On March 13, 2011, my trio DGK (Jon Davis on bass, Tim Glenn on drums, and John Keston on Rhodes and Pro-One) performed at the Honey Lounge in Minneapolis, Minnesota in collaboration with an esteemed line-up of colleagues. Through the night people came and went, so in the upcoming parts of this series I’ll name the individuals involved. For the beginning of the evening it was DGK with Martin Dosh on additional drums, and Juno Alpha 1, Scott Fultz on electric guitar and soprano saxophone, Andrew Broder on electric guitar, Rajiah Johnson on flute, and Brandon Wozniak on tenor saxophone. The record is a bit chatty at times, but that’s to be expected with bootleg recordings. You never know, you just might stumble across a bizarre conversation buried in the mix.
I made this synth bass patch today on the MKS-80 and performed real time edits with the Bitstream 3X sending sysex directly to the instrument. This technique feels a lot smoother and lower in latency that any other routing method I have tried so far. After recording it I ran it through Ableton’s resonators and automated some chord changes. Here’s an excerpt from the results.
I discovered this glitch while attempting to get my Bitstream 3X controller configured to handle sending MIDI notes and sysex from Ableton to my MKS-80. For testing purposes I setup several complex routing schemes. Some of them worked better than others, but this one in particular create an odd smattering of notes several octaves above the notes that were meant to be playing. Presumably I’ll resolve this eventually, but I’ve learned to capture these glitches when I discover them since they often have interesting qualities worth exploring.
I just got a Bitstream 3X MIDI controller (BS3X), and have just started experimenting with it. This is a complex and fully programmable device, so I will need some time with it before I have learned the best way to incorporate it my setup. The easiest way to use it is in standard mode where no programming is required on the unit. Simply map the controls in the software you are using. However, what makes the BS3X powerful is the user mode where every assignable control can be programmed. A sophisticated editor allows the user to map these controls based on a long list of device parameters such as “Roland D50 Upper Partial 1 – TVF Cutoff Frequency”.
Just to get started with the device I used the standard mode and mapped the bulk of Roland MKS-80 parameters to it via the reKon Audio VST-AU MKS-80 editor in Ableton Live. For the VCF cutoff and resonance I used the XY axis joystick. This gave me one finger control over both of these parameters for very expressive control of the filter. I also mapped the VCF envelope LFO depth to the ribbon controller for another way to manipulate the filter. In one take using only three controls (the XY axis, ribbon, and a knob mapped to the LFO rate) I performed this drone.
This segment from an extended noise jam was recorded while my Super Jupiter was still in disrepair, although quite capable of creating dark and frightening experimental noise textures. I added some stereo imaging as well as delay and reverb to enhance the dystopian nightmare.