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Posts from January 2011

"Emits a Photon" - Free Camel Audio Alchemy Patch by Mark Mosher


What does it sound like when you mangle the sound of a florescent light being switched on with granular syntheis? "Emits a Photon" is the answer - a free granular synthesis patch for Camel Audio Alchemy. This sample was recorded in my dorm at Electro-Music 2010 Festival. Listen to the audio demo for some notes on how I created this patch. Modwheel controls filter.

To install:

  • In your Alchemy\Presets folder create a sub-folder called "Modulate This Patch Lab"
  • Download from "Individual Presets" section of
  • Unzip all files into the new folder
  • From Alchemy click "File->Load" then select "Emits a Photon MM.acp" and click "Open"

Emits a Photon Demo for Camel Audio Alchemy Patch for Patch Lab by MarkMosher


Korg microKEY Hands-On Review

I received a Korg microKEY USB powered as a gift over the holidays – woot! Here is a hands-on review.

It’s bigger than I expected. Here are some shots giving you some perspective. Here it is when compared to an Akai LP2K25.

modulatethis_korg_microkey (4)

Here it is compared to my Novation Remote SL 25.

modulatethis_korg_microkey (11)

modulatethis_korg_microkey (7)

And finally, a shot of it in my laptop back pack.

So as you can see it’s not quite as backpack ready as some of the competition, but it is quite portable considering the number of keys.










Mini Keys

It has the the same synth action 37-key velocity sensitive keyboard as the MicroKorg XL. I like the action quite a bit. Korg says “The proportions of the black keys and white "waterfall" keys have been adjusted for optimal playability, and the key touch makes it easy to play chords, glissandos, and rapid-fire phrases.” – I agree. Unlike the Akai, the white “waterfall” keys on the Korg go down to the case so they are less likely to get snagged when sliding in and out of a gig bag.

Modulation & Pitch Wheels
Besides feel, the mod and pitch wheels are the reason I wanted this controller. I love to do “couch potato” sound design and have been frustrated that all the small controllers don’t have a mod wheel. Well the microKEY addresses this nicely.

Octave Buttons

You can transpose using the octave buttons. The buttons change color with each press giving you instant visual feedback on the setting.

  • Green = 1 Octave
  • Orange = 2 Octaves
  • Red = Three Octaves
  • Blinking Red = 4 Octaves


There are two USB ports on the side allowing you to use the keyboard as a HUB. This is a pretty nice idea if you wanted to quickly hook up other nano controllers (or any USB device) without having to bring along another hub. Nice touch Korg!

As with other Korg controllers, you can use the KORG KONTROL Editor to set velocity curves and and mod wheel range.

At $99, I think the microKey is a great value when you consider it's also a USB hub.

Final Thoughts
The microKey is the best feeling Mini-key keyboard I’ve played to date - much better than the button feel of the original NanoKey or the spongy action of the Akai.

The microKEY seems is a good choice for players and sound designers on the go who want a nice velocity sensitive synth feel with pitch and mod wheels but don’t necessarily need the unit to fit all the way into the pack.

The microKEY is now my controller of choice for “couch potato” sound design work with VSTs!

Official Product Page -

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO

At $99, I think the microKey is a great value when you consider it's also a USB hub.P

"Sounds from a Distant Outpost" Ableton Live Pack Experiment Update - New Compositions + 1000 Downloads and Counting


Note: I'm updating this soundset so it's currently offline.

On December 17th, 2010 I released the Sounds from a Distant Outpost FREE Live Pack. Now, a little over a month later there have been over 1,000 downloads! Update on 6/13/2011: Just about to hit 2,000 downloads :^).

The most exciting thing for me is that a two people have REALLY dug into the 12 instruments in the Live Pack and have taken the time to compose tracks using ONLY instruments from this pack.

I’ve attached their two songs plus a third I created below. It’s pretty fantastic that while we didn’t directly collaborate all the works are quite different yet sound they all sound like they are telling stories from the same universe.

