lauantai 26. joulukuuta 2015

Sigma in Kytopia

Modulation  24th of January. Kytopia. Utrecht.

    •    Sigma
    •    The Heisenberg Compensators
    •    Kubus von Kubus

Oudegracht 245, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Doors open at 19:30, end event around 23:00.

Ticketlink and more info to follow via this list, save the date, keep an eye on our facebook event:

maanantai 21. joulukuuta 2015

Portable Eurorack case project

I have been searching a compact case for my new Eurorack-modular and now I found this old Sony broadcast videocamera case for just 10€. It needs some refurbishing so that I can fit in it two 6U 104HP eurorack frames. It is not a beauty but 416HP places sound good and it's light. It's also so compact that it should meet the carry-on requirements for major airlines.

torstai 10. joulukuuta 2015

Dick Raaijmakers A Monograph

I got a nice pre-christmas precent from my wife; A Monograph of Dick Raaijmakers. It contains 447 pages information of Raaijmakers visual works - theatrical and sculptural pieces. His electronic music compositions are well documented in two CD box sets "The Complete Tape Music of Dick Raaijmakers"/Basta 2006 and "Popular Electronics"/Basta 2004. Raaijmakers oeuvre is an source of wonder and inspiration. He has worked in six or seven different disciplines: electronic music, performances, installations, music theatre, essays and poetry. Raaijmakers didn't regard himself as a composer. His "composing" was more like choosing and collecting things. He just did his Raaijmaker thing!

Electric Love Blueprint

Big names of electronic music mapped out to the circuit board of a Theremin can be found here ( Great christmas gift for synthesizer enthustiastics !

perjantai 4. joulukuuta 2015

Roland SH-101 and Tubbutec

I ordered from Tubbutec ( new brains for my Roland SH-101. The mod is called SH-1oh1 and it replaces the old 80C49 CPU with new one. This adds MIDI and other new features to SH-101. The features I especially like are:

- additional filter LFO and ADSR
- sequencer remembers 32 sequences with 120 steps each
- programmable clock dividers for arpeggiator, sequencer and random LFO

I must next order from Stereoping ( a nice DIY MIDI-controller for SH-1oh1 modified SH-101. I also ordered a new power-switch and resonance slider-pot from Syntaur ( I replace all the old trimmers to make the adjustment procedures easier (critical trimmers are now multi turn types).

sunnuntai 22. marraskuuta 2015

Modulation in Tivoli

Utrechts Le Guess Who/Modulation gig was nice. The TivoliVredenburg house where this was happening is huge. It has five concert halls Grote Zaal (1717 seats), Ronda (2000), Hertz (543), Pandora (650) and Cloud Nine (400). The maximum capacity of this 45m high building is 7500 visitors!

Allert Aalders was the host of this Modulation concert in Cloud 9 The Pit that is a smaller venue inside this amazing house. Allert owns the Sonar Traffic studio together with Ben Spaander and organises electronic concerts in Kytopia also in Utrecht.

In Tivoli/Modulation evening on friday 20. November (this was a three day happening) there were shows by me as Sigma, Michel Banabila & Radboud Mens and Law-Rah Collective. Nice evening with three complementary performances.

TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht Netherlands
Table full of electronic instruments!
My EMB-synth and small Eurorack case. On top in cardboard box is my MOTM-120 sub-octave multiplexer
Allert Aalders with Sonar Traffic shirt and Banabila & Mens
Radboud Mens
Law-Rah Collective

tiistai 17. marraskuuta 2015


Great source of interviews in this web music magazine ( You can also download a free book ( of interviews of amazing musicians. Here is an interview of Robert Rich (

Heart of a Dog

Here Laurie Anderson talks about her's latest film "Heart of a Dog".

16bit Pseudo Random Generator

My Pseudo Random Generator project has been on background now almost a year (see my blog from 1. and 24. January 2015). TTL-implementation of this circuit is complex. The 24bit version would need separate PCB-boards and a lot of TTL-circuits. So I decided to build a 16bit version and design a dedicated 4-layer PCB-board for it. This way I can fit the core-circuit (shift-register with startup-logic, LED mux & drivers, binary switches, feedback generator and sync-generator) to one PCB-board. When I get this working I can add more functions as the different weighted binary outputs. This circuit can count maximum only to 2^16-1 = 65535 but I think for music purposes it is anyway more interesting to explore these shorter pseudo random sequences.

