Thursday, 27 February 2014

Buchla 144 & Touch Voltage Sources

This video uses just one Buchla 144 to create all these sounds .....with a little help from the following other modules:

110 - Dual VC Gate (Two voltage controlled amplifiers)
194 - Fixed Bandpass Filter
190 - Reverb -" the sound" of the System 100
106 - six channel mixer.
156 - Dual Control Voltage Processor (to mix, compress and invert control voltages)
107 - voltage Controlled Mixer
123 - Sequential Voltage source (in other words it's a sequencer).
140 - timing pulse generator (It's the Clock).
114 - Ten touch-controlled voltage sources (capacitive keyboard). Each also plate has it's own AD envelope
180 - Dual Attack Generator.
and a Touch Activated voltage source - care of Jason Butcher. similar to a 112 &/or 216

The basic patch uses one dual 144 VCO.
One VCO supplies all the sounds.
The second VCO FMs & AMs the first.

                      Jason Butcher"s Touch Voltage Source. Inspired by the Buchla 112 & 216
The CV from the Butcher 112 & the 114 is mixed/inverted by the 156 and modulates the left 144.
The right 144 provides the sounds. It's sequenced by the 123.

All audio is processed via the 194 filter and then 190 reverb.

The 114 opens/closes the 107 mixer. (they are a great combo).
112 transposes pitch.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Phuture - Acid Tracks - TB 303 remix

Released way back in 1987, Acid Tracks (Trax) is credited as being the first track to
feature the "squelch" sound of the Roland TB 303.
The 12 inch single lays claim to being the first-ever acid house record.

Original 12" Track listing
1   "Acid Tracks" (11.17)
2  "Phuture Jacks" (4:45)
3 "Your Only Friend" (5:10)

 Phuture (also called Phuture 303) was a Chicago-based group  founded in 1985 by Spanky, DJ Pierre (Nathaniel Pierre Jones) and Herb J.

This version is not meant to be an exact remake. The original was 11.17 mins long and is drenched in reverb. The track is very simple. Just 8 notes repeated over and over again.B,B,C,C',C,D#,D#,C'.

Mine is rather shorter .. 5.5 mins, without any external processing.
Recorded in a single take with just a Roland TB 303 & TR 606 on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

The drums are on the right channel & the 303 on the left. So to hear it properly listen on some good speakers.
Headphones might be a problem.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Warren Burt Serge 2 - WAD & TKB panels restoration

The WAD pics are care of Ken Stone.
The TKB care of Andrew F. of Non-Linear Circuits.


Copyright Ken Stone

And the TKB.

Serge Chaos panel restoration pics

Ken Stone has just forwarded some new pics taken during the restoration of the Sherman Chaos panel.
So I though I'd share these with the Serge community.

Copyright Ken Stone

Copyright Ken Stone

The Unicorn image chosen for the Chaos panel was inspired by the tapestry below. Now in the Museum of Modern Art, NYC. it is part of a series of seven tapestries depicting the magical unicorn.
Purity, fertility, freedom from the lust for money, status and wealth. Unicorns have the ability to assist humans on their journey to the higher dimensions.

And now some of the all important PCB and wiring pics:

Copyright Ken Stone

Copyright Ken Stone

Copyright Ken Stone

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Miley Cyrus spotted in Port Kembla

Miley Cyrus made a surprise visit to Wollongong today.
Finally, there is a use for that wrecking ball.

Serge Paperface Acid

A second Morley Serge video.
Mainly exploring the Analog Shift Register (ASR) and the triple wave shaper

Lovely acid mixed with dripping water.

Ken S. says that most of the PCBs date from around 1974/75.
...predating the rise of the Roland 303 by nearly a decade.

The 1973 serge filter is a 2 pole, 12dB LP & HP.
(With 6dB slopes on the BP).
Most of the acid sounds are care of the 12db High Pass.

The modules used are:
Serge '73 Oscillators x 3
10 stage sequencer
programmer x 2
Noise source
Negative Slew x 2
Envelope Generator
Send & receive
Filter '73 x 3
Analog Shift Register (ASR).
Triple wave shaper (TWS).

The basic patch:
Patch a Neg Slew to cycle & use it to clock a Programmer Sequencer.

A CV from channel 1 of the programmer is fed into the ASR.
The ASR is clocked by the same Negative Slew.

The ASR produces 3 CVs which control the pitch of 3 VCOs.

VCO 1 (saw) ---> triple wave shaper -----> filter ----> BP out ---> mixer.
TWS is modulated by a 2nd Neg Slew, & the filter with some pink noise.

VCO 2 (saw)  ----> filter ----> LP ---Mixer
The filter is further modulated with Cv from the ASR.

VCO 3 (sine) ----> Filter -----HP out ---> mixer
The filter is modulated with Cv from a noise module & the Envelope Generator.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

To the Beautiful Girls of Milton

Ken just sent me these pics he took during the restoration of the reverb unit from the Morley Serge.

It reads " Folded Line....manufactured by beautiful girls in Milton Wis."

His response:

Ha Ha :-)

Friday, 7 February 2014

Serge paperface (Morley) - Test 1

A first test after restoration.
Just experimenting with some of the modules
looking for cool sounds. This Paperface is 40 years old.:-)

Many thanks to Ken Stone who did
a wonderful job.

