Duophonic Block Bass Synthesizer
Need an 808 Bass Drum that can be played melodically? A duophonic synth that you can play a power chord with? Fuzz Bass? A 303-like character? Then you can stop reading. Just use it. It has 30 starter patches for you. But if you are curious…
This is not a made up story. This is the real deal. I needed a few bass sounds for a song I was working on. They had to be big. And the synth really simple. Now, I like utilitarian instruments. Things that are good for one or two things. It helps me make music faster. I like the idea of less knobs, more sound. So I searched…
As I perused the UL and the Reaktor Forums I came across a conversation about duophonic oscillator ideas for blocks. A few example bits of code was thrown around. You can find the thread here: https://www.native-instruments.com/forum/threads/block-request-duophonic.324155/#post-1638733
One experimental ensemble, in particular, put me in this strange mood. So I hacked into it. I began to work on its guts not quite knowing what the fork I was doing. But who gives a shirt if I broke it? Just reload and start over. Sort of. I became crazy.
As the patches became a reality, I realized the thing is broken, possibly in the best ways possible. You cannot really predict its behavior note-to-note. Its software circuits wiggle and waver. They bend. Randomly. And still, it barely registers on your CPU even as your ears bleed and your speakers vibrate. Forking shirt bass at last! And yes, it is as close to duphonic as it gets for my money. I played on many an Arp before, and I especially love the old ones. They misbehaved.
The switch at the top supposedly alternates between mono to duo but that either makes things bigger, or it is doesn’t. It may switch to mono, or it doesn’t. Sometimes you have to play with the switch a little to ‘reset things’. Like a forked up dinosaur of a synth that you once loved, but you knew it would never function properly. And when broken, the parts cannot be found anywhere because the designer went awol and left the company to marry a girl in Thailand. Life can be tough.
I had the panel hidden at first, but my own crazy idea was that it should look as though somehow, a little circuit could be added to a common light switch and somehow tap the electrical flow and turn it into an unruly basic oscillator. The ‘light’ switch lets you switch octave. And that’s it.
A million thanks to: ANDREW221231 for his work on the “Hello I’m Lou Reed” .ENS that inspired this monstrocity. I did little to his code, but randomly make arbitrary changes to the math, just to see what would happen. I guess I circuit bent it lightly and gave it a facelift?
If you are curious about the song I’m reworking, here’s an old video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZyZ6FdmudU