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30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:12 pm

Well, my keyboard playing is so basic that pretty much ANY sequence is faster than I can play!

I still feel that I’m in the learning stage of making modular/electronic music, the mindset is so alien from my usual way of writing, and synthesis is so alchemical in nature, equal parts art and science.

Still, I’m having an absolute blast and the deep dive has once again triggered a bunch of ideas for my next composition.

My next deep dive will be right up your street, Martin: finally trying to write music with my Twisted Electrons chiptune modules!
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:16 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:My next deep dive will be right up your street, Martin: finally trying to write music with my Twisted Electrons chiptune modules!

Yay - looking forward to listening! 8-)


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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:31 am

DAY 17. Getting back to the experimental side as I try to figure out how to make this sound a bit more friendly lol.

https://soundcloud.com/user-329043613-5 ... nge-day-17

I wanted to see if I could transpose the SubH using pitch from a sequencer.

VCOs are in unison, quantization is back on, one 8ve range. Sequencer 1 is assigned to both VCO1 and VCO1-SUB1. Sequencer 2 is assigned to VCO2 and is playing a pattern. Then I have the NerdSeq feeding a single pitch into VCO1 which transposes both VCOs as they play. I then just manually turned the first step in Sequencer 1.
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 07, 2021 4:24 am

DAY 18. This was a fun one, playing with time divisions with a tiny offset between Rhythm 1 and Rhythm 2. Kinda makes for a sci-fi Steve Reich type of thing. :)

https://soundcloud.com/user-329043613-5 ... nge-day-18
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 07, 2021 2:16 pm

Side bar no. 3. I think I may be running out of road in this deep dive, I feel I may have explored all of the basic parameters of the SubH and used most, if not all, of the patch bay with external gear. The one thing I've not done yet is recreate the patches from the manual, so that's next on the plate. Perhaps that will inspire me to try some other things!

One thing I will say about the manual for the Subharmonicon is that it's a LOT more useful than the manual for the Mother-32. I reference the SubH manual constantly; it's well laid out and very explanatory. The M-32 manual leaves something to be desired, imo.
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:28 pm

DAY 19. Today's patch is based on the Aquatic Chords preset from the SubH manual. Looking at it now, it's a pretty basic patch with SEQ 1 patched into the cutoff and the clock patched to the Trigger input so that each step is playing multiple times whilst the filter is still opening and closing. I start with the filter EG amount to the filter wide open and then dial it in to something more interesting as the patch plays.

https://soundcloud.com/user-329043613-5 ... tic-chords
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:34 pm

DAY 20. The final leg of the deep dive, starting with the presets from the SubH manual and then tweaking them to taste.

https://soundcloud.com/user-329043613-5 ... low-chords
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:17 pm

DAY 21. https://soundcloud.com/user-329043613-5 ... p-and-fall

Commentary: Though a couple of the presets in the SubH manual fall into the experimental category, the vast majority of them are firmly in the ambient camp. The one thing that the more experimental ones do, such as this one, is demonstrate the range of possible sounds available from the SubH. I wouldn’t have though it possible to get this old style arcade sound from the unit!
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:36 pm

DAY 22. https://soundcloud.com/user-329043613-5 ... point-zero

COMMENTARY. Another preset patch from the SubH manual. Whilst being instructive, aside from a couple of surprises, I don't think there's anything in the presets that one couldn't figure out on their own just by experimenting with the unit. I don't know if that's good or bad, I guess it depends on what point in your Subharmonicon journey that you try to patch them up.
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby John Stafford » Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:14 pm

These are great pieces. I avoided listening (except for a couple of tracks) until I got my replacement Subharmonicon, as I wanted to discover its character for myself. Most SubH demos sound very similar to each other, so it's nice to hear it really being explored.

I just used my original SubH as a Grandmother expander, and didn't have time to explore it properly as a unique instrument. I think it's one of the most interesting things Moog has ever made.
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:24 pm

I totally agree, it's one of the most interesting synths to come out, especially from Moog, and at its price point it's kind of a no-brainer, even if you're just looking for a nice duophonic subtractive synth.
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:33 pm

DAY 23. https://soundcloud.com/user-329043613-5 ... -the-wheel

A really nice percussive sound on this one. This patch also highlights how ‘juicy’ the Moog filter is at higher resonance settings.

I now have a host of ideas for my next composition, looking forward to exploring that space as well!
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:16 pm

DAY 24. https://soundcloud.com/user-329043613-5 ... 24-bateria

COMMENTARY. Kind of a silly preset in the SubH manual. I guess for some types of music it’s essential, though!
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:02 pm

I can’t believe I forgot to post an update! So, two for the price of one today!

DAY 25.

https://soundcloud.com/user-329043613-5 ... piral-ways

Pretty interesting use of the filter envelope in this preset.


DAY 26.

https://soundcloud.com/user-329043613-5 ... -star-gate

I liked this preset quite a bit! Was fun playing with the sequencer steps as it played.
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Re: 30-day writing challenge #2: Subharmonicon edition

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:17 pm

Sidebar No. 4. This deep dive has been a lot of fun and very educational! It’s definitely given me newfound appreciation for the Subharmonicon and I am starting to see how it can fit into my writing workflow. Personally, I don’t see myself using it as an entirely standalone instrument and building compositions around it, but who knows — I may record a cycle of pieces that way once my other deep dives are completed. I can see it being at the center of small-scale Berlin school compositions, as far as my tastes are concerned. The piece I am going to write inspired from the deep dive will at least be proof of concept for me.

The one thing that the SubH definitely inspired me to do was experiment with filter envelopes.

Good fun!
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