Saturday, February 27, 2010

Korg DS-10 Track 39

Here we are with the highly anticipated track 39.

The lead voice is based on the following phrase: C4, D4 sharp, D4 and A3 sharp. There are some variations, of course, but that phrase comes back all the time. Well, kinda, because at about 2:25, the track is clearly veering towards a pretty different phrase and that's when I ran out of patterns. So, finishing the song was becoming a bit of a problem. So, I used the old "let's repeat the previous patterns" (but without repeating each pattern like in the 1st pass) and stop the song at the right moment to get an acceptable "natural" fade out. Obviously, I would have preferred to keep going with that new phrase and see where it would have taken me, but as Mick would say, you can't always do (get) what you want.

I've used 3 different sounds for the lead voice. The 2nd patch which starts at 0:36 is made up of two oscillators, the 2nd oscillator being tuned all the way to the right. So, you hear some kind of a wah-wah sound (the 1st oscillator) and a clank (the 2nd oscillator), all coming from the same voice. The 3rd sound that's used in the tune is the kind of patch I like, with a lot of distortion. Kinda gives a heavy feeling to the song, I guess.

The bass channel is just that, a bass line that's mostly C4s with some occasional changes to accommodate the lead voice and avoid the slightly dissonant "chords". There's pitch modulation of course to make it less boring. There are basically 2 ways to modulate the pitch: 1) use 2 oscillators and de-tune the 2nd one or 2) use an LFO to modulate the pitch of the 2nd oscillator or both.

The track is 4 minutes long because the beats per minute are set pretty low (40 bpm). As far as effects are concerned, there's not much going on except some chorus on absolutely everything.

Not much to say about the drums except maybe my patented open hi-hat patch, which, of course, doesn't sound anything like a real one. To be fair, it's impossible to do a cymbal sound with 2 oscillators. It's gotta be a sample, at least, last I checked. The best you can do is a swoosh sound but it's good enough when drowned within a tune.

Don't forget to join the Nintendo Korg DS-10 Music group on facebook for very informal discussions about the DS-10, synthesizers (not that I know much about them) and (melodic) tunes. The group is really trying to focus on melodic electronica and it's certainly not limited to the DS-10.

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