Symphonic Electronica Synth Jam – Analogous Structures, By Steven Morris

Sunday Synth Jam: This video captures a ‘video song’ style performance by synthesist Steven Morris, with Soundole (Peter Anthony Smith) on EWI.

It’s an original symphonic electronica composition, Analogous Structures.

Here’s what he has to say about technical details:

The music is purely synthesizers. Soundole (Peter Anthony Smith) contributed with his Akai EWI 4000s by playing a clarinet-like sound (actually in the range of a basset clarinet).

With my modular (mostly played with my DSI MoPho Keyboard), I patched numerous ‘instruments’. The bowed strings are similar to the ones I patched for “Buried in Snow” in that I layered many recordings to create an ensemble sound. In addition to strings, I wanted to try creating some analog linear FM patches this time. Using Intellijel’s Dixie II oscillators, I created an ‘Oboe’ and a ‘French Horn’ with FM synthesis. In addition to ‘instruments’, I also created some ambient water sounds, like water droplets and rain, the latter being another layered recording consisting of random pulses generated from a clock divider, a clock multiplier, and Make Noise Maths and subsequently heavily filtered, with random modulation on the filter cutoff.

I also used a couple of my original patches on my trusty DSI MoPho Keyboard and Tempest.

-Akai EWI (Electric Wind Instrument) 4000s (Patch 21) [Played by Soundole AKA Peter Anthony Smith] -Eurorack Modular Synthesizer
-DSI MoPho (Dave Smith Instruments)
-Korg MS2000B
-DSI Tempest

Eurorack Patches of Interest:

1. 3x Strings (Bowed; 10+ tracks per part)
2. 2x French Horn (FM via Intellijel Dixie II’s; modulator tuned a 5th below carrier. Modulator also has a modulator for the attack portion of the sound)
3. Oboe (FM via Intellijel Dixie II’s; also run through a band pass filter with keyboard tracking)
4. 2x Choir (31 tracks per part)
5. “Noise Sequence” (Pittsburgh Modular Sequencer modulating filtered noise
6. Modular Water Droplets
7. Modular Sparkle (High frequency S&H Sounds filtered through an HPF, also modulated with S&H, triggered with an LFO)
8. Tremolo Noise Sweep
9. Sample & Hold
10. Modular Rain (30 tracks; amalgamation of various filtered pulses generated with Doepfer Clock Divider, 4ms Shuffling Clock Multiplier, Make Noise Maths at nearly random intervals)
11. Tomita’s Whistle (The famous patch that routes noise through a self oscillating filter, the cutoff frequency of which is controlled by keyboard tracking)
12. Tone-Deaf Ring Mod (AM patch; the frequency of amplitude-modulating and the modulated oscillators are determined by a Doepfer Sample & Hold module triggered by keyboard gate, but not pitch [not pictured!])
13. BBD Clock Noise (output run through a filter; speed of clock and filter both hand modulated [not pictured])

Note on Modular Patches:
Pitched patches were controlled with DSI MoPho Keyboard. Vibrato was setup within the patches and controlled by hand. Deopfer 2048-stage BBD was used extensively in conjunction with Intellijel uVCF and Deopfer 24db VCF3. Usually the Intellijel uVCF was used in parallel with the VCF3 + BBD combo. The BBD in particular is used to create the size of the instrument and its resonance.

Korg MS2000B Patches of Interest:
1. Ice Field (Preset)
2. Ana Strings (Preset)

Note on Korg MS2000B Patches:
I don’t mind using a preset when it is as fantastic as “Ice Field”. Ana Strings is a bread and butter sound, but it plays well with my effects units, which IMO is another sign of a good patch.

DSI MoPho Patches of Interest:
1. So Square (Original Bass Patch)
2. Talking Synth (Original humorous vocal patch)

DSI Tempest Patches of Interest:
1. Tempest Chimes (Original Patch)
2. Noise Percussion (Using “Roll” Feature)

Other Patches:
There is one sample used in this song, which is a sample that I created that combines various harmonics created with my voice and basic filtered synthesizer waves. This sample is played with my MoPho Keyboard and appears during the final part of the music.

Rack Effects:
Ibanez AD202 Analog Delay (Used for saturation and Chorus)
Vesta Kozo DIG-410 Digital Delay (Used for Chorus)
Vesta Kozo RV-3 Spring Reverb (Used for reverb and distortion)
Lexicon MX400 Digital Reverb

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