Info Sharing Of Gear & JAV

Currently very busy with work and band gigs. Still I am going to keep up updated with a few focused industry news and tiny reviews and recommendations.

--[gear info]--

1) I will make a video tut of my droning technique on Gotharman deMOON, what a fun synth!

2) PC version of [hantera] by smoking bunny is out. remember it? It's an audio manipulation tool built for Machinedrum. But as long as it process audio, it can be used with anything. Big ups for the author to release his software for both PC and Mac.

3) Here we have some more news for step sequencer fans:

Vacoloco GorF 1.0 - The little midi step sequencer kit got some progressions.

Surfin Kangaroo - For how long already since its news firstly come out? Happy to see news about it. Very interesting. For me, still no budget for that recently.
Oh, what's above the Kangaroo sequencer?

Anyway, I would love to say again that there is always the wonderful covert seq, when I want some step sequencing flavor, it never let me down.

4) I've bought bowed piano and gu qin from soniccouture. For so long I've been wanting a beautifully created Chinese instrument library. And this seems the best time to get one. Aftertouch -> Pitchbend / Modwheel -> Glissando ? Such a wonderful idea. I feel very satisfied with this buy after I played it for a while.

Also the Goldbaby Tape-808 sample pack means much for me. This is even better than having a real thing for me for 2 reasons:
1) The recording process is very expensive and super time consuming;
2) I can do all the tricks that can be done with samples, reverse, trims and cuts...it's so lovely to have that kind of freedom with some sweet sounds.

IL Harmless Additive Synth @ 9$ till 31th. I've grabbed it and this is a real no-brainer. Sweet digital sounding and VERY versatile. Between this and gotharman's deMOON, there is a little digital synth heaven.

btw, I decided to pulled the trigger on 2 foh PB's, will be lovely I guess.

--[av info]--

1) The Shiho Miyazaki (宮咲志帆) release on G-Queen is super, even better than her recent great 1-pondo release and H4610 release. What a wonderful actress.

2) For me, the new CATWALK POISON release of ひなのりく(Riku Hinano) sounds just as amazing as unsonsored Azumi Harusaki releases.

3) The new actress Kanna Harumi in Sky Angel Vol.100 looks much like Miku Tanaka, which is one of my fav actresses. Be sure to check her out.



deMOON mkII design / nifflas'sample maker

Been busy with various works, musical or not. Bought 2 books by Stephen Hawking aimed to figure out what my classmates were reading back in high school (maniacal with music so totally NO books back then), but got no time to read.


Programmed a few more patches yesterday night on the deMOON. It is totally unruled. There is A LOT of quirks in there. The distrotion section and minigran can make it sounds like a "circuit-bend" device! WUNDERBAR!

The only thing I hope from it now is a deMOON mkII, I have my design here:
1) a few more buttons on the interface for navigation around;
2) 4 part multitimbral;
3) 4 tracks step sequencers, one per voice, pattern based. Some parameters can be set per step (ctrl1-ctrl3 for e.g.). And a song sequencer to arrange patterns - similar to the nanoloop sequencer;
4) runs on battery.

This will totally rule. And I guess it also will be very popular as glithnerd/chipheads' portable music device.


A vsti in the KVR challenge let me know the 4 cycle synth. It is a little sample maker, which has some interesting designs:

It allows users to make samples by choosing 4 different waveforms, one after another, then several tricks like ring mod can be added to them, finally export the result in a small .wav file - simple! but useful.

It already comes to my mind that the Elektron Monomachine mkII users can enjoy it.

The real interesting part for me is here: it's made by nifflas. The author of the games: Within a Deep Forest/Knytt/Knytt stories!

I've played them all and loved them a lot. They've made to be simple, pixel art style, with beautiful background picture and music, challenging game play and interesting level design. There is even one level editor for the Knytt stories.

I am a big fan of his games, and knowing that he made a little "synth" can make me feel happy like a little girl.



Short review : the covert seq

I've posted a few suggestions about new Machinedrum step sequencing machine and Minicommand step sequencer firmware. They are some of my dream sequencers and can be very useful for most of their users. But now, they do NOT exist! There aren't much for me to do?

