Thursday 28 April 2016

Funkhaus Fun + Ribbon Tales

Thanks to everyone who came to see the concerts in Saal 2 of the Funkhaus on Friday night of Superbooth. Wolfgang Seidel, Hillary Jeffery, Hainbach, Frank Bretschneider and I had a great time. Thanks also to Andreas Schneider and especially Adam and his team for the wonderful sound and light.

Our trio’s set was improvised but Wolfgang and I did have one ‘get to know you’ musical session, during which I noticed he uses not one but three Doepfer R2M ribbon controllers! I had tried one of these years ago, when Schneider bundled them together with an Analogue Solutions MS-20 filter/ VCA and Doepfer VCO - the Jimi-Box, named for Hendrix.

But the ‘widdle’ wore thin pretty quick so I passed on the analogue version of the ribbon controller. The R2M, of course, can ‘speak’ both analogue and digital. It’s a good partner for the MIDI-equipped Clavia Micromodular, which has only three knobs and no keyboard. For its part, the Micromodular, with its familiar environment and patch recall, is the perfect accompaniment to an analogue modular when playing live. You can see me using them in the second picture above.

Here are two patches from that concert. One is inspired by Peter Grenader’s iconic ribbon video from a few years ago. Note position determines pitch, panning and also speed of the clocking VC-LFO, pressure adds modulation.

I wanted to use a voltage controlled radio during our set at the Funkhaus, the former East German broadcasting house, but was unsure of whether I’d get any reception. The answer was to mimic the random bursts of noise and music fragments with this second patch. Three comparators provide an on-off switch for the virtual radio, tonal and frequency changes.

You can download the patches and R2M preset info here. Let me know how you get on!