This post describes a MIDI controlled software synthesizer intended for use with a scratch mixer having a Flesh MIDI Mod. The synth is built entirely in the programming language Supercollider 3. Sounds, which are generated using Supercollider’s unit generators, can be controlled externally via MIDI. The software synthesizer allows for simultaneous playback of sound loops and the software synthesizer. Example sound files are given to illustrate the functions of the synth.
The goal of this project is to learn a bit about modeling spring reverbs. The goal of this project is not to model an entire spring reverb unit through circuit analysis, but to take a look at it’s response by testing it with audio signals. The unit under test is the Orban 111b spring reverb. Details on how the springs affect audio, and how the springs look in the Orban 111b will be discussed. The tests will be presented and results will be posted.
When I got my first Rane 56 mixer, the fader had a very pointed triangular cap. I definitely preferred the square fader caps used by Vestax. So, with the help of a master craftsman (Jesse), I designed and built a few custom Rane 56 fader caps. These caps have square, smooth edges with a lightly sanded surface (for a soft touch type feel).
Yesterday, I finished modding a couple PS3 controllers by replacing the PS3 analog stick caps with Xbox stick caps. I used third party red caps, cause they look bad-ass. I wouldn’t usually post such a simple mod, but it turned out to be a bit messy. I thought it would be useful to add my two cents to the mod.
The Flesh modulation Effect is a FM transmitter audio effect. It has a stereo analog input (Line level), and transmits FM radio at it’s output.
The user has real time control of volume, input gain, modulation, dither, transmit level, and pilot level. The antenna can be removed and replaced with different antenna lengths (which affects transmit level).
A while back, I teamed up with David Yeh and worked on a software model of the SP12. The model was intended to emulate the sampling engine and low pass filter in the SP12. We had no intention of modeling the SP12’s sequencer. The goal was to build a software model that could input an audio file, modify the file so that it sounds exactly like it was sampled by the SP12, and then save the affected file in wav format. The user would have the option of detuning the sample (which creates the classic ringing sound of the SP12), and turning on/off the SP12’s low pass filter. The tuning would exactly match the 32 tuning steps available in the SP12. The project was very successful. David’s paper on the subject is available
More recently, I took some time out and rebuilt the tuning of the algorithm to model my SP1200. I thought it was perfect, so I had the new tunings tested side by side with the SP1200 by an industry leading golden ears plug-in developer. We tested several sample sets by sampling into the SP1200 and running the same sample at the same tuning through our modeling algorithm. The two output files are indistinguishable.
The algorithm was coded in Matlab by David. This made it difficult (i.e. expensive) to port to a platform that could be easily run on Windows and Mac. I think I found a way to create a simple GUI that can be used on any machine without the need for Matlab. It won’t be pretty, but it will sound very pretty. I’ll post the program if I work it out.
One important thing to take away from this project: The low sample rate causes a digital sampling error called aliasing. This is what causes the classic SP12 ringing sound. When aliasing occurs, frequencies appear in the output sound that were not present in the original sound. From a mixing/mastering point of view, this is particularly useful for drums. When the drums contain a wide range of frequencies, the can be heard on any speaker system. It doesn’t matter if your system has no bass, because the presence of the kick can still be heard in higher frequency ranges due to the aliasing errors. This concept is the basis for the Flesh Modulation effect (it adds clean analog broadband noise to drum samples by using FM radio). The drums can be heard on any system.
The LSDJMC2 was originally designed by Firestarter. More information about the functionality of the LSDJMC2 can be found on his site. LSDJMC2 stands for Little Sound DJ MIDI Converter (version 2). It’s a MIDI add-on for LSDJ and Nanoloop.
LSDJ and Nanoloop are Gamboy “games” that let you play the original gameboy like an 8-bit instrument. The LSDJMC2 adds MIDI capability to LSDJ and Nanoloop. The song “8_bit_ch_Audio8” on the “Thirdy” album was made entirely with LSDJ.
Connect a MIDI keyboard (piano) to the LSDJMC2, then connect the LSDJMC2 to a Gameboy (with the LSDJ game), and then the Gameboy sounds can be played by pressing the keys on the MIDI keyboard (piano).
For this custom LSDJMC2, Firestarter’s circuit schematic was used to design a printed circuit board (pcb). The pcb’s are white with black silkscreen. The case is clear so that the user can see the words on the silkscreen through the case. The names of the buttons and LEDs are on the pcb (silkscreen) instead of the case.
The blue version has 4 blue LED’s for the function indicators, and one red LED for the data indicator:
The red version has all red LED’s:
I don’t sell these. I made a few of each color, which were sold immediately after they were finished.