Monday, 8 March 2010

Hands On Experience Part II

A collection of recordings and patch ideas, focussing on manual manipulation and featuring Flight of Harmony's Choices joystick and Make Noise's Pressure Points touch keyboard.

In this first Pressure Points patch, I fed the X & Y rows to an A-151 sequential switch and the bussed gate to a clock divider to generate an eight note sequence. The bussed press CV was used to provide volume control. This is a simple patch to overcome the limitations of only having one PP and also provides variation on an otherwise predictable sequence of notes, depending on the division you use to trigger the multiplexer.


Variation on the above. Press CV used to provide mild pitch bend of a self-oscillating filter and modulate the frequency of an LFO .


In this patch I sent the press CV to a quantizer via a slew limiter to generate a glissando effect in addition to the main pitch CV. I used row X to set different slew rates, the effect of which you can hear towards the end of the recording.


One odd thing about capacitance is the fact that it is always changing. Have a listen to what happens when I touch the metal frame of my Doepfer case:


Make Noises' Pressure Points brings the capacitive keyboard, best known from Buchla and Serge systems, to the Euro format. This sort of controller might not be as immediate as a joystick but it offers a wealth of subtle possibilities. PP is tweakable and, given the right settings and playing style, responsive. For best results with the press CV, a slew limiter like Maths is a must as is an exponential VCA for dynamic volume contours. It is possible to confuse the circuit with rapid finger movements or multiple presses but, as Tony Rolando points out, this is the nature of the beast. It'll be interesting to see what the promised Points Expander brings to the party.

To round things off, here is a last patch featuring both controllers:


PP transposes the sequence and generates volume levels (both signals slewed by Maths). Choices provides panning control and cross-fades between the sine and PWM (row Y sets rate) outputs of a Plan B Model 15 VCO which is filtered by a M13 LPG. The manual gate is used to open a VCA containing the output of PP's row Z, which is used to change the speed of the clocking LFO.

For more programmer patch tips, run a search for the Rich Gold Serge book and Buchla Music Easel manual.

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