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One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby Rich Hanson » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:16 am

desmond wrote:
7. Nothing Ever New by Rich Hanson. And his King Korg

I said many times Rich's was number 7 but his reality distortion field is strong. I would never have guess this quirky little number was a big fat Korg rompler, so good job on the obfuscation. Actually, it reminds me a bit of Stewart Copeland's incidental music for the Equalizer, just with more fluffy pillows.

Ah, that's a bit of a disservice to the KingKorg, it's more a VA synth with a few samples thrown in for good measure.

I had always planned to do the next OSC using just the tuned resonant noise oscillator, which is how I started off. This was ok, but the pitch required a little more definition, so there is a sine wave oscillator about 6dB down. All the musical parts are the same patch, with a little EQ here and there.

The drums were also produced using the VA oscillators.

The piece is in 7/8 time, apart from one bar of 8/8 because I wanted an additional passing note at that point! And musically, it's all using a whole tone scale. Why? Why not!
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby BJG145 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:17 am

Hey, big thanks to Dave for organising another round of OSC, all great fun! I did pretty badly on the synth identification, but I blame the contributors for getting some remarkable results out of their chosen instruments. Have to give a special mention here to Arkieboy for his version of Astronauts, which I first heard on the B-side of this Dr Who 7" and was my earliest introduction to electronic music...

Image

...and to Eddy for his outstanding product demo for Yoshimi!

I was interested to hear certain modules like Fruitcake's MSR2 and K5000, which I'd long hankered after - and rightly so. Impressed by the effort that went into programming the Kawai.

Great work all round! :clap:

(The Continuumini is one of various gadgets I've hoarded without using a great deal other than to confuse organisers at jam nights, so it was fun to spend a bit more time exploring the sounds. Physically it's a bit fiddly, but the EagenMatrix engine is quite deep and has some interesting possibilities; not sure what it's based on, but is does have a physically-modelled ring to it. I named the track after the Shona people of Zimbabwe, who apparently really dig their mbiras. One of the sounds reminded me of that, so I decided to go with it and experiment with a jangly African kind of thing.)
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby The Elf » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:52 am

The title of mine is 'Dancing at Whitsun', BTW. Here's a MUCH better version of the song, for your enjoyment: https://youtu.be/JUoXAVJkvCo. A very poignant song, with lyrics that tear my heart to pieces each time I hear it. I knew I had to complete my track in one evening, so I reached out my hands and this emerged - so I went with it. One Synth, One Evening Challenge - I like it!

All played on Roli, apart from the widdly bit, where I had to resort to a 'normal' keyboard.

Much respect for guys that can turn out stuff like this. I will simply reserve a :o for Track 3.

I was interested to take another listen to the Haken Continuum. I have the Osmose on order, and am watching the developer's videos with interest as they arrive. I hadn't been much interested in the built-in sound engine, but this has made me sit up. Maybe I *will* connect its audio outputs! :lol:

(Unfortunately my Roli has begun developing a problem, even as I created this piece - the rubber is lifting off the base in the centre of the keyboard, making it unplayable. I'm hoping Roli can sort this out for me)
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby Folderol » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:37 am

I had difficulty keeping my mouth shut this time. You won't be surprised that I knew Eddy was using his Yoshimi Pi for the challenge, and he'd already sent me a copy which will get added to a link on the project website. I was delighted at at all the guesses :bouncy:

For my own entry, I'd tried using the old hardware synths I've got, but sadly I'm so used to the flexibility of modern stuff that it's just too frustrating. So... on to Wassatt:

As usual I built this up track at a time played live, and recorded as MIDI in the Rosegarden sequencer. I then juggled the tracks so I was always recording the next one as channel 1 from my keyboard. I ended up with 15 tracks. I didn't use a click track, just kept an eye on the bar lines, and I didn't need to apply any quantisation, just nudge a few notes here and there in Rosegarden's track editor.

Once I had most of the tracks in place I started trying different voice patches. The ones I used are all my own design with the exception of the percussion - that was partly mine but the kick came from another Yoshimi user.