Modules used:

Serge '73 Oscillators x 4
10 stage sequencer
programmer x 2
Noise source
Triple comparator
positive Slew
Negative Slew x 2
Send & receive
Filter '73 x 2

The basic patch:
Patch a Neg Slew to cycle & use it to clock a Programmer Sequencer

Oscillator 1 (saw) is patched into one filter. I've patched it's LP out to the mixer.
This provides the bubbling sounds. I've modulated the filter with some pink noise.
Osc 1 receives a bit of extra modulation from the programmer's row 2.

Oscillator 2 (Saw)  patched into the phaser ----> mixer.
I patched a pulse from stage 5 of the programmer to trigger.

Oscillator 3 (Saw)  ----> waveshaper ----> Mixer
The waveshaper is modulated by a positive slew.

Oscillator 4 (sine) -----> waveshaper ------> filter (HP out) ------> mixer.
The filter is modulated by a neg slew. This slew is clocked/triggered from a pulse
from the first stage of the programmer.
The waveshaper is modulated by Cv from row 3 of the programmer.

Petra Panoramas

Some pics taken in Petra, Jordan. Capital city of the Nabataeans. 

The Treasury. Al Khazneh. dated around 1st century BC. Cut right out of the sandstone cliff.
A nice fusion of Greek & Middle Eastern Architecture.
It's quite amazing how well preserved it is. Probably due to its well protected location in the valley.
The details in the upper capitals are still crisp... like they were carved yesterday.

Petra was discovered as late as 1812 by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.

 Felt pen drawing done on an earlier 1999 trip.

This is the eastern entrance to the city. Its a dark, narrow gorge called the Siq (The Shaft). About 1.2 Km long it at times opens up into large sunlit spaces. Dotted with trees here & there, you walk over ancient Roman/Nabatean road.

The famous Indiana Jones view.

The place of high sacrifice. Perched high above Wadi Musa there are dramatic views over Petra below.
The two 6m obelisks  probably probably represent the chief male and female Nabatean deities, Dushara and al-Uzza. Whats amazing is that these are solid. The mountain top was removed to leave them standing.

Most likely animal sacrifice, ritual exposure of the dead (as practiced by Zoroastrians of Persia) and offerings to the god Dushara took place here. Did human sacrifice occur?  Maybe, though no one is certain.

This is the view from the place of high sacrifice as are the two directly below.

The amphitheatre has been cut directly into the hillside. Dated to the 1st Century AD its most likely
Hellenistic not Roman. The Greeks tended to build their theatres into the natural hillside.
The Romans probably restored the theatre after they took over. Seats about 9,000.

Roman road ... about 106 CE

The Monastery ... 1st century BC. Dedicated to the god Obodas. Getting here is a hour's hike from the city centre (1.5 hrs from the Treasury). It's well worth the effort.... hiking up through rocky gorges. Lots to see along the way.

The name "Monastery" is a misnomer. It was probably a temple dedicated to King Obodas I. He was worshiped as a god after his death.

Though not as ornate as the Treasury it looks like it's much bigger. Carved out of the side of the mountain it dominates the surrounding landscape.

View of the Monastery from the "High Place". Breathtaking views over Petra.

Petra Byzantine Church

Monday, 3 February 2014

The Morley Serge drawings

One of the first things that drew me to Serge were the beautiful graphics.

Many of these early builders were artists who often covered their synths with collages & drawings.
By placing their own unique marks they imparted some of their personality and soul.

So when I saw the David Morley Serge I wondered where its artwork had come from.
It looked classical???

My sculpture teacher Kevin Norton, suggested I search Michelangelo's drawings & frescos.
The obvious place to start was the Sistine Chapel. A bit daunting as the ceiling covers a large area.
As it turned out, the images came not from the ceiling but from the far altar wall.

For a better picture click here

This fresco, titled "The Last Judgment" was painted by the Italian Renaissance master Michelangelo between 1536 and 1541.

It depicts the second coming of Christ. He is in the centre flanked by saints.
Humanity is being judged. The good rise to heaven and the damned are dragged into hell.

The above image is of  St. Bartholomew. He holds his own flayed skin. We might find this image bizarre today, but Christian art commonly showed the saints brandishing  the means of their own martyrdom.

There is a funny story surrounding this particular image. Back in the 16th century artists (as is the case today)
had to fight for commissions and often had to suffer the judgement of critics. The flayed skin is apparently a portrait of one of Michelangelo’s harshest critics. “You flayed me while I was alive,” Michelangelo allegedly told the critic. “Now I'll flay you for all eternity.”.

Above we have a section named "The Resurrection of the Dead".

 The colours of the Serge pictures have now faded. Probably these images were pulled from an art history text book or a art magazine from the 70's?

The images above show the boatman Charon ferrying the damned into hell. Charon was featured in Dante's Devine Comedy and also in Virgil's Eneid. Legend says that he carried the souls of the dead across the rivers Styx and Acheron.

                                               The Righteous are raised into Heaven.

Baigio da Cesena as Minos (s)
Baigio da Cesena was another severe critic of Michelangelo.
He was a papal Master of Ceremonies & complained that "nude figures had no place in such a sacred place, and .... the paintings would be more at home in a public tavern".

It seems that Michelangelo again had the last laugh. He portrayed Baigio as Minos, one of the three judges of the underworld. Baigio complained, but the Pope refused to force Michelangelo to remove the image, saying "he had no jurisdiction over hell".

Anyway, one can only guess about the religious nature of the images for the Serge.
The builder's name is still unknown. Was he an artist? Is he spiritual?
Anyway, part of the mystery behind the Morley serge is now solved.
Thanks Kev. You're a legend.!!!