Posts categorized "Synth: u-he ACE" Feed

Tutorial: U-HE ACE Analog FM Synthesis Using Cross Modulation and ADSR 2

There are many ways to achieve Frequency Modulation (FM) in ACE. The "Cross" knob adds "cross modulation" which is equivalent to analog FM. This knob can be a bit confusing because if you turn up the knob after initializing a patch you'll hear no effect. This is because the knob controls how much VCO1 modulates VCO2 and when you initialize a preset the "VCO Mix" knob is set so you only hear Oscillator 1. So always remember to to turn op the "VCO Mix" knob so you can hear the effects of the "Cross" knob setting.

Example – Using “adsr 2” Envelope to Modulate “Cross”

image
Of course things get much more interesting when you modulate "Cross". In this example let’s use modulate "Cross" with the "adsr 2" envelope.

  1. Turn "vco mix" so it at 12 o'clock so you'll hear a mix of VCO1 and VCO2
  2. Tweak "adsr 2" to give it a log attack and release. Add more time to the release stage of "adsr 1" which will allow you to hear the FM modulation change after key release.
  3. Patch output of "adsr 2" to the "Cross" input. Turn up the gain of "Cross".
  4. The patch will be a little hot volume wise so use "volume" knob to cut the overall volume of the patch

Experiment with tweaking #3 "cross", #1 "vco mix" to adjust to your taste. Also try turning "vco mix" all the way up so you only hear "vco2" then change the pitch of "vco1" to hear how adjusting "vco 1"'s frequency changes the harmonics.

Here is an audio example of what this preset sounds like https://soundcloud.com/markmosher/u-he-ace-cross-modulation-adsr2.

Happy patching,

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.ModulateThis.com


Early Experiment Using Launchpad as a Cable Patching Matrix for U-he ACE

U-HE Ace allows you to use MIDI CCs to control the source and destination of patch cables. This video is my first experiment to use a Launchpad as a patch cable matrix. I have a cable plugged into the Filter Gain. By pressing buttons on the Launchpad, I'm essentially plugging cables into input sockets without touching the computer. I'm using the  QWERTY to trigger notes but not move cables.

Special thanks to my cat who photo-bombed the video at the end :^)

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Composer, Performer
www.MarkMosherMusic.com


NAMM Analog Synth Demos Inspire Me to Dig Deeper Into U-HE ACE Synthesizer

ace-patch-mm

Gear Lust

From the looks of the reports coming out of Winter NAMM analog & analog modeled hardware synths were once again all the rage at this year’s show. After watching a few videos, and getting some serious gear lust, I got inspired to reproduce what I was seeing and hearing using what I already own. Ok, it’s not exactly the same as buying a new piece of gear – but it’s more affordable – lol.

$85 Weapon of Choice

imageMy weapon of choice was U-HE ACE as it has a 2 OSC +  Sub Osc architecture similar to Sub Phatty. ACE is actually “pimped up”  ARP 2600 according to the manual

If you really want to compare ACE to a classic modular synth (or three), think of it as a pimped-up ARP 2600 using modules from a Roland SH-7 with (almost) the patching flexibility of an EMS VCS3 / Synthi A – but polyphonic. Just like the ARP 2600.

Added bonus, ACE  is $85, is semi-modular with  patch cables (watch this video “u-he ACE Tutorial: Patch Cables 101”) and is polyphonic. Like the Sub Phatty it has “slop” and beyond that has “crosstalk” and “osc cap failure”. It also has a built-in Scope which is just fantastic for getting visual feedback as you design sounds.

ace-scope-mm

On an Mission for Nasty Organic Analog

In the last few days, I created over 20 super organic patches. I focused patches with oscillators being detuned, phased,  detuned in hertz (to cause beating), PWM, all with organically controlled instability ACE doesn’t have the same filter overdrive, but you can coax some nasty distortion out of it by overdriving the filter and using the LFOs at audio rates.

ACE has something called a “Mapper” that allows you to add even more variability from note to note. In the example below, I patched the mapper to add some variability for the pitch of OSC 2 which creates a slightly different beating with each key press.

ace

New Sound Set?

I have some momentum going with this style of patch with ACE so perhaps I’ll push on and release a sound set. If you want to be notified if I release a sounds set join the Modulate This! newsletter.

Wrap-Up

In closing, I want to say I’m not hating on the Sub Phatty. If you want “that Moog sound” in hardware, the addition of OSC 2 and a Sub Osc  and distortion seems like it will be popular and fills a gap between the Slim Phatty and the Voyager. However, at only $85 bucks, ACE is worth a look if your need for similar features in a virtual synth.