This circuit would be an ideal PIC micro controller project. With PIC technique the 24bit version would be no problem to implement. The TTL core-circuit needs 28 TTL-chips and takes about 1A power from 5V supply! I think the PIC-version would need only a few chips and some 50-100mA power. At some point I am going to learn to program micro controllers and then I can come back to this project with much powerful technique.

maanantai 9. marraskuuta 2015

Le Quess Who

My next gig as Sigma is in Le Quess Who festival ( in Utrecht (20.11.2015). I am preparing some new stuff to perform there with my Electronic Music Box synthesizer and EWI.

sunnuntai 8. marraskuuta 2015

B-Wave festival and Robert Rich

This week I am going to enjoy B-Wave festival in Belgium. On main stage there is Robert Rich giving a one-time unique concert on European soil. Also on main stage are Radio Massacre International, Space Megalithe and The Tower Tree.

maanantai 26. lokakuuta 2015

Euclidean Sequencer

Godfried T. Toussaint has written a book "The Geometry of Musical Rhythm" where he uses an interesting geometrical representation of rhythms. There are many interesting topics in this book like Euclidean rhythms, Crystallography and rhythms, Radio Astronomy and Flat Rhythms, Deep rhythms and Symmetric rhythms.

The Elements (Stoicheia) is a collection of 13 books written by Greek mathematician Euclid 300BC.These books contain a compilation of algorithms to solve a variety of geometric and number theory problems. One algorithm called the Euclidean algorithm solves the problem of finding the greatest common divisor of two given natural numbers. Whith musical rhythms this means that Euclidean algorithm can be used to find how the beats (number of beats is k) in a sequence (of length n) can be distributed as evenly as possible. The rhythms generated in this way are called Euclidean rhythms and will be denoted by E(k,n). It's interesting how this simple algorithm generates rhythms that are used throughout the world. You can read more about Euclidean rhythms as described by Toussaint in this free paper (

What has this all to do with modular synthesisers ? I bought a Stoicheia DIY-module by Rebel Technology ( from Thonk ( Stoicheia is a dual Euclidean Sequencer that has the Euclidean algorithm programmed in it's Arduino ATMega168 CPU.

You can generate all the max. 16 step length Euclidean sequences with just three control knobs:

1. Starting beat of the sequence that can be rotated left or right
2. The length of the sequence 1-16
3. The number of on-beats from 1 to length of the sequence

These two sequencers can be chained to create sequences longer than 16 steps. You can easily generate as complex as you want rhythms with this simple module.

torstai 22. lokakuuta 2015

Ryuichi Sakamoto and Open Reel Ensemble

Nothing beats real tape recorders.

moiréwith Open Reel Ensemble / Braun Tube Jazz Band(Official)
Posted by Ryuichi Sakamoto Social Project, Korea on 8. lokakuuta 2015

tiistai 20. lokakuuta 2015

Moog Prodigy clone version 1.6

Here are the latest Moog Prodigy clone boards and the front panel. I am very happy with the original Prodigy so I am not going to add many modifications to it functionalities and properties. So far only one mod is implemented and that's the pulse width modulation for both oscillators. You can externally add PWM to oscillators from the front panel jack-inputs. There is also manual PW-adjustment for VCO2 near the VCO2 level adjustment. This is going to be a desktop version of Prodigy with pitch and mod wheels and jack-connections to CV-, VCF-, GATE- and AUDIO-inputs.

Board layouts are adjusted to the potentiometers and switches that I have gathered from different sources. I have also added bypass-capacitors to the original design where needed.

The main board.

This smaller board connects to the main board and contains the envelope potentiometers.

Front panel layout.

sunnuntai 18. lokakuuta 2015

Amsterdam Dance Event 2015

This year ADE had interesting events concerning modular synthesizers and synthesizers in general. In ADE Sound Lab I checked these three interesting lectures:

Cyril Lance, head of engineering and product development in Moog
"Evolving Analog Synths: Using the Past to Reflect the Future"

Roger Linn
Linnstrument development and DEMO

Dave Smith
History of Sequential Circuits/Prophet's and the new Prophet 6

Amazing to see and hear these two legends (Roger Linn, Dave Smith) lecturing at the same event. Dave had a brand new tabletop version of Prophet 6 with him. There was also a Modular Market with hardware from Moog, Roland, Abstract Data and Ginko Synthese. I talked with Abstract Data's Justin Owen about ADE-32 Octocontroller (8-output control,modulation, triggering and pattern module) and ADE-31 Logic Boss logic module. I liked very much the concept behind the Octocontroller and together these modules are very powerful ( There was also short concerts showing the modulars in action. Richard Devine was there also playing his euro-modular setup.

Moog Modular 15

The new Moog Mother 32 and AniMoog

There was also a DIY Moog Werkstatt workshop

The new Roland Juno 106. It sounded good !
Richard Devine performing

keskiviikko 14. lokakuuta 2015

Korg SQ-1

Tip of the week! Korg SQ-1 can be used to convert analog CV-clock to MIDI-clock. It's much cheaper than the boxes that are dedicated to this job and you get also a handy small step-sequencer!

SQ-1 can do this conversion as a clock master or slave. If you want only to do the analog/MIDI clock conversion then you must inactivate all the gate's (gate on/off) and steps (active step). Otherwise SQ-1 will send both the step information (note value and gate) and MIDI-clock. This has allowed me to use an LFO as a master clock and to sync all the other devices (analog and MIDI) to this one clock. With SQ-1 there comes a jack-to-MIDI-cable adapter.

lauantai 10. lokakuuta 2015

EMB Expansion Part Two

Front panel came from Schaeffer AG (notice the candy-box that comes with every order).

