Point Blank Online has introduced a free Modular Synth plug-in for Max for Live by tutor Daniel Herbert.
The Point Blank modular synth is based on the legendary EMS VCS3. The VCS3 was built in London in the late ’60s and there were a number of subsequent models of varying sizes. It was a popular synth and used by the Radiophonic Workshop (the ring modulator was used to process the sound of the daleks) through to Pink Floyd.
It’s a great synth to generate sounds and jam around with and the interface was really well thought out, featuring an innovative matrix which is still a neat way to patch the different synth sections together. It features three oscillators, a noise generator, a ring modulator, a couple of filter sections, audio input, envelope generator, spring reverb and an assignable joystick control – if you really wanted you could even hook up a keyboard!
The Point Blank modular synth is a simpler interface, but still offers three oscillators and noise generator, a filter section, ring modulator and X/Y controller. Unlike the VCS3, it’s possible to store your settings, and trigger the sounds easily (and in tune!) from a MIDI source. We’ve also included a slide control to emulate the smooth sweeps you could sometimes achieve with the original synth.
The modular synth is a free download for Point Blank Facebook fans.
The Electronic Garden has released Joystick Journeys – The VCS3 Collection, a sample library featuring sounds from the EMS VCS3.
This particular collection of samples was created in order to capture the VCS3 in all its chaotic (and sometimes noisy) glory. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill synth collection. Yes, there are a number of chromatically “in-tune” patches, multi-sampled up the keys.
Many of these were created with the help of Expert Sleepers’ awesome Silent Way MIDI-to-CV conversion software (http://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/), but many of them were made by painstakingly adjusting the VCS3′s “Scale” knobs. Why? Because that’s the way my heroes did it way back in the 1970s. It means that sometimes the oscillators surge and beat against one another in interesting ways, especially when the matrix is full of pins!
Joystick Journeys – The VCS3 Collection features
Over 850 16/44.1 kHz and 24-bit/44.1 kHz .wav format samples.
Over 70 patches for Kontakt.
101 REX files, tempos 100, 110 and 120 BPM.
Joystick Journeys – The VCS3 Collection is available to purchase for $20 USD.
Owing to the Arcophone Mk I being stuck somewhere on the Nullabor owing to damage to train tracks from the recent rains.
As we had a gig at Scitech we needed a new Arcophone, using the prototype batch of v1.2 coil drivers, Brett, Simon & Daniel spent the better part of the last week building the Arcophone Mk II. The case was designed and cut by Simon Kirkby and the electronics designed and assembled by Brett Downing and Daniel Harmsworth.
“Gem Drops” is a rich, varied compilation covering “experimental electronic hip-hop inspired” music, with artists such as Anenon, yuk., Juj, Devonwho, Shigeto, and Sumsun. The 21 tracks were selected by curator Aaron Meola. It’s the sixth release from the collective Dropping Gems, and 100% of revenue will go to the American Cancer Society.
Pay what you want for the download; a “very limited” run of handmade CDs with artwork will go to people who donate US $15 or more.
Turning data strings like DNA and what-not into audio can produce interesting results. YouTube user r2blend says, "If you import an EXE file into an audio program as audio data, you hear all kinds of cool stuff. The most awesome by far for me was MS Paint." Fisco130 then made a club remix of the MS Paint data audio. Wonder if any scans of great works of art contain secret music? Does malware translate to sad trombone sound, or Rick Astley?
If you haven't checked it out yet, head on over to the Programming Tips section of the Waveformless-Soundware site for 10 random programming tips on programming your own sounds for ReFX Vanguard.
The plan is to post programming tips for different softsynths as I release new soundsets. And yes, I am hard at work on the next release. No idea when it will be done. I'd rather get it right then get it out right now.
This EMS Putney came into my hands when I purchased it from Iowa City South East Junior High School in 1997. It is one of the unique artifacts of electronic music. The Putney & it’s close relative, the attache-case-housed Synthi, were workhorse synths at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and was a favorite of musicians like Brian Eno, Pink Floyd, and other Space Rock bands of the 70s.
It’s sonic character derives in large part from the cheapness of the design and construction. Moog Synthesizers were laboratory grade audio equipment; the Putney is cheap and difficult to use in a traditional musical context. And yet it was seductive. It’s limitations and imperfections enlarged musican’s ideas of what sounds could be musical.
Delia Derbyshire was one of the pioneers of electronic music during and after her tenure at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She was both a gifted composer and an audacious and precise engineer. Since seeing her in documentaries, and hearing her music I’m both awed by her and have a synth-geek’s crush on her. She was on my mind as I recorded these pieces, and I dedicate them to her memory.
The 5 parts of this piece were recorded in one evening, with no editing or overdubbing. The Putney was plugged into the Stereo Memory Man pedal, and the pedal was plugged into my computer.
The only post processing applied was normalization. These recordings are as close to the original, raw sound of the instrument as I could make them.
Hollow Sun has released a new version of Radiophonica, a sample library by Ian Boddy.
Radiophonica is the first title in Ian Boddy’s ‘Waveforms’ series of sample libraries. All the sounds were produced and recorded directly from analogue hardware synthesisers such as the venerable EMS VCS3 and MiniMoog and also the Roland 100M, Doepfer, Analogue Solutions and Analogue Systems modular synths.
The Hollow Sun Edition of ‘Radiophonica’ comes with a scripted panel that gives quick and easy control over these wonderfully atmospheric and evocative sounds.
Radiophonica Hollow Sun Edition features
Created by renowned UK synthesist, Ian Boddy.
670MB of hand crafted samples at 44/24 taken from: Roland System 100-M modular, Analogue Systems modular, Doepfer A-100 modular, Analogue Solutions modular, EMS VCS3, Minimoog, Metasonix TM-2 tube BP filter.
Custom scripted panels with filters, ADSR and multi-FX.
Radiophonica Hollow Sun Edition for Kontakt is available to purchase for $40 USD.