The Cumulus Machine is growing…

They say once you get into the modular synth scene you never turn back… Not sure about that part, but I will admit that this is definitely the most fun I’ve had with a musical instrument so far.

When I got my first 9u Doepfer case the plan was to slowly grow and add modules as the need arose. Well, that need seems to arise so fast when you’re standing in front of it patching in cables and trying out different sounds.

Therefor, well actually since my first case is now full, I have added a second case to the setup. Can’t wait to start adding in the modules and grow the potential of this sweet, sweet synth…


Actually, since I took this photo I have already added a Pittsburgh ADSR envelope generator to the case :).

New Song (Cumulus 2 – The Bridge)

Part two in the tentatively named Cumulus series. Based entirely on the modular synth, with the exception of the kick drum. This track continues to explore the theme of sound textures started with the Cumulus 1, but this time with a higher tempo.

The track was recorded in 3 different layers, with no sequencing or MIDI. The clock came from Pamela ;-). The Morphing Terrarium was used as the primary sound source, except for some guest play from time to time by the Bubblesound VCOs. Only reverb was added as an effect while mixing the 3 layers. There are no other computer generated effects.

Of course, all 3 layers where recorded as 3 continues ‘live’ recordings, each track ‘over dubbing’ the previous ones.

Hope you like it!

Not really news…


Posts are rare these days, but rest assure there are a lot of things cooking in the Glitzerstrahl labs. The modular synth is taking up a lot of time, but most of it is pure explorations and learnings at this point. Not so much actual music being made.

I’m slowly working on the next Cumulus track, which I plan to pull in a more melodic direction, but I want to use it as an excuse to experiment with a workflow that utilizes the Maschine as well as Live in the setup. Therefor it’s taking longer than usual.

Keep tuning in, there’s lots more coming!

In the meantime, tell me what you are working on! Any modular / analog stuff happening?

New Song (16 Bit Police Car)

Imagine if you will a 16 bit police car speeding through a sketchy 2d neighborhood…
I wasn’t really going for it at the outset, but this track soon took of in the direction of old game music some how…

I decided to take a break from the modular stuff and spend some time with Maschine again. This track was made entirely with soft synths from Arturia and percussion samples from Maschine.

Hope you like it, it’s a bit corny but I had a lot of fun making it :)
Now back to patching…

Solder Practice


Lately with my focus on modular synthesizer hardware I’ve found soldering, and a basic understanding of electrical circuitry, to be an essential skill. It really helps to be able to quickly fix minor problems your self rather than rely on sending in modules for servicing by the manufacturer.

I know basically nothing about soldering when I started (which was very recently), and despite everyone saying that it’s really easy, it was actually quite a hurdle to get over the first few steps. In particular just knowing where to start and understanding the different terms and tools necessary. Sure I agree it’s not rocket science, but at the same time I at least wanted to learn the basics thoroughly.

My recommendation when getting started with this stuff is to get a solid, digital, variable temperature soldering station. Getting the right temperature and maintaining it is extremely important (especially for beginners like me) to create good solder joints.

Next, get a solder practice kit and work through the exercises. You’ll find that they are well thought through and give you a chance to practice all the basics.

Finally, youtube and the web are your friends. There is an abundance of information and tutorials out there. Study them and you’ll master the basics in no time.