These three euro-modules must be moved to the expansion panel.

Expansion in place with to extra euro-modules (Intellijel uScale and uFold).

perjantai 2. lokakuuta 2015

EMB expansion

I designed an expansion panel for my Electronic Music Box synthesizer. It contains my favourite Turing Machine sequencer with Pulses/Voltages expansions. There is also small but handy place for some general Eurorack modules. Next I must combine EMB's separate +-12V and +-15V power supplys to one box.

torstai 1. lokakuuta 2015

Pictures from my NoodleBar gig in Rotterdam/Worm

We had a nice evening in Worm/WunderBar with NoodleBar. There was first a hack-a-stylophone workshop led by sound artist Tasos Stamou from Greece and after that the concert in WunderBar.
LAB (Martijn) started with his big modular setup that created huge modular-soundscape which surrounded us all. Very nice indeed! Then performed our Italian modularist Alberto Novell with his eurorack modules. Nice simple and structured performance. I liked very much the contrast between non synced at tightly synced drum parts. Very organic sound! After this performed our workshop leader Tasos Stamou with his interesting mixed electronic and acoustic setup. Demanding but very interesting music with not so usual instruments. The last performer was me as 1/2 Sigma. This concert was recorded so maybe we can listen it someday from web.
In the train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam.

We had a nice and not so expensive Hotel room from Bazar only 200m from WunderBar. Breakfast was included and it was very good.
My Eurorack modular and EMB. The cardbox contains my Modcan frequency shifter!

LAB's modular wall!
Martijn (right) and me.
Alberto Novell with his Eurorack modules.
Tasos with his mixed instruments. Notice the lamp on the table!
Host of the evening Mr. NoodleBar!

Rouding in Rotterdam Railway Station.

perjantai 25. syyskuuta 2015

DIY one module Modcan case

I need only one of my Modcan MOTM-size modules on my next gig in NoodleBar. So I made temporary case from an cardboard box. Power comes from an external +-15V supply.

keskiviikko 16. syyskuuta 2015

Charles Cohen Interview 19 July 2015

Here is a great fresh interview of Charles Cohen. He speaks about improvisation and listening. Interestingly he refers Duke Ellington how music can be universally accepted:

1. The audience has to have some sense of what is happening physically --> that's why most laptop performances are visually boring
2. Music must be sensual --> love of pure sound
3. The audience has to have some sense that there is a risk in the music --> energy
4. The musicians have to believe what they are doing

Also Pauline Oliveros is referred for deep listening. It's what you are doing with your ears, not what you are doing with your hands.

Cecil Taylor has had a big influence on Charles music. Taylor has said "this music is truth and truth is healing". The process of you expressing yourself is very healing.

I agree with all these points. Please check this video. I hope the extended version of this video appear's very soon.

tiistai 15. syyskuuta 2015

Sigma in NoodleBar

My first gig as Sigma in Netherlands happens at NoodleBar 26.9.2015. Thanks for Monopoly to giving me this opportunity ! I take with me my Electronic Music Box, Euromodule-rack and EWI controlling the Nord MicroModular. Can't wait to get on stage. Here ( you can find more information of this happening and the other performers. See you in Rotterdam/Wunderbar 26.9.2015 !

perjantai 7. elokuuta 2015

Dutch Electronic Music Pioneers

I have been reading Kees Tazelaars book "On The Threshold of Beauty". It is interesting to find out how rich and deep is the history of Dutch electronic music scene. We all know Philips as a technology company but Philips was also of great significance for the development of Dutch electronic music. I like to picturize things so I draw this mind map of the most important composers and studios of this era. If there is only one name that should be mentioned then that would be Dick Raaijmakers. Besides that he composed electronic music he was also a producer and studio-manager. Starting from Philips Research Laboratories he has been involved some way with all these other composers and studios in this map. I think he was also one of the first electronic music popularisers with his alter ego Kid Baltan and the popular electronic music series. Stanley Kubrick contacted him in 1965 and asked if he would be interested to compose music for 2001: A Space Odyssey film. But the composer declined from this offer ! It is interesting that there is no Dutch version of Kraftwerk or Stockhausen even I am sure that both Kraftwerk and Stockhausen checked carefully what these Dutch composers were doing.

My favorite of all these composers is Jan Boerman. He was many years ahead of his time with sound-bank creation/circulation and timbre-composition techniques.

perjantai 31. heinäkuuta 2015

Moog Prodigy Clone progress

Finally got all the switches for Prodigy. My version of Prodigy has similar switches as MG/Opus/Rogue Moogs. PCB-layouts has been corrected for these switches. I must still source some Alpha 24mm potis for VCF Resonance (50k reverse log), LFO-rate (3M reverse log) and Glide (1M log). VCA and VCF-envelope uses also 1M log potis. All the other potentiometers are Bourns Slimline models. The Volume-pot (5k log) is made from 50k lin potentiometer with some tapering resistor (also a small change to an other fixed resistor value).