Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Microkorg Moog Tutorial

Well, more basics than tutorial per se, but as usual when I do a MicroMoorg video I'm getting lots of questions about it.

I'm afraid I can't explain in too much detail because:

- I've picked up the mod half done in the first place, thus did only see the result of the early work.
- I then gave it to a third party to finish it up.

BUT, what I can do, is provide a general account on the process for people who might consider modifying their Microkorg.

I) The early stages

On this older post, you can see the state I first got the MicroMoorg in.

The owner had cut the plastic at the junction, using a very good saw, just between the keyboard section and the board section. Needless to say, this has to be done very carefully in order not to damage the circuit laying down below.

At this point, the board was totally independent from the keyboard, because once you unscrew the original wood parts and the junction is severed, nothing but the keyboard cables stand between the two sections.

That is why you can lift up the board like it is on the photograph, but if you were to look behind the mod, you'd see that there's just a void, all circuits are open to the air.

That's why you have to add a back panel.

II) The new wood panels

On the above pics, you can see the finished mod, with measures.

Please notes that the measures are in millimeters.

The side panel is composed of two different pieces, which assembled look somewhat like a Little Phatty side panel. You can obviously create a single pieced panel, but this was assembled from various spare wood parts.

The back panel is also composed of two pieces, and here you may see that it isn't varnished yet like the other parts. Then again, a single piece is possible.

The screws in the wood panels then go through the plastic casing on the inside, without touching the circuits.

You can see a hinge is running along the junction on the front. That's because the original plan was to have the board able to move down  à la Minimoog. This proved a bit difficult, and here the more modest solution of a still board was chosen, à la Little Phatty. Here's a mobile mod.

On the inside, the cables going from the circuit board to the keyboard were changed for longer one, so that the added distance wouldn't stress the original ones.

That's the basics of it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Clockwork Cities (Microkorg Vocoder)

Featuring the ever popular MicroMoorg
Bass&Lead : Moog Little Phatty
Drums : DSI Tempest
Strings : Gforce Virtual String Machine
Choir : Gforce M-Tron Pro w/ Chamberlin

In the clockwork city they all look the same
Everybody’s working and nobody knows your name
In the clockwork city they all look the same
Everybody’s working and nobody knows your name

In the clockwork city there’s no hope in vain
The heart of the wise in the house of mourning
In the clockwork city there’s no hope in vain
Everybody’s working and nobody knows your name

It’s a room full of toys and nothing’s for real
It’s a desolate place you can never leave
In the clockwork city you’ve nothing left to hide
In the clockwork city where things never die

In the clockwork city you know the game is fixed
How much you lose and how small you gain
All summer long I’ve been wasting my sorrow
All summer long broken and forlorn

Monday, March 11, 2013

Friday, March 8, 2013

Jersey (III)

Fujifilm X-Pro1.
Island of Jersey.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jersey (II)

Fujifilm X-Pro1.
Island of Jersey.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jersey (I)

Fujifilm X-Pro1.
Island of Jersey.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Experimenting these days with various instrumental ditties for a video project.
Here, passing the Casiotone through the Small Stone phaser.
Old school.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bye-Bye Venom!

I needed to make room for the upcoming MS20 Mini, and to be honest I wasn't using the M-Audio Venom that much.

Why? Well, certainly not because it sounds bad. The Venom is an outstanding instrument, with great value for the price. It can produce very complex grooves and has a character of its own, which cannot be said about a lot of digital synths.

It's really about the interface, or lack thereof : you can't program sounds without the software editor.
By that, I don't mean that it's inconvenient without the software.
I mean to say that you absolutely NEED a computer, because most editing functions aren't accessible through the synth LCD menus.
For instance, you can't select the oscillator waveforms on the synth. That's done with the software editor.
You can select the FX type and its mixing level, but you can't change the FX settings.
And so on.... 
This is really a problem. These drastic limitations mean that you just can't take the synth away and program stuff. You need a computer at all times.
I know there is a way to use an iPad to control the parameters, but I couldn't begin to understand how you're supposed to do that, what with the app and the interfaces needed, and frankly I didn't have the patience when my others synths, well, you just switch them on and you're set to create.

Not having to create sounds on the computer is the reason why I buy hardware instruments in the first place.

That said, if you don't mind working that way, the Venom is a great synth.