Tag Archives: video

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 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


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

‘I Dream of Wires’ Documentary, Animoog’s Origins

In a nutshell, if you’d like to understand where Animoog comes from, from the very beginning of sound synthesis and modular synthesizers up to now, I strongly encourage you to watch the ‘I dream of wires’ documentary.

When I discovered and fell in love with Animoog, I knew very little of electronic music — its origins and history. While I’ve been slowly learning, I watched ‘I dream of wires’ over the weekend and not only numerous pieces of the puzzle found their place, but I learned much in this information-packed documentary.

While the documentary focuses on the modular synthesizer, I consider it really helps understanding where Animoog comes from — its sound design capabilities and even its user interface. Animoog is even shown for a second or two in the documentary itself, the only app to make an appearance.

This documentary was also inspiring to me at multiple levels. I hope it will do the same to you. Here’s the trailer. Enjoy! — Alex / Satri

Videos: Understanding Animoog Sound Design

While Animoog.org launched over 18 months ago, we haven’t published Animoog video tutorials, until now! The first set of videos I’m proposing, from Dubspot instructor Matt Cellitti, are from 2012! But despite their age, content is still pretty pertinent.

I particularly invite you to watch the first two 10-minutes videos which focus on understanding how sound design works in Animoog. While I consider myself more of an Animoog player than a sound designer, it quickly become useful to learn how to shape and sculpt Animoog presets to your taste. The videos obviously don’t cover everything Animoog players should know, but it’s an excellent introduction and chances are you’ll learn useful things you didn’t know. So here they are!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Hope you’ll learn something useful in there! :-) — Alex / Satri

Satri’s Animoog solo ‘And back to space’ video

Please allow this entry focusing on what I do on Animoog

Satri’s And back to space video

I’m happy to present to you my second video for the ‘Unanimoog, escape inside the music [Unmastered]’ album. It’s for the 45th track named ‘And back to space’ which is a solo improvised with the Animoog app. Playing a single Animoog preset in solo is just like playing a raw violin solo: a single instrument played live without loops, sequencing or external effects. Because of the expansive frequency content and harmonic complexity of Moog’s Animoog iPad app, along with the heavy presence of stereo ping-pong in the preset, please wear high end headphones to fully enjoy the track. All of this work is licensed as Creative Commons CC-BY.

Liked the track? My latest album contains 47 such Animoog solos, leveraging numerous different presets. Learn more about it here and listen to it.

The whole video is made from a single run of the iTunes visualizer. Anyone with a Mac or Windows computer and the free iTunes software can make similar videos live, that’s several hundred millions people! The entry for my first and similar video for the ‘Curious explorer’ track details the iTunes visualizer shortcuts, even the hidden ones, and tells you how to make the best out of it. I’m also working on a longer article which would provide even more details.

Enjoy! Alex / Satri

‘Curious explorer’ Animoog solo video with iTunes visualizer

This entry is about what might well be the very first Animoog app solo video. The video itself is made with iTunes’s built-in visualizer

Satri’s Curious explorer video

I’m happy to present to you my first video for my ‘Unanimoog, escape inside the music [Unmastered]’ album. It’s for its fifth track named ‘Curious explorer’ which is a solo improvised on the Animoog app with the ‘Daemian 1 – Phatty Saw’ preset. Playing a single Animoog preset in solo is just like playing a raw violin solo: a single instrument played live without loops, sequencing or external effects. Because of the expansive frequency content and harmonic complexity of Moog’s Animoog iPad app, along with the heavy presence of stereo ping-pong in the Phatty Saw preset, please wear high end headphones to fully enjoy the track. All of this work is licensed as Creative Commons CC-BY.

Liked the track? My latest album contains 47 such Animoog solos, leveraging numerous different presets. Learn more about it here and listen to it.

The whole video is made from a single run of the iTunes visualizer. Anyone with a Mac or Windows computer and the free iTunes software can make similar videos live, that’s several hundred millions people! I recorded the video with Quicktime, which can record a screencast. I however had to change the screen resolution of my old mac to the lowest possible (1280 x 720 pixels) to reduce the stuttering during recording. The simple montage was made in iMovie using one of its default themes. The following instructions tell you how to play and fully enjoy the iTunes visualizer yourself, at the full resolution of your screen and, of course, no stuttering since you’ll be playing it live. It’s a much nicer experience than what is shown on the video. I only played with the iTunes visualizer for less than an hour, I suspect someone’s skills after more practice means great fun.

iTunes visualizer

I found undocumented keyboard controls in this 2008 lifehacker article. Once you know and use the various controls in harmony with the music that you hear, you play the role of a VJ. Let me tell you about the basics of controlling the iTunes visualiser:

  • There are three main visual components, (A) the cores, which are the moving spheres, (B) the rays, which flow out of the cores, and (C) the nebula clouds, which fill the whole screen and changes the ambiance
  • There are 20 modes for you to enjoy, you incrementally cycle from one mode to the next with the ‘M key’. Take the time to explore the various modes since they’re what alter the visualizations most
  • You can modify the movement of the visual components by freezing the rays (F key) and by locking or releasing the camera rotation (L key)
  • The nebula clouds (N key) should not be underestimated, they radically change the ambiance and can also be toggled on/off rhythmically. Pressing the ‘E key’ will enhance the nebula clouds, making them more prominent
  • The ‘A key’ and ‘S key’ will add or subtract rays to the visualizer, usually, I prefer when there’s more
  • The ‘+ key’ and the ‘- key’ are equally important since they increase or decrease the brightness of the of the rays
  • Finally, you can change the color palettes (P key) which obviously impact the general feel of the animation
  • Once you understand the basics, the most artistic and technically challenging part begins: controlling it live over a great song! A difficult part of the performance to me is making certain changes of modes (M key) and freezing (F key) along with the rotation (L key) generate something beautiful and in sync with the music. That makes the most significant difference
  • Keeping the rotation enabled (L key)  mean you can get closer to the cores. Once very close to a core you may want to freeze and stop the rotation since the effects are often superb
  • Try also toggling freezing and rotation rhythmically, you can achieve something nice this way

The iTunes visualizer keyboard controls that I’m aware of, for iTunes version

iTunes visualizer keyboard shortcuts

MChange modeIncrement to the next visualizer 'mode', out of a total of 20 modes
FