Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Squid Axon - NLC - Build notes

These are my build notes for the Nonlinearcircuits Squid Axon Eurorack module.

The Squid Axon is a circuit based on the Hodgkin- Huxley
 equation describing the chaotic behaviour observed in giant
squid axons.

Andrew's Build notes are here:

Andrew's Blog info:

Basically it's a 4 stage analog shift register with two feedback paths, one nonlinear and one linear.

 I like to get the surface mount ICs on first.

I'm using this DG411 - from mouser.
 According to the specs, it requires the 100K & 120k resistors.

See Andrew's build notes.

 Get the rest of those SMDs on the board.
You're nearly there.

You can find more NLC builds here.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Pauline Oliveros RIP

Pauline Oliveros will be sorely missed.

The picture above is of her with a Buchla 100.
She was a central figure in the development of experimental and post-war electronic art music.

Pauline was born on  May 30, 1932 in Houston, Texas.
She passed away on November 25, 2016.

Oliveros, along with Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender, formed the San Francisco Tape Music Center
in the 1960's.
She made a huge contribution to the development of Electronic Music.
Her legacy will enrich the lives of generations to come.

Fairlight CMI IIx - Demo - Locust

This is one of the demo tracks that was released in the 1980s for the Fairlight.
The Fairlight I'm using is vintage 1982.

All sounds are from the fairlight with no added effects, etc

 It's important to load the instrument file (LOCUST.IN) first, then load the .RS file (LOCUST.RS).
The image above is a pic of page3 (Keyboard Control)

This is really important. For PageR to work correctly, you must set up page 3.
+ All loaded voices should have a NPHONY of 1.
+ Each register must have its own keyboard.

To load an instrument file type:

An IN file is a collection of VC (voice) file names & keyboard tunings.

 Opening page for the Locust tune.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Fairlight CMI - Page 9. The Keyboard Sequencer

Page 9 - The Keyboard Sequencer
Page 9 allows you to record what you play on the music keyboard.
It also allows you to record the settings of the 6 faders & 5 switches.

Multiple over dubbing can be done by merging different sequencer recordings. You can record a new sequence while replaying a previously recorded sequence.
You may play back recorded sequences at any speed without changing pitch.
Different voices may play the same sequence.

Page C (Music Composition Language) Files can be converted to page 9 sequence files.

Here is Page 9 with replay file ALHUMBRA.SQ loaded.

The sequence file was loaded from this disk which can be viewed via page 2:
The sequence files have the ending ".SQ"

Here are some help sheets for page 9:
To access page 9 type

To access page 9 help type
To step through the help pages use the ADD & SUB buttons on the keyboard.

There are 4 main commands: Record, Stop, Replay, Merge.

To RECORD a sequence type:

Eg: to record a sequence named JONO1

The resulting file will be: JONO1.SQ

Recording begins when the word RECORD lights up.
The other commands are STOP, REPLAY & MERGE

To STOP  a sequence type:

To REPLAY  a sequence type  
REP<return> (if the file has already been assigned)
xx = number of repetitions
Eg: REP,JONO1,48<return>    ..................replays the JONO1.SQ sequence 48 times.

To MERGE a sequence type:
The merge function consists of replaying & recording at the same time.
A file is replayed and then re-recorded as a new file.
This allows for overdubbing.
The resulting sequence can then be selected as the reply file and the whole process, repeated.

Merge command examples:
This command replays file BAS1.SQ and records a new file BAS2.SQ

This command replays file BAS1.SQ (8 times)and records a new file JONO2.SQ

Input stream and Keyboard Numbers.
 THe CMI has 8 voice polyphony..... 8 virtual keyboards.
Key releases and depressions are sorted out into 8 input streams.
These input streams can be assigned to any of the 8 keyboard numbers through this

Use the light-pen or the alpha-numeric keyboard to highlight  the relevant number.
If using the keyboard use the <arrow> keys to tab then type:
n<set>       .................... where n = the keyboard number 0-8,

You can set up the desired keyboard configuration on page 3.

If you assign a keyboard number of zero, you will in effect turn off the input stream.
Any changes made to the INPUT STREAM to KEYBOARD NUMBER table will be saved in the record (SQ) file.

The sequencer measures time in units called MICROBEATS.
To change the speed use the <arrow> key to tab then type:
nnnn<set>      or nnnn<add or sub>
Range : 0 - 65535
These microbeats are set by the CMI's system clock cycles (1.00525MHz)
Thus the smaller the number, the faster the speed of the clock.
So a speed of 2000 is twice as fast as 4000

To write the current speed to the replay (SQ) file type:
SPEED<return>     or        SP<return>

A speed of 5236 = 60 BPM
A speed of 2618 = 120 BPM

A click occurs for each beat in a pattern.

On Page R the click is always ON.
The click metronome comes out at the rear of the CMI at
a) Pin 3 of the Sync socket
b) Monitor speaker output
c) Phones output.


Nara, Japan

Nara. Japan's ancient capital (8th century).
Today, it's the capital of Japan’s Nara Prefecture, in south-central Honshu.

Nandaimon, the Great Southern Gate.

Main Temple, Nara.
Tōdai-ji temple.
Tōdai-ji (東大寺?, Eastern Great Temple) is a Buddhist temple complex, that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara, Japan. Dates to 728 AD.
It's the world's largest wooden building.

. Daibutsu, Tōdai-ji's 15m-high bronze Buddha.

Komokuten, one of the pair of guardians in the Tōdai-ji temple.

According to the legendary history of Kasuga Shrine, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijō-kyō. Since then the deer have been regarded as heavenly animals, protecting the city and the country.
Tame sika deer (also known as spotted deer or Japanese deer) roam through the town, especially in Nara Park. (Wikipedia).

On the park's east side is the Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha, which dates to 768 A.D. and more than 3,000 lanterns.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Fairlight Synth - Initial pics

Thought I'd upload some pics while this baby is behaving.
At times she has a mind of her own.:-)

This is the first page you will see when the Fairlight boots: Page 1, the Index.

Page 2: Disk Control
Provides a directory of all the files currently loaded.
Type P2<return>  to access page 2.
Files with the ending ".VC" are voice or sound files.
Files that end in ".IN" are instrument files.

Type L,A,filename<return> to load a file.

eg to load a file named GONG1.VC
type L,A,GONG1 <return>
You don't need to add the .VC after the file name. 

 Typing L,A,filename<return>
actually loads the voice file into registry A.
There are 8 registries named A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H

So to load a voice file into registry B type:
(after you have selected registry B)

This is Page 6
Page 6 (Waveform drawing) can be accessed by typing P6<return>

This page allows direct drawing of audio waveforms using a lightpen.

This is page 7 (Control Parameters)
This allows you to set, modify & control the parameters for each sound file such as the volume, attack, decay, portomento, etc

You can of course reach this page by typing P7.
And finally the famous "Page D"

It's the Voice Waveform Display.
You reach it by typing "PD<return>"
Page D shows a 3D picture of the waveforms of any voice.

There are 2 formats:
A (above) and B (below)
Format B has a much higher resolution than Format A, but is less "3D" in appearance.

To Display a waveform:

select Format A type " DA<return>"
select Format B type "DB<return>"

select (new) End Segment Type "D,e<return>"
select (new) End Seg & step Type D,e,s<return>"

where e = end segment number (32.64,128 only)
where s = step value (1,2,4 & 8)