Links

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Composer, Perfomer
www.MarkMosherMusic.com


U-HE ACE TIP: Pulse Width Modulation Basics

image

After watching my YouTube video “u-he ACE Tutorial: Patch Cables 101”, I had a viewer ask “How can i modulate the pulse width of the osciliator?”, so I thought I’d do a quick answer here in text form. Click the image above to see a larger version of the synth. Annotation numbers in diagram match steps below.

For VCO1, LFO2 is already hard-wired to modulate pulse width. To get going follow these steps:

  1. Turn the Waveform1 knob clockwise to select pulse width
  2. Turn the lfo2 knob clockwise. You’ll hear Pulse Width Modulation right away
  3. Turn the sync knob to increase the speed of modulation
  4. Turn pw knob to set the PulseWidth

Play around with other lfo2 params to get more extreme results.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO
www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com


New Single "First Orbit" Performed Live + Percussa Audio Cube Presentation Video from Ableton Denver Meetup

On the 14th of March I gave a presentation on Percussa AudioCubes at the Ableton Denver Meetup. David Henderson was kind enough to shoot video and he even took the time to post on YouTube. Thanks David.

By the way, if you haven’t subscribed to his blog yet, you should check it out - http://www.hendersounds.com/. Lots of cool insights on Ableton Live, Monome and more.

As part of this presentation, I decided to perform a brand new single called “First Orbit” using only AudioCubes and a Launchad. The song is in the second video below and starts at the 1:20 mark.

Watch embedded video

In this song I’m using AudioCubes to send MIDI notes and MIDI CC data to Ableton Live 8, specifically to:

  • Change scenes
  • Trigger Artillery 2 FX with MIDI notes
  • Modulate parameters of Ableton Live FX (Redux; PingPong Delay; Arpeggiator Rate, Gate, Distance)

I misspoke in the the video on what synths I’m using in this song. I’m using Gladiator 2, Absynth 5, and U-He Ace. Two synths that are well suited for cubes that are not in this song are Alchemy and Synplant.

The launchpad is used as a visual reference for what is going on inside of Live. at 2:55 I switch to User Mode 2 on the Novation Launchad and trigger a metallic sound then change the Rate by breaking the beam between cubes. I then play notes on the launchpad which plays both Gladiator and Absynth. When I pick up the Sensor cube, I’m modulating arpeggiator Gate and Distance. Opening up the gate makes the Absynth patch much more tonal.

Marc W. from Ableton Denver just gave me additional footage from a second camera angle and I plan to post a video on my channel of just the song by combining footage from both cameras. I’ll also post this live performance of the song in audio format and will also do a studio version down the road and release that as well.

Watch embedded video.

Thanks for watching!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
Louisville/Denver/Boulder

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

image
Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes

“First Orbit” Copyright 2010 Mark J. Mosher, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


u-he ACE Video Tutorial: Patch Cables 101


Click here to watch embedded video

I’ve been working a lot with u-he’s ACE modular synthesizer which recently released. It’s quite fantastic and made my recent Best of 2009 Electronic Music Tech list. ACE has a very nice clean and simple user interface where almost all programming is done on one page.

To program ACE you need to have a basic understanding of how the patch cable system works. To help you shorten your learning curve and to help you make more sense of the factory presets I developed the video above. It’s a step-by-step tutorial with a conceptual overview of patch cables and a walkthrough where I create two presets using patch cables.

Enjoy!

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
Louisville/Denver/Boulder

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

image
Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes


Modulate This! - Best of 2009 Electronic Music Tech

image

Despite the economic downturn, 2009 was thankfully a huge year when it came to new technology for electronic music artists. Rather than try and cover every significant release, I’ll instead list some of my favorite products and notable trends.

The Year of Abletonimage
What a big year for Ableton. Live 8 with great new features set, Max for Live, 10th Anniversary of Ableton, launch of Live Intro, dedicated hardware controllers (APC40 & Launchpad). Awesome!

Grid (Matrix) Controllers
image 

Grid controllers everywhere in 2009. New controllers like the APC40, Launchpad and Bliptronics 5000. Continued development with existing controllers like Tenori-On and Monome. The grid metaphor also became quite prevalent in apps as well. I have the APC40 and Tenori-On and simply love them.

Percussa Audio Cubes “Tangible Interface”
 image

Not new in 2009 but new to me, Percussa AudioCubes are self-powered wireless computer systems. Cubes can detect and interact with each other and can detect the proximity of your hand near a cube face sensor and send this controller information to your DAW or to various free software apps provided by Percussa. I working with a 4 cube configuration within Ableton Live.

Fantastic Synths
A great year for virtual instruments. Below is a list of new and updates synths that I used over and over again in 2009 for both sound design and for music performance.

  • u-he ACE (Any Cable Anywhere)

    This synth just released by I use it all the time now! It’s a fantastic virtual analog synth with a great UI with patch cables. Sounds like butta’.

Continue reading "Modulate This! - Best of 2009 Electronic Music Tech" »