Saturday, December 18, 2010

Voice to Spirit Album Preview in HD*



Here is a preview to our latest album to be released the 1st quarter of 2011. Its been a long time coming, but I feel the delays and hold ups where necessary for the current out come of the album. Its called "Leaving Confusion" and contains work (that's been re-worked) all the way back to 2005. Please enjoy.

If you are interested in our recording process or our studio set up, please visit our website: http://voicetospiritmusic.com

What is the animation I see?
Its called a Circular Picket Fence Animation. The background images are still and the black ball is what moves. As it spins it reviles the different photos. Example here:
http://voicetospiritmusic.com/images/...
http://voicetospiritmusic.com/images/...

Photography by Jesse Brew at http://aroundaround.com/

Some of our favorite synths used on the album: Synthesizers.com, modular, Roland Juno 106, Circuit Bent Casio RZ-1 Plus, SQI Six Trak, Korg MS 2000br, Access Virus C

*The Audio still sounds compressed to me.

Voice to Spirit : Synth Session 04




I know that I've been away for a while so I made this. Just have been busy with the album which is nearly complete. Picked up some new gear and sold a lot of my old stuff. So this is kind of a introduction to the updated studio.
Look here for all the updates: http://www.snapshotillusions.com/port...

Bass Modular: Synthesizers.com
Pad: Roland Juno 106
Bass: Sequential Circuits Six Trak
Bass: Korg MS-2000br
Drum: Casio RZ-1 Circuit Bent

Voice to Spirit : Synth Session 03



I was watching this video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Offwev...
And was inspired to see what I could do.

I started off by splitting the drums to a clean channel, a ring mod channel, and the bit reduction channel. I used my instrument interface with its threshold to set the gate for envelope/amplifier for the oscillators. The frequency that the drums are being bit reduced and the X input to the ring mod is tracked to the keyboard, as wel as the frequency of the low pass filter. It turned out to be a fun project. The modular is passing through a Lexicon MX200 and a Behringer Bass V-amp Pro.

Modular: Synthesizers.com
Drum: Casio RZ-1 Circuit Bent

Voice to Spirit : Synth Session 02



Recently got a few new modules so I decided to see what I could do. Running a sequence into the modular via MIDI as well as running the drums and bass. Playing the lead by hand. Everything's in real time. The modular is passing through a Lexicon MX200 and a Behringer Bass V-amp Pro.

Modular: Synthesizers.com
Pad lead: Access Virus C
Bass ' Lead: Sequential Circuits Six Trak
Drum: Casio RZ-1 Circuit Bent

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Cabinets


Just ordered some new modules last week so I needed more room. So Saturday I built these. Two 16 space cabinets with 2 spaces on the back. The bottom one will be set up to house essentials for gigging, while the top will house the rest of the fun stuff for the studio. New modules on the way: Synthesizers.com
1) Q103 DC Power Interface
1) Q106 Oscillator
1) Q110 Noise
1) Q112 4-Channel Mixer
1) Q116 Ring Modulator
1) Q117 Sample and Hold
2) Q141 Oscillator Aid
1) Q161 Oscillator Mixer for Q106
1) QDH20 20-Cable DC Harness
1) QIC-16 16" Inter-Cabinet Cable

Now I just have to be patient and wait... I might build some cables to pass the time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Moog Voyager XL

Looks pretty sweet. The price of nearly 5k seems a little steep though.




Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Voice to Spirit : Synth Session 01



Having some fun in the studio. Running a sequence into the modular via MIDI as well as running the drums and bass. Playing the pad lead by hand. Everything's in real time.
The modular is passing through a Lexicon MX200 and a Behringer Bass V-amp Pro.

Modular: Synthesizers.com
Pad lead: Access Virus C
Bass Drone: Alesis Qs6.1
Drum: Casio RZ-1 Circuit Bent

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Around and Around


My good friend Jesse Brew was recently featured on the iso50 blog by Scott Hasnen. Iso50 is a blog I've long time viewed which focus is primarily design in its many outlets. Jesse from when I first met him, was a talented graphic designer, but as the years passed, he is becoming known for his photos.
Jesse Brew : Around and Around
Iso50: feature

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sound Design

I came across this video about hand built motorcycles and was absolutely blown away with the quality of the piece. Not only was the sound amazing with is mixing, details, and contrast. The overall editing, picture quality, and shots where great. I want one of his bikes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Herbie Hancock jams with his Fairlight CMI

Pretty sweet video of Herbie Hancock rock out on the Fairlight. There also many other great synths to be spotted in the background.

Casio Vl-Tone

As you can see from a few post down, this is not my first attempt at bending my Vl-tone. The first time through was OK, but glitchy. For my top panel I used a piece of stainless steel that unfortunately conducted the current from my potentiometers dropping the pitch. Also at the time, the only wire I had was too thick and stiff to work with. So I decided to rip it all apart and start over. This is what I did:

So here are the mods. I used a little help from Casper electronics, he has a mod sheet that gives you a few patch points and three pots. I ended up only using four of the patch points and all three of his pot mods. I also added three extra pots by externally replacing the VLs internal pots. Then I tested and tested and found twelve other patch points that I liked. So that is from the left all the pots and the black RCA jacks.

As for the white RCA jacks, they function as a switch bay triggered by the switches to the right. The smart observer will notice there are nine switches in the array. One turns the bay into a multiple, the top row (on-off-on) engages the bay or sends it to the switches below. Those switches a attached to capacitors and diodes to further change the sound. The pots about the switch array are part of a home made low pass filter with frequency and resonance. Then there is a volume and reset button.

Video to come.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Light Vader

Light Vader This is a home made diy synthesizer built from two getlofi.com 555 timer kits. This two oscillator synth has a square wave output and a very weak triangle wave output, both waves are switchable. Osc 2 can be synced with osc 1 or ran independently. Both oscillators have a pitch control and a volume control. There is a setting which allows you to control the pitch through two photo resistors, with one of them being tilted to allow for variation.

There are four outputs on this machine, two RCA and two 1/4", one of each is for osc 1 and 2. There is a 9 volt battery inside the enclosure, but is switchable to a 9 volt power adapter.

On the side is a semi lfo mode. I basically added an extra 500k resistance to lower the pitch. But at these low frequency the triangle wave can can be heard and the square wave will function as a controlled voltage on / off. Added sync, triangle square switch, volume, photo resister, RCA and 1/4"outputs, and some what of a lfo mode.

Commodore 64



Commodore 64
This is my Commodore 64 mod that I've been working on for the last few months. I built this machine to be used as a synthesizer which to run 8bit adventures MSSIAH from Sweden. I installed a sid2sid board with 2 new old stock sid 6581 chips that I got from Australia.

I repainted the machine black with the key bed white. I wanted to also repaint the keys, but I could not find a way other that stickers to get the letters back on, so I kept the keys original. I added the 4 pot mod as well as switches to deactivate the pots making ports 1 and 2 still usable for game pads. Basically the four pot mod is taking the y axis and x axis from the game ports and installing it into the machine. I also added indicator lights to the switches to let me know when they are activated. The other two pots on the left hand side is the feedback distortion loop mod, with switches and indicator lights as well.

Added 1/4 inch outputs and inputs, both with volume control. I added a custom 3.5 inch lcd screen with second input available via rca on the back. The screen is a back up monitor for a vehicle, I was able to get this lcd for only $30 including shipping from China. The screen though takes 12 volts of power, so I added a second input for a 12 volt 1 amp power supply on the back. This way the mods get there power with out tapping the c64s power. I also added a dimmer switch to the leds so that I can control the voltage they receive thus dimming the lights.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Casio RZ-1PLUS Drum Machine Circuit Bent Mod

Its finally done!



If you want to skip the explanation and hear what it does, skip to around 4 min.

This is the Casio RZ-1 Plus version. This is Casio stock version of this type of mod:
here
The kits are acoustic, electric and Latin. The number one best feature about Casio version is that its has four banks of sample memory giving you the ability of sampling 16 sounds.

The bends and mods to this drum are similar to this one:
here
I painted this one white, redid the text, added wood panels, and upgraded the materials used.

Has a 30 point RCA patch bay that short circuits three of the eprom chips for a total of around 480 possible patches (if I did my math right). You can patch with in the chips and chip to chip. In addition to the patch bay there are five input / output on/off switch section with toggle switches and momentary buttons. Each toggle switch also has an LED indicator.

I also added a switch to bypass the RZ-1s main timing crystals with two getlofi 1799 precision oscillators to allow for some great pitch control. These also have LED indicators.

I've added 10k pots on the top to easier access the samples tone control. Also, I replaced the internal permanent soldered battery with a replaceable one.

Drums in the song you here are also the RZ -1

Also, tucked deep in the lab is a Commodore 64 that I'm working on.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Synthesizer - Tell Me



Another Video I made for a class, so dont take it to serious. The song is something Ive been working on for our next album.

Lyrics: Tell me something I don't already know.

Is a follow up to this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsZcB3...

Instruments seen on screen are:
Casio CZ 10, Ibanez SD GR, Casio MT 11, and Synth Guitar: The Key "looks like a keytar but its better".

Synthesizers used to make the song:
Sequential Circuits Six Trak, Access Virrus C, Korg MS2000BR, Alesis Qs 6.1, Casio RZ 1 and Casio CZ 101.
Softsynths are korg MS 20 and Korg PolySix.

Made With Sony Acid Pro 6 and Sony Vegas 6

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A few projects I've been working on

Casio Vl-Tone /Vl - One

Toy Keyboard


More info to come on these items...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Commodore 64

This is my next project I plan to work on.



RZ-1 plus Update

Here is an update of some of the things I've been working on. I now have the wood panels built for the side. I still cant decide if I want to just clear coat them, or stain them black first. I also have the patch and switch bay drilled and mounted. I still need to install it to the RZ. I also have the rest of the mod hardware installed. Now I need to star wiring everything up and reassemble the drum.





Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Project: Casio RZ-1 PLUS

OK, so here is an update on my latest project. As you know, if you read the last post, that I recently circuit bent a regular RZ-1, but am now working on the plus version, which has three kit banks selectable from two switches splitting the pads into groups of six. It also has three sets of sampling memory!

So what I'm doing for this mod/circuit bend is this. I will The same basic bends as the my last, two sets of pitch control, modded tone control for the samples, a patch bay, a switch bay, and momentary buttons. What I'm adding to this one is a new paint job, with hand written labels, and custom graphics. I'm building custom wood panels for the sides. I 'm upping the patch bay from 24 points to 30, and the switch bay from 4 to 5. Also with the switch bay, I'm adding LEDs to trigger when the switches are activated. I also built a custom piece of metal to hold the patch and switch bays.

Below are some pictures of my progress. I have already finished the paint job.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Casio RZ-1 Drum Machine Circuit Bent Part 2 Finished

Casio Drum Machine Circuit Bent Part 2 (Casio RZ1 RZ 1 RZ-1)Has a 24 point RCA patch bay that short circuits three of the four eprom chips. The different chips are for certain samples, so some patches effect only certain sounds. You can patch with in the chips and chip to chip. In addition to the patch bay there are four input / output on/off switch section with toggle switches and momentary buttons.

There is now a switch to bypass the RZ-1s main timing crystals with two getlofi 1799 precision oscillators to allow for some great pitch control. I still have a little bit of tweaking to do with some different pots and resistors.

I've added 10k pots on the top to easier access the samples tone control. Also, I replaced the internal permanent soldered battery with a replaceable one.

HUGE thanks to wotatwaat at exfade.orgfor his help!

Also, tucked deep in the lab is a RZ-1 Plus that I'm working on.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Casio RZ-1 Circuit Bent Part 1

Quick sample video of my work in progress. Has a 24 point RCA patch bay and a 4 in/out on off section. My next set of bends will be two pitch controls, momentary switches for the on/offs, and more accessible tone controls for the samples.

Also, tucked deep in the lab is a RZ-1 Plus that I'm working on.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You Have Me - Music Video

All characters are me with a collection of my instruments.
These are the lyrics:
You, only you, have a hold on me.
Instruments: Drums: Yamaha DD-5 Drum Synth, Synth Guitar: The Key "looks like a keytar but its better", Bass Guitar: Ibanez SD GR, Laptop Computer: Compaq, Mini Keyboard: Casio.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Korg Electribe EA-1 Custom Wood Panel Mod

This is a real simple mod that i did. I just got tired of the toyish appearance of the EA-1 in contrast to my nicer synthesizers. I traces out some wood panels out of some pine I bought from Lowe's for under $4 (I know pine, right. I only had $5 cash and didn't want to use the debit card. Oak will be in the future, stained black). Then I took the Korg EA-1 Completely apart, everything. With the aid of a jig saw I cut off the excess plastic trim and sanded it smooth. I then carefully measured the inside to ensure my bolts would fit with out hitting the circuit boards. I think this synth has a much more stunning appearance than it had before.



This is what it originally looked like.