Posts categorized "Synth: Largo" Feed

NO GHOSTS. JUST FEAR. - 5 Original Dark Ambient Synthetic Soundscapes

No Ghosts Just Fear cover

New Dark Ambient Album

I’m happy to announce the release of my new album No Ghosts. Just Fear. It’s an EP with five original horror soundscapes. The album is only available as an album download from Bandcamp.com as they supports the high-resolution formats required for proper listening :^)

Here is a link http://markmosher.bandcamp.com/album/no-ghosts-just-fear

Go for the High-Rez Download :^)
The dark ambient sounds and music within these arrangements was created and performed on various virtual instruments (see notes below). In some cases original audio recordings were used as sources then re-shaped with granular synthesis to turn these recordings into playable expressive instruments with huge sonic range and motion.

The album was mastered by the wonderful Gannon Kashiwa who is the Director of Digital Media at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science  - so you'll hear the incredible sonic range and detail of these pieces if you go for the downloads. The streaming versions just don’t do the tracks justice.

With this in mind I’m making the entire album (14 minutes of horror in 5 soundscapes) available for only $3. I hope this is a no brainer price that makes you want to go for the lossless CD Quality FLAC or at least MP3 320 (click here if you have questions about format). A lot of work went into the sonic detail so it’s worth it to take the time to listen on good system with a sub – or with great headphones. No earbuds please – lol.

Liner Notes +

The Liner notes pasted in below with the addition of “Synths Used” for you Modulate This! readers. Note tracks 2-4 each use a single synth and single deep performance preset programmed from INIT.

I hope hearing these tracks inspires you to dig deeper into programming from INIT with a smaller number of synths in your rig. Going deep allows you to create expressive patches and presets with performance in mind and transcend these synths making them true instruments.

I’ll also add that the entire album was produced and mixed with Ableton Live. Gannon Mastered in Pro Tools.

Thanks for your support and If you enjoy the album please pass it on. Happy Halloween!

Mark Mosher
Synthesist & Composer, Boulder, CO
http://www.MarkMosherMusic.com


------------------------------


DSCN4970ABOUT THE ALBUM
This album contains five original instrumental horror soundscapes by Boulder-based synthesist and composer Mark Mosher. Listen in the dark on a great sound system with a sub-woofer or with good headphones (not ear buds) and let your imagination run wild! Then remember, it’s all in your head :^) 

 

 

CREDITS
© 2011-2012 (CC-BY-NC) Mark J. Mosher www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Composed, Arranged, Programmed, Performed, and Produced by Mark Mosher
Mastered by Gannon Kashiwa
Cover Design by Dave Weed
Cover Photo by Mark Mosher

TRACK NOTES

1 Primeval
Amygdala kicks in as you enter the fear zone. Remember, it's all in your head!

I use hand crafted synthetic sounds (subtractive and additive synthesis) to create strange tones, textures. and rhythms to build tension. Fast note-runs, and radical tempo changes will creep you out. This piece was performed using Percussa AudioCubes. Note I released this as a single in 2011. Even if you've heard it before I recommend you buy the album to get this new high-resolution remix. For this remix I reprogrammed some of the effects, remixed the track a bit, and then re-rendered with highest quality synth settings. Plus this track and all others were mastered by Gannon Kashiwa and it sounds simply incredible!

Synths Used: Waldorf Largo, 4 Instances of Image-Line Harmless. I also used Percussa Improvisor with original sequences controlled from AudioCubes which got fed into Live to drive the virtual synths. Further editing and production was done in Live.

2 Alone in the Dark
When you are alone in the dark your mind will play tricks.

Over the last year I've been spending time listening to the tone. harmonics, overtones, and distortion created by expressive electric guitar greats like David Gilmour. "Alone in the Dark" is my exploration of expressive manipulation of harmonics and distortion with a single synthesizer patch custom programmed. As a result you'll hear me go beyond the sonic range of guitars into the sub-harmonic realm.

