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Satri stars album cover

Announcing ‘stars’ by Satri, an album of Moog and Seaboard synth solos

A gift to myself, a gift to my fans.

stars

stars is a collection of my favorite solos from previous releases, with some of the original tracks shortened and most of them mastered for an enhanced listening experience. As usual these live Animoog, Model 15, Seaboard and Minimoog improvisations are downloadable for free on Bandcamp and available thought most music services including Apple Music and Spotify.

Satri stars album cover

On stars you get selected solos starting with Animoog tracks from my Unanimoog, escape inside the music and Pianimoog •• discoverY albums, then Moog Model 15 tracks from the album of the same name, followed by my ROLI Seaboard tracks from the RISE 42 album. The last track is a Minimoog Model D solo. In the respective announcements you’ll find which presets was used for each improvisation. Here’s one of the Animoog tracks on stars, une vision pour notre futur.

The Minimoog is celebrating 50 years in 2020! Our family trip to the Canary Islands coincided with the beta testing timeframe for the iOS Minimoog Model D synth. The following montage shows photos from Cesar Manrique’s Jardin de Cactus in Lanzarote along with the Seaboard track ‘Thinking about it‘. It is a Strobe2 synth solo with preset ‘AR Stranger Arp 5D‘ improvised on the ROLI Seaboard RISE 49, available on stars. The album’s cover art is also a picture from these gorgeous islands.

Thinking about it – ROLI Seaboard solo, photos from Manrique’s Jardin de Cactus, Lanzarote
Satri at Los Muchachos, La Palma, Canary Islands
at Los Muchachos, La Palma, Canary Islands

intergalactic masters

Current automated online audio mastering services are appealing with their ease of use and 5-minutes delivery time ; upload your track, select a few options and download the resulting mastered track. CloudBounce and LANDR offer such services for a reasonable fee. I haven’t worked with professional audio engineers yet but consider these services did a pretty good job at enhancing the enjoyment of the stars tracks. On the album you get a mix of tracks mastered by CloudBounce and LANDR, as well as a few unmastered tracks given the algorithms had a hard time handling some of the synthesized sounds.

a limitless sonic universe

Our beloved award-winning Animoog was released in 2011 and so much happened since the first wave of mature mobile music apps. Anyone with a tablet or smartphone has access to these ‘appstruments’ and lots of them are sophisticated musical instruments, far from being toy apps on a touch screen.

« I play the synthesizer the same way somebody else would play cello or violin »
— Suzanne Ciani, Patch & Tweak

And it continues to get better on multiple levels ; protocols, hardware and software. Standards are crucial for interoperability and this January, the MIDI 2.0 specification has been officially adopted. MIDI 2.0 capabilities are game changing and pave the way for a blissful musical future. I particularly enjoy the new expressivity opportunities made possible by MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE), and Moog were amongst the first and added support for MIDI MPE in Animoog 2.4 in 2016.

On the hardware realm, on top of the resurgence of modular synthesizers, the past few years brought plentiful new synths, controllers and other tools. The ROLI Seaboard and its ‘5 dimensions of touch’ is one of them I’ve been lucky to get familiar with. Moreover since RISE 42, I usually play synths with Audiofront’s hands-liberating MIDI Expression interfaces, which I wholeheartedly recommend – I’m slowly preparing a post explaining how I’m leveraging these devices.

On the software side, there are tens of new worthwhile synths and music apps launched yearly. In addition to unmatched mobility, those appstruments are diverse and affordable. If you’re curious to discover what’s available, I recommend Jakob Haq’s music apps top lists and his outstanding reviews. We even have access to an excellent open source and free mobile synth, AudioKit’s Synth One.

a universe of digital musical instruments to explore

I care

Sincere thanks to all of you for listening to my music and your support. Special kudos to the ones amongst you whom directly contributed to my projects through Bandcamp contributions or other means. For instance I recently got contacted by Eli Schwanz, the third nice person whom created a video with one of my Animoog tracks ; his FORESTSSS FORTRESSS video with the ‘and dance‘ track from the ‘Unanimoog, escape into the music‘ album (track not available on stars though). Thanks Eli!

