A bit more about using Kastle synths live

I thought I’d post a little more about the set up for the gig I played at Cafe Oto earlier in the week. I thought it might be useful or interesting to see the devices I used.

Originally, when Robyn asked me to do this, I thought I would use these plus an Olegtron 4060 (MK I). In the end the Olegtron was too complex and difficult to change patches with any speed.

So ended up with the 2 Kastle synths, a 1.0 and a 1.5. Actually the mix of the two is really good and works very well. Patching across the two devices makes for some very interesting possibilities.

What I’ve realised is that I really need a simpler way to load patches. Not physically of course, but a way to record patches. I thought that taking pictures would help, and it did, but it wasn’t the easiest way to recreate a patch. My next thoughts were to write down the patched information. That was my solution for the Cafe Oto gig, and it worked ok. But only ok.

So now I think I’m going to have to create my own patch sheets for the Kastle 1.0/1.5, and, when I do, I will post some templates here.

Robyn’s Rocket at Cafe Oto

On Wednesday I had the rare privilege of playing live at Cafe Oto with the amazingly talented Robyn. She is a gifted trumpet player and had a whole night of acts at Cafe Oto. I’ve been there many times and seen some amazing artists, so to play there myself was incredible.

It was a really great night too. Robyn was, of course, amazing. My small part was to bring some improvised electronics in the form of a couple of Bastl Instruments Kastle synths. To be precise a 1.0 and a new 1.5 Kastle. These little synths are amazing and incredibly versatile. There’s so much you can do with them.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get some of the footage and sound from the gig. When I do, I’ll be sharing that.

The start of a modular thing

This is something that I’ve been putting off for a long time now. Mainly as just about everyone I’ve spoken to about modular synths just tells me it sucks every last penny from you and you’re never really finished in any meaningful way. Which is a shame. So you can understand why I might decide not to go down this route. However, after a series of events and triggers I have finally given in with what can only be called a modest initial set up, and one that is in keeping with my largely mobile aspirations.

The set up is inside a lunchbox. So it’s pretty small, and almost all of the modules are from Music Thing Modular, so it is a fairly esoteric modular set up.

I hope to have some kind of output to show for it in the not too distant future, but for now I thought I’d at least post some pictures.

Experimenting with little modular things

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I’ve been exploring some of my tiny modular devices. Above you can see. I posted this picture a while ago on Instagram. It was a fun thing to play around with, and I think that these devices go very well together.

I can see myself doing a lot more little sessions like this. I’ve been recording them on tape too. Yep, real cassette tape.

Messing around the with Molecule

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It’s been an age since I used my molecule synth, and I was surprised to find that it actually still powered up too. It powered by batteries, 9 volt PP3 batteries, and they all still work. That’s quite impressive.

Anyway, it’s good to get back to it and experiment with it a bit again. It feels like there’s a lot more to experiment with too. So expect some more on this soon.

Looks like there’s another module coming from Olegtron

Having got the first module for the Olegtron it seems that there’s more to come in the not too distant future as well. Apparently there’s a PWM module (pulse width modulation) coming as well. I’ll be keeping an eye out for that, and I’ll let you know when it’s available.

The lovely Mute Synth II

Messing with the MSII
Messing with the MSII

I hadn’t played with this in a long time, which makes me sad. So I decided to get the MSII out again and give it a little play. It makes just as strange noises as it ever did, and is just as difficult to understand. So this time around I’m going to make a much more concerted effort to understand how to get it to do the things I want it to do.

That’s the plan anyway.