Across the tracks all three of Yoshimi's sound 'engines' are used in various combinations, and with the composition essentially done it was on to playing with effect levels (mostly reverb), the stereo positioning, some sweeps and finally mix levels. All of this was done from the MIDI domain. The entire project is therefore completely defined in two files:
Rosegarden Wassatt.rg (91k)
Yoshimi Wassat.xmz (55k)

The final audio was recorded in one hit across all parts to a stereo pair in Audacity, and the only processing there was to trim off lead-in silence, a clean fade out, light limiter 'haircut' and adjusting the final level to peak at -3dB

A note about Rosegarden.
This was originally written in 2005 (a year before I discovered Linux) and with all the hardware and OS changes since then is beginning to show it's age. Fortunately it has an autosave feature which these days is pretty much essential. There are certain control sequences that can make it crash, and even when you know them, it's easy to forget :(
I stick with it because it's so familiar and 'comfortable'.
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby IAA » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:54 am

Well I think I kinda got Eddy for track 3 but wrong synth. I had it as the hydrasynth so credit to Yoshimi :clap: and The Elf for track 2 although I didn’t get a synth, but thought it was structured in a more complete way.

I think Logarythym’s interpretation of the Mahler was truly haunting, inspiring. Well done and on a stock plugin! Should be required listening for all those starting off with their DAWs and what you can do with what you’ve got!

Special other mentions and surprises for me were

The power of Labs (free) track 5 , great

I thought Rich’s track was great sound design subtle and shows what you can do with VIs and a good idea!

Liked Desmonds take and wow Sculpture! Another tutorial for the Logic start offs.

I loved the bass on track 9 sooo analog a good ‘un

All in all, having listened to the lot loads and played them to my wife -( who was touching up some paintwork at the time but did say,”is that a JMJ album?) the thing that again Impressed is it’s the idea, the use of sounds and the execution more than the actual synth.

Mine was done in a mad afternoon when I just fancied doing a solo in Cm and I just went from there. I bolted a beginning to show some swells. The Moog is lovely to program and sounds nice at its core. I’m using it Much more and often instead of the P6 which I did for a previous OSC.

Bravo Dave for organising and contributing to maintaining our mental health! :clap: :clap:



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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby Logarhythm » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:06 am

:clap: :clap: :clap:
Really enjoyed taking part in this - thanks to Dave B for organising, and all of the participants for some great tracks and good fun :thumbup:

I'd started thinking about doing an arrangement of the Mahler a couple of months ago, but didn't do much with it. I picked it up again a few weeks ago, following the death of a friend - I'd have shown him the part-finished work next time we met up, but sadly we never had that opportunity. That gave me the impetus to revisit it, so the piece is dedicated to the memory of the late Paul Rice.

The synth choice was partly motivated by the "try the stock DAW plugins, they're pretty good" advice that is often given in the forum. Given that it's a standard Cubase one I was sure I'd be busted straight away, so Elf's accusation that it might be Eddy on a Hydrasynth was incredibly flattering!
I felt the piece naturally suggested a pad-led arrangement, so Padshop seemed an obvious choice. Achieving the right texture without it turning into an indistinct mush was a bit of a challenge though :mrgreen:
In total there are 20 instances of Padshop used, with most of Mahler's original parts played by two separate instances. A few bits such as the 1st/2nd violins are three separate instances/pads.
There isn't a lot in the way of effects used, as again I was very wary of it becoming a bit too crowded. There is a bit of reverb, some EQ cuts to try to thin a few bits out in the mids, and some aggressive 48dB/oct HPF on some of the parts, as without that the low mids down into bass region had become horrifically cluttered.
The length of the piece meant that time was also a bit of a challenge - each pass through of each part took 12 minutes, and that really adds up. Tweak the EQ on one part, spend 12 minutes listening to it, repeat 20 times, go back and do it again...

I did get a bit carried away and bought a new polysynth that arrived on the Saturday before the deadline, and considered switching the entire thing over to that. I'm pretty glad I didn't, as I'm reasonably happy with how this turned out, and after a bit of tinkering it became apparent that I'd need to spend a good while doing some RTFM before I'd even got the basics of the new toy worked out, let alone enough depth to do justice to it.

IAA wrote:I think Logarythym’s interpretation of the Mahler was truly haunting, inspiring. Well done and on a stock plugin! Should be required listening for all those starting off with their DAWs and what you can do with what you’ve got!
Thank you, that really means a lot to me, particularly given that you recognised it! :blush:
I was worried I'd just end up defiling an astonishing piece of music, and there were a good number of occasions where I felt a bit like I was updating Monet's Water Lillies by using a felt tip pen to draw shopping trollies in the pond :crazy:

fruitcake wrote:6. I really like the long evolving textures. LFO?, ENV?
Most of the sounds themselves are relatively static - as mentioned above, keeping the enormous wall of pads in check was a bit of a challenge, so I wanted more direct control over what was happening when and how. The variations in texture are partly just different pads coming in/out and levels changing, largely based on Mahler's original orchestration although I did switch a couple of parts around in places, in pursuit of the right texture. The rest is parameters mapped to the mod wheel - after I'd set out the basic structure (notes, velocities etc tidied), I spent a bit of time working out what to map and adjusting the depth of modulation to get the right ballpark range, hit record, closed my eyes, and just wiggled the joystick around in a way that felt right.
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby Folderol » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:21 am

