Installing the XAOC Moskwa

Today I installed the XAOC Devices Moskwa, an 8 step, bipolar, rotary sequencer. I got the module yesterday from ctrl-mod in Brooklyn, and the packaging was as always excellent.

The Moskwa may look like a simple 8 step sequencer, but it has some built in features rarely seen on a compact (20hp) module like this, which set it apart from many other sequencer in the same price/size range.

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 2.10.53 PMOn the front panel you will find dedicated knobs for Rate (internal clock), Slew and Reset. The Reset knob can be dialed back to shorten the length of the sequence from 8-1 step. You also get a Direction, Clock, Reset and Pause CV in, that allows for some really interesting performance options. On top of this you also get 3 different playback modes, Standard, Random and Pendulum.

As for outputs you get your standard CV / Gate out.

The red LEDs that light up to show you which step you are on also double as switches. Tap them to ‘mute’ a step, or hold them for 3 seconds to set the gate length for the steps. There is no way to change the gate length for each individual step, but you can switch the length between 1/1 to 1/8 by holding down the corresponding step ‘switch/LED’.

Switching the unit between Unipolar and Bipolar means you can use the Moskwa either to drive sound sources such as VCOs, or as a modulation source. (E.g. set the Moskwa to Bipolar, run the output to the Warna and multiply the signal to both multiples. Switch one of them to invert the incoming voltage and then drive different filters or EGs with the result. Consider adding a slew limited to one of the paths, or a clock divider or… :D )

There is also an expander module in the works that will give you access to a Trigger out for each individual step, new playback modes and the ability to chain two Moskwa modules for a total of 16 steps.

Check out the pictures below that shows the installation:


The module arrived well-packaged in the beautifully designed XAOC box. It comes with a sticket, the manual, mounting screws and a cool retro looking postcard :). The attention to the details is really great, and shows how dedicated the XAOC team is to the quality of their products.


Time to retire one of the big blind panels :). What is it they say? ‘I can stop at 9u. Really!’


Plugged in to the system power bus of the a100lc9 case from Doepfer. Pay attention to the orientation of the cable. As with most Doepfer compatible modules, the Red stripe goes on the bottom 2 pins, but please check the markings on the module PCB and the cable to make sure you align it properly.


Mounted and ready for use! I will cut out some Balsa wood to cover the gaping hole to the right, at least until I can’t control myself any more and order more modules! ;-)


Jus to give you an idea of the size of the module, here it is mounted in the rack.

Check out my post on installing the Warna as well!

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

New Song (The Mystery Club)

This is an Electro inspired track that I’ve been doodling with lately. It’s not really Electro in the stricter sense, but somewhere in the border lands between Electro , Pop and some kind of Daft Punk-envy?

Most of the sounds are custom Massive patches, including the percussion which is a mix of Maschine expansion samples and some layered Massive patches…

Anyways, I hope you like this slightly different excursion from the usual Glitzerstrahl sound… (if there is such a sound yet?) :D

New Song (Snow)

First track of 2013! Happy new year!

This track is the first in what I hope will become a series of songs. I will talk more about the common theme and goal of this series at a later point.

This particular track is trying to capture some of the feeling of walking home late at some cold winter night just as the snow starts to fall.

The track was made entirely using Maschine, but the sounds come from a mixture of custom Massive patches, some heavily modulated and FX’d FM8 patches, Maschine library samples and home made sound effects.

Hope you like it :)

Day 1, 2 and 3 in Japan

2 days ago I arrived in Japan with the rest of the family. It was a long journey from San Francisco, but relatively easy due to a direct flight to Haneda Airport. We did a quick stop in Tokyo for the night, spent one day taking care of errands and on the following evening boarded a domestic flight to Ishikawa Ken on the western side of Japan.

Our plan is to stay for 1 month in Japan while my wife undergoes a set of genetic examination procedures, to see if the doctors can determine the exact nature of her condition and determine a diagnosis. We will be visiting and consulting with several specialist physicians at various hospitals and hopefully this will finally bring some clarity around her syndrome.

At the same time I’m taking this chance to get my first honest vacation from work in several years. No time laid to waste though, I have 3 projects that I want to work on now that I have some time to focus.

JapanMapIshikawaThe first is a series of tracks themed around the climate here on the western coast of Japan. The snow, hard winds and raging Sea of Japan has always fascinated me, and I want to see if I can create something that’s a mixture of ambient, IDM and sample based, texturized soundscapes that captures some of this.

The second is the new Native Instruments Maschine (MK2) which arrived in the mail the day before I left San Francisco. I carried it all the way down here so that we can get some quality time to get to know each other. I’m a huge fan of Maschine and I can’t wait to dig into the new features that 1.8 and the new controller brings. I want to focus this energy and time around exploring complextro tracks.

The third and last project is a sample library of sounds from Japan. In the rush to the airport I forgot to bring my Tascam recorder, but I have already ordered a replacement unit to the place we are staying at in Ishikawa Ken. My goal is to capture some of the typical sounds, environments and atmospheres of this beautiful place. If it turns out ok I’ll make it available for download somewhere.

I’ll try to document as much as possible during the next 4-5 weeks here, so please check back regularly.


Thank you

Looking serious since 2012 :)

Looking serious since 2012 :)

As 2012 draws to an end I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all who have support this site, me and my music throughout the year.

To think that its only been 9 months since Glitzerstrahl was created fills me with excitement for what the next year will bring.

For starters I will spend all of January in Japan, working on a mini-album I’ve been planning for some time. Expect lots of posts during this period.

I bought my very first Moog (a Little Phatty) recently, and one of my main goals for next year is to expand upon it and turn it into a semi-modular setup using Slim Phatties and Moogerfoogers. But the tools are not the goal, I want to move further into the Space Music genre using this setup.

I have also had a recent revival in Maschine. I bought the latest MK2 revision and that re-ignited my lust for creating more dance oriented EDM. That is, EDM with an actual D in it.

If all goes well, my final big plan for 2013 is to enroll in an actual school for music production and composing. Its not a full time thing of course, but rather something that I hope to be able to do in parallell with my job. I know it sounds unrealistically ambitious and optimistic, but its worth a try! :)

All in all, there are lots of exciting plans lined up for next year, and I hope you’ll all find it in your hearts and minds to continue to support Glitzerstrahl on this next leg of the journey. I will do my very best to deserve that support!

Thank you! Seriously, Thank you!