HYDRAMORPH™ Morphing Editor for the ASM Hydrasynth

During self-isolation due to COVID-19 my teaching has moved online affording me more time toward individual projects. I had already started a building a morphing editor for the Ashun Sound Machines Hydrasynth, so this is where I have been directing my energy. I expected to release this software closer to mid-summer, but now it’s looking like early to mid-May. In this short video I illustrate one of the ways I use HYDRAMORPH to tease incredible sounds out of this very special instrument. I have also made discounted pre-orders available at 20% off the full release price until the release. From the Purchase page:

HYDRAMORPH™ is a generative sound design tool for the Ashun Sound Machines Hydrasynth polyphonic analog synthesizer. The application is designed to algorithmically morph parameters on the instrument in realtime. Keep playing or record the results as up to 366 (so far) parameters are manipulated! Use HYDRAMORPH to create anything from chaotic, rapidly-changing textures to slow, evolving drones. HYDRAMORPH will help you navigate the expansive sound design possibilities of the Hyrdasynth through realtime morphing of customized parameter sets. Explore endless, unique soundscapes, illustrating how diverse and powerful the Hydrasynth is. This tool will help you uncover new territory hidden within the sonic depths of your instrument.

Builders of the Fauxpocalyse

I’ve made so much music over the years and most of it is sitting on hard drives or gathering dust in neglected corners of the internet. Recently a listener reminded me of an album I made over 6 years ago hidden in one such dusty corner, so I moved it to another dusty corner. The album of electronic music was composed using a dogmatic approach that you can read more about in the liner notes. Bring a duster!

ISSTA 2018 and Ableton 10 NRPN Morphing

Soon I’ll be on my way to Ireland for my second appearance at the Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association (ISSTA) annual conference. This year ISSTA will be held at Ulster University’s Magee campus in Derry, Northern Ireland, November 9th and 10th, 2018. Tickets are still available.

This time around my work is entirely rooted in FM synthesis. Particularly around my explorations of the amazing PreenFM2. I have designed a Max for Live patch that allows me to degrade, morph, and/or scramble sets of parameters on the synth. This is similar to a device I designed for the Yamaha TX81Z. This process creates an algorithmic approach to the sound design.

I have titled this series MODULATOR and recently made an album (unreleased) of material based on the technique. There is a lot to mine here, so I am finding that while I prepare for ISSTA a whole new range of material has emerged. These new compositions developed through a sequence of stochastic, deliberate, and arbitrary processes. Through algorithmic and improvised methodologies textures evolve beyond aesthetic considerations allowing peculiar, harsh, and even grotesque sounds to emerge. Have a listen to this series of clips I recorded while practicing for the upcoming performance:

Continue reading

VIDEO: Full Sets from Studio Z Nada Showcase

I performed this version of Vocalise Sintetica at on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Studio Z for the Nada showcase. The recording was captured by Mike Hodnick. In addition to the improvised elements, what makes this different from previous versions of the piece is that Studio Z is close to home, so I was able to bring my favorite instrument, the Moog Sub 37 for lead lines, melodies, drones, and arps. All the sound heard in this piece was generated by the AVGM (Audiovisual Grain Machine) controlled by an iPad, a Novation Circuit with custom samples and patches, a Minifooger Delay, and the Moog Sub 37.

This was an amazing evening of performances. The sets from Michael Flora, Mike Hodnick (Kindohm), and Spednar were all excellent. Mike also shared video of his own set of “tightly coupled audio and visuals” that he premiered at the event, which is definitely worth checking out:

Read on for the the official press release:

Continue reading

Using Tidal to Control the Roland System-1M

Roland System-1M

This is Mike Hodnick with my first article on audiocookbook.org. I recently added the Roland System-1M semi-modular synth to my studio and live setups recently, and as with any new instrument in my studio I wanted to take it to extremes and see what it could do. It was the perfect occasion to document on audiocookbook.org!

I’m not your typical producer or performer. I write computer code, often improvised, to produce sound both live and in the studio. I use a language and live-coding environment called Tidal to trigger samples, play MIDI devices, and create sequences. Instead of a DAW or sequencer to create sound, I use a text language.

