As you might already know, I put out a synthy Christmas album a few years ago. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a joke, or at best a novelty album. What you might not have realized, if you couldn’t make it through the first song or two, is that I put the silliest stuff at the beginning to make it easier to skip. Furthermore, I’m actually quite pleased with how the last 10 songs turned out, and they’re based on songs that many people don’t know.
I first heard Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols shortly before I made that album. It’s a lovely piece of Christmas music that doesn’t sound overly like Christmas music. Which is something that I find to be a welcome relief when you keep hearing the same handful of songs over and over again every holiday season. So I’d strongly recommend giving it a listen, whether it’s my version or the original, or both.
If you start with track 13 you can hear my version here:
Or you can hear what it’s supposed to sound like, as performed by a Swedish Choral ensemble:
In March of 2019 I decided to write an article on portable power options for synthesizers. I was interested in finding something for my own system, but I also found it to be a confusing thing to research. Naturally this made it a perfect topic for an article. You can view the article here: https://ask.audio/articles/on-the-road-portable-power-options-for-synthesizers-electronic-instruments
While writing this article, I also started my Modular By Nature Youtube series. In these videos, I use my eurorack synthesizer to process the sounds of the environment in real-time to produce a piece of music. In most of these videos I’m using some kind of portable power pack to power my synth as well as a preamp for the shotgun mic.
Portable power is an area where the technology is evolving very quickly, so there’s bound to be new options available since I wrote the article. I’d love to hear of any new alternatives that you have come across to power your gear, or just hear about how you use synths in a portable setting!
Over the years of reviewing modules for Ask.Audio, I’ve accumulated a sizeable archive of diverse recordings. Some of them are even nice to listen to! I decided it would be fun to go back through my experiments and compile a list of my favourites that could fit loosely into the ambient music genre.
Some of these recordings feel like complete songs, while others are more rough with abrupt starts and endings. I hope you enjoy my selected ambient modular experiments!
When I released Belizean Heat back in February of 2018, I had hopes of making videos for at least some of the songs using GoPro footage I shot while there. I still haven’t gotten around to putting any of them together, so I figured it was about time I at least put them up on Youtube for people to listen even if they don’t have any fancy visual element to go with them. I realize a lot of people listen to most of their music on Youtube these days for convenience, so it makes sense to have it up there. Of course the album is also available on Spotify and Bandcamp along with other online sources if you prefer those.
You can find the playlist of the album below.
The open-ended architecture of eurorack synthesizers make them very capable of processing live instruments in all kinds of exciting new ways. However, this open-ended architecture can also be overwhelming for those wanting to get started. With this article from September 2018 I hoped to demystify the concept and offer some ideas for how to get started. I still regularly see people asking about this sort of thing on Reddit and in other forums.
You can check out the article here: https://ask.audio/articles/using-external-instruments-with-modular-synthesizers