I think it would be pretty cool to create an album or score a film with multiple composers sharing the same custom yet limited instrument palette like this.

“Subdude's First Excursion To The Outpost”
First up is an awesome offering by James Tobin (aka Subdude), Denver, USA -

SoundsFromADistantOutpost-Subdude'sFirstExcursionToTheOutpost by Subdude

Next a wonderful track by Jason Anderson from Bottnaryd, Sweden -
Contact (via Outpost Extreme) by JAnderson 

“Outpost Encounter”
This is a track I created to kick off the idea of everyone composing from this live pack.

Outpost Encounter by MarkMosher

Thanks James and Jason for your wonderful contributions.


Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO

Saturday Synth Porn - iPhone, MIDI Mobilizer, NanoStudio, Tenori-On

For your pleasure – some pictures of my recent experiments using Tenori-On layers to drive multiple synths and the drum track in NanoStudio on the iPhone via Line 6's MIDI Mobilizer.

Tenori-On driving multiple layers on iPhone NanoStudio via Line6 MIDI Mobilizer

Tenori-On driving multiple layers on iPhone NanoStudio via Line6 MIDI Mobilizer

Tenori-On driving multiple layers on iPhone NanoStudio via Line6 MIDI Mobilizer

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO

Waldorf Largo - Dolphin Jump Gate


I’m very excited to start working with Waldorf Largo! It's shares 98% of it's architecture with Blofeld so it's been great experience to work with the architecture in soft synth form. I’ve actually created quite a few patches and thought I’d share one of my more crazy atmospheric patches called “Dolphin Jump Gate” as it shows off the awesome comb filter and FM  on the Largo.

I have the filters setup in “Serial” mode. Filter 1 is a comb filter which colors the sound and Filter 2 is low pass to control brightness.

Modulate Notes:

  • Velocity controls Filter 2’s envelope velocity. Since filter 2 is set to a high-pass filter there more velocity you play with the brighter the overall sound.
  • Mod Wheel controls intensity of LFO1 which modulates Cutoff for Filter 1. Sweeping modulation cause a shearing effect. Mod Wheel also modulates Filter 1 panning.

Try playing some chords to create sub-harmonic “beating” effect. Turn the FM paramer up for Oscillator 3 to get even more sparkle.

Dolphin Jump Gate MM Demo for Waldorf Largo Patch for Patch Lab by MarkMosher


Waldorf Blofeld Desktop & Keyboard Special Edition in Black


Waldorf is releasing my favorite hardware synthesizer in black as a limited edition. As always, I love their tongue-in-cheek marketing on this.

Deep in the subterranean Waldorf Laboratories, our scientists have finally discovered the finish that delivers the best sound. We almost had forgot about them when the resurfaced and proudly presented the result of their almost endless struggle to find the ideal material: Neither Mauve nor Lavender nor Ochre result in optimal sound, but a special electron absorbing coating in deep black.

The explanation is simple: as more absorbed electrons reach the inner digital and analog workings of Blofeld and casue each bit to be stronger pronounced, resulting in a very defined and detailled sound. This makes our new Black Blofeld sound even better than before. The new black Blofeld is produced 100% in German Schwarzarbeit and is available only on the black market.

According to a Matrix Synth post on this, this is a limited edition run of 250 units.

More here

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO

NAMM 2011 Coverage and Events



If you are NOT at NAMM (like me) and would like to follow along, here are links to some people who are on the ground there:

If you have a favorite source for coverage, add a comment.


back page (2)If I were there I’d definitely be checking out Laura Escude’s WHAM BAM 2011 (4th Annual)
Friday, January 14 2011, 6:00pm - 3:00am | $10 - $15 | 21+
Jimmy Edgar, Richard Devine, WE ARE THE WORLD, Thavius Beck, Drumcell, Laura Escudé, DJ Kero, Derek Michael, Eezir, Professor Nalepa vs It's Not Over Quebec

Elephant Theater
6322 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO