New Song (Cumulus 1 – The Engine Room)

This is a track made entirely with my modular setup. There is no external sequencing or MIDI involved, but some effects like reverb and echo were added through Ableton during recording. Other effects, like the distortion you hear on some sounds, came from patched in guitar stomp boxes.

Each ‘layer’ was recorded separately with a XAOC Moskwa sequencer providing the clock.

New Video (Cumulus 1 [WIP])

The starting point of a track made entirely with my modular rack. No MIDI or external sequencing but reverb was added while recording through Ableton Live.

The track is still being worked on so this video only shows the first version. I’ll continuously post videos as parts are added, and that way you can see how the track builds up.

In essence what you hear is built up by an XAOC Moskwa sequencer modulating a Pittsburgh filter cutoff that filters a set of 3 separately tuned Bubblesound VCOb oscillators.

A Pittsburgh mixer is manually manipulated to change the mix of the three oscillators, and the resonance, QVC and cutoff of the filter is also manually tweaked during the course of the track.

The Attack and Release of the envelope (of which there is only 1 (TipTop Z4000)) is set randomly and gated by the Moskwa, and there is a slew limiter (Doepfer a-170) patched in between one of the oscillators, and the random voltage of the Release of the envelope.

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:

Moskwa1

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.

Moskwa2

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

Moskwa3

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.

Moskwa4

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! ;-)

Moskwa5

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!

XAOC Moskwa has arrived!

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 12.48.05 PM

Can’t wait to open this up and install it! As with the Warna, the packaging is just beautiful!

Installing the XAOC Warna

Tonight I found the time to install the Warna module from XAOC Devices, and I took some photos of the process :). If you’re curious about the module itself it’s a Buffered Multiple / Mixer utility module with some nice additional features:

warna is a quite self- explanatory yet extremely useful utility module that helps you to work with control voltages in your system. you can use it to distribute voltage sources precisely, to swap their polarity and to mix your cvs and audio signals together.

http://www.analoguehaven.com/xaocdevices/warna

Check out the pictures below.

Warna1

Here’s the module, fresh out of the box. The build quality is really awesome!

Warna2

The gaping hole in my setup where the Warna will be installed. Warna is a 6hp module so the 2hp Pittsburgh multiple will have to move over.

Warna3

To install the ribbon power cable I had to also remove one of the blind panels. The ribbon cable should be installed with the red strip facing downwards (as is the case with almost all Doepfer compatible modules).

Warna4

Installed and good to go. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about this module, it’s features or performance.