Thursday, September 26, 2019

SoundScaper Ambient Demo

Sound variations with SoundScaper app. The Aliens Are Coming!






SoundScaper is an experimental sound mini lab designed for creating unusual soundscapes, atmospheric textures, drones, glitches and noises based on circuit bending ideas.

>>> More about SoundScaper app

>>> Complete description of SoundScaper 1.8 in one PDF file




See also the most comprehensive SoundScaper tutorial












Improvisation with SynthScaper and Duduk

Very atmospheric improvisation with SynthScaper app on iPad and EastWest Ra Duduk on Ableton Push 2.






SynthScaper - Soundscapes synthesizer specially designed for creating and experiments with ambient soundscapes in wide range from noises to melodic instruments and everything in between.

>>> More about SynthScaper app

>>> More about SynthScaper LE app (lightweight version with AUv3 support)



Loopseque 8 & SynthScaper apps on iPad












Monday, September 23, 2019

Fieldscaper: Sequencer Tutorial

The best overview of work with sequencer in the FieldScaper app







FieldScaper is an advanced field recorder combined with a sound warp engine and a collection of ready to use dynamic presets for iPad and iPhone.

With the FieldScaper app, you can easily record the sound of the environment and instantly transform it into something unusual and very atmospheric. This app is great for sound design and create special sound effects for movies, games and audio books.

>>> More about FieldScaper

>>> Complete description of FieldScaper 2.0 in PDF file




More tutorials and demos

>>> The most comprehensive tutorial for FieldScaper

>>> FieldScaper rhythmic constructions

>>> FieldScaper sound transformation

>>> Make preset with step sequencer

>>> Demo of the sample editor and creating new preset

>>> Demo of creating soundtrack

>>> Live performance with single sample

>>> Live improvisation [ more details about setup ]





More video tutorials from Mark Hurst

>>> SynthScaper LE - A look at the main features of the new SynthScaper LE (lite) edition.

>>> SynthScaper Tutorial: Part 1 - A moderately detailed walkthrough of the main features of SynthScaper on iOS.

>>> SynthScaper Tutorial: Part 2 - Digging deeper with SynthScaper. Looking at: (1) LFO setup, (2) Using Effect 1 and Effect 2 virtual controls to modulate multiple simultaneous parameters, and (3) Dissecting some presets to get inspiration.

>>> SoundScaper Tutorial - A semi-detailed look at SoundScaper, with an emphasis on effects derived from its address-mangling functions.









Sunday, August 18, 2019

All apps updated to fix iOS 12.4 bug with IAA

These apps have been updated to fix a bug with the Inter-App Audio option that appears in iOS 12.4.

- SynthScaper ver. 1.7.8 (does not use external input)
- SynthScaper LE ver. 1.2.3 (does not use external input)
- FieldScaper ver. 2.1.2 (USES external input!)
- SoundScaper ver. 1.9.6 (does not use external input)

But this update only partially gives workaround of this problem. Maybe in the future versions iOS this bug will be fixed.

All apps that work as an IAA instrument or effect but do not use recording from microphone will be work as usual without problems with IAA.

Under iOS 12.4, any IAA node app that records from the built-in microphone or audio input will fail to start IAA connection when launched into the background via IAA hosts like AUM, Audiobus, Cubasis, etc. The only way to recover the audio session is to manually switch the app to the foreground, but this will work only if the app has been fixed to workaround this problem.

There is a workaround in the latest version of Audiobus 3 that forces any node app that has an audio receiver port to always require a manual start. Some IAA hosts always bring an app to the foreground at startup (Cubasis). But in some others, you must manually click on the node's app icon to bring it to the foreground to start an audio connection.









Monday, July 29, 2019

SynthScaper PolyTron800 presets

This scenes pack for SynthScaper / SynthScaper LE apps contains samples recorded from modded Korg Poly-800 mkII and presets based on these samples. It contains 30 unique samples and 17 very atmospheric scenes / presets.

These presets were inspired by the sound of vintage electronic organs and string machines like Farfisa, Eminent, Elka, etc., and created so as to get a sound something like to sound of Mellotron tapes.

The samples on which these presets are based are full of noises, squeaks, cracklings, howls, overload and immersion in the atmosphere of the sound of analog synthesizers and early digital-analog hybrids with low resolution DACs.

You can easily use this pack with the SynthScaper LE app by downloading it and then use scenes and presets from this pack or creating new sound scenes by combining existing presets.

>>> SynthScaper LE (lightweight, AUv3)

Or you can use the samples from this pack to create your own completely new presets or modify existing presets in the advanced version of SynthScaper.

>>> SynthScaper (advanced version)

The presets and samples in this pack are free to use without any restrictions.



Recording and processing samples for SynthScaper:





Scenes pack file: PolyTron800.synthscaper

You can download this file in several ways:

1) Open this site on your iPad / iPhone in Safari browser and click to link above. Then select the app SynthScaper or SynthScaper LE in which you want to open this file.

