Previous month:
April 2010
Next month:
June 2010

Posts from May 2010

Waldorf Blofeld vs Dave Smith Tetra Synthesizers

blofeld_vs_tetra  
Modulate This reader Deman recently commented on a post from February entitle "Blofeld LFOs Gone Mad" - One Patch Performance Series. Deman wanted to know which I preferred, the Blofeld or the Tetra.

Well Deman,  while I’ve only played the Blofeld, I did consider the Tetra so I did some research on both before going with Blofeld. I’ve put together a table highlighting the major differences below.

Update 3/3/2013: Updated pricess since original Post

  Blofeld Tetra
Price $699 $499 $799 $849
Sound Generation Circuit-models of analog waveforms: Pulse with variable pulse-width, sawtooth, triangle, sine wave, wavetables that were introduced by the Waldorf Q and appeared shortly thereafter in the Micro Q series. 100% analog signal path. 2 - analog sawtooth, triangle, saw/triangle, square with variable pulse width.
Synthesis Types Subtractive/FM/Wavetable Subtractive
Multi-Mode 16 Splits/Layers with 2 outs Four-part multitimbral capability with four separate outputs.
Polyphony 25 4
Display 128x64 LCD 2 line LED
Non-Volatile Sample Playback Memory

64 Meg of Non-Volatile Ram wih SL Option
99.00 €

No
FX 2 Independent FX Processors None
USB Yes, Third-Party Editors Yes, Manufacturer supplied editor

Arpeggiator

Both synths have strong arpeggiator/step-sequencer capabilities. Here is a summary as described by the manufacturers:

Blofeld Arpeggiator (From the Blofeld Web Site)

Okay, Blofeld's arpeggiator could very well become the biggest chapter of this page but let's try to keep it short...

It features variable clock divisions from 1/64 triplets to more than 1000 bars, with variable swing/shuffle, a range of up to 10 octaves. Up, down and alternate figures, selectable play order from low to high note, low to high velocity, as played or reversed, variable note length, different velocity modes. And Hold or One-Shot, if you like.

But more importantly, it has the most powerful Pattern Editor we have ever seen.

You can set each Step to either play the note it would do so anyway, to pause, to play the previous note again, play the first or the last note, play those together, play a chord consisting of all held notes or a randomly selected note.

Then you can adjust the Accent of each step (including silence), activate or deactivate Glide for each step, set the timing to play a step ahead or behind its nominal time, and finely adjust the note length between short staccato and full legato.

No wonder this arpeggiator had great reviews when it first appeared in the Waldorf Q. It will take you straight to arpeggiator-heaven, as has already happened to thousands of Waldorf customers. Dig it!

Tetrai Arpeggiator (From the Tetra Manual P. 35)

Tetra features a 4 x 16 “analog-style” step sequencer that can generate four separate sequence tracks of up to 16 steps each. Each of the 4 voices has its own sequencer. Individual sequencer tracks can be routed to any standard modulation destination (see the table on page 35). Using VCA Envelope as a destination, for example, varies the volume of each step; a destination of Filter or Filter Envelope Amount will produce different filter settings per step. Typically, however, at least one sequence is routed to an oscillator to control pitch.

The sequencer is a “gated” sequencer. That is, a note must be played, either from the PUSH IT switch or via MIDI, in order for the sequence to be heard and it will continue to play as long as the note is held (gated).

Note: The PUSH IT switch’s Toggle parameter enables notes (and,
therefore, sequences) to be latched on for sustained playback.

The Clock Parameters determine the note value/tempo of the sequencer. The actual gate duration for each step is fixed at half the step time. Use the envelopes to generate notes of longer or shorter duration.

One very useful way to modulate a parameter in sync with a sequence is using LFOs with sync; LFO frequency runs from 0 to 150, after which you can select the sync settings. A setting of 16 Steps for LFO Frequency with a Triangle wave selected and routed to the filter will provide a clean filter sweep over a 16 step
sequence, perfectly in sync! This is much easier (and smoother) than programming a filter sweep using sequence steps.
28.

