Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Patch of the Day - Harmonyhertz

I twisted my knee and had to undergo an MRI scan this week. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, this is what it sounds like:

Harmonyhertz-PotD  by  navs

Having entered the machine, you're given a pair of noise-canceling headphones. The classical music that is piped through these is supposed to calm and distract you from the grunts and buzzes generated by the scanner. Don't know which device was responsible, but the kick and hi-hat pattern was a bizarre counterpoint. Sort of like a Clockwork Orange warehouse party. Someone with a sense of humour at Siemens, the company that built the contraption, decided to call it 'Harmony'. The nurse told me that the larger unit is called 'Symphony'.


The patch features four voices: kick and hi-hat, ring modulated squarewaves, FM klunk and some 'ducked' classical music. Although I managed to use up nearly all of my patch cables, it was actually fairly straightforward.

Drums: MMF-1 sine wave kick, M12-filtered-noise hat. LFO provides rhythm, VCS provides gate delay for 'swing'.

Buzz: Wogglebug stepped out provides slow pitch changes for VCO-2RM. Two square waves, with a touch of XMod and manual pitch and PWM tweaking, are output from the ring modulator. Timing is generated by the burst out of the WB which is patched to a clock divider. The /8 gate signal triggers one Maths channel. An inverse /8 gate is fed to a second Maths EG so that the klunks are timed to occur after each buzz has sounded.

Klunk: M15 & AFG lin FM plus some pitch woggle and envelope thwapping from Maths and the mix out of an A-143-1. Maths' EOC used to trigger the Doepfer, klunk gated by M13 LPG.

Classical: Borg-filtered with a bit of FM from the combined buzz & klunk CVs. Vactrol speed in evidence as the CV takes a while to fade away from it's peak.

Ducking: this was achieved by sending the classical sample to the first channel of an A-134-2 VC Xfader, the audio mix of buzz and klunk to the second and applying the combined buzz and klunk CVs to the (asymmetrical) Xfader.

Hope you enjoyed the sounds and remember to look after yourselves!

This PotD dedicated with thanks to the docs and nurses.


Unknown said...

this is an amazing patch! so scary and funny at the same time

tj milian said...

that's got to be the best audio recreation of an mri i've ever heard!

Navs said...

Thanks guys - I tried to make it as accurate as I could!