- nope, I've met a great step sequencer in the form of ableton live rack - the covert seq.

This thing has a massive amount of thoughts in there, thus make it very complete and useable. There is a hell lot of functions : different seq length/step length, force to scale, randomization, multiple parameters per step...altogether. This is the tool for live users to use when you want some very step sequencing characters in your music.

The down sides being:
1) it's a big rack, so it needs a bit time to load;
2) it's a software, but a step sequencer needs real knobs to be playable - just like you won't be using your mouse pointer as a pick, and keyboard as guitar fretboard. And a controller simply won't do the same;

Summary : Big ups to the author!



xils 3le mini review

Yes, I've grabbed the no-brainer deals offered by audiomidi. I have bought blue tube trackbox and xils 3le va synthesizer. While I am not an audio guru, I can't offer some comparison of trackbox with some hardware channels, I can def say something useful for the xils 3le.

1) xils 3le sounds analog, and I like its character! I don't use many va plugins, so no comparison here, but I do use real analog synthesizers so I can vouch that it does sound analog;

2) it's got some quirks, and some bugs, like a real piece of (old) hardware. Sure the quirks and bugs can give headaches. But I've also had some happy accidents with them. At one time it just deliver full on noise drone when fed with midi notes, which sounds pretty nice, I've recorded the audio (fortunately) and saved the session file (thinking that I can edit the drone later). But the next time I open that session, everything acts normal. It's like ... I've got my VCS3 back from a repair shop.

3) one thing I hate is the matrix panel. It is not as easy to setup or track a singal flow on it as on a virtual wires interface (like most of modular software synth do), and the small size of it make it even harder.

Summary : This $20 is really well spent!


My step sequencer design for ruinwesen minicommand

Here is my design of a minicommand sequencer. Simple, straight forward, yet very powerful. Analog seq style interface (one parameter, many steps at once, contrast to one step, many parameters at once, which elektrons use).

I don't know how to do any minicommand coding yet so I am going to share the idea here 1st, also make a little document for me to come back and check when I have the ability to do it.


multitrack midi step sequencer, with 4 sub-tracks per track : note,velocity and 2 cc's. Each track can have different length and tempo division.


left up - hold and turning encoders to set:
encoder1 - current track
encoder2 - current editing sub-track (note,velocity,cc1,cc2)
encoder3 - cc1 assignment
encoder4 - cc2 assignment

left down - hold and turning encoders to set:
encoder1 - tempo
encoder2 - tempo division
encoder3 - seq length
encoder4 - midi ch


right up button - prev page
right down button - next page

4 steps per page
e.g, note 1-4 on page1, 5-8 on page2, 9-12 on page3, 13-16 on page4


If someone with the technique that would like to make this happen, that'd be very lovely.



New Logo


designed by my wife WYJ

How To Control Gotharman deMOON With BCR2000

The deMOON synthesizer is a very unique digital polysynth made by Gotharman from denmark. I love its sound very much, the sound engine is also deep.

But as you can see, the 4 knobs are far from enough for a synth like this. IMO it's the biggest barrier between my mind and its sound engine. After I made this template, I am surprised at how much more possibilities I can get from the little box.

Every parameter on this box that can be controlled by midi, is here. Now you can tweak a deMOON like tweaking a moog voyager. *fun*

[tea time synth programming]




Here are the layouts of my template:

1) OSC ENV Page

2) FLT Page

3) LFO Page


Download Template

Download BCFREdit Software (by Birdie)


I've searched hard for a nice video formant converter, and find this one very good. Try it if you are not satisfied with your current one.



More Shares

Recently, I really come from being a alternative midi controller freak, to the point of becoming a sequencer freak - I don't really need them, I don't really use them in my production (yet) but I still keep looking for them - keep typing "midi step sequencer" or something similar, in the up right corner of my firefox.

Here are my new shares of newly found software sequencers:

1) Glitch Sequencer
This is one is a unique sequencer, based on cellular automaton. Rich in features. I have some thoughts to improve this sequencer and I am currently in the progress of a friendly discussion with its author. I am currently most interested in this one.

