This page, like most pages on my website, is a work in progress. If you have questions you'd like answered here, comment below, or write a question on your own website and send me a webmention! Philosophy Why did you build a modular synthesizer? At first I was just curious to see if I could… Read more...

Sequencing my synth with tidal cycles (live coding languages/environment), wirelessly!
Tidal generates midi, m2o turns it into osc messages which are received by the #raspberrypi, which in turn send messages to an #arduino using ttymidi (midi over serial/USB). I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this for months and finally figured it out.
Tl;DR? live-coded generative analog beats
#synthdiy #modular #synthjam


Sequencing my synth with tidal cycles (live coding languages/environment), wirelessly!
Tidal generates midi, m2o turns it into osc messages which are received by the #raspberrypi, which in turn send messages to an #arduino using ttymidi (midi over serial/USB). I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this for months and finally figured it out.
Tl;DR? live-coded generative analog beats
#synthdiy #modular #synthjam


quick lunch break patch: using boolean logic (AND) to generate funky rhythms. master clock goes into the AND module with various stuff (lfos, jk flip flop, clock divider) to generate sort-of random but in-time triggers. bassline sequenced using a shift register going into an r/2r ladder (great lunetta trick!). figured out how to make a pretty good kick sound with my resonant low pass filter.. thump thump! #analog #drummachine #synthjam #synthdiy

https://chrisbeckstrom.com/feed/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/igB3zjk0.jpg

quick lunch break patch: using boolean logic (AND) to generate funky rhythms. master clock goes into the AND module with various stuff (lfos, jk flip flop, clock divider) to generate sort-of random but in-time triggers. bassline sequenced using a shift register going into an r/2r ladder (great lunetta trick!). figured out how to make a pretty good kick sound with my resonant low pass filter.. thump thump! #analog #drummachine #synthjam #synthdiy

https://chrisbeckstrom.com/stream/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/igXwGITx.jpg

Between getting dinner, baby time, and cleaning food out of our dying fridge, I built a thing! I’ve been learning about Serge modular synthesizers and this one is inspired by them. Amazing what you can make with a $.60 chip (lm324 quad op amp), some resistors, and some passive components. Also: just started using stripboard instead of perfboard and it is amazing #synthdiy #serge #slope #analog


Between getting dinner, baby time, and cleaning food out of our dying fridge, I built a thing! I’ve been learning about Serge modular synthesizers and this one is inspired by them. Amazing what you can make with a $.60 chip (lm324 quad op amp), some resistors, and some passive components. Also: just started using stripboard instead of perfboard and it is amazing #synthdiy #serge #slope #analog


Last night’s patch: Generative sequencing (mostly) without a sequencer! An oscillator goes into a divider which spits out divisions (/2, 3, 4, etc) which then goes into a multiplexer (fancy Sequencing mixer). Basically it takes 8 inputs and sends one of those to the output. In this case it is taking 8 divisions of the main oscillator and sending 1 out at a time, which sounds like arpeggios! Which input makes it to the output is controlled by a bunch of clocks and inverters to make things interesting. Everything is clocked with 16th note pulses from an arduino connected to a raspberry pi running Pure data, which is connected to ableton link. That’s how the drums on my phone- from elastic drums- are in time with the modular. The root pitch of the oscillator is modulated by a r/2r ladder, which takes the output of a shift register and converts it to an analog signal (I think part of the buchla source of uncertainty is similar to this). I do use a regular linear sequencer in this patch, but only to modulate the amount of dry arpeggios we hear vs amount of low pass filtered. #synthdiy #generative #electro

https://chrisbeckstrom.com/feed/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ig4xHyTP.jpg

