesis, is it not?

    Very interesting stuff, by the way.. the unique soundscapes are great.. which of these sounds can we attribute to the CS, btw? Also, love the cover art! Well done!
    Last edited by Sonic Bodhi; 10-07-2019, 07:19 PM.


    • #3
      The Reface CS was loosely inspired by the CS-01 I believe, which was Yamaha's answer to the Roland SH-101.

      It's got 5 oscillator types -- saw, pulse, sync, ring modulation and FM -- and an "analog modeled" digital filter. Each type has "texture" and "mod" controls that do various things -- PWM, the frequency of a second oscillator, FM index, etc. It's kind of quirky -- the sliders aren't very precise, so the ring modulation always has at least some beating, and the FM ratio slider also adds white noise unfortunately. The filter sounds pretty nice and will "sing" with enough resonance -- which is probably where it's closest to the SH-101. It's got an effects section that is mostly not great, but the phaser is perfect for "string machine" sounds.

      The important thing to me though is that just feels fun to play, very simple and immediate (much like the SH-101). Some of the modes combined with the LFO at audio rates can get into some pretty unusual territory though, so it's still good for my sort of sound design

      I always pair it up with my Elektron Analog Drive, because it really gives it a boost where it otherwise can sound a bit thin. I have never tried Analog Drive with anything else, even though I originally bought it for my modular

      I used the CS for one of the drones on the first track, and it's the source of everything on "Grotto" (but its signal is being followed by a PLL, eventually driving Rings modal resonators, and the effects give everything a heavy "underwater" sound).


      • #4
        Impressive work! Hope, I will find the time to have a listen to the whole album.
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