Virtual Patching

Virtual Patching is not like this. Which is kind of a shame.

Time to write down some self-learning before it evaporates from my memory!

In my song ÄUTODIDACT, I experimented with virtual patches on the microKORG for the first time. This is linking (or patching) one component of a synthesizer to modulate the sound of another component. Back in the day, this would be done with actual cables, but it can now be done digitally (hence ‘virtual’). I’m familiar with this from the KORG DS-10 (which actually has little yellow patch cables you can drag and drop with the stylus!) but I’d never tried it with the mK.

I wanted to create a sound for the crescendo to the first part of the song; a tone that increased in pitch and volume, topping out as the part reaches its climax. I knew I’d handle the gain and panning in the DAW, so all I was worried about was the pitch.

First to get the basic tone. This was just a matter of going through the mK’s voices to find one that sounded like what I had in mind. I could have created one from scratch, but it’s easier (and a lot quicker) to mod an already existing sound. The voice I plumped for, after a brief period of elimination was A46 (or Sync Sweep Lead to give it its full title)

I used two patches to get the sound (the mK can have a max of 4):

Patch 1

Filter EG  > Pitch

This means that the Filter EG (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) modifies the pitch. I set the attack to its maximum value (127), and the patch to maximum level of modulation (63). The result: when a key is held down it gradually increases in pitch until the attack level is reached.

However, this sounded a bit ‘vanilla’ so I made a second patch:

Patch 2

Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO) > Oscillator 2 (OSC2)

This means that the LFO is modulating the mK’s second oscillator. I experimented with different waveforms for the LFO and plumped for a triangular wave with the frequency set to its lowest setting (0). Again the patch is set to maximum modulation (63). The result: a very low frequency triangular wave is applied to the second oscillator. The sound of the pitch increase is intensified.

The sound was a little flat so I added a little stereo delay, with a delay time 40, delay depth 100.

Here is the final result:

And it can be heard in context at 0.55 to 1.20 of ÄUTODIDACT


One response to “Virtual Patching

  1. Pingback: The Beatles Recorded Tomorrow Never Knows in 1966 | projectÄUTODIDACT·

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