Moog Sub 37 1.10 Firmware Demo Part 2

Now that I have had some more time to experiment with the new Moog Sub 37 1.10 firmware I made a new video that is more in-depth than the last one. In this video demo I show seven new features within the sequencer and arpeggiator sections of the instrument. Although I did edit the video for length, each feature was demonstrated without having to stop the sequence at any point.

First I review how to turn steps on and off while in step edit mode. This is simply done by pressing the step buttons (patch button 1 through 16) while in step edit mode (bank + latch).

Secondly I show how to set the start and end positions of the sequence while it continues to run. This is really great for repeating any number of consecutive steps in the sequence.

Thirdly I show how to create or disable ties between two or more notes on the fly. This is much faster and accurate than the original way of apply ties while the sequencer continues to run.

Fourth I demonstrate how to turn on/off step ratcheting and how to modify the number of ratchets. Ratcheting is an interesting new feature that repeats a step from 1 to 8 times.

For the fifth feature I adjust the swing amount. Having swing as a feature for the sequencer is fantastic, but it can also be applied to the arpeggiator and the LFOs when they are synched to the clock! I haven’t tried this yet, but I love the idea of manipulating the LFO waveshapes this way.

The sixth feature is modulation sequencing that I applied to the filter envelope amount. The mod sequencing can be applied to a huge list of parameters. Unfortunately is it one destination per patch/sequence, but never-the-less a welcome and useful addition.

Finally for the seventh feature I demonstrate how to shift the sequence back or ahead of the first step using bank + arp range (+ or -).

There’s a lot more still in this release that I have yet to explore. A huge THANK YOU goes out to Moog Music and especially Amos Gaynes for making an already great synth greater!

Moog Sub 37 1.10 Firmware Demo

Yesterday I got a note from Moog that the long anticipated 1.10 firmware for the Moog Sub 37, announced in January at NAMM, was now available. Today I scheduled time in my studio to install it and test out some of the new features. This release is significant because the bulk of the updates are new features! In this video I demonstrate step edit mode and quick mapping of modulation destinations.

Each of the sixteen preset buttons can now be used to turn on and off steps while playing a sequence. One problem I found is that you can only turn on or off one step at a time. I imagine this is something that they’ll fix because we do have ten fingers after all. [UPDATE: Pressing two steps at a time is for turning on/off ties.] Other than that it works beautifully! If your sequence is longer than 16 steps the buttons jump to the second, third, and fourth pages automatically as the sequence is playing.

The quick mapping of modulation destinations is a treat. Simply hold down the MOD 1 or MOD 2 DEST button while turning a parameter. I do this in the video at 0:47 applying MOD 1 to OSC 2 frequency. You can also press a button. For example to modulate the filter slope setting press SLOPE while holding one of the MOD buttons. This works for the octave switch knob, pattern switch, pattern range buttons, and so on. Here’s a list of all the new features:

  • Step Edit Mode – Allows visual display and editing of individual sequence steps on preset buttons 1-16, with easy real-time control over rests, ties, and more.
  • Quick Mapping of Programmable Mod Destinations – Simply hold the Mod (1/2) Dest button and turn a parameter knob to assign modulation to that parameter.
  • Skip and Ratchet Steps – Sequences can now include Skipped steps (which can be toggled On and Off on-the-fly) and Ratchet steps (1 to 8 repeats per step).
  • Arpeggiator and Sequencer Swing Control – Adjust the ratio of on-beat vs. off-beat duration from 0% to 100%. Swing can also apply to Synced LFOs.
  • Sequencer Mod Destination – Sequence any one parameter directly, using the per-step Sequence Mod Value (mod wheel position is recorded per-step).
  • Sequencer Mod Only – Use the sequencer purely as a sequenced modulation-generator, without playing a sequence of notes (the keyboard plays normally).
  • CV Mapping – Use the external Pitch CV, Volume CV, and KB Gate inputs to control almost any parameter on the Sub 37. Step Advance and Step1 Reset functions allow you to clock the Sub 37 sequencer using analog gate/trigger signals, and the Gate input can now function as a Sustain pedal input.
  • Variance – Use this parameter to specify a subtle amount of random detuning to the oscillators. (For when perfect tuning is too perfect)

New Spectral Tablature Collaborations Exhibited in Tokyo

I am pleased to be participating in an exhibition of work by Jasio Stefanski at Print Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. Jasio is showing a variety of his work including two pieces that we collaborated on together fron the series Spectral Tablature. The first piece is Synthetic Skyline previously exhibited for the Audible Edge sound art exhibition at the Katherine Nash Gallery in Minneapolis. The second piece is a new work in the series titled Synthetic Transitions.

Synthetic Transitions

To create the work I started by composing a simple sequence of notes that speed up and then slow down. Jasio requested that we included diagonal lines in the piece so I used linear portamento on the Moog Sub 37 to create the “transitions” he was interested in seeing. The video shows the plotter rendering Jasio’s Reprise of the work shown/heard in the image/audio below.

Synthetic Transitions Reprise

Jasio’s Reprise is based on form and color values as opposed to acoustic accuracy. The visuals were composed to place emphasis on the “transitions” or portamento. The output visually reinterprets the angles informed by the gliding notes without connecting them in the composition. When sonified the plotted design singles out the portamento, isolating it from the context of the sustained frequencies.

Video: Are You Hiding by Camp Dark

A couple of months ago I spent about 18 hours over two days recording synthesizers for the upcoming Camp Dark album Nightmare in a Day. It was a blast and the music is gorgeous. I wrote in more detail about the project here. The latest video, edited by Adam Svec, is for the song Are You Hiding. This one ends with a long passage of Moog Sub 37 running through the Minifooger Delay as I twisted the Time and Feedback knobs.

Are You Hiding” is the second video in a series to promote the release of Camp Dark’s new album, Nightmare In A Day (Icehouse MPLS on Friday 5/15). The story was inspired by holiday trips back to South Dakota. The song navigates the trajectory of playing roles of earlier versions of you. This veneer eventually falls apart when the years become visible. A person can only hide in plain sight for so long before they are spotted. It’s an anthem of empathy for those who experience this distance between former and current selves. “Are You Hiding” features performances by Graham O’Brien, Adam Svec, Dan Choma, Matt Leavitt, Matt Friesen, and John Keston.

Erik Thompson included the video in his “Top 10 Must-See Minnesota Music Videos This Week” series at the City Pages. Oh yeah, and we’ll be performing at the Icehouse in Minneapolis on May 15, 2015 to celebrate the release.

Rare Ostracon Performance February 19, 2015


My duet project Ostracon will be performing this Thursday, February 19, 2015 for the first time since August. This time around I have prepared eight new compositions using the Elektron Analog Four and the Moog Sub 37. This track is an excerpt from a recording that I made during preparations for the show which will be held at the historic Lee’s Liquor Lounge music venue in Downtown Minneapolis. For more details please visit the Facebook event page.