I had been thinking about Alternative Tunings for Music for several weeks. I even did a lot of research to see if any of the current Eurorack, Modular Synthesizer Modules would allow me to actually pick my own "Frequencies".
Several weeks ago, I was thinking about the "A equals 440Hz" (Cycles-Per-Second, Frequency) and that some say "A" should really be set to 432-Hz.
As I was looking at those numbers, I noticed that they are "8" numbers apart from each other. Since I used to do some very basic programming, a few decades ago, my mind instantly thought there might be something to that relationship…
From there, I did something "thinking" and some "math" and settled on the number "32". Computers are based on multiples of "2", which are "zeros" and "ones". Home computers in the early 80s had 8-bit Processors, which is a multiple of "2". I settled on "32" because "2", "4", "8" and "16" Cycles were too close to each other for my note-building exercise. 32 seemed to be the smallest number of Cycles-Per-Second which the Human ear could distinguish a difference in Pitch AND it would take-up an entire Music Keyboard, just to have at least 2 "Octaves".
I left "A" at 448, as a starting point. I then "added" 32, to find higher Notes or "subtracted" 32, to find lower Notes. This gave me these Frequencies:
Since I couldn't find any "easy-to-use" Synthesizer Modules, which would allow me to enter the "Frequencies" I wanted, I did some testing. A few days ago, I used "Audacity" (audio manipulation software) to produce those 13-Tones. I was going to load them into Apple's "GarageBand" software, in order to move them around and stretch them, just to see if this new "Scale" would sound good… or not.
That quickly became a bit complicated so I stopped.
Today, Sylvia reminded me that our Korg Krome Keyboard offers Tunings and Scale creation. So I checked the Manual and turned it ON. It was a bit tricky and did take me a few hours but I was able to set those Frequencies.
So, other than "I just wasn't happy with what I was hearing", I began to wonder… "why"? Is it because those are simply Frequencies which work against each other or is it that my brain is programmed to identify certain sound combinations as "good" and others as "bad"?
Here's the link to the "Disting Mk4":
Here's the link to the "µTune":
Here's the link to the "Audacity" software:
In doing my 1st calculations, I took used the "Note-to-Frequency" Chart on this page:
I then plugged those numbers into the Frequency-Semitone calculator on this page:
Behringer has been making audio equipment and electronic musical instruments for many years. The few pieces of information Sylvia and I had heard about them was mostly from some of their unhappy customers, who let their complaints be known on various Forums.
Around 2015 or so, company Owner, Uli Behringer, commented about Moog's extremely high prices and said he could manufacture and sell similar Synthesizers for around $300.
Later, Behringer's Synthesizers, which were "copies" of popular Synths decades before, would become known as "Clones". The first "Clone" Behringer made was of Moog's famous "Mini Moog Model D". Granted it didn't have a Keyboard but it IS currently selling for $299! A few months later, Moog decided to release something "new". So they created the "Mini Moog Model D" and placed a Retail price of $3,500 on it!!!
The new Mini Moog does have a Keyboard and, although Moog added "MIDI" (digital technology, which the Behringer "Model D" also has), they added a few Patch Points (interconnection Jacks) for Control Voltage and other benefits when working with other Synthesizers. (The Behringer version also has MIDI and several Patch Points.)
Since that first Behringer Synth, they have created their very own, not "Cloned", Synthesizer called the "Deepmind 12". This one does have a Keyboard, has MANY more features than Moog's Mini Moog and Retails for just $1,000!!!
Several years ago, Behringer began building a new Factory in China. The manufacturing building will be about 3-MILLION SQUARE FEET in size!!!
A new, "Behringer original" Synthesizer which has been talked about since it was "leaked" in January 2018, is called: "Neutron". Although it doesn't have a Keyboard, it does have a very flexible set of features, a great sound and will Retail for $299!!! I told Sylvia, the Neutron needs to be on our Music Gear List.
Here's a link to an article on the new Behringer Factory:
Here's an older article, which provides a few more details:
Here's a link to a very good Review (video) of the Neutron:
The Review (in the link above) of the Neutron was done by Nick Batt of "SonicState". If you're not familiar with "SonicState", here's the direct link to their website:
Here's another Plexiglass item that Sylvia and I created a few months ago.
This "Drumstick Painting Box" started out as an Earring Display. A company was throwing it out, so we told them we could make something out of it.
"Plexiglass" / "Acrylic" is a very different type of material to work with. Whether it's "thin", as with the material on this Display Case, or "thick" like the pieces we used in our main shelving unit, this stuff is just not what I'm used to. Granted, I'm not very handy with "Power Tools" and barely know how to create things with "Hand Tools" but this clear plastic doesn't behave like "Wood" or "Metal". (Not that I know what I'm doing with those materials either.)
For this project, Sylvia and I used another Retail Display item — a chrome stand. I don't know its original purpose but it's heavy enough to be a Drumstick Holder, it's adjustable and it's chrome.
The "tray", holding the Drumsticks, was some type of "L-shaped", display shelf, which we modified slightly.
I want to share this because I couldn't find a solution to this problem online and thought others would like to know about it…
Quite a while ago, we purchased a "Tama Speed Cobra", single, Bass Drum pedal for my electronic drumset. Earlier this year, the felt pad on its Beater Head (see image on "left" below) had come unglued. In my opinion, this happened because of "poor design". I had positioned the felt pad so its point was making contact with the rubber, electronic, Bass Drum pad but there must have been enough "angled stress", while playing, to cause it to slide up and break-away from the glue holding it in place.
I never noticed when the felt pad initially came off. One day, though, I happened to look down and noticed that the hard-plastic Beater Head was now making direct contact with the rubber pad. This was not good. The rubber in that area was now indented and the hardness of the plastic and force of my playing could have damaged the Piezo Sensor inside the pad. It didn't but it could have.
