Category Archives: Electronic Music

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.

Two Little Known Yamaha FM Synths You Can Still Get For Cheap

  1. The Yamaha PSS-480 is a real FM synth (2 Op) that was marketed more as a toy than a real synth, but it is a real synth and you can store 5 custom patches. Even though it’s only 2 Op, it has a real charm and can make some pretty unique sounds. There’s also MIDI in and out, and 12 voice Polyphony. You can usually find them from $50 to $100. 
  2. The FB-01 is a monster of a synth in a tiny box. It’s a 4 Op FM synth, similar to the DX21, but relies on an external editor to edit patches. Fortunately there is one on sourceforge that runs on both Linux and Windows.  I just picked one of these sweet babies for only $45! 

Of course you can still pick up the Yamaha Reface DX at a good price if you want something new and compact. They are quite good at reproducing the Yamaha FM sounds and they’re under $300 brand new!

Reface DX

5 Ways to use MIDI Pad Controllers in Linux

Pad controllers are a lot of fun to play and use for making music. They’re great for live performance, or for composing drums at home and not disturbing the neighbors or taking up space. I have one just like the one pictured above (MPD24) that I used to make many performance videos on YouTube.

If you’re on Windows or Mac, a lot of people just use Ableton Live for pad controllers. But what if you’re using Linux? What kind of options do you have for fingerdrumming? I thought I’d put together a list of a few programs I know work well with Pad Controllers.

  1. Creating your own soundfonts with Swami.

Swami is great for pad controllers because you can create very complex sample sets then save them to .sf2 files. Then you just open them up with qsynth/fluidsynth and you have an awesome standalone sample player that is fully customizable with your particular pad controller.

2. LinuxSampler

Linuxsampler is a very powerful software sample player that can load many sampler formats like sfz, GigaStudo, and sf2. It’s a bit of a pain to setup and use though.

3. AVLDrumkits

If you’re wanting to just play drums on your controller, AVLDrumKits is an LV2 plugin that has some good drumsounds. You can program your controller to a comfortable layout to play the kit.

4. Drumgizmo

Drumgizmo is another great drum sampler for Linux. There’s some very high quality drum kits available for it, and you can create your own using it’s special editor called DGEdit.

5. Drumkv1

Drumkv1 is probably my favorite option for pad controllers on Linux right now. All you need to do is drag and drop any sample into whatever slot you want to have on your controller. This makes it easy for mapping, as well as easily apply fx, filters, and LFOs to any sample. No external editor needed! Then you can save your kits and use them any time!

If you’re looking for a place to get a ton of samples, loops, and one hits, check out this page!

2 Free Drum Sample Packs – 68 Slingerland 2015 Tama Imperialstar

You may remember my soundfonts I’ve created for the 68 Slingerland and the Tama Imperialstar drum sets. But these were both previously released in .sf2 format so you needed a soundfont player to use them.

That is why I thought it would be a good idea to release them as just wav samples as well for those of you who want to load them into Ableton drum racks, or the drumkv1 sampler for Qtractor.

Download them here!