2) Little-Scale Launchpad Sequencers
I have a Launchpad currently in US, my good old classmate will bring it to me in Jan. The 2 wonderful softwares that little-scale had programmed are great things for ppl with launchpad. The liner sequencer can be useful and the ripple sequencer looks extremely fun - joins real time playing and step time sequencing together. And one more advantage is they're designed for a hardware interface.
This↑, this↓
and this↓
and more... generally shows how a affordable interface with openness and affect the homebrew coding community and create a trend. Mass production is a good thing if made open.

3) Motif/Drums and Bass line/
I don't understand how they work. Some changes made on the interface don't affect the sound and there are a number of presets without sound?


I've got my nanoloop 1.5. Gave it a little playing yesterday. The design is very simple and logical. The sound is freaking great and functions are useful.

It's my TB-303.


Tonebytes Bend-Box can be useful:

I've downloaded it long ago and simply ignored it - there are too many lame synthedit creations so I gradually lose my interests in trying them out. But a test today surprised me - this vsti sounds nice. It can be useful someday.


And I'd like to share this database for a nice collection of freeware plugins. Categorized and with discriptions of the website author.


Today I've found a DS app called tonesynth, it is similar to the tonematrix:
But this one has more adjustable parameters. Get it here:



About soft stepseq and my deMOON midi control mapping

I've shared some finds of alternative midi sequencers in my previous blog. But wizardmaster WMCP was the only one I've been playing for the previous a few days!

WMCP is beautiful, free and very smartly designed! Straight forward design, monophonic per instance, but multiple instances is possible, with all independent tempo, length. You can only manually sync them, do poly rhythm and much more... very wizardmaster, very fun.

It's great on any synth that accept using program changes to select patches. And there is a little extra work (compared to some other soft seq) if you want it to play a single patch.


And there is always the lovely... Seq303 by technotoys.


One more software step seq share:
I don't like the interface because it imitates a hardware and it's not designed very well.
Anyway no complains because it is free. Just the above 2 are better IMO.


I've been doing some kind of midi controller mapping for ths whole afternoon for the deMOON. Using the mass available, cheap and very full featured bcr2000. I've tried a few workarounds to make sense the best way. And I feel very satisfied with the progression. Now every parameter is laid out and mapped in a logical way.

By using my mapping for the deMOON I suddenly unlocked the sonic beast lies within this little box. It is totally unique and extreme. Now I love this synth even more.

After I fine tune my mapping, I will share the files, write a tutorial and shot some videos for it.



Interesting Software Sequencers and more

I'd like to share things online. One reason being letting people more people know them, so the development can be pushed futher. Everyone benefits. The other is making little bookmarks for myself, so I can come back and check when I want them in the future.


I've been looking for something interesting to play my synthesizers with. Not I have any trouble in getting new inspirations and writing them down, but I would love something unusual and fun to play, and yet can be productive too!

Here I share some of my finds and a little notes by me. I'll focus on standalone appz, for plugins you can do an easy search on kvr.

>Monophonic, free, small, beautiful, crazy and funny. Wizardmaster is one of my heroes in the software world.

>Polyphonic, free, coding. This one is realtime coding enabled software sequencer.

3)Políssonos By Rui Penha
>Polyphonic, free, interesting interface. This one has got a nice new interface for sequencer software. This one eats more cpu than others. Old computers beware.

>Polyphonic, 25$, interesting interface, powerful. This looks full of fun!

5)Software Klee
>Polyphonic, 40$, famous design.

Note that I haven't tried all these yet so impressions could be wrong.


How great Elektron Machinedrum is? Just look at the sheer number and quality of the accessories that people create for it! minicommand, empty magic and now here comes the [hantera]. Instead of delivering smart control methods. This one works totally in audio domain. As interesting as it is, sadly I can't try it because it is currently mac only. A PC version would be very lovely!




Synth/Controller/Save Plants

Been working on my new tracks in the recent days.

The Moog Voyager sounds creamy smooth and bottom-heavy. I worked to make some complex modulated patches using the modulation possiblities delivered by its OS. I'll use those patches in my new tracks. I love this piece more and more.

The Gotharman deMOON sounds digitally rough, which gives its sound a nice edgy to cut through any mix. And it sounds cold as hell, and some patches are very inspiring! Cool little synth!