2) Download this file to desktop Mac / PC and save it to your Dropbox or iCloud account. Or use any other way to copy this file to the Dropbox or iCloud. Use the system app "Files" on your iPhone / iPad to select this file and open it, specifying the app SynthScaper or SynthScaper LE as the target. Also you can copy this file to the existing folder "SynthScaper" or "SynthScaper LE" by using the app "Files".

3) Download this file to desktop Mac / PC and use app "iTunes" - "File sharing" to copy this file to the app SynthScaper or SynthScaper LE.

Open the scenes pack file in the SynthScaper app:

If you opened this file in the system app "Files", web browser or any other app, and specify the app SynthScaper LE as the target, this file will be imported automatically. You will see the group with name "PolyTron800" in the list of scene groups on the panel "Scenes". This group contains all new scenes.

If you copied this file to the folder "SynthScaper LE" by using system app "Files" or any other app, you need to import this pack to the SynthScaper LE app. Open the panel "Scenes", tap the button "Import scenes" and select the scenes pack file from the folder "SynthScaper LE" or from any other folder.

If you opened this file for the advanced version of SynthScaper, this file will be copied to the folder "SynthScaper" and will be available on the panels "File manager" and "Scenes". You need to unpack it manually. Open the panel "Scenes", select this file and tap the button "(Un) Pack" at the title of panel. The group with the name of this file will be created. This group contains all new scenes. All samples from this pack will be available on the panel "File manager" and on the panel "Samples library" - "User".

After importing / unpacking the scenes pack file, you can delete this file if you do not need it.



More about this project:

>>> SynthScaper experimental presets (announce)

>>> Korg Poly-800 mkII mod

>>> Recording samples for SynthScaper app

>>> SynthScaper PolyTron800 presets

>>> SynthScaper LE - New FREE Sound Bank - iPad Demo (The Sound Test Room)



Even more presets:

>>> Noise scenes pack from Noise Inc

Great and totally free scenes pack for SynthScaper with 15 noise scenes and 55 samples.



SynthScaper - Soundscapes synthesizer specially designed for creating and experiments with ambient soundscapes in wide range from noises to melodic instruments and everything in between.

>>> More about SynthScaper app

>>> More about SynthScaper LE app (lightweight version with AUv3 support)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Recording samples for SynthScaper app

New samples for SynthScaper presets already recorded. It remains only to make presets with using these samples.

First presets pack will contains presets based on samples taken from modded Korg Poly-800 mkII. So called mods "FM800" and "Moog Slayer" were actively use when record the Poly-800 sounds.



Click on image to enlarge



Recording process

Four notes (basically C3, C4, C5, C6) from different factory default presets of Korg Poly-800 were recorded on four tracks on Tascam Portastudio 424 mk III. Track by track. But it is not original sound of Poly-800. Mods were actively used to give more brightness, saturation and distortions.

All connections were made through the Allen & Heath GS3V mixing console. But when recording samples from the Poly-800 to cassette, no additional processing was used.

Slightly worn cassettes Denon DX1 and Memorex DBS (both Type I) were used on normal speed (4.8 cm/s, 1 7/8 ips). For giving more "tape" effect.

Next, these cassettes were digitized by using portable recorder Roland V-Studio 100. Final samples were with 44100 sample rate and 16 bit depth.

At the digitizing process was used Tascam 424 built-in equalizer to isolate range of tone on each track. The cassette was played at a slightly increased speed (to increase the pitch). As an insert effect after Tascam, was used the Eventide Harmonizer H949 in pitch correction mode to reduce the pitch to the original (more or less). With 12 bit AD/DA and early digital-analog hybrid processing in Eventide this gives a very interesting effect of saturation and tone drift.

To reduce the dynamic range before digitizing to 16 bit,  the DBX 166XS compressor was used and then a limiter in T.C. Electronic Finalizer 96K.

Each tone of each Poly-800 presets is recorded in a separate file. Finally, samples with loops for the SynthScaper app were made from these files in the Audacity app on Mac.



More about this project:

>>> SynthScaper experimental presets (announce)

>>> Korg Poly-800 mkII mod

>>> Recording samples for SynthScaper app

>>> SynthScaper PolyTron800 presets

>>> SynthScaper LE - New FREE Sound Bank - iPad Demo (The Sound Test Room)



SynthScaper - Soundscapes synthesizer specially designed for creating and experiments with ambient soundscapes in wide range from noises to melodic instruments and everything in between.

>>> More about SynthScaper app






Thursday, July 11, 2019

Korg Poly-800 mkII mod

Before my experiments on creating multilayered and multitimbral samples for new presets for the SynthScaper app, I made some modifications the one of hardware synth that I would like to use for this. This is Korg Poly-800 mkII.



In standard form, the Korg Poly-800 is a pretty decent synth. Widely considered to be Korg's answer to Roland's affordable Juno series, the Poly-800 employed similar digitally controlled oscillators to offer early 80s consumers an alternative to Roland's budget model.

>>> More about Korg Poly-800 (Vintage Synth Explorer)



There are two most popular and relatively straightforward mods for this synth. The first adds knobs for low-pass filter cutoff and resonance to the front panel and also switch between 12 / 24 dB modes. This is the so-called Moog Slayer mod. The name probably should be taken with a pinch of salt, but there is no doubt that the filter really comes to life with additional controls.

