PATCHABLE 0022

MIXING IN MODULAR

While many musicians like to refer to January as ‘Jamuary’ – NYMS might have to rename the month Mixuary. We recently announced a special show with Steady State Fate to celebrate the release of their new character mixer, Vortices, with performances by NYMS favorites and renowned electronic musician Boys Noize. That’s on Saturday January 23rd at 4pm, and is NOT to be missed. In anticipation of this event, we made this month’s Patchable all about mixing too! 

Mixers and mixing techniques in modular are stupid cool! While most musicians consider the mixer an essential tool to simply get sound into your audience’s ears, in eurorack it can mean so, so much more. In addition to regular ol’ logarithmic response audio level mixers we have:

  • Linear DC coupled mixers for CV
  • Character mixers which offer an added layer of sound design
  • Matrix mixers for combining and mangling multiple audio and CV sources
  • Mid-side processors to extract another image of your sound, and widen stereo field
  • Spatializers / frequency balancers which boost your EQ
  • Polarizers and signal inverters to negate and reverse your voltage’s polarity

The list is practically endless. However, the real beauty about modular is that, while buying new modules to help with these tasks is always fun, recreating them with what you have and some patch cables is even better! 

THE CHALLENGE

This month’s challenge is to experiment with some mixing techniques you perhaps have yet to embrace in your patches. Use a mixer you already have and get creative! Explore your system and create some new ways to manipulate, route and process both your sound and CV. Here are a few thought-starters for anyone interested:

Instead of audio, mix some CV:

This is a simple one. Route multiple CV inputs into a DC-coupled mixer and manipulate the attenuation of each channel. The result will be a distinct CV signal that can be modified on the fly, and offer your patch some seriously unique modulation. 

Feedback patching:

In its simplest form, feedback is achieved by routing the output of a module back into its input. Try sending the final output of your mixer back into a single channel, then on the other channels add and subtract new frequencies and listen to how your sound alters or distorts. Experiment.

Frequency Balancing:

Often known as EQing – there’s no shortage of ways to create better depth of sound in your eurorack patch. Easy enough is to just use filters. LP, HP, BP and Notch outputs can all place your signal in various bands of the frequency spectrum. Mixing them together will give you a cleaner, overall less muddy output. Add some panning variance to each signal to give yourself a nice stereo field playground! No Soundstage required! 

Dry/Wet Mixing:

Mult your audio signal. Send one copy to an effect module and then into the mixer. Another directly into the mixer. Now you have a means of layering your sound, and controlling dry/wet – simultaneously. This same concept can also be used to give a mixer send/return duties. 

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY – DEADLINE JAN 31.

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0022 in the track title and the number of the patchable you chose. A completed track title would look like this: ReturnToSender PATCHABLE-0022
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, January 31st. 
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

PLAY YOUR PATCH LIVE

Thursday Jan 28 is our Patchable Performers live show. If you would like to play that show please contact @saddleuptherobots on Discord to apply for a time slot. Once confirmed prepare a 15-20 minute performance using this month’s Patchable. Don’t forget to press record (!) and then post your set after the show.

A note about Patchable Performers: this show is curated for the NYMS community to showcase their art and creativity. We book only after a Patchable’s unveiling and not in advance. Other NYMS shows are booked mostly through February and March. If you are interested in playing live on our Twitch channel, we highly recommend you inquire to play Patchable Performers, and show off your ideas! 

Patchable 0021

Patchable 0021

Formant

Formants have this strangely pleasing effect that is somewhat intangible.  We know it is not a voice, but the hint of vocal sounds pique our interest. There are many ways to go about this, you might decide to use a wavetable oscillator loaded up with some vowel waveforms. Or maybe you want to run your drum mix through a vocoder to add some formant timbres. Wavefolding, modulated at audio rates, can yield interesting vocal results. Multi-peak filters, like fixed filter banks or many other options out there can also supply you with some rich vocal-like sounds. One of the most tried and true methods is an audio rate modulated resonant filter.  Here is a patch example for how to achieve this effect

A v/oct input can act as an exponential FM input. However an exponential FM input can act as a v/oct input, but may not be perfectly calibrated for pitch.

THE CHALLENGE

This month we challenge you all to explore various vocal synthesis techniques. Create a patch exploiting at least one formant or vocal synthesis technique. You are, however, free to use as many techniques as you like. You are free to write an entire song or simply create a single sound. Your submission can be structured or unstructured.  You can you any equipment as long as you also use a modular synth in your submission.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER – DEADLINE DECEMBER 31ST

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0021 in the track title and the number of the patchable you chose. A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0021
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, December 31st.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

PLAY YOUR PATCH LIVE

Saturday, Dec 30th is the next Patchable Performers live show.  If you would like to play that show please do not post your patchable until after the event.  Instead contact @saddleuptherobots or @vcloki on Discord to apply for a time slot.

Patchable 0020

Patchable 0020

REPATCH

It has been over a year since our first Patcahable 0001 – 3 Module Challenge. There have been so many fantastic submissions showing a huge range of expression and creativity from our community. Maybe you saw a Patchable that interested you, but did not have the time to join in.  Maybe you saw one but did not have a module needed or a solid grasp on the technique required. Maybe you learned something from a past Patchable and want to do a new version. Regardless of circumstance, now is your chance to go back and Repatch.

For the month of November, we want to revisit our past challenges by asking you to select a Patchable from the past. Peruse the wide variety of challenges from sound design, synthesis techniques, music theory and module deep dives. Feel free to listen to previous submissions for inspiration or just for fun. All previous Patchable challenges are listed at the bottom of this page for convenience.

THE CHALLENGE

Select and execute a Patchable from the past. You are free to write an entire song or simply create a single sound. Your submission can be structured or unstructured.  You simply must use a modular synth in your submission and nature as inspiration for your patch.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER – DEADLINE NOVEMBER 30TH

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0020 in the track title and the number of the patchable you chose. A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0020-0009
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, November 30th.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

PLAY YOUR PATCH LIVE

Saturday, Nov 28th is the next Patchable Performers live show.  If you would like to play that show please do not post your patchable until after the event.  Instead contact @saddleuptherobots or @vcloki on Discord to apply for a time slot.

Submissions

Patchable 0019

Sinister Sounds

Draw forth your malevolence from the black depths of your psyche.  Call upon spirits and demons to fill you with dark energy.  The time to feast upon treats and deal mischievous tricks is upon us. This month you shall weave a wicked spell of sinister sound to defile the ears of unsuspecting listeners.

THE CHALLENGE

Create a patch most foul and heinous. A miasma of modular music that would turn the stomach of underworld beasts. Draw inspiration from horror movies, scary stories and the fear of the void that dwells in us all.

You are free to write an entire song or simply create a single sound. Your submission can be structured or unstructured.  You must use a modular synth in your submission but are free to use other equipment.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER – DEADLINE MIDNIGHT ALL HALLOW’S EVE

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0019 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0019
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, September 30th.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

PLAY YOUR PATCH LIVE

Thursday, October 22nd is the next Patchable Performers live show.  If you would like to play that show please do not post your patchable until after the event.  Instead contact @saddleuptherobots or @vcloki on Discord to apply for a time slot.

Patchable 0018

Patchable 0018

Nature

September brings the transition from Summer to Fall reminding us of the world outdoors.  We’ve spent the bulk of our time indoors for over six months and let’s face it, we all need the soul soothing nature offers. This months Patchable encourages you to draw inspiration from nature.

Patch the sound of a chirping bird in a nearby tree or wind blowing through leaves and chimes.  Create the sound of waves crashing on the shore or footsteps in wet sand. Go underwater to design the sounds of whalesong and bubbles escaping sea anenome.  Generate the sound of a field of locust or a swarm of bees.  The options are nearly endless but the choice is yours.

THE CHALLENGE

You are free to write an entire song or simply create a single sound. Your submission can be structured or unstructured.  You simply must use a modular synth in your submission and nature as inspiration for your patch.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER – DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 30TH

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0018 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0018
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, September 30th.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

Patchable 0017

RE:DRUM MACHINE

Drum machines are technological paragons of rhythmic production and exploration.  While it is easy to credit the beautiful design behind the beat boxes we adore, the real genius lies in the application by artists.  Abstracting the idea of the drum machine further and placing focus on the artist is what this Patchable is all about.

THE CHALLENGE

For this Patchable we challenge you to create your own drum machine using modular components.  Create each drum voice using any modules that are not drum modules. Using this drum machine make a song that is percussion based. You are free to use any modules except the following:

  • No drum modules
  • No samplers
  • No voice modules which require a trig input to emit sound – VCOs with a trig in are permitted, so long as the trig is not used

Other things to note:

  • no sampled drum loops or sounds
  • Using a delay, looper or sampler to effect your drum voices in real time, is allowed.
  • Using a single cycle waveform to create a VCO from a sample is allowed.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST – DEADLINE AUGUST 31

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0017 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0017
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, August 31st.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

Patchable Performers

This month’s Patchable Performers, on Aug 27th, is based on this Patchable. The live show will incorporate a twist on the concept. If you wish to perform this Patchable, live, on the show, please message @saddleuptherobots, or @VCLoki on discord for information. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you’re interested in performing the patchable live, do NOT post a recording to the site, until after the show. We want the performances to be a surprise.

Patchable 0017 – RE:DRUM MACHINE by DYSONANT, video by Photonbath

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?

