If you’ve spent any time investigating the world of eurorack, reading through threads on the muffwiggler forum, watching videos from Richard Divine, Mylar Melodies, DivKid and the growing roster of eurorack YouTubers out there, chances are high that you have come across the sentiment that you can never have too many (or enough) VCAs. Depending on your experience with synthesizers, this may seem like either an odd or completely self evident statement. In any event, it’s worth taking a look at what VCAs are, what they do, and why they are so important to any eurorack system. Continue reading “Eurorack Synthesis: Exploring The Obvious & Less Obvious Uses of VCAs”
The Garifuna are a people with a fascinating history and culture resulting from the mingling of African and Native Caribs as a result of the slave trade and colonialism. In Belize, Hopkins is known as something of a center of Garifuna culture.
While visiting there, we stumbled into an impromptu drum circle, which served as part of the foundation and inspiration for this fifth song. Most of the origin of this song however, came from the birds. Grackles to be specific.
Grackles are all over Belize; as common as crows in Vancouver. Like crows, they have a wide repertoire of vocalizations and are very social creatures. While walking down the main street in Hopkins, we heard this apocalyptic screeching coming from a large tree. It turned out to be a massive gathering of grackles having a grand old time. Of course I had to record them, and positioned myself right under the tree. One baffled woman passing by exclaimed “Aren’t you afraid they gonna poop on your head?” and if you listen closely you might be able to hear her in the song.
Shortly after I started recording, this loud bass line and reggaeton drum groove dropped from what I assume was a nearby dance studio. I was disappointed that my recording had been ruined, but my wife was excited to hear how I would incorporate it into a song. So, that bass line provided the main melody of my Garifuna Grackle Party, but I sped it up substantially and turned it into more of an old school rave track.
Most of the sounds and processing on this song were done using the Elektron Dark Trinity of Octatrack, Analog Four, and Analog RYTM. There were also a few sounds from Omnisphere and a Yamaha FB01 FM synth.
The next chapter actually covers two songs, Hideaway and Stowaway.
The last leg of our trip with Endorphin Airways brings us to the Shuttle Control, an extremely capable and versatile USB/CV interface. So if you’re looking to integrate your home or mobile studio with your eurorack system, this might be the ticket.
This song takes its name from a small channel through the island of Caye Caulker appropriately named The Split. The water rushes through this small opening with a strong steady current, which makes it a favourite swimming spot for locals. Some just ride the current, while others use it as a sort of aquatic resistance training. Continue reading “The Making of Belizean Heat: Part 4 – The Split”
The Furthrrrr Generator from Endorphin.es is an analog dual oscillator module with an emphasis on west coast synthesis. It features their trademark gold panels and multicoloured knobs, with massive ten-turn knobs for controlling the frequencies of the oscillators. Rather than adopting the vintage airline motif of the Grand terminal, the Furthrrrr Generator panel is festooned with cartoon doodles of flowers, a cyclops creature and other miscellany. The Furthrrrr Generator provides the centerpiece of the Endorphin.es 84HP Shuttle system, but also works as a standalone module. Let’s take a look at how much further it can go. Continue reading “Review: Endorphin.es Furthrrrr Generator”