Synths Used: Waldorf Largo


3 Fight or Flight
Your brain is on overload as you run for your life through a dark building searching for the exit.

I broke a long complex original audio recording into small chunks called "grains" with a custom patch in a virtual instrument called Absynth. My patch allows me to traverse, manipulate and perform with this massive sample as if it's an expressive instrument with a very unique harmonic palette.


4 Under the Spider’s Web
There is a dim golden light ahead in the dark. Between you and the light, there is a spider and of course a large web blocking your path. Was that something crawling down the back of your neck?

Like the last track, this is custom granular synth performance.

Synths Used: Native Instruments Absynth 5, Rob Papen Predator FX

5 Orbiting Miranda
Inspired by the film Serenity.

I used a variety of custom programmed virtual synths and effects to create this lush but dark ambient piece. Note I released this as a single in 2011. Even if you've heard it before I recommend you buy the album to get this new high-resolution remix re-mastered by Gannon Kashiwa.

Synths Used: Native Instruments Absynth 5, 3 Instances of Tone2 Saurus, Rob Pappen Predator FX & RP-Verb.


The Waldorf Time Warp Weekend Sale Including License SL for Blofeld Desktop for Activating Sample Memory

Watch embedded video.

Waldorf has a sale going on this weekend. The time warp theme is related to European daylight savings time change which happens this Sunday. The sale is for this weekend only.

Use the discount codes in the video for your order and save up to 30% on

  • Largo
  • Waldorf Edition
  • Waldorf Edition Upgrade
  • PPG V3
  • Waldorf PPG Wave 3.V Upgrade
  • Lector
  • Atmospheric Transients
  • Jörg Schaafs Blofeld Xperience Vol 1
  • Blofeld License SL

Note, Waldorf’s virtual synths require eLicenser software (and can also be transferred to USB-eLicenser). This is normally a show stopper for me but I like Largo so much I made an exception to my rule.  If your curious how Largo compares to the Blofeld, checkout this post. You can download demos of the instruments first if to see if they are right for you.

Also note that License SL is on the list. So if you’ve been waiting to upgrade you’re your Blofeld Desktop to activate the sample memory now might be the time.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html
www.ModulateThis.com


Crowdsourced Mindmap: Synthesizers with Comb Filters

Synthesizers_with_Comb_Filters

I love comb filters! Buying a Waldorf Blofeld a few years back caused me to start using them even more because it’s interactive display allowed me to visualize the shape of the filter and correlate that with an audio result. Waldorf Largo and Tone2’s ElectraX also offer this feature.

What is a Comb Filter?

I like the definition on p. 49 of the Waldorf Blofeld Manual:

A Comb filter is basically a very short delay that can be controlled in length and feedback. The delay time is so short that you can’t hear its individual taps but a colorization of the original signal created by peaks or holes in the frequency spectrum. The frequency of the colorization is set by the delay length, which is controlled in the Blofeld through Cutoff, while the amount of colorization is set by the Comb filter feedback, which is controlled in the Blofeld by Resonance.

To further illustrate this, I’ve included a screenshot below which has the same filter type in Waldorf Largo, but with VERY different shapes simply  y changing cutoff and resonance.

image

What Do Comb Filter's Sound Like?

Stay tuned for a future article on this with some video.

Crowdsourced Mindmap of Synths with Comb Filters

 A week or so back I was curious how many synths in my rig had comb filters and started to document them in a mindmap. I decided to take things a step further and crowdsource this on Twitter and Facebook and make an even more comprehensive map. The map is constrained to just synthesizers with comb filters that are in production. It also doesn’t contain FX plug-ins or processors that have combs.

Click here to view an interactive version of this mindmap full screen.

The Crowd

Be Combtastic

Now get out there and crank on those comb filters!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html
www.ModulateThis.com

Mind Maps


Waldorf Largo vs Blofeld

image

I own both the Waldorf Blofeld keyboard edition plus the virtual instrument Largo so I thought I’d offer some notes on what is the same and what is different.

98% The Same

First let me say that Largo is indeed a Blofeld expressed as a virtual instrument. I’d say that the patch architecture about 98% similar. If you programmed a patch on either using parameters common to both without effects the resultant output would almost identical with just slight variance in timbre you'd expect from hardware vs software implementations. The parameter differences are not simply that one has more features than another -each has exclusive features, and some cases – such as effects – the features are similar but implemented differently.

