Author Archives: DemonicSweaters

Yamaha FB-01 FM Synth Module with Live Drums

This is a new song I created with only the Yamaha FB-01 in 8 part multi-timbral mode and then played lived drums to it. No FX were used on the FB-01. I seqenced the MIDI using the program, Seq24 for linux, then recorded the drums in Harrison Mixbus 4.
Drums used were a 1966 Slingerland Blue Sparkle kit, with an 80s metal Pearl Export 6.5×14 snare drum. Mics used in this recording were:
Kick – CAD KBM412 http://amzn.to/2yzAGan
Snare – PDMIC78 http://amzn.to/2AFBBYf
Overheads – http://amzn.to/2iUjPZ1

Stranger Waves – A Synthwave Compilation Inspired By Stranger Things

Stranger Things is still crushing the internet with Season 2, and in addition to being a great show, it’s inspiring all kinds of amazing music from all over the world. The online group “Synthwave Emotions”  has released this amazing compilation of music inspired by the show.

Artists featured on the compilation are:

01. 26Hate – Stranger Waves (Opening Theme) 00:00
02. Immortal Girlfriend – Overcome The Night 01:16
03. 26Hate – Devotion 04:41
04. Midnight Danger – Malignant Force 09:07
05. Pontiac At night – Curfew Violations 13:37
06. ÆX44 – Demogorgon 18:07
07. Deathray Bam! – Behind the Wall 24:41
08. Turbo Knight – Strange Aeons 29:17
09. Master System – Distance (feat. Ultraboss) 34:14
10. Leg Puppy – Utopia (Eternity 84) 39:32
11. Le Louvre – Blood Moon 43:39
12. Zane Alexander – Quarantine 48:55
13. Venator – Sanguine 52:31
14. Saffari – Strange Kind of Feeling 58:02
15. Cleeve Morris – Dustin 01:01:41
16. Once Around Saturn – Titan Excursion 01:04:38
17. DREAM SHORE – Upon A Story 01:07:09
18. Steve Arrows – VHS Ghost 01:10:46
19. Shadows & Mirrors – Nightmareland 01:13:41
20. White Tiger – Explorers (ft. JJ Mist) 01:16:09
21. Dead Bad Bunny – The Upside Down Theme 01:22:10
22. Midnight Danger – Darkness Approaches (Bonus) 01:23:53
23. Turbo Knight – Mirrorverse (Bonus) 01:27:53
24. ÆX44 – The other side (Bonus) 01:32:23
25. Fishdick – Falcons Crest (Bonus) 01:35:52

This is great and fun stuff, well produced and making for a great Friday morning.

Best Gift For Your Synth Player Friend 2017

Synthesizers can be pretty expensive, but the company Korg has been doing a great job of making inexpensive synths with amazing features like the “Volca” line. These are small footprint analog synthesizers that have all kinds of nifty features like sequencers, ring modulators, and delays.

The Volca synth I’m focusing on this article is the Volca Keys.

The Volca Keys is not new, having first come out in 2013, but is just as cool today as it was when it was first introduced. No other company besides Korg has been able to come up with a competitively priced synthesizer with the amazing features the Volca Keys has.

Some of it’s most impressive features are:

  1. MIDI input – this was the big problem with Korg’s “Monotron” series. Cool as they are, there’s no way to control them with an external device. This is not the case with the Volca Series.  
  2. Three voice polyphony – of course this isn’t amazing compared to digital synths, but as far as analog goes, it’s better than being Monophonic, which is what most other analog synths are that are under $700 by other manufacturers.
  3. Built-in sequencer, ring modulator, and delay with automation – Not only is there a sequencer, but all of the built-in fx can be automated within the sequencer. This is very cool and opens up all kinds of possibilities.
  4. It’s under $200!

This holiday season, you can make your electronic musician smile with the Korg Volca Keys 🙂

How To Transfer SysEx Data From Computer To Synth For Free Using MidiOX

Sysex stands for “system exclusive”, and it is the format that was used by many synths to store the information of the synthesizer. You can store patches, settings and banks using sysex data. If you’ve ever wondered how to transfer sysex patches to your vintage synth using a modern computer, there’s plenty of commercial programs out there that can do this with, but you can also do it for free with a program called MidiOX.

In this older YouTube video of mine, I go over the process of doing this with my vintage K1 synth. The same technique can be used with nearly any synth that works with sysex data. All you need is a windows or linux computer, and a midi interface like this one or something similar and you can create your own library of patches on your computer for your vintage midi synths.

What is great about this is you can download thousands of patches online and easily transfer them to your synth achieving maximum fun.

Awesome Synthesizer Workstations For Under $500

Workstation synthesizers have been around for many years. If you don’t know, a synthesizer workstation is a complete music production system built into a synth. You can arrange full songs, with drums, bass, synths, etc… Very popular workstations include the Yamaha Motif8, and the Korg Krome but these are quite pricey and not really the best choice for a lot of musicians on a budget.

Sure you could just use a computer, but some people don’t like working this way, plus if you are a solo musician who performs live, a workstation can be a better option since there’s no need to deal with laptops and audio interfaces. Also you don’t need to find VSTs, samples, and different plugins you need on a computer. Everything you need is already in the workstation. I thought I would put together a little list of some great workstations you can get for $500 or less!

1. The Yamaha MX49. Yamaha’s legendary Motif Series has been used by countless professionals, so it’s no surprise that Yamaha could make a compact, and inexpensive workstation that sounds absolutely phenomenal. Watch this demo below to hear some of the beautiful sounds the MX49 can produce. This video is in Japanese, but it really demonstrates the quality of this wonderful instrument. 

2. The Korg MicroARRANGER is another great full featured workstation that has more keys than the MX49, however they’re microkeys. This can be a deal breaker for some people, but if you have small hands like me, it’s not a bad thing. Korg has done quite well with their “Micro” series, hence the legendary MicroKORG. They thought they would try this idea in workstation package. This is cool for the travelling musician who needs powerful accompaniment with a small footprint.  

3. The Casio WK6600 is quite possibly the best deal and I honestly think it sounds better than the MicroARRANGER, but not quite as good as the Yamaha MX49. However it’s $200 cheaper than both of them! Casio’s name is legendary in the home keyboard market, and nearly everyone on the planet has owned one at one time or another. I still have a vintage CT370 that I use on nearly everything I record. Their build quality is just as legendary as their name, this is why you see so many Casios that have been abused for years by kids that still work great. In addition to being less expensive, you get 76 FULL SIZED KEYS on the WK6600.

So the bottom line, if you’re looking for the highest sound quality, go with the Yamaha MX49, if portability is your concern, than the MicorARRANGER might before you, and the most for your money goes to the WK6600.

Hopefully you found this article helpful and useful. If you did, feel free to leave a comment below.