Eli Schwanz’s FORESTSSS FORTRESSS video featuring my Animoog solo ‘and dance

engage

I hope you’ll enjoy stars dear synth enthusiasts. It took a while in the making and I’m readying myself to dive into new sonic dimensions.

These stars are where I come from,
I’m eager to show you where I’m going.
The stars are where we’re coming from,
I’m eager to discover where we’re going.

I’ll also try to complete and publish some Animoog-related posts, I accumulated lots I’d like to share with you :-)

Kind regards — Alex / Satri

Announcing ‘RISE 42’ by Satri, an Album of ROLI Seaboard RISE 49 Solos

I recently turned 43 and I am proud to give you —= RISE 42 =— , my fifth music album. It entirely consists of improvised solos played live on the innovative and multiple award-winning ROLI Seaboard RISE 49 keyboard. I particularly enjoyed the freedom it provides for exploring and playing with soundscapes in new ways.

I acquired my Seaboard near my 42th birthday. Over the past year, about once in a week when the girls were asleep, I recorded these 42 tracks for ‘RISE 42’  — showcasing for an hour and a half what this modern keyboard can sound like

 

I’m rather happy with the result of these explorations, especially given it’s pure freetronica; electronic music improvised live in a single take, just like my three previous albums made of Animoog and Model 15 solos. Here’s the album cover for RISE 42, leveraging a fortunate photo I took while traveling and getting started with the album.

The Seaboard RISE is a controller and needs a synth to make sound. I leveraged a diversity of presets from ROLI’s Equator synth as well as FXpansion’s Strobe2 synth, the two being bundled with the Seaboard.

Both Equator and Strobe2 offer many impressive presets which provide a wealth of sonic expressivity when connected to a MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) -capable controller such as the Seaboard RISE

Here’s one of my favorite tracks on the album named Snow falling slowly, improvised live on March 14th with the Equator Broomstick preset during a significant snow storm in Montreal. Just like for Animoog tracks, quality headphones are required to fully enjoy the depth of those sounds.

The saturated audio segments present on some of the tracks are a good example that these are indeed live improvisations in multiple sound dimensions, where exploring the edges of live sound manipulation can lead to sound saturation.

At some point I inadvertently had the standalone Equator synth launched at the same time as the Equator Audio Unit plugin version. This unplanned but happy combination resulted in tracks which showcase two presets simultaneously. The RISE 42 track list provided below indicates which presets has been used.

The following track named ‘Confiance’ has been improvised June 17th with Equator’s Little Master Synth preset. It shows how precise the control we have on the Seaboard RISE can be.

The Seaboard RISE’s keys, named keywaves, are made of silicon and are very sensitive to multidimensional pressure, allowing you to glide your fingers not only left and right, but up and down while varying the downward pressure at the mean time. Each finger expression is considered individually, a significant evolution over the classic MIDI standard. MPE-compatible synths and presets take advantage of this potential of expressivity at the tip of our fingers. You’ve been witness of the decision process before I bought my Seaboard RISE 49 when I published last year the article on two popular MPE-compatible controllers, the LinnStrument and the ROLI Seaboard.

At the time I wondered if I would like the Seaboard after trying it, now I know the answer’s yes!

Since then I’ve been lucky to have experimented with the Haken Continuum fingerboard at MUTEK 2017 and I felt it’s quite different to play and full of potential as well.

The next track, ‘Empire‘ has been improvised with Equator’s Dark Hall Synth Lead preset on March 8.

I owe immense gratitude to my wife and daughters for having supported the making of this album, on top of our crowded family schedule. The next picture is work from one of my wonderful daughters who knows well her dad, showcasing a doll with the music gear I play with and love — you’ll recognize Animoog and the Seaboard :-)

The following track named ‘Field trip‘ has been played on February 4th with the preset named TX Saturated Tremolo Texture 5D, the day I started recording FXpansion’s Strobe2 tracks with my Seaboard RISE.