I’ve created a mindmap to illustrate only the differences. Green highlights on a branch indicate which synth is better in a particular area.

View embedded map full-size

Which is Right For You?

This depends on your priorities. If your primary goal is programming patches from scratch and you don’t care about samples being used as oscillator sources, Largo has a bigger sonic range in my opinion. If you want to use samples, you have to go with the Keyboard or Desktop Edition with License SL. The effects processor section is definitely stronger in Largo, especially the chorus. The color coding in the mindmap should help you make your choice.

Why Do I have Both?

I got the Blofeld first and fell in love with Waldorf waveforms, oscillators, filters, and architecture. I actually got the desktop, then sold it to get the keyboard edition for studio and jam use. However, my current performance rig is laptop-based and fits in two carry-ons (including my controllers) and I didn’t have room haul even the desktop Blofeld. So by adding Largo I have that Waldorf sound and architecture on my laptop and can use it in live performances out of town. Largo’s effects – especially the chorus are also quite fantastic. As a matter of fact, I have a new song on the upcoming album that was built almost exclusively around one patch where I do crazy things with the chorus using automation from dummy clips in Ableton Live.

Using Blofeld as a Dedicated Hardware Interface for Largo

The company Touch Digital Controllers is getting some buzz around their dedicated ImpOSCar2 hardware controller. What you might not know is that you can do something similar on the Waldorf side by using Blofeld as a dedicated control surface for Largo. This is possible because Waldorf designed both Largo and Blofeld such that each parameter has a corresponding MIDI CCs (which is how third party editors communication with Blofeld). That being said, I don’t think this is currently an intended use as it’s not document, a bit fiddly, and as you can see from the mindmap there are architectural differences. Also, some parameters like waveshape number are 0-based on Blofeld and 1-based on Largo (Blofled uses waveshape 0 as oscillator off where Largo has a dedicated parameter for this). So while it works it’s a bit sketchy.

Wish List

I wish that Waldorf will go a step further with both synths to bring them to parity and line up synth parameters such that we all could could:

  1. Use Largo as a VST/AU editor for Blofeld
  2. Use Blofeld as a control surface for Largo
  3. Add sample support to Largo
  4. Share patches between both.

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

http://modulatethis.com/
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html


Loving Waldorf Largo 1.5 + Picture of Waveform After Abusing the New Chorus Effect

DSCN3597

In late January I purchased Waldorf Largo and I’ve been using the hell out of it for work on my next album. It is now one of my most heavily used synths in my rig and I’ve crated a fairly large number of custom presets from INIT.

IMHO this is one of the finest virtual analog instruments on the market and the sonic capabilities are kind of mind blowing when you dig into the synth. Also, Largo is architecturally 98% the same as my Blofeld (look for a future post on how they compare) there was almost no learning curve for me.

I passed on Largo when it first released because I’m not a fan of the eLicenser technology and when I tried an earlier demo there were some oddities on Windows. The 1.5 update fixed these issues and added some great new features (see what’s new here) and once I tried this version I fell in love with the synth right away - so much so I decided to give in to the eLicenser dongle Regarding eLicenser, you don’t need a dongle if your only going to run on Largo one system, but I bit the bullet and bought the Steinberg USB Key so I could use Largo on my primary and backup systems. I also got the boxed edition so I could get the manual in paper form which ended up being a wise decision as the documentation is quite good.

One of the best new features in 1.5 is Largo’s new Chorus effect. It’s incredible how you can radically modulate it in-real-time without producing unwanted popping or stepping artifacts.This goes for almost every parameter in the synth by the way.

image

Waldorf describes the Chorus on the product page:

Largos new Chorus comes in three flavours. The one with two stages you already know from earlier versions, and now also with four and six stages to create lush pads and strings. Spread controls the behaviour of the four additional stages, when set to zero, all six stages run in sync with a fix offset creating the ensemble effect of old string machines. When set higher, the modulation is increasingly decorrelated to make the Chorus thicker and wider. But we didn't stop here. We've also added Feedback to make the Chorus effect even thicker. And together with the quite long delay time, you can now abuse the Chorus as an additional Comb filter (as if the Largo hadn't enough of them already).

I wrote a custom patch from INIT, then used Ableton Live automation clips to crank on chorus depth and speed during playback over a 2 bars.

SNAGHTML2a5a0af

Below is the resultant waveform after I resampled the output from Largo. Crazy!

markmosher_largo_waverform

I’ve written an entire song for the new album based on this waveform, variants of the waveform, plus live perofrmance playing the patch on keys while clips modulate parameters in real-time.

Sorry to be a tease – but you’ll have to wait to hear the audio till the album gets closer to release ;^)

Update: I made a t-shirt out of this waveform - you should buy it - you'd look cool in it!

Activate t-shirt2 

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com


Photo Journaling for Electronic Music Artists

I’ve been a bit “heads down” working on all sorts of fun music projects over the last month and half and of course learning lots of new things along the way. As I work away, I always take a moment to shoot photos.

I wanted to recommend this form of journaling for two reasons. First, it’s pretty cool to look back to remember what you were up to. Second, pictures like these can come in handy for your artist PR work.

To this end, I’ve been enjoying Flickr for sharing pictures in a photo stream. It makes it easy to share these pictures out, get social, and discover other pictures. The other nice thing is that if you tweet or post to facebook using your Flickr link, people can see the picture on apps like Tweetdeck via built-in viewers.

Here are some pics from the last month or so…more on my Flickr Photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/markmosher/ (along with some random pics of hanging about in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado).

markmosher_blofeld_theremin
Interludes for Theremin and Blofeld.

markmoshermusic_audiocubes_launchpad
Rehearsing with Percussa AudioCubes.

markmosher_largo

Sound design with Waldorf largo. Using Image-Line’s WaveCandy to help see the results of the “shaper” filter drive.

Another shot of my rig in front of video projectsions
Picture of my rig just before my performance/talk at the grand opening of University of Denver’s Electronic Media Arts & Design performance space C-Cubed.

 

blofeld_custom_wavetable
Creating hand-crafted wavetables (not samples) for Waldorf Blofeld using additive synthesis.

image

Waveform created with Waldorf Largo by modulating 6 stage chorus depth and speed with Live automation. I’m writing an entire song around this sound.


image
Driving 3 synths and a drum track in NanoStudio on an iPhone using MIDI Mobilizer via Tenori-On.

Got some cool pictures? Add me as a contact on http://www.flickr.com/photos/markmosher/.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com
patchlab.modulatethis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com


Experimenting with Waldorf Largo

Waldorf_001

I downloaded the 30-day trial to Waldorf Largo. A few first impressions.

  • It has a massive dynamic range
  • You can really push the filters and FM synthesis to get some really interesting sounds
  • I like it's single page interface.
  • I really like how waveforms and filter envelopes are displayed and move in real-time as you tweak.
  • Love the large modulation matrix
  • It's a bit hard on the old CPU but I think this will most likely improve through time as I'm sure Waldorf will update. Of course freezing a track will take the load off your CPU.
  • Some of the factory patches don't do it justice. Get in there and start tweaking.
  • It uses Syncrosoft licensing. Not my fav. I also wish I could buy this as a digital download rather than a boxed item from a music store.

I just recorded some AudioBoos while messing with Largo. These were recorded through my iPhone mic so it doesn't represent the real sonic range but you'll definitely get the idea of how the character of the sound changes through time and you'll get a bit of a feel for sonic range. When I have more time I'll upload some sounds at higher fidelity.

Waldorf Largo Synth tweaking cutoff filter 2
This first sound is the factor patch "Stepping Out T". All the variance in sound comes from me tweaking one knob - Filter 2 cuttoff. I love this sound. It's like something out of the move "Andromeda Strain"

Heavily modified Walforf Largo Patch
I made various tweaks to the factory patch "Play It Low".

Links:

Mark Mosher
http://www.modulatethis.com
http://www.markmoshermusic.com
http://www.twitter.com/markmosher