Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Coco.

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That's one hungry pup

Merry Christmas to everyone.
I hope 2020 is filled with peace (and synths)

Turing Tumble

I got this for Christmas.

It's a game & it's also a mechanical computer driven by marbles. Invented by Prof. Paul Boswell, who used to teach at the University of Minnesota,.

Rather than use electronic components like most modern computers, this uses gears and levers.
It should be a fun way to teach basic programming which I can hopefully (somehow) apply to synths.

Computers in general can be either analog or digital.
This distinction also applies to mechanical computers.
They have been around for ages.
 Below is  the famous Antikythera mechanism.
It's an ancient Greek mechanical computer used to predict astronomical positions 

 They are analog when they use smooth mechanisms such as curved plates or slide rules for computations. They are digital when they use gears.

The Turing Tumble uses gears and is apparently "Turing Complete". This means it can do anything a computer can do - or at least it could if the board were big enough.

Basically, a Turing machine is a "finite state machine" with the ability to read and write data to a "tape".
It can also stop or halt – it may not sound important, but this ability attracts a great deal of attention.

+ What is a Turing Machine
+ tURING Machines explained visually
+ Stanford Uni
+ Turing Tumble VR
+ Dr Nim
+ Hackerday
+ Digi-Comp 1
+ Nim

DFAM - user guide

My personal manual for the DAFM.
I'll add to this as I explore the synth.
Please let me know if I have made any mistakes or omissions.

There are 6 levels (menus)
1. Feedback & Algorithm selection
2. Frequency ratios and operator tuning / detuning
3. ADSR Envelopes
4. LFOs
5. SSG envelope generator
6. patches/presets & midi channels
1. Feedback & Algorithm selection

There are 2 types of operators: carriers & modulators
Carriers: (you hear these)

Modulators: (they modulate of course)

The left knob controls feedback.

Right knob chooses the algorithm (there are 8 to pick).
Picking the correct algorithm is probably the most important part about FM sound design.
As the chip is from Yamaha I expected the algorithms to be the same as some old Yamaha synths.
I wasn't disappointed.
Below is a chart from a Yamaha DX100.

Now here is my version of the DAFM synth using these same algorithms

On the DAFM, algorithm 7 has all operators as carriers.... it's basically additive synthesis.
On the DAFM Algorithm 4 has 2 modulators & 2 carriers. It's a good one for Bass sounds.

There are 4 main types of algorithm:
a. Stacked... one or more modulators connected in series to a single carrier (algo 0)
 (These are used for orchestra sounds ... piano, brass, string)
b. Branched... multiple modulators connected to a single carrier (algo 1, 2, 3, )
   This is good for bass sounds.
c. Root.... single modulator connected to multiple carriers (algo 5)
    Vibe sound 
d. Carrier only .... multiple operators in the carrier position (algo 6, 7)

For pad/drone, organ like sounds, I like to use more carriers and less modulators. ... thus use DAFM algorthm 7. A bit of detuning between the carriers can thicken things up. Think of each operator as different organ “stops,” which can be mixed togetheras desired
For something bell / metallic, I tend to go for something with two modulators and a carrier. 

2. Frequency ratios and operator tuning / detuning
     Here you can create some harmonic & non harmonic overtones.

     range: 0.5:1 to 15:1

3. ADSR Envelopes
    These are amplitude envelopes I think

These are very similar to your old fashioned ADSRs

4. LFOs
    You can adjust the LFO for each operator.

You can adjust the frequency (Hz), amplitude sensitivity (percent) & amplitude amount(dB).

5. SSG envelope generator
    The SSG (Software-Controlled Sound Generator)
    is an NMOS-LSI device designed to be capable of music generation. 

This appears to be connected to the ADSR envelope in menu 3 & LFO in menu 4.
It effects how they are repeated.

6. patches/presets & midi channels

You can save your presets to the RAM or SD card (the right screens)
You can recall your presets from the RAM or SD card (the left screens)
It looks like you can load/recall 6 presets to the RAM and 6 to the SD card. ???

tHIS setting to save to cell 1 (ram)

This setting to save preset to cell 4 in the RAM

Use this setting to save to SD card

Use this setting to load from SD card

Potentiometers - Basic info for DIY synthesizers

"A potentiometer is a three-terminal resistor with a sliding or rotating contact
 that forms an adjustable voltage divider. 
If only two terminals are used, one end and the wiper, it acts as a variable resistor or rheostat."
 In synths, usually terminal 3 is connected to ground.

They come in lots of shapes and sizes.
 Eg Slider, thumb, trim pots. 

Sliders are often called faders.
 Trimpots come in lots of shapes too.
They are meant for fine tuning, and to be adjusted infrequently.

Trimmer Marking  Value
PR1        102         1K
PR2         503        50K
PR4         203        20K 
PR140     104       100K

 There are two main types of pots:
1. Logarithmic  or audio (A)
2. Linear (B) 

The resistance between the contact (wiper) and one end terminal is proportional to the distance between them. ... ie the angle of shaft rotation is proportional to the resistance.
Used mainly for CV (control voltage) pots

The resistive element follows a logarithmic taper.
Used alot in audio pots.

Korg SQ 1 vs Monotribe - Demo 2 - fat acid

Test video2 of the Korg SQ-1 sequencer & monotribe.

There are 3 demo videos in the Monotribe test.
The Monotribe used in these videos is modded to accept midi. Please excuse the poor audio - these were recorded on my smart phone.
The other 2 videos can be seen here:

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Python for Beginners 2

A beginners guide to learning Python.
It's a great language to learn if you are getting started in the world of computer programming.

Python for Beginners 1 is here:
Python for beginners
It contains episode 1, 2& 3.
Covers topics like IDEs, if, else statements, variables and functions.
Really basic stuff to get you started.


Episode 4 
Introduction To Lists In Python (Python Tutorial #4)

Lists are a type of data like strings and intergers. 
Similar to arrays (in others languages like java).

Two of the most common commands/functions:
a.append() ..... this adds to a list
a.pop() ............. this removes from a list

a[0]  ............... retreive the first item in the list
a[1] ................. get the second item in the list
a[0] = 100  .......... this assigns 100 to the first item in the list

two ways to swap variables in a list"

temp = b[0]
b[0] = b[2]
b[2] = temp


b[0], b[2] = b[2], b[0]


Episode 5 ..
Introduction to For Loops in Python (Python Tutorial #5)

a = ["banana", "apple", "microsoft"]
for element in a:
# This is a for loop .... it prints all the elements in the list


for element in a:
# this can be substituted by
for e in a:

b = [20, 10, 5]
total = 0
for e in b:
    total = total + e

# answer is :

# the range function
# this creates a list containing a range of numbers starting at 1 and ending at 4
# 1, 2, 3, 4
c = list (range (1, 5))
[1, 2, 3, 4]

for i in range(1, 5):
# modulo operator
# gives the remainder of 4 divided by 3
# answer is 1
print(4 % 3)


Episode 6
While Loops and The Break Statement in Python (Python Tutorial #6)

+Download Python
+ PYO - Ajaz sound studio
+ Wikipedia

Choosing a IDE(integrated Development Enviroment)
+ PyCharm
+ Anaconda 

Tutorial Videos
+ CS DoJo

Friday, 20 December 2019

Python for beginners

Python was conceived in the late 1980s by Guido van Rossum at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in the Netherlands as a successor to the ABC language.
Python strives for a simpler, less-cluttered syntax and grammar 
The name comes from Monty Python's Flying Circus.

I've picked this channel ... looks well thought out. .... CS Dojo

This post covers installation, IDEs, if, else statements, variables and functions.
Really basic stuff to get you started.
I'll add to it over time.

Episode 1 - What are variables?

A variable is a reserved memory location.
It gives data to the computer for processing.
Data has many forms or types.
They can be: Numbers, Lists, Tuple, Strings, Dictionary, etc
Python supports two types of numbers - integers and floating point numbers.
Strings are defined either with a single quote or a double quotes.

Episode 2 - How to Use If Else Statements in Python (Python Tutorial #2)

elif ........... means "else if"

BMI calculator

Episode 3 - How To Use Functions In Python (Python Tutorial #3)

  def .... define
 def function1():
Using functions with a collection of code
multiple arguments or inputs in a single function 
BMI calculator


+Download Python
+ PYO - Ajaz sound studio
+ Wikipedia

Choosing a IDE(integrated Development Enviroment)
+ PyCharm
+ Anaconda 

Tutorial Videos
+ CS DoJo

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Bass Bot TT 303 - demo 2 - Alesso - Years

This is demo of the Bass Bot TT-303 by Cyclone Analogic It looks like a vintage 303 except it has presets and midi in/out., CV/gate out acts just like a vintage 303 as does programming.

 more audio demos coming.
Tune is Alesso's Years..... sequenced in Abelton.
The tt303 transmits and receives MIDI for Notes,Accent (velocity) and Slide (two linked notes).

Saturday, 14 December 2019

ProSound and Lighting - Wollongong synthesizer event

Synths in the Carpark

Some pics from last Saturday.
Thanks to Claude Spinelly of Prosound & Lighting , Wollongong for hosting this event.
Awesome sets and gear.

AE modular & Korg Electribe

The 5th Volt


The Kitchen Patcher

Post Global Disorder








Andrew- virus installer

Videos to come.