If you like my music, get all my albums for free and do what you want with them! They’re all released under a Creative Commons license. Immense thanks in advance for any support and I hope you’ll enjoy listening and discovering what the Seaboard RISE and those presets have to offer. The CC-BY Creative Commons license means the tracks are free to anyone to copy, use and transform. Let me know if you mix or use RISE 42 tracks for your projects, I’m eager to hear the results!

In addition to being free on Bandcamp, the album is available on all major streaming services and digital stores such as…

Apple Music:

Spotify:

Google Play:

I hope you’ll enjoy RISE 42, thanks for listening :-) — Alex / Satri

RISE 42 tracks

 track nametimeimprovisation recording dateplayed with preset
01Diving underwater1:002016-12-10unknown
02Listening carefully2:072016-12-10Equator
Faeries Synth
03Coming back to share3:212016-12-18Equator
Granular Flute & Analog Funk Lead
04Raise the castle2:472016-12-18unknown
05Welcome dead year0:452017-01-01Equator
CLAPS Analog Splash
06Open Passage3:402017-01-07unknown
07Interlude %0:552017-01-07Equator
Analog Funk Lead & Mono Razor Lead
08Aquarium3:152017-01-07Equator
Little Master Synth & Press Control Overtone Series
09Toying around0:482017-01-07Equator
Magic Toy Piano
10Slowly disappearing4:082017-01-14Equator
Antarctic Pad
11strobetwo1:332017-02-04Strobe2
KB Wah Clavinetti 5D
12White flash1:242017-02-04Strobe2
TX Ambient Vocal Steps 5D
13Field trip2:542017-02-04Strobe2
TX Saturated Tremolo Texture 5D
14Offset1:282017-02-17Equator
Tuned Ethno Clave
15Petite pause2:022017-02-17Strobe2
PD Cold Wash 5D
16Cosmonaut suit0:482017-02-17Strobe2
TX Deep Space Communication 5D
17Frontière subite1:572017-02-17Strobe2
WI Soft Woodreed 5D
18Empire3:322017-03-08Equator
Dark Hall Synth Lead
19Snow falling slowly2:472017-03-14Equator
Broomstick
20Volzez1:222017-03-14Equator
Basic Erhu
21Petite souris1:542017-03-19Equator
Dark Dragon Bass
22Sombre forêt2:542017-03-19Equator
Breath Flute
23L'aigle perdu5:022017-03-19Strobe2
LD Mashroom Head Lead 5D
24Serpent1:522017-03-27Strobe2
LD Psychedelic Overdrive Lead 5D
25L'essaim2:292017-03-27Strobe2
TX Saturated Tremolo Texture 5D
26A light3:102017-04-09Equator
Dolce Digital Reed
27Scarred2:302017-04-21Strobe2
KB Fantasy Organ 5D
28L'étranger sous la pluie1:332017-04-21Strobe2
LD Rez Square 5D
29newground1:402017-04-30Strobe2
BA Cheap 101 5D
30Overboard1:282017-04-30Equator
Classic Acid Bass
31The door is open1:192017-05-22Equator
Vintage Mono Lead
32Confiance1:202017-06-17Equator
Little Master Synth
33Thinking about it2:232017-07-28Strobe2
AR Stranger Arp 5D
34One dimension flashlight1:392017-09-01Strobe2
AR Cold Frequency 5D
35Off target0:372017-09-03Strobe2
AR Stranger Arp 5D
36In the 501:442017-09-03Strobe2
AR Stranger Arp 5D
37Inroads5:342017-09-09Strobe2
AR Over The Mountains 5D
38An alternative2:062017-09-16Strobe2
AR Pulse Dream Runner 5D
39A silence within1:562017-09-16Strobe2
SY Sync Or Swim 5D
40
Denizens2:122017-09-16Equator
Little Master Synth
41Little star0:332017-11-03Strobe2 & Equator
AR Punchy Bass Arper 5D & Elektro 2000 Bass
42make a wish1:272017-11-03Strobe2
LD Mashroom Head Lead 5D
Track list for the 'RISE 42' album by Satri

 

Announcing ‘Pianimoog •• discoverY’, Free MIDI-Controlled Animoog Solos

[ en français ici ]

