Patchable 0016

When I was just a little kid, I was in complete awe when Luke, C3PO and R2D2 walked into Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina (Mos Eisley Cantina). Not yet having experienced a club atmosphere everything happening was unfamiliar and new. I was drawn to this smoky, alien filled remote watering hole where shady deals, boisterous gurgling laughter and the danger of a bar fight were all intertwined. The jaunty music seemed to glue everything together.

As I got older, and learned that dixieland music was not that alien at all, I found it more and more difficult to believe this was the sort of music that would be played here, in this raucous, dark and mysterious hangout. I often wonder, what would music sound like in an alien club?


For this Patchable, you are to create an original piece of music for what you think the Cantina Band should be playing. This challenge is fairly open to creative interpretation and execution. Just ensure that you are using modular synths as part of your process.



  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0016 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0016
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Sunday June 21st.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

5 thoughts on “Patchable 0016”


    Three o_c hemisphere shift registers running in parallel, two outputting gates, and one quantized CV for 31-limit just intonation scale (but with only four notes). One stream of gates generates the rhythm, the other affects whether the “rhythm” register changes over time or locks up. Another random gate from Instruo Scion controls the probability of change for the melodic shift register.
    The piece consists of two melodic lines (high voice) in a tight canon (just a few clicks apart), accompanied by three-voice chords in utonal inversions of the melody (because aliens OBVIOUSLY prefer rational tunings).
    All voices are actually generated by MI Tides, with the “root” fed to the two channels of the 4ms DLD in wet-only mode (to “decouple” them temporally from the chords); the three chord voices are mixed into a single LPG, with some timbral variation to imitate the alien’s polymorphic instrumentation.
    A more-or-less-randomly-triggered smeared drone acts as a kind of heterophonic accompaniment, sometimes noticed, sometimes not. It tends to grab, extend, and sometimes transpose single notes from the main melodic line.


    I choose to make groups of 5 rhythmically for this, because not everyone dances in 4. I also wanted something a little more like a modern listening bar, where it’s more downtempo and about relaxing.

    Patch notes:
    Stream 1:
    Two final outputs from Instruo CS-L to Befaco A*B+C for AM. Timbre and wavefolding are randomized by Frap Tools Sapèl. Oscillator 1 pitch controlled by 0-coast, and Oscillator 2 is receiving a 5 note sequence from Stillson Hammer. Befaco audio to Make Noise Optomix with Strike triggered from Stillson Hammer. Optomix Audio to X-Pan, with panning controlled by Intellijel Quadrax LFO being limited by a Tangle Quartet.
    Stream 2:
    Basimilus Iteritas Alter receiving 15 note trigger sequence from Stillson Hammer. Fold controlled by Stillson Hammer gates. Harm, Decay, and S/L/M receiving CV gates from End of Rise and End of Fall from Quadrax.
    Stream 3:
    Square wave output of CS-L to 1V/oct input of Random Source Serge NTO. Linear FM randomized by fluctuating CV of Sapèl. Variable output of NTO to Echophon. 
    Stream 4:
    Pulse Width Modulation output of CS-L to Maths #/b for subharmonics. Rise is randomized from Sapèl. Audio from Maths to Serge VQVCF. Frequency is sequenced by Stillson Hammer. High pass output to Tangle Quartet being controlled from a Quadrax envelope. Output to X-Pan.
    Stream 5:
    Triangle output of CS-L to Tangle Quartet, which is gated by a combination of a Quadrax Burst and Maths LFO being combined and then output into the CV input of the audio channel. Audio to Erbeverb.


    I was thinking about how the musical choice is extra weird because, like, there were synthesizers in the ’70s! So I started with trying to get one of those PBS logo-y filter sweeps.

    • Grandmother with fastish square wave and cutoff for filter from lfo about 2/3 of the way up
    • Oscillator 1 at 32’ droning a low C
    • Filter resonance turned up, noise turned up, Clep Bipolar into Cutoff In
    • Smooth Random from Pamela’s New Workout in “lydian” into osc 2 at 2’
    • SQ-1 sequences Werkstatt with slide
    • Werkstatt’s LFO in square wave modified by smooth random from Pam’s so it goes slow and fast
    • VCF smooth random from pam’s
    • PWM and VCF also modded by LFO
    • Werkstatt LFO out into SEM Cv2 In
    • Unipolar from Clep into CV1 In
    • Pink noise into Audio In
    • LP out into VCA with Infra into VCA
    • BP out into Grandmother Spring Reverb In
    • Pam’s with delay/skip clocks Mimetic Digitalis, VC EG, and Clep Diaz
    • Mimetic Digitalis sequences Primary Oscillator
    • Envelope Release into CV-in of Timbre Wave, and into VCA with VC EG envelope
    • Fragments into VCA for volume control and then into Monsoon in Emilieverb mode (still learning this mode and it’s pretty cool)
    • EG into Position
    • Attenuated triangle from Pam’s into Density
    • Inverted EG into Size for clanging sounds
    • Percussion is Brown noise into VCA with short delayed envelope from Pam’s. Who needs to dance, anyway?
    • Output of VCA directly into mixer and sent to delay pedal with send/return
    • Shimmer reverb from delay pedal and some manual delay time knob turnin’

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