Although I could have glued the felt pad back on, Sylvia and I thought it would simply detach itself again. So we decided to buy a replacement Beater. We bought the "Tama CB90F" (see image on "right" below).
This replacement Beater is sold just as you see it in this image:
I simply removed the old Beater and installed the new one.
Within a few minutes of playing, I noticed that the Beater Head had pivoted up — forcing its felt pad to no longer make contact with the drum pad. So I rotated the Beater Head back into position and played the pedal while watching the new Beater. Within just a few stokes, I saw the Beater Head turn upwards again. I tightened everything but this continued to happen.
I went online, to see if anyone else had this same problem and how they fixed it. Lots of people had the same issue but I could not find anyone who successfully solved this problem.
I then got out the old Beater and removed the Beater Head. I immediately noticed that the cylinder, which holds the Beater Head is "knurled" — there are "X" patterns etched into it. I then looked at the same portion of the new Beater and saw that it was shiny-smooth. It's no wonder why the new Beater Head won't stay in position. There's nothing for it to grip to.
So I swapped-out the Beater shafts… placing the "old" shaft on the "new" Beater. This solved the problem.
Here's the link to their product page:
Earlier this year, I had Posted several images and a video of the Synthesizer shelf Sylvia and I had created out of Plexiglass. Since then, I modified it a bit:
Since we still had more Plexiglass, and because we like the look of "clear" shelves and stands for our Synthesizers, Sylvia and I created a few more stands and dust covers a couple of months ago.
Here's a Slideshow of the photos showing the various shelves, stands and dust covers Sylvia and I made out of Plexiglass…
Today, Sylvia and I received 2 new Modules for the Eurorack Synthesizer we're creating.
After a lot of research, planning our budget, saving our money and talking it over, last Thursday, Sylvia and I bought 2 new Modules:
Granted, we eat fried potatoes for supper every night and a can of soup for Lunch, when we go to work, but I have no idea how we managed to "save" and "pay for" those items. I'm not really that good at this type of money-juggling. I have enough trouble remembering to deduct each day's purchases from our Checkbook. "Sylvia" is the financial Wizard in OUR family! I do my best to continually stay tuned-in to her energies and to act-on any suggestions she provides.
As for the timing of this purchase… THAT was also interesting… We bought these from "Detroit Modular" (see links above), which is located in Michigan. We ordered them Thursday morning and the expected delivery was "by Monday". (It was shipped through the Post Office.) Up until Friday night, their Tracking information showed that our package was still traveling through the various States, on its way to us, here, in North Carolina. When I checked their Tracking information this morning, Saturday, it showed that it was to be delivered "today"!
We used the website "Modular Grid", in order to learn about some of the Modules available and to create this Synthesizer using their free software.
This is a picture of our "Modular Grid" Synthesizer. It shows which Modules we currently have and where I placed them. (Of course, they can always be moved. If needed.)
Although we currently have 4 Modules, we don't enough Synthesizer elements to make a complete sound.
Right now, Sylvia and I have an Oscillator, Envelope Generator, a "MIDI-to-CV" converter (so we can play notes in this "Analog" Synth using our "Digital" keyboard) and a Multiple.
To complete the "building blocks", we still need a VCA and VCF.
What I can tell about these Modules, especially the new ones is…
In just testing the Envelope Generator, I had to use the Multiple several times. At one point, I used 3 of its sections and 10 of its 15 Patch-Points. More than once, today, I told Sylvia: "It's a good thing we bought this Multiple."
It wasn't just "a multiple". We did a lot of research, watched a few videos and read several pages of descriptions before deciding on this particular Module. It has:
As for the "Envelope Generator"…
I've been wanting us to have a "delayed Gate" feature in a Synthesizer for quite a while. We may still purchase a Module which only provides that feature but this A-143-2 Module not only has FOUR Envelope Generators, each can be Triggered (activate) separately from the others or Triggered when any of the others has completed its cycle.
I was able to create a 4-stage, one-after-the-other Envelope today. I was also able to create a looping waveshape. Sort of like a customized LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator).
Anyway, so far, we're finding that both Modules were well worth the money.
I've been wanting to fine-tune the image of the Double Helix Oscillator, that I used in the Patch Chart I created and, today, I finally got around to doing just that. This one is cleaner, more professional looking and contains less clutter… making it easier for everyone to indicate Knob and Switch settings as well as the Patch Cord connections routings.
So the updated Chart for this Pittsburgh Modular module is now in our "Downloads" area and is free to download.
Last week, Sylvia and I returned the Pittsburgh Modular "MIDI 3" Module. After 2-weeks of working with it, we found that it just wasn't offering the features we needed.
A few days ago, we ordered the "qMI 2" by Vermona. Here's a screenshot of it.
Here's the link to that Product's page:
Although it's possible to control the "Double Helix Oscillator" with the Arturia "BeatStep Pro", there are times when you just want to get back to a familiar input mechanism… like a Keyboard.
We want to use our "Roland SH-201" Synthesizer's Keyboard to control this new Modular Synth we're in the process of buying Modules for. However, the "201" is "Digital" and doesn't have a "Gate" or other Control Voltage outputs, which could be used to control a Modular Synth.
So yesterday, we ordered the Pittsburgh Modular "MIDI 3" Module. This will convert our SH-201's MIDI information to Control Voltages for the Modular Synthesizer.
I've fine-tuned the Patch Chart for the Double Helix and have created a Patch Chart for the MIDI 3. Both of these can now be found in our "Downloads" section. (See the menu at the top of this window.)
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