Conclusion
In a nutshell, Tetra is a strong choice for those looking for a pure-analog solution in a very small desktop form factor. Blofeld is the choice for those looking for a more versatile solution in the sound design department with a more workstation-like set of features (16 splits/layers, built-in FX, option for non-volatle sample memory…). The large LCD display makes the and MIDI matrix make the Blofeld experience similar to using a soft synth on a computer.

I am in the latter category and was also looking for more bang-for-the-buck so I chose the Blofeld. I also felt the virtual analog was quite good. If I had extra budget for an analog desktop unit would I buy a Tetra? You betcha.

Links

Blofled Tetra

 


Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

Checkout my updated and fresh artist site:  www.markmoshermusic.com
Join my list and get fan exclusives:
www.reverbnation.com/markmosher?add_email=true
Get your synth geek on:
www.ModulateThis.com


Reznor's New Project How To Destroy Angels: New Video + Free Digtal EP

image
 
Trent Reznor’s new project is a band called How to Destory Angels. Also in the band are Trent’s wife Mariqueen Maandig, Atticus Ross with Rob Sheridan as the group's art director. A new EP will be released June 1st. You can pre-order it for free now by using embedded the box below or by visiting this page.
 
 
You can also checkout the creepy HD video of the new single “The Space Between”. Watch embedded video.
 

More at - http://howtodestroyangels.com/.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

Checkout my updated and fresh artist site: www.markmoshermusic.com
Join my list and get fan exclusives:
www.reverbnation.com/markmosher?add_email=true
Get your synth geek on: www.ModulateThis.com


Ableton Releases New Live Intro Tutorials

SNAGHTML13758c7c

Ableton has just released a series of free videos on Live Intro (the $99 version of live with the essentials). They focus on the work-flow of building a track rather than the intricacies of the product so if you are just starting out with Live or Live intro these should be quite helpful.

http://www.ableton.com/movies?type=live_intro

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

Checkout my updated and fresh artist site: www.markmoshermusic.com
Join my list and get fan exclusives:
www.reverbnation.com/markmosher?add_email=true
Get your synth geek on: www.ModulateThis.com


Mark Mothersbaugh Interviewed at the 2010 BMI Film/TV Music Awards

Watch embedded video

Mark Mothersbaugh on recent Film, TV, and DEVO projects with a BMI plug at the end.

Enjoy,

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

Checkout my updated and fresh artist site: www.markmoshermusic.com
Join my list and get fan exclusives:
www.reverbnation.com/markmosher?add_email=true
Get your synth geek on: www.ModulateThis.com


Happy Birthday Bob Moog Video Goes to 11 as Taurus 3 Pedals Blow Out Candles

Watch embedded video

I grew up playing organ - you know, left hand, right hand, feet. I've always thought it would be cool to get a hold of some Taurus pedals. Anyway, Happy Birthday Bob - your birthday video goes to 11!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

Checkout my updated and fresh artist site: www.markmoshermusic.com
Join my list and get fan exclusives:
www.reverbnation.com/markmosher?add_email=true
Get your synth geek on: www.ModulateThis.com


Ableton Analog Experiments

SNAGHTMLeaacf

I’ve been experimenting lately with programming Ableton Analog from “init”. I have a rich set of VSTs so I’ve not given Analog much attention but after spending some time with it recently, I’m finding when you rack it up and add some effects and assign params to Macros you can achieve some pretty interesting sounds.

Here is a sound I’m currently working on: Wildfire 01 - Sound Design Experiment with Ableton Analog by MarkMosher 

Everything you hear I created using a single patch in real-time by modulating parameters assigned to macros. Ableton effects used are Arpeggiator, Bit Reduction, Limiter, Ping-Pong Delay.

image

If you need some help getting started with programming Analog I recommend you check out Nick’s Tutorials Analog vids.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
http://www.modulatethis.com
http://MarkMosherMusic.com


Designing Sound Blog + Jim Stout on Organic Sound Design with Alchemy & Open Labs NeKo

Just wanted to pass along a sound design resource - http://designingsound.org/. Below is a cool video tutorial post from this site featuring one of my favorite virtual instruments Camel Audio Alchemy. The video is also interesting to me because sound designer Jim Stout is running Alchemy via an Open Labs Neko and the video gives you a good sense of how this system works.

Watch the embedded video.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
http://ww.modulatethis.com
http://MarkMosherMusic.com