Last night’s patch: Generative sequencing (mostly) without a sequencer! An oscillator goes into a divider which spits out divisions (/2, 3, 4, etc) which then goes into a multiplexer (fancy Sequencing mixer). Basically it takes 8 inputs and sends one of those to the output. In this case it is taking 8 divisions of the main oscillator and sending 1 out at a time, which sounds like arpeggios! Which input makes it to the output is controlled by a bunch of clocks and inverters to make things interesting. Everything is clocked with 16th note pulses from an arduino connected to a raspberry pi running Pure data, which is connected to ableton link. That’s how the drums on my phone- from elastic drums- are in time with the modular. The root pitch of the oscillator is modulated by a r/2r ladder, which takes the output of a shift register and converts it to an analog signal (I think part of the buchla source of uncertainty is similar to this). I do use a regular linear sequencer in this patch, but only to modulate the amount of dry arpeggios we hear vs amount of low pass filtered. #synthdiy #generative #electro

https://chrisbeckstrom.com/stream/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/igshH5C4.jpg

Quick Experiment with my new Raspberry Pi Zero module (lower left box second from the right with 4 orange leds). The Rpi is running Pure Data. I built a 4 voice step sequencer that is synced to ableton link (wirelessly! So cool!) all in PD. I program the sequencer using Touchosc on my phone, which sends OSC messages to PD to tell it which steps to make active. PD connects to an arduino and sends midi messages over USB, which in turn the arduino uses to generate short voltages (ie triggers, the blinky lights you see). These voltages then trigger sounds on the modular!
Also running Elastic Drums on my phone, which is also synced wirelessly through Link, then mixed with the modular. Also using my new linear feedback shift register noise module (noise clap sound) and another arduino programmed as a VCO.
WHEW! OK back to work now
#synthdiy #raspberrypi #abletonlink #modular #elasticdrums #arduino # funky

https://chrisbeckstrom.com/feed/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/igMV21pi.jpg

Quick Experiment with my new Raspberry Pi Zero module (lower left box second from the right with 4 orange leds). The Rpi is running Pure Data. I built a 4 voice step sequencer that is synced to ableton link (wirelessly! So cool!) all in PD. I program the sequencer using Touchosc on my phone, which sends OSC messages to PD to tell it which steps to make active. PD connects to an arduino and sends midi messages over USB, which in turn the arduino uses to generate short voltages (ie triggers, the blinky lights you see). These voltages then trigger sounds on the modular!
Also running Elastic Drums on my phone, which is also synced wirelessly through Link, then mixed with the modular. Also using my new linear feedback shift register noise module (noise clap sound) and another arduino programmed as a VCO.
WHEW! OK back to work now
#synthdiy #raspberrypi #abletonlink #modular #elasticdrums #arduino # funky

https://chrisbeckstrom.com/stream/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ig90qOdK.jpg

This weekend’s patch: here is what it looks and sounds like when I use all my patch cables (alligator clips). Using lots of CV and logic feedback to create a self-playing noodle. A 4-step shift register going into a digital to analog converter (r2r resistor ladder) is the modulating the pitch of a VCO. Also: tons of other stuff is happening 😂#synthdiy

https://chrisbeckstrom.com/feed/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/igPvFiPj.jpg

This weekend’s patch: here is what it looks and sounds like when I use all my patch cables (alligator clips). Using lots of CV and logic feedback to create a self-playing noodle. A 4-step shift register going into a digital to analog converter (r2r resistor ladder) is the modulating the pitch of a VCO. Also: tons of other stuff is happening 😂#synthdiy

https://chrisbeckstrom.com/stream/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/igYml31N.jpg

Late last night I built a 16 bit Fibonacci linear feedback shift register. What is it? A psuedo-random gate source (repeats every 65,535 clock pulses). Clock it slow and it’s random gates; clock it fast and it’s a white noise generator, but with a different character than transistor-based noise. Never thought I’d make something so geeky. I think the Buchla "source of uncertainty" contains a similar circuit. Literally got the circuit from Wikipedia; just used some cmos logic chips I had and voila! #synthDiy #cmos #noise #lfsr #synthNerd