The second is the so-called FM800 mod, which adds frequency modulation of the filter cutoff by the output signal from DCO.

Click on image to enlarge



Cutoff & Resonance knobs: This mod can be found around the net under several different names and versions but essentially it adds knob controls for the low-pass filter cutoff and resonance parameters for realtime control. The resonance knob can take the resonance well into self oscillation and far beyond what is programmable from the front panel. This can produce the kind of screaming top end and subsonic bass that gives these machines a whole new range of sonic possibilities. The filter cutoff knob allows you to perform long filter sweeps for those squidgy burbling analogue lines that you knew your Korg was capable of but could never actually program. Both parameters are still also controlled by the normal programming methods which can set the range of the knobs control.

12 / 24 dB switch: Somewhat mysteriously the filter chip used in these machines has both 12 and 24 dB/Oct outputs but only the 24 dB one is actually used. This mod adds a switch to select either a 24 dB or less drastic 12 dB filter response.

>>> Korg Poly-800 Filter mod details

In addition to the instruction above you can also add 12 / 24 dB switch for the LPF. For this just add two-pole switch that will select signal output from pins 5 or 6 of IC1 to capacitor C103 on the main PCB. You can desolder C103 and add wire from these pins to the switch on front panel.

For any connections between PCBs and controls on the front panel I recommend use only shielded audio cables where each shield connected to the GND on PCB. This will significantly reduce unwanted interference.



Filter modulation: This mod consists of  switch to select a source and the modulation amount knob. Essentially this mod allows you to modulate the LPF cutoff by the audio frequencies from DCO and create all kinds of clanging cross modulation and bizarre alien splatters & sweeps. This effect works best with the resonance cranked up into self oscillation which is where the new resonance knob mod comes into its own. The switch allows you to select DCO1 or DCO2 as source for the modulation. The source three pole switch also has an central position to off this mode.

>>> Korg Poly-800 Filter cutoff modulation details

In addition to the instruction above you can add three-pole switch which will be select the source for the LPF cutoff modulation. In the instruction above, the one pin of the modulation amount potentiometer connected to pin 7 of IC4 and resistor R74. Add three-pole switch that will be select output signal to the modulation potentiometer from DCO1 (IC4 pin 7 - R74) or DCO2 (IC5 pin 7 - R76). On the central position this switch will off the modulation mode. Also you can use for the modulation amount the linear taper potentiometer up to 10K.

The "Noise level" and "Delay feedback" knobs it is just potentiometers that were on the main PCB and on the delay PCB, desoldered and connected to the same value potentiometers on the front panel. Noise level - VR3 (1M) on the main PCB, Delay feedback - VR1 (4.7k, but can be use more, up to 10k, for more fun) on the delay PCB. 



In case you want to replace a dead battery on the main board, keep in mind that you will lose all the patches stored in memory. Look at the instructions below how-to replace battery and download factory default presets.

>>> Korg Poly-800 II Battery Replacement

>>> Korg Poly-800 mkII factory default patches



More about this project:

>>> SynthScaper experimental presets (announce)

>>> Korg Poly-800 mkII mod

>>> Recording samples for SynthScaper app

>>> SynthScaper PolyTron800 presets

>>> SynthScaper LE - New FREE Sound Bank - iPad Demo (The Sound Test Room)



SynthScaper - Soundscapes synthesizer specially designed for creating and experiments with ambient soundscapes in wide range from noises to melodic instruments and everything in between.

>>> More about SynthScaper app






Thursday, July 4, 2019

SynthScaper experimental presets (announce)

I want to try create some new experimental presets for SynthScaper app. The samples for these presets I want to make from sounds of my hardware synths (Roland Juno-60, Korg Poly-800, Korg MS2000, Moog Slim Phatty, Clavia Nord Lead, Yamaha DX, Quasimidi Sirius, etc) but with pre-processing on hardware effects. So for in result it should be multilayer presets something like drones or deep soundscapes. Or maybe something others :) Any way it will be very experimental and unusual way to use synths and effects.

These presets and samples will be available for free without any limitations and can be used with SynthScaper and SynthScaper LE. Use advanced version of SynthScaper you can completely rebuild these presets or use its samples with your own presets.

With SynthScaper LE you can use these presets in your tracks and compositions and easily vary its sounding by gliding thru layers, control the tone offset, and change attack and release with special "Tune" panel in this app.

I will try to show some key moments of this process in my blog. Interesting?



More about this project:

>>> SynthScaper experimental presets (announce)

>>> Korg Poly-800 mkII mod

>>> Recording samples for SynthScaper app

>>> SynthScaper PolyTron800 presets

>>> SynthScaper LE - New FREE Sound Bank - iPad Demo (The Sound Test Room)



SynthScaper - Soundscapes synthesizer specially designed for creating and experiments with ambient soundscapes in wide range from noises to melodic instruments and everything in between.

>>> More about SynthScaper app