Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Modular EBM Drum Patch (Doepfer + MFB)

Play MP3 clip: Modular_EBM_(Doepfer_+_MFB).mp3

Recently I asked myself if you could use a A-149-1 Quantized/Stored Random Voltages module as a noise source for audio. Answer: Yes, you can! But wait, what do random voltages have to do with noise? Well, noise is nothing but random sonic events spread out over the audible range. The A-149-1 spits out random CVs in sync with an external clock that can be way up in the audio range. However, at a certain point when the clock signal gets too fast the A-149-1 stops operating. But still it is fast enough to create some nice lofi-ish digital noise timbres. I used the lower "stored random voltages" section since here the distribution of values is more wide-spread than in the upper half. So, what can you do with noise? Make a snare drum for example. I quickly came up with a snare drum patch sounding pretty much sick & destroyed, using only an MFB Megazwerg AHDSR Envelope and a Doepfer A-133 Dual VC Polarizer serving as VCA.

Doepfer A-149-1 + A-149-2

Now that we have a snare drum, why not make a bass drum as well? For this I used a Doepfer A-143-9 VC Quadrature LFO as a sine oscillator providing the body of the kick. To achieve the clicking attack sound I layered two envelopes modulating the snare drum's VCA: Doepfer A-171-2 VC Slew generator provides a decay while a Doepfer A-140 Envelope acts as a bread-and-butter ADSR. Now to add some more spice I utilized a Doepfer A-149-2 Digital Random Gate module to randomly open up the VCA in addition to the envelope. The A-149-2 is an expansion to the A-149-1 described above. It outputs random high and low voltage states synced to the upper half of the A-149-1. A great combo by the way! The result is a sine sub-bass that comes in randomly between the bass drum hits. I also added some random pitch changes to the sine wave via the Doepfer-A149-1's upper half which provides voltages that are quantized to semitones. Very handy.

MFB Drum-07 Hihat / Cymbal module

For hihats and cymbals I used the MFB Drum-07 module which is the modular version of the MFB-522's hihat and cymbal section with some slight changes plus CV-able parameters. It has been discontinued and I highly recommend you pick one up if you can find it as it makes some wonderful sounds. I treated the hihat with some Doepfer A-114 ring modulation and the cymbals with bandpass filtering using MFB Megazwerg's multimode filter. 

MFB Kraftzwerg

Chiming in later we have some delay via MFB Megazwerg with CVed delay time and random freezes. Last not least you'll hear a bassline coming out of good ol' MFB Kraftzwerg. Nothing like a rough EBM bassline going along with your modular drumset. Enjoy!

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