This video explores a non-standard but very fruitful use of LPGs: to post-process dedicated percussion modules (in this case, a Noise Engineering Basmilius Iteritas). The LPG provides an easy way to tame the often noisy nature of percussion synthesis modules into a tight, punchy sound.
(percussive sounds) - Another approach that I personally like is taking a very complex source such as a dedicated percussion module and running in through the low-pass gate. To do that, I'm going to a gate output from the Mother-32, send it to the trigger input of our noise engineering Basilimus Iteritas, or BI for short, and let's just listen to what it sounds like on it's own for now. I'm going to borrow an output and go ahead and plug the BI directly into my out.
Now when I trigger it, (percussive sounds) you hear these really cool percussive sounds that it's capable of creating. (percussive sounds) The challenge with this is that it's easy to start getting a little out of control with these modules. I mean, you can create some beautiful sounds but you can also get sounds that are really noisy and that ring out a long time. (percussive sounds) I think a sound like that has a lot of potential but the challenge is is that it has a bit of a long decay and it takes up a lot of space in the mix compared to other sounds.
(percusive sounds) I can work on reducing the decay or feeding through an amp but I find it to be very fruitful to feed this through something like a low-pass gate to now shape that beautiful impulse and noisy sound we have to start with. I'm going to go ahead and take our output again from the data's copy of the output of our filter. And now I'll take it's audio input not from this oscillator, but instead from our BI. I'll start our sequence running again (percussive sounds) Now I'm going to start playing around with dialing in a sound.
(percussive sounds) Now that we have that vectoral type of decay on an impulse, we have a much tamer sound, something that has a lot more control. (percussive sounds) We can go into filter-only mode, start playing around with resonance, pull down the impulse response and create an interesting hybrid sound between this noisy FM percussion sound source and the low-pass gate damping it out very quickly.
Again, the original sound would be like this (percussive sounds) but shaping it with a low-pass gate sounds like this. (percussive sounds) Now we can have a lot of fun just dialing in sounds without worrying about the decay. This will control the decay of the sound. (percussive sounds) Put it back into low-pass gate mode.
(percussive sounds) Again, the original sound would be like this. (percussive sounds) The processed sound is like this. (percussive sounds) So, that's another use for low-pass gates. Pair them up with dedicated percussion modules to tame them down to shorter impulses and you'll find you have a much wider range of control now over what initial sound you come up with but tamed and shaped later by the low-pass gate. If you want a longer sound, you can still just go ahead and feed the envelope into the normal input and start dialing in just how much release you want.
(percussive sounds) Oh there we go, that's something interesting. (percussive sounds) Cool. So definitely consider a low-pass gate as a candidate when you go about expanding your system. Particularly when you want to start getting more than one sound out of it at the same time. You can still use your core, like your semi-modular synth, for your main melodic lines but then use something like a low-pass gate for your percussion sounds or additional sequences and arpeggiations.
This course has been designed as the logical follow-up to the original Learning Modular Synthesis or Learning Modular Synthesis: Moog Mother-32 courses, and should be helpful to a wide range of modular synthesists.
- Shopping for modules more intelligently, with a better understanding of what features, options, and sound possibilities to look for
- Interfacing your modular with the rest of your studio, including MIDI and sound connections
- Reading waveform and spectrograph displays to better understand what each module is doing in your system, and how that translates to the sound that you hear
- Creating new timbres using and combining both East and West Coast techniques, employing creative waveform mixing, frequency and amplitude modulation, soft and hard sync, waveshaping, and more
- Managing audio levels to balance your desired amount of predictability and fidelity versus instability and distortion in a patch
- Taking advantage of additional MIDI and CV controls to more interactively perform your modular patch, including managing control voltage levels to dial in the desired result