Logarhythm wrote:I was worried I'd just end up defiling an astonishing piece of music, and there were a good number of occasions where I felt a bit like I was updating Monet's Water Lillies by using a felt tip pen to draw shopping trollies in the pond

I just LOVE this comment :bouncy:
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby desmond » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:23 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:the multi is here (24 tracks altogether) in Reaper project format in case anyone wants it to mess around

Thanks for this Eddy, it's fun to poke around sometimes! In this case, I really liked the section where you have those ascending pads, so I was interested to get in and solo around and see what's going on here etc. :thumbup:

There are two main things happening here to create this effect - one is the main nice thick supersaw pad, and there is a second synth sound doing a long sweep up from low to high.

In the mix, I don't really hear them as two independent parts, as they merge and overlap in different ways as the sound rises in this shifting homogenous mass of harmonics, and it gives a really nice complex texture that drifts in and out of harmony and tension that's difficult entirely to unpack the consituents until your brain groks exactly what they are (this is one reason why I love poking around in peoples' multitracks). You get this nice shifting, thick synthy texture with rising harmonics and I really like it.

I think for me, one of the things I always liked about making music is the little bits of magic that happens when you start to combine things. I love the little - usually unintentional - aspects where a little note in one part gels with another note on a completely different part and you just get this really nice "moment" of unexpected harmony or whatever. Or you have this interplay between a guitar part on the left and a guitar part on the right which wasn't planned as such, but locks together almost as if it was destiny.

It's a case of where the music starts to become more than just the sum of it's parts - and that's where I feel the "art" or the "magic" is a lot of the time.

I guess it's true for many of us into creating music that along the way, you hear things, and your brain goes "that is so good, I want to understand what's happening there" that ends up turning us into songwriters/musicians/composers/sound designers/etc...

So thanks for posting that Eddy. And Yoshimi sounds great..! :clap:
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby arkieboy » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:06 pm

Is there any chance of a Yoshimi port to OS X?
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby BJG145 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:16 pm

arkieboy wrote:Is there any chance of a Yoshimi port to OS X?

...or maybe you could Linux on your Mac...?

https://www.parallels.com/uk/products/pdas/
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby arkieboy » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:32 pm

BJG145 wrote:
arkieboy wrote:Is there any chance of a Yoshimi port to OS X?

...or maybe you could Linux on your Mac...?

https://www.parallels.com/uk/products/pdas/

Been years since I used parallels - and I was using it to run MS Office TBF - but it wasn't a happy experience. Was never a fan of Cygwin either so for a while I had a Thinkpad T30 running Fedora until I got my first MacBook Pro.

I just spend too much time fiddling with APT-GET, resolving conflicts and compiling stuff to get actual work done on Linux in my day job - I'd never make any music if it was my home studio!
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby Folderol » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:08 pm

arkieboy wrote:Is there any chance of a Yoshimi port to OS X?
It would be quite possible if we could just find a MacOS dev who was interested (and had the time).
The central code doesn't care what it's running on. All file system stuff is in a single header. The GUI, (fltk) is cross platform and so is JackAudio. About the only thing that would have to be fully reworked is MIDI input.
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby Folderol » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:24 pm

Actually there was a way Eddy could have saved his instrument changes :(

On the State tab there is an option 'Save as Default' and that does save absolutely everything except a few config bits to a single file. Then if 'Settings->Switches->Start With Default State' is set, every time you run Yoshimi (or do a master reset) all this data is reloaded.
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby arkieboy » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:31 pm

Folderol wrote:
arkieboy wrote:Is there any chance of a Yoshimi port to OS X?
It would be quite possible if we could just find a MacOS dev who was interested (and had the time)

This would again be the time I regret being a database (SQL/XQuery) dev.

Apologies
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Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home

Postby zenguitar » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:51 pm

arkieboy wrote:Is there any chance of a Yoshimi port to OS X?

You could always buy a Yoshimi-Pi from Will. It's a lovely machine, and incredible value for money. And if you were tempted to contribute to an OSX port you would have a Raspberry Pi running Linux to explore how the code works.

Andy :beamup:
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