Categories
(Mark Mosher Music News) Events Guest Appearances, Interviews, Awards Interview Podcasts

My Conversation with AfroDJMac on The Music Production Podcast #99

I had a great conversation with Brian Funk (aka AfroDJMac) for episode #99 of his Music Production Podcast. You can listen on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play  or on YouTube (which also includes video footage). There are lots of detailed show notes and links from the conversation on the episode landing page

Mark and I had an excellent conversation about his work as a synthesist, composer, and live performer. We discussed his musical workflows and use of visuals in his performances. Mark also deconstructs and takes us behind the creative process of his newest single “Disconnected.” This episode is loaded with both practical and philosophical wisdom from Mark’s diverse and extensive experience as an artist.

I also discuss the local scene such as Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup, Beat Cypher, and my work with (no)poem, the Carbon Dioxide Ensemble, A.I. Winter and more. Again, links to all that in the detailed show notes and links from the conversation on the episode landing page

Also, my cat also video bombed the conversation at 35m27s. Brian was kind enough to render an excerpt so I could crate this short clip :^)

Here is the video for the full of the conversation.

Thanks again to Brian for inviting me!

Categories
(Modulate This) Reviews Synth: Saurus

Tone2 Saurus Synthesizer: First Impressions and “In Use” Video

Tone2_Saurus_screen

Last week, my friends at Tone2 released their latest virtual analog synth Saurus. I'm a huge fan of Galdiator and was a beta-tester for ElextraX – both of which are all over my last two albums -  so I was very excited to see what their take on a streamlinked modelled analog synth would be.

First Impressions

I’ve been playing and programming it almost with almost  every free moment since it released. Here are some things I really love about Saurus:

  • Great sounding circuit-level oscillator and filter models, especially the filter feedback and drive
  • Waveform morphing with PW changes
  • Easy on your CPU compared to other synths that model at the circuit level and instances share resources so you can insert many instances into a set without audio dropout
  • Straight forward and tweakable interface (Tone2 made great choices on what to include)
  • Killer modulation matrix with some cool new sources like the “x” modifier, voice output
  • A new take on ElectraX’s arp and gate where both are combined into one interface
  • LFO’s that run at audio rate (just use the mod matrix to patch LFO to Osc Pitch and you have FM)
  • Basic but solid essential built-in FX (Chorus, Reverb, Delay)
  • A fresh take on noise on both oscillators with morphable FM/AM noise source
  • Pink and white noise as a modulation source in the matrix
  • The factory patches sound great and since they heavily use the mod matrix – they also provide great insight into how to take advantage of the new modulation features. I’m learning a lot just by reviewing the mappings.

Some things I would like to see in an update:

  • Add FX params as modulation targets
  • Add the “” arp step type for note glide as implemented in ElectraX
  • Add a comb filter type

Who’s It For

I think Saurus is a great synth for up-and-coming producers and synthesists because it straight forward and follows a classic workflow. It’s also only $119 US which is a great value.

Seasoned players are going to love the sonic range, tweakability, and low CPU usage. As a controllerist, I find it super expressive when mapping it to my Novaiton RemoteSL MK II Keyboard in an Ableton Instrument Rack.

A buy is a no brainer and this just might become your goto subtractive virtual analog.

In Use

This is video of a single patch improvisation I recorded in one pass with no edits  using a single instance of Saurus. I only use the built-in effects. I start with a factory patch in the "Lead" bank called "1970s Soloist H". I only touch the computer once during the performance in the middle to turn up the gain in the mod matrix so that LFO modulates pitch. Prior to recording I mapped all sorts of parameters to my Novation Remote SL MK II Keyboard:

  • XY map to Filter and Rez
  • Bank 1 of the top 8 knobs are mapped to filter parameters and OSC Balance
  • Bank 2 of top 8 knobs are mapped to effects parameters
  • Bottom row 8 knobs are MIDI mapped to Oscillator noise type AM/FM, LFO Speed, Glide rate
  • The first 4 sliders map to the volume ADSR
  • The next 4 sliders map to filter ADSR

I used my projector to paint my wall with Saurus to the knob movement you see on the wall is in real-time and corresponds to my controller movement.

Links

The demo MP3s don't do Saurus justice. I recommend you download the demo and try it yourself. Make sure you try velocity, aftertouch, mod and pitch wheels on every patch.

Grab the demo here http://www.tone2.com/html/saurus_synthesizer__vst_au.html.

Full disclosure –while I did get an NFR copy of the software, I don’t benefit financially if you buy Saurus. I’m just a big fan of both Saurus and Tone2.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html