My first real experiment with the System-1M was to automate all of its MIDI Control Change parameters from code simultaneously. It’s kind of like running a few dozen LFO’s at once. I like to do this with all of my instruments to take them to an extreme and maybe even get some interesting sounds out.  As an added twist, I thought it would be fun to also live-patch the modular inputs and outputs on the System-1M while the MIDI automation was taking place. Here is the result:

The source code used for this performance experiment is at the bottom of this post. The only parameters that were not automated in this example were the Oscillator 1 level (kept at 100%), the Mono/Poly toggle (kept on Monophonic), Legato toggle (off), amp crusher (off), and LFO key retrigger (off). Details about the System-1M’s MIDI implementation can be found at roland.com/support/by_product/system-1/owners_manuals/8789.

There are some brilliant sounds coming out of this thing!

By far, my favorite features of this synth are the two oscillators and their controls. Each oscillator supports multiple wave forms, modulation control (oscillator 2 can be ring-modulated from oscillator 1, and oscillator 1 can be cross-modulated from oscillator 2), and a “color” parameter which can be modulated from the LFO or filter/amplitude envelopes. Oscillator 2 also has a fine-tune control. With all of these combined, the possibilities are enormous.

Stay connected at kindohm.com, @kindohm or facebook.com/kindohm for info about Mike’s studio experiments, releases, and performances.

Here’s the source code used to control the System-1M:

-- play a m9 arpeggio, starting from MIDI notes 45, 33, or 57
m $ slow 2 $ (|+| note "[45 33 57]*4") $ mel m9 10 "0*16?"
|+| dur (scale 0.05 0.2 $ slow 1.9666 sine1)
|+| rlpcutoff (scale 0 1 $ density 1.01 sine1)
|+| rhpcutoff (scale 0 1 $ density 1.132 sine1)
|+| rfilteratk (scale 0 0.5 $ slow 1.2 sine1)
|+| rfilterdecay (scale 0.05 0.5 $ density 1.5181 sine1)
|+| rfiltersustain (scale 0.1 1 $ density 1.277777 sine1)
|+| rfilterrelease (scale 0.05 0.5 $ slow 1.523 sine1)
|+| rres (scale 0 0.7 $ density 1.313 sine1)
|+| rfilterenv (scale 0.1 0.9 $ density 1.111 sine1)
|+| rcrush "0" 
|+| rampatk (scale 0 0.5 $ slow 1.213 sine1)
|+| rampdecay (scale 0.05 0.7 $ density 1.333 sine1)
|+| rampsustain (scale 0 1 $ slow 2.313 sine1)
|+| ramprelease (scale 0.05 0.3 $ slow 2.877 sine1)
|+| rpitchenv (scale 0.2 0.8 $ density 1.987 sine1)
|+| rport (scale 0 0.5 $ slow 1.77777 sine1)
|+| rpitchatk (scale 0 0.5 $ density 3.4111 sine1)
|+| rpitchdecay (scale 0 0.5 $ density 1.2222 sine1)
|+| rosc1 "1"
|+| rosc2 (scale 0 1 $ slow 2.6665 sine1)
|+| rosc2tune (scale 0.2 0.8 $ slow 3 sine1
|+| rsub (scale 0 1 $ slow 1.919 sine1)
|+| rnoise (scale 0 1 $ density 3.71771 sine1)
|+| rnoisetype "[0 1]*3"
|+| rsubtype "[0 1]*5"
|+| rlegato "0"
|+| rmono "0.5"
|+| rosc1type (scale 0 1 $ slow 1.77777 sine1)
|+| rosc1range (scale 0 1 $ slow 2.8888 sine1)
|+| rosc1color (scale 0 1 $ density 1.4344 sine1)
|+| rosc1xmod (scale 0 1 $ density 1.30010010 sine1)
|+| rosc1mod (scale 0 1 $ density 3 sine1)
|+| rosc2type (scale 0 1 $ slow 0.9999 sine1)
|+| rosc2range (scale 0 1 $ slow 3.151 sine1)
|+| rosc2color (scale 0 1 $ slow 5.131 sine1)
|+| rosc2ring "[0 1]*9"
|+| rosc2mod (scale 0 1 $ slow 3.141 sine1)
|+| rosc2sync "[0 1]*7"
|+| rlforate (scale 0 1 $ slow 2.17717 sine1)
|+| rlfofilter (scale 0 1 $ slow 3.3333 sine1)
|+| rlfoamp (scale 0 1 $ slow 1.21 sine1)
|+| rlfotype rand
|+| rlfokeytrig "0"
|+| rdelay (scale 0 1 $ sine1)
|+| rdelaytime (scale 0 1 $ slow 3.888 sine1)
|+| rreverb (scale 0 0.4 $ density 1.2331121 sine1)