For me, if I want analogue, I want it to be totally analogue, if I want it digital, it better be as digital as possible too.


Just ordered a 2nd hand R&W minicommand 2 days ago. Should be getting it in a week. That's a re-programable midi controller, which is a really a nice thing to have. It is now a bit hard to obtain, I feel very satisfied that I can get one finally!

It would be the best friend of my Machinedrum - functionally; and the best friend of my deMOON - cosmetically!

That's also one of the "3 best things announced in 2008" named by myself, I've said that to my wife and she pretty much agreed. ;D Now there are only 2 left on the list. They are : Diablo 3 and Statcraft 2...lol


Now go to support this "forest saving" thing. Some of these "commonweal associations" are pretty crazy, too subjective and sometimes even ignorant. And I didn't invest time to research in this association below.

Anyway, I love plants, do you?



New studio setup and gears

1) New setup, new laptop

There were many external and internal reasons that my music carrer is in a kind of idle in recent years. Not anymore. I've picked up my passion and interests back and this is the right time to build a small studio!

For my new studio and live setup I've bought a laptop. Lenovo Thinkbook R400 A64. This computer is great, very tough, light in weight and fast in processing speed. All unnecessary things are cut off to save money - No webcam, no fingerprint lock, no fancy video card. Just a fuckload of computer power for me to mess around. I simply love it.


2) Free mass file management tool

I've been almost all setting up studio space and copying files between computers this week. For mass file copying, I must recommend this tool for you:


RTFM and this tool is really easy to use.


3) deMOOON

Arrived today, very nice little device. This is a synth with an *exact* sound character that I love. It can sound like glory, nostalgia or destory. Gotharman is nice enough to offer me an endorsement. I will make a detailed review and a dedicated demo song for it. Stay tuned. I will be using it a lot for sure!



4) Walking stick

I've got the walking stick from ribboncontrollers.com. This thing is an art in itself. Feels solid in hands and the touch surface is very silky. You can't set the response of velocity, you can only set the *range* of it. Firstly I found this annoying, but later I get more and more comfortable with its response. This is the same as every acoustic instrument so it's not a bad point at any means. I love this product.



5) Check out 青山ひかる(Hikaru Aoyama) if you are interested in cute girls and jap av. What a cute slut!



1st blog

Welcome to the blog of Meng Qi.

A blog written by a musician/synthesizer freak

This is the 1st blog.

Warning : This blog is totally personal, don't blame me for being subjective, people are subjective. The more objective they think they are, they are more into the oppisite, aren't they?


My family bought me a 46" TV, a water saving closestool. I also have a CV velocity ribbon controller and a Gotharman deMOON currently on road (Thank you Gotharman!). New laptop will be bought tomorrow and also I've new unsensored Azumi Harusaki videos. And a new cat (there will be 3 cats @ my home)

New studio will be set, new workflow will be set, new synth sound will be programmed and I can watch more Azumi on the new 46".

Do you see a hint of "new life" ?
I do.


There is one topic that I'd like to get deeper into. Is the "response of all alternative musical controller builders". I've got in contact with many of them and you can find my comments in line, I didn't included the links to the companies that didn't do well in the process but the case is that you've already know them so there is even less need for me to type their urls.

Walking Stick / www.ribboncontrollers.com
Responding fast and well. I've bought one velocity version, as you've read above.

Sonic Palette / www.sonicpal.com
Conversation was nice and well, but he is not ready yet to release his new SP09 controllers. I've waited for 2 monthes just to get my money refunded. Very sad but he is easy to talk to.

Opal / www.theshapeofmusic.com
Friendly, but they are currently not taking orders for Genko, while the other model costs 2000 UKP a piece.

Eigenlabs / Eigenlabs
Responding fast and well, but later after he began to figure out my order process, response stopped.

AxIS 64 / C-thru music
Not responding well and later stopped responding.

Ztar / Starrlabs
Delays in responses and later stopped responding.

My point is for such a SMALL market, why so many companies' services are SUCH bad? To the point that they seems to hate money. For sure they don't have many competitors but I guess they don't have many buyers too. You usually can't find replacement for their products, but the truth is that you can live without one, pretty much.