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.

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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.

PATCHABLE 0012

Widely regarded as extremely undesirable, noise is typically a phenomenon to be avoided.  Noise, frequently hurled at musicians as an insult or shouted at kids following “turn down”, gets a lot of negative usage.  This Patchable explores the positive aspect and benefits that noise can bring to a modular system.

The sometimes disregarded noise source, can be so much more than a little extra content for a filter to chew on in a subtractive patch.  For example, pink noise, when attenuated and used as a modulation source, can add a bit of instability and life to an otherwise static patch.  High passed white noise or even blue noise can make pretty great sounding hi hats.  Short bursts of noise into a very short delay with a lot of feedback is the basic structure for Karplus-Strong string synthesis. White noise into a slightly resonant filter then gated can yield some pretty good snare sounds.  Noise is a fantastic and excellent sound source for percussion of all types.

Not everyone has a noise source in their system. In that situation, you can pretty easily make a decent noise approximation by creating an FM feedback loop with 3 VCOs.  For example:

VCO 1 Sine or Tri Out > FM IN VCO 2 > VCO 2 Sine or Tri Out > FM IN VCO 3 > VCO 3 Sine or Tri Out FM IN VCO 1 > VCO 1 SAW to OUTPUT

THE CHALLENGE

Using only noise as a sound source, design as many sounds needed to create a beat or track.  You can use multiple noise sources or mult one as much you want. Then filter, gate, modulate VCAs,  ping delays or filters, sequence and whatever else you can imagine to effect the noise.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FROM FEB 16TH – FEB 29TH

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0012 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0012
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Saturday February 29th.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

Patchable 0011

Most modular sequencers have a finite number of steps.  While this can seem limiting and sometimes frustrating, it can force you to be more creative.  One method of getting more dynamic rhythms from a sequencer is to restrict the step length of a sequence and play it against another that is longer.  Numbers that divide easily into each other do not work as well for this as prime numbers.  For instance a 4 step sequence playing over an 8 step sequence is the same thing.  The 4 steps will repeat twice during the 8 steps yielding a repetition with in the single eight steps.  However, an 11 step sequence over a 16 step sequence will not repeat for 11 cycles, yielding a far longer pattern before repetition.

The challenge is to experiment with sequences and clock divisions that are prime numbers to see how much variance you can get from a relatively static rhythmic structure. This does not have to be percussive, it can be melodic, noise, percussion or anything kind of sounds you like.  Also, not all rhythms must include primes.  Experiment with even and odd number and mix them with primes.  

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FROM FEB 2ND – FEB 15TH

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0011 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0011
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Saturday February 15th.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

Patchable 0010

Feeling inspired can often be challenging. It is not uncommon to be up against a wall and unable to see a way around. Creativity like a river, can flow when rain is plentiful, or dry up into cracked mud and dust in a drought.  For this Patchable we are challenged to draw inspiration from other sources.  Specifically from this photograph, taken by Will Ellis for his book Abandoned NYC.  What do you see and what would it sound like? 

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THE CHALLENGE

Place this photograph in sight while you patch. Use the photo to inspire your creative process. Interpret what you see and feel, then create a track that transforms your ideas into sound.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FROM JAN 19TH – FEB 1ST

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0010 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0010
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Saturday February 1st.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

Patchable 0009

Many of you have likely heard the phrase, “You can never have too many VCAs.” The ubiquitous and humble VCA is one of the simplest, yet most versatile modules.  Some folks are left scratching their heads wondering why. Typically one puts a VCA at the end of their patch to control sound duration and volume with the use of a modulating envelope. However, what if you were to put your envelope through a VCA modulated by random CV then send it to the final VCA?  Well, you have now randomly modulated the level of you envelope to get dynamic volume on each trigger of your sound.

Using the same idea as above but with saw wave LFO into VCA and modulate with an envelope to get a rising saw. The green wave shows what the final output would look like.

If you modulate a sound in a VCA with some other audio, then you get Amplitude Modulation or AM synthesis,  If the VCA is Bi-polar and you do the same, you get Ring Modulation.  What would AM processed by RM sound like? Stack the VCAs, put a sound into one controlled by a square wave LFO and run that sound into another controlled by and Envelope and then a third controlled by random. Route modulation through a VCA first and only let that modulation pass when you want, instead of continuously. Create your own CV controlled Send/Return.  The options are many.

The Challenge

Explore the many possibilities of VCAs.  Create a patch and use VCAs in no less than 3 different ways.  Try to use every VCA at your disposal, the more the better. Try to use them in as many ways possible.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FROM JAN 4TH – JAN 17TH

  1. Create an original piece of music following the above challenge.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0008 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0008.
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Friday January 17th.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

Patchable 0008

Band names are something we’ve all tried to come up with at one point or another. Sometimes, there is little connection between the music and band name, for example Arctic Monkeys. They could easily be be a swing band or disco. Then we have bands like Metallica, which is indisputably metal. Regardless, band names inspire mental imagery in the listener. In this Patchable we explore the music of bands that do not exist.

THE CHALLENGE

For this patchable, your task is to visit a band name generator website.  In 5 minutes or less select a band name that inspires you.  It can be funny, abstract, clever, weird, stupid or whatever you want.  Just make your selection is less than 5 minutes.

Here are some websites to get you going:

Once you have your band name, think about what that band would sound like.  What is their history, genre, era location, etc? Now, create a track in the style of that band.  

HOW TO PLAY

EXRENTED FOR THE HOLIDAYS – THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FROM DEC 7TH – Jan 3rd

  1. Create an original piece of music following the above challenge.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0008 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0008 (where “Spiral Vortex” is your song name).
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Friday Jan 3rd.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

patchable 0007

patchable0007

It is common knowledge that a great number of modular users suffer from Gear Acquisition Syndrome.  Sometimes it is about finding the modules that work for you but often it is driven by a need for the newest, coolest most baddass feature set available.  With the holidays fast approaching, it is a fine time to pause and remember what you have. Sure, there are plenty of Black Friday deals out there, but what if that neglected simple VCO you have could do more?

The Challenge

Get the most from a simple VCO possible.  Create a patch using only a single VCO as the only sound source and create as many voices as you can without multi-tracking.

Many simple VCOs offer multiple simultaneous wave outputs.  In this Patchable, you are encouraged to take full advantage of these.  Create bass, melody, percussion, and/or noise. Gate it all differently.  Mix waves, divide or multiply, filter, delay, frequency shift, chop them up or make them drone.  What you do with the waves after the VCO is entirely up to you and whatever you want to use. The VCO you use should really only have a single oscillator.  For example, STO, Spectrum, Dixie, VCOb

Some restrictions apply to this challenge:

  • The VCO you use should only have a single oscillator.
  • Do not use complex VCOs, this includes but is not limited to:
    • Modeling VCO (Plaits, Braids, Rings, etc)
    • Wavetable VCO (E352, Piston Honda, SWN, etc)
    • Dual, triple, quad or oct VCOs (DPO, Cs-L, Antiphon, etc)
    • Harmonic oscillators (Verbos HO, Stages, Odessa, etc)
    • Drum modules (no trig inputs, BIA, Fracture, etc)
  • Full voice VCOs are discouraged, but if you must, try to only use it in the manner of a single, simple VCO.  M32, 0-Coast are acceptable examples because there are single VCO.

Keep in mind, this is about getting the most from a simple VCO.  It is not meant to exclude those that do not have a simple VCO.  If you would like to participate but do not have a simple VCO, try your best to stick to the rules.  For example, if all you have is a DPO, use only one side of the DPO.

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FROM NOV 23rd – Dec 6TH

  1. Create an original piece of music following the above challenge.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0007 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0007 (where “Spiral Vortex” is your song name).
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Friday December 6th.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

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