Posts categorized "Synth: Absynth" Feed

NI Absynth patch "Halloween Theme" by John Carpenter Using Only Envelopes

Here is a fun video (  from Absynth guru Anthony Distefano.

My Absynth version of the "Halloween theme".This was all done using the envelopes.There was no overdubbing.


Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO

Anthony Distefano Celebrates Steve Reich's Birthday with NI Absynth Video "Pulses from Music for 18 Musicians"

My friend and Absynth guru Anthony Distefano shared a video in celebration of Steve Reich’s birthday.

My Absynth version of Steve Reich's Pulses from Music for 18 Musicians.This was all done using Absynth's envelopes.


Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO

"I Calculate" - A Soundscape Experiment Using Octatrack to Sequence Absynth 5 Synthesizer


In this experiment I used Octatrack to drive Absynth running in stand-alone mode. I sequenced the piece using only the Octatrack sequencer. I used step sequencing mixed with trig automation to modulate Absynth performance params via MIDI CCs along with some real-time performance param manipulation using data entry knobs on Octatrack. I used the MIDI OUT on the Octatrack and the MIDI on my USB soundcard. 

Note you can also play your MIDI instrument using trig mode “Chromatic” and you can assign MIDI CCs to  to the data entry knobs thereby making Octatrack a controller.

This was my first time using Octatrack with an external MIDI instrument and when I was setting this up I couldn’t’ quite figure out how to turn the “on” the data entry knobs once I configured them to a MIDI CC. This video will save you a lot of time in learning how to set up Octatrack for MIDI sequencing including activating data entry knobs.

See more Octatrack videos by SecretMusicUK on his YouTube channel

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO

Sound Design Tip: Precise Sync to Picture and Long Envelopes with Absynth Break Point Time Control


In addition to dragging the breakpoints of an envelope in Absynth, you can also enter precise time values for each break point. P. 116 of the manual explains the different types of time control.

Abs/BP Time control: Determines the Breakpoint’s position on the time axis. Enter the duration in seconds. Depending on the setting of the BP Time Toggle on its left, you can either enter the duration since the previous Breakpoint (Bp sec) or since the beginning of the Envelope (Abs sec).

Being able to type in your envelope times allows you to not only be precise, but also allows you to create extremely long envelopes much faster than dragging the break point with your mouse. This makes Absynth ideal for sync to picture work where you want to bake automation right into a patch.

Boulder Creek Ascent (Timelapse with Absynth Synthesizer Soundscape) from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

I just used this technique in a short video I just put together called “Boulder Creek Ascent“. The video is of mountain bike ride up Boulder Creek Trail. It’s shot with GoPro and the first 30 seconds is a timelapse with a shutter speed of 5 seconds compressing a 40 minute ride to the creek down to 13 seconds. The second part of video at the creek is running in normal video mode.

The soundscape for first 13 seconds was produced entirely with the Absynth using only camera audio from the creek video footage in the latter half of the video. The screen shot above shows a view of some of the envelopes used.

For Oscillator A, I used granular synthesis to compress the 1:00 long ambient audio recording down to only 13 seconds. I also use a 13 second envelope segment to sweep the pitch of the sound up for the entire ascent.

For Oscillator B, I use the same sample in Sample mode so you hear some of the original water character. Oscillator C is a copy of B to thicken things up a bit.I also use an envelope to sweep the filter and added some LFO modulation to one of the envelope segments.

I use only the built-in Absynth Echoes effect with three echo lines with surround panning automation running. I also use LFO1 to modulate master panning.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO

Octatrack Meets Absynth Ambient Improvisation


I recorded this piece during my summer hiatus - “#01 Octatrack meets Absynth” (watch embedded video).

2013 Summer of Synth Sessions Boulder - #01 Octatrack meets Absynth from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

Real-Time With Octatrack

I’m just getting started with the Elektron Octatrack performance sampler but I decided it would a perfect instrument to kick off a summer sessions as it’s possible to do entire compositions with effects from this one box. I’m finding that playing it from the front panel even without the sequencer can be incredibly expressive even though it doesn’t have velocity sensitive buttons. The secret sauce is in the morphing scenes. You can create up to 16 scenes each with it’s own parameter settings. You then assign one of these to either Scene A or B on-the-fly. You can then morph between the settings of each scene with the incredibly sensitive optical crossfader which causes the Octatrack to smoothly interpolate between A & B parameter settings. In a nutshell, you are able to control and perform with incredible amount of number shaping parameters in realtime.

#01 Octatrack meets Absynth

I’ve seen a lot of beat-driven videos so I thought it would be fun to do an ambient piece. This piece is an original improvisation recorded in real-time in one pass playing Octatrack buttons in Chromatic mode. No sequencing is used. There are 3 tracks of audio samples being played. The source samples were rendered from Absynth and include

a factory patch called Choiromechanoidz

A custom Absynth granular synth patch based on a custom Aalto patch I sampled

A custom absynth patch called Broken FM – pure FM synthesis. The piece makes heavy use of morphong with the crossfader, scene switching on the fly, FX morphing on on tracks and via chained effects (Neighbor Machine).

Sun Position and Aspen Trees

I didn’t intend this, but I happened to line the Octatrack up with the shadow of the roof. The piece is long enough and the shadow is close enough to the edge of the instrument that you can easily observe the earth’s rotation via the shadow movement. I finish right as the sunlight is about to hit the Octatrack. You can also see a reflection of the Aspen trees above me in the Octatrack’s display.

Note – the Octratrack display and LEDs are easily visible outside as long as you are not in direct sunlight.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO

My 100th Patch with Absynth – LFO Rotors

my song absynth

I went on a bit of a synth “walk about” in the last year and mainly went deep with one synthesizer for programming from INIT – the mighty Absynth. Yesterday maked the 100th patch I’ve made with it.

This a sound design experiment using three samples as oscillator sources. Sample 1 is a recording I made of my daughter 10 years ago (I left the beeps in from the low budget digital recorder I used at the time). Sample 2 is crowd noise from a CU Basketball game. Sample 3 was made by resynthesizing a bell through an additive synth called Morphine which I then loaded into Absynth in granular mode.

I then turn down the volume on all oscillators and use LFO’s with square waves running in mono-mode and in series to modulate the OSC volumes. So the LFOs act as a gate shaped by the LFO waveform turning on the audio round-robin as the samples play out. I then modulate the LFO speed with a performance slider all the way up to audio rates as the piece progresses.
This is ALL absynth including effects (resonator with surround motion).

So thanks to Brian Clevinger for making Absynth (which will continue to be a main focus). Also thanks to John Bowen for showing me his Solaris Synth rotors a few weeks back when I was in Seattle for Pacific Northwest Synthfest which inspired the sound design concept behind this piece. You both have made amazing instruments!

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Composer, Performer

Pure and Broken Circuits 01 - Absynth Sound Design Experiment


"Pure and Broken Circuits 01" is an Absynth sound design experiement. A sound design experiment showing the darker virtual analog modelling side of Absynth (no samples here) to illustrate Absynth's range beyond the typical motion pad :^) This piece is an improvisation using an original preset patched with two oscillator in single mode and two Filters with feedback. I'm using waveshaping feedback mode and modulating filters and resonance with envelopes which creates the sonic movement as the envelopes play out.