THE CHALLENGE

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.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FROM MAY 31ST – JUNE 21ST

  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.

Patchable 0015

It has been 56 days since I’ve worn what would qualify as pants. Netflix needs to stop shaming me with, “Are you still watching?” Or at least start asking, “Do you really need more chips?” My quar buzz cut is starting to grow out and I get tired from taking a shower.

meme-cleaning-z.jpg

Confinement has us all experiencing unfamiliar restrictions.  Let’s turn those restrictions into something productive and creative together.

THE CHALLENGE

This patchable encourages you to explore square waves.  FM a VCO with a square wave and output the square wave.  Open a VCA with a GATE instead of an envelope. Ping a filter, delay or any sound processor with a GATE.  Send timed GATES to CV inputs on various modules.  Send a square wave LFO to multiple destinations.  Send an audio rate square wave to a clock divider and output multiple divisions to a mixer.  Turn other waves into square waves with a S&H.  Be creative and come up with your own use of square waves.  The only rule here, you must only use square waves as your control or sound source.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FROM MAY 8TH – MAY 23RD

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0015 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0015
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Saturday May 23rd.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

Patchable 0014

EXTENSION: NEW DATE APRIL 25TH

Friends, it looks like we are inside at home protecting ourselves, family and the public for the duration. Since it is on everyone’s minds, Patchable 0014 was shaping up to be rather similar to a contest that Waveform Magazine just launched. Therefore, we are combining the NYMS Patchable with this contest. It is up to you if you want to submit to the contest or only the Patchable. Good luck, stay safe.

NOTE: New York Modular Society is in no way affiliated with Waveform Magazine and has no direct involvement in this contest. this is not a partnership between our organizations. NYMS is simply encouraging artists to participate in the Waveform contest.

THE WAVEFORM COVID 19 CORONAVIRUS SONG CONTEST

While we are saddened by what’s happening everywhere, and disappointed (but obviously understanding) by the cancellations of conventions, live performances, jobs, etc., taking place, health is always the number one priority—mental health included. As may of us are cooped up due to Covid 19, and feeling anxious, sad, restless, isolated, or just plain bored, we’ve decided to hold a contest for songs about/inspired/uninspired by what’s going on. We’re hoping this will help to foster in a little creative positivity to the situation as well as keep us from going stir crazy. Have we mentioned that there will be prizes?!?!? Stay safe, healthy, and creative everyone!

1st place – One year print/digital subscription to Waveform + Waveform goodie bag + Waveform Switchenator DIY kit

2nd place – One year print/digital subscription + Waveform Switchenator DIY kit

3rd place – One year print/digital subscription

RULES

  1. Song must be new and written for this contest, so no back catalog stuff please
  2. Only 1 entry per person
  3. Artwork for a theoretical LP cover must accompany track. What can we say? We like art. 500 x 500 pixel JPG
  4. Songs/artwork must be submitted as a WAV file via email to contact@waveformmagazine.com with the title “Coronavirus song Contest” in the subject line, by April 25th 2020

READ THIS FINE-ISH PRINT:

We will alert winners via email and announce them on social media outlets. We’ll also yell it out in the streets. By submitting a song/artwork for this contest, you give us the right to publish it on our Bandcamp page, wherein we might make a special Waveform COVID 19 Coronavirus compilation for download. If we do this, it will most likely be free, but if we decide to charge for it, ALL proceeds (minus Bandcamp fees) will go to an appropriate charity of our choice. Only select entries might make it on this compilation, but that is subject to change. In the case that you have already purchased a Waveform subscription and win one of the prizes, your subscription will be extended include a  extra year/4 issues.

IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO DONATE ANYTHING TO FURTHER ENHANCE THE PRIZE LOOT, PLEASE EMAIL US AT contact@waveformmagazine.com AND WE CAN MAKE ARRANGEMENTS.

Source: https://www.waveformmagazine.com/contest

ONE LAST THING

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FROM MARCH 16TH – APRIL 25TH

  1. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0014 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0014
  2. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Wednesday April 25th.
  3. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

Patchable 0013

Throughout the course of our daily lives there is a continuous influx of aural stimulation. We naturally filter out many of these distractions in order to remain focused on the task in front of us. This patchable asks you to turn off those filters and listen to the droning sounds around you. Pay attention to distant white noise hum of a highway, the sound of a refrigerator condenser or your own breath. Let these long, unceasing noises be the inspiration for your next patchable.

THE CHALLENGE

Create a drone patch inspired by the everday sounds around you. There is no limit on modules or external gear used. Simply that the sounds your create should be classifiable as drones.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FROM MARCH 2ND – MARCH 14TH

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0013 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0013
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Saturday March 14th.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.
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