Welcome! I’m one of many who thinks that we’re experiencing new levels of ‘live music creation’ thanks to the recent advances in computing. Even though their existence mainly consists of computer algorithms, today’s music creation apps really are ‘new musical instruments’ and are progressively gaining greater widespread recognition. One of these popular new musical instruments is the award-winning Animoog app by Moog Music. I happen to be a enamored of Animoog! :-)

Animoog allows us to play the synthesizer like never before. I sincerely hope more musicians will discover its amazing expressiveness capabilities

Pianimoog_cover

It’s my pleasure to present to you my second album of improvised Animoog solos named ‘Pianimoog •• discoverY’. This time these improvised single-preset solos leverage a classic external MIDI piano controller to create Animoog tracks. They are provided raw, no sequencing or external effects applied in any way — what you hear is how it sounded played live. Anyone with the Animoog app and an affordable MIDI controller can play similar tracks live.

Don’t expect perfect execution ~~ it’s live single-take improvisations! What’s great about it is you can play similar tracks yourself by launching Animoog and selecting the same preset. This genre of music is named ‘freetronica’: electronic music played live without any part of the track pre-recorded. No excuses and no preparation required: pick the instrument and have fun exploring sounds!

You don’t have to like all of the album. The list of presets I played is provided and helps you identify sounds and melodies you can play yourself on Animoog even with little or no previous experience with this novel musical instrument

Next is the ‘Recording decades’ video, 10th out of 29 tracks on the album. The track leverages the ‘Apocalead’ preset from Alba Ecstasy, and yes, it’s monophonic: a single note played at a time for the whole track.

An affordable M-Audio KeyRig 49 was used on the first track and I then continued on my old Roland RD-300SX MIDI keyboard. No sustain or expression pedals were used, just the raw Animoog app played from the MIDI keyboard. For the ‘Retenue’ track, I played one hand on the Roland and the other on the iPad. Tracks are offered in chronological order, the listener being able to appreciate the evolution in my discovery of playing Animoog from a MIDI controller within the 5 months it took me to put to record the tracks during spare time. Credit is given to the sound designers for each preset I used.

The main drawbacks of using a classic MIDI controller are the loss of precise polypressure control, one of the best expressive capabilities of Animoog , and the loss of the sliding finger gesture. The use of an alternative MIDI controller may alleviate these shortcomings.

Next is ‘A beginner’s demo’ video. This track leverages the ‘4072 – Finger Detune’ preset from Vintage Vibe collection. It’s another monophonic track, one note at a time for the whole track, but this time I modified some of the preset’s parameters while playing, showcasing how a preset can sound different by tweaking it live. 

By watching the ‘I dream of wires’ documentary I understood where Animoog comes from and its roots in modular synthesizer, and in the process came to believe that Animoog’s potential has much remaining to be explored.

My previous album, ‘Unanimoog, escape inside the music’, featured raw improvised Animoog solos played live directly on the iPad. I was deeply honoured by the kind words of encouragement from many listeners and music publications, some nice strangers paid up to 15$ for it while is it available for free. I also felt privileged when Moog Music featured the album on their front page. I confirm all of this motivated me and I’m delighted to offer you this third album.

Next video is for ‘Le secret du nucléaire’. This track leverages the ‘WhereUpress’ preset from Daemian. It’s a melodic polyphonic track.

The ‘Pianimoog •• discoverY’ album is ‘unmastered’, the sound levels of the raw tracks have not been corrected and no adjustments were done to convey an enhanced listening experience. These types of sounds and performances are best enjoyed by listening with quality headphones. The visuals for the tracks have been so far created using the amazing Uzu app. My two Animoog albums are brought forward by the Apptronica label, a warm and welcoming home for several ‘iOS musicians’. The album is freely available on Bandcamp and available in many other places online. Tracks are available under the CC-BY Creative Commons license and consequently, free to anyone to copy, use and transform.

Thank you for your interest in my musical projects, I hope you enjoy Animoog as much as I do! — Alex / Satri

Listen and get the album: https://www.animoog.org/satri/pianimoog

Info and links: