Arduino based Midi Trigger box for analog synths

Nikolaus Gradwohl2018-09-14T07:11:26+00:00

I usually control my volca and the Mother32 via midi and create sequences using Bitwig studio or Sonic Pi but I wanted to use the build in sequencers to create a more hands-on feeling and simplify loop creation while jamming but haven't found a satisfying what to synchronize the sequencers to each other and to my computer

I considered buying a bastl klick - but I would need several of them to control different synths at different clock-rates and I would have to sacrifice several audio outs to control them.

So I build a midi-trigger system using an arduino that allows me to send trigger signals to 4 devices using midi note-on signals. Now I can run the sequencers of my devices at different clock rates allowing me to use longer or shorter sequences or create different rhythms by sending trigger signals with different note lengths to the DFAM. Sort of like a clock-divider on steroids combined with a sequenceable trigger pulse.

trigger-box

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SuperCollider drumsample generator

Nikolaus Gradwohl2018-02-10T10:08:46+00:00

I noticed that my Volca Sample in my homestudio din't quite get the attantion and love it deserved so I desided to create a new sample pack for it. I wanted some fresh electronic samples so I wrote some SuperCollider scripts to create random drum Samples. I created a script for bassdrum, snare, hihats, clap, crash, tom and a metallic 'ding' sound - which I named 'Ding' because I could not come up with a more clever name. Each of the script generates 64 samples. I then chose 100 and organized them into sound banks and uploaded them to my Volca Sample.

Samples 00 to 19 are bass drums, 20 to 29 are clap samples, 30 to 39 is a crash, 40 to 49 is 'ding', 50 to 69 is closed and open hihats, 70 to 89 are snares and 90 to 99 are my tom samples. I'm not 100% satisfied by the ordering yet maybe I move the snare samples after the bassdrums and the hihats to the end of the list - the current ordering is created mainly for alphabetical reasons :-) but I really like the organisation in banks of 10.

To simplify things further I also created 10 empty patterns - the first one places bd-00 on slot 1, bd-10 on slot 2, sn-70 on slot 3, sn-80 on slot 4, ...

the second pattern places bd-01 on slot 1, bd-11 on slot 2, sn-71 on slot 3, sn-81 on slot 4, ... and so on. This way I can switch between the drumkits pretty fast. Since I mainly use my volca sample as a midi device, I usually don't need the patterns for anything else.

click here to listen to a track I made using this samples

If you want to create your own set of samples here are the supercollider scripts I used with a short description. If you create something nice with them please share a link in the comments.

Bassdrum

For the Bassdrum I combined a short noise burst with a bandpass filter sweep and a Sinewave with a linear pitch envelope.

SynthDef.new("bd", {
    arg  n=0.8, nl = 0.02, start=110, end=1, l1=0.1, l2=0.3, exp=1.7;
    var boom;
    e = pow(Line.ar(0.9,0,l2),exp);

    boom = BBandPass.ar(WhiteNoise.ar(),freq:Line.ar(100,10,nl))*Line.ar(1,0,nl)*n+
    SinOsc.ar(Line.ar(start, end, l1))*e;
    Out.ar(0,[boom,boom])

}).add;

{
    64.do{
        Synth.new("bd", ["n":rrand(0.8,0),"nl",rrand(0.03,0), "start",rrand(100.0,50.0),"end",rrand(100,10), "l1", rrand(0.1,0), "l2", rrand(0.8,0.1),"exp", rrand(1,4)]);
        1.6.wait;
    }
}.fork()
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Volca Sample SuperCollider Drum Set

Nikolaus Gradwohl2018-02-09T21:00:59+00:00

I generated some random drum samples using supercollider and selected 100 samples as my new main drum kit for the volca sample. This is the first track I used my new drum sounds one. The volca sample gets a little help from the volca beats kick drum. The Bass sound is from the MiniNova, The synth track is from the Blofeld.

Volca Sample Supercollider Drum Set

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SonicPI + Volca Jam

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-08-26T19:34:38+00:00

I recorded a SonicPI live jam exploring the new midi functionality. I used my Volca Keys, Volca Bass and Volca Sample for the recording.

SonicPi Livejam

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Battle of the Bass-Machines

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-05-08T07:48:43+00:00

Korg Volca Bass vs Roland TB-3

a battle of the Bass-Machines recorded and mixed using Bitwig-Studio

Battle of the Bass-Machines

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New Track: The World you don't see

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-04-28T07:04:56+00:00

for every world you know there is at least one that go unnoticed ...

Listen to my new Track on soundcloud

The world you don't see

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New Track: Seven meets Four

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-04-11T05:58:49+00:00

a 7/4 loop meets a 4/4 loop in this polyrhytmic exploration, featuring my Mother 32, 0-Coast, MiniNova and Streichfett

seven meets four

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Synth Jam - Mar 27

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-03-28T06:13:24+00:00

This is a recording of a jam session - using my moog mother, 0-Coast, volca bass, volca beats and Bitwig studio

Synth Jam - Mar 27

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New Track: Melody in D-Minor

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-02-27T05:18:10+00:00

I created a new track using only my hardware-synths and introducing my new Moog Mother 32 to the studio. The Arpeggio, Bass and Beats are from the volcas. The melodie lines are from the Mother 32, the 0-Coast and the MiniNova. The Pad sound is from the Streichfett and the horns are from the MX61.

melody in d-minor

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Volca Sample Live Jam

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-02-14T05:03:16+00:00

I'm currently building a new set of samples for my volca sample and this is the first video jam of me using it. For the baseline I used 3 tracks and I programmed the same note sequence but transposed it on each slot - this way I don't need 3 storage slots on my volca to change the base chord. And I noticed that I need to practice a bit more :-)

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