Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Sound-A-Day 15.03.2011

Finally back to the blog!

Dear oh dear oh dear. A week with no sound a day. Actually pretty pissed at myself for having left it so long..

To be fair though, I've not exactly been sitting on my ass doing nothing. Been super busy with so many bits and pieces, that finding an hour or so to make, upload, and waffle on about a sound has been just too much of a stretch.

Still, like the guilty feeling sap that I am, I hope to make it up with presents!!!

A little while back I uploaded a short loop from a synth I'd been working on. One of the things that I had hoped to improve on was the interface, it was a touch confusing. So I started rebuilding that whole thing and went off on a bit of a tangent. Loads of ideas about interfaces and what not.

I ended up making a far simpler version of the synth, same engine etc, but far simpler control layout. I also built a TouchOSC template to go with it and finished off the Reaktor panel in a style matching the Ipad layout.

I think it looks really cool!

Here's a pic of the Reaktor panel..

And here's one of the IPad panel..

The synth is built around a fairly straight forward 303 style engine, and 16 step sequencer. You have control lanes for Note, Octave, Gate, and slide. The synth as you'd expect, has the choice of Square or Saw tooth wave shapes, and a nice rubbery filter, just like a 303. There is also a distortion macro for driving the sound some more. In addition there is a pair of resonant filters, and a frequency modulation effect. These are probably my favourite parts, and lead to some really unusual sounds. Each of these post effects has a dedicated XY controller. There is also a control for each XY which runs the output through a S&H module which steps the output in sync with the master clock.

Here's a little audio clip, straight out of the synth with just a little bit of reverb.

GRID-LOOP-2 by Noisy Neighbour Sound

Of course this synth can make classic Acid line sounds, and not just the unusual sequences like the one above. But I think it's a good demonstration of what else can be done with this ens.

I did encounter several obstacles in making the Ipad interface. Due to limitations on both TouchOSC and Reaktor, I've had to change the way many of the synths functions work, particularly with the sequencer. None the less, I plan on revisiting this in the coming weeks and hopefully re introduce some of the functionality of the original.

I have also begun making an 808 synth drum machine to partner up with this patch. The eventual aim is to have 4 or 5 instruments all running from 1 Ipad interface and Reaktor ensemble for making Acid/electro type stuff in a fast and intuitive way. Will be sure to upload and revise each part as I progress!

Here's a link for the Reaktor Patch and Ipad TouchOSC template.PAD SYNTH

Of course, if you do not have an Ipad, then do not worry, because as well as working really hard on that version, I also tweaked and finished the original!

The interface is still the same web of confusion as before, but honestly, it doesn't take long to figure out. This version has quite a few more features than the Ipad version. As well as everything listed above, there is also a separate automation lane for almost every parameter, with dedicated amount controls. Visual feedback of automation data on the controls, and pattern offset control.

The interface is split across both A and B panel views. A view displays note, gate, and slide information, while B shows Parameter automation, post filters and FM.

Pattern offset is controlled by the scanning boxes at the top of both views, just start clicking about and you'll figure it out!

Reading back through my "description", I cant tell if I have had any success in explaining this patch. Really I'd recommend just clicking around and trying things out. If anyone wants though, send me a message and I'll put together an instruction guide or something to help you out! (Same goes with anything on this blog btw)

Here's a link for this Reaktor patch.. GRID SYNTH

To get the panel elements working the way I wanted them to, has meant that changing them would take quite a while. I will do it at some point, but for now this one doesn't look quite as cool as the Ipad version. Still stay posted for that!

Anyways, sorry for being so behind in keeping this updated. Hope to get it all back up and running over the next few days. Lots of interesting things to show and tell coming up though, a couple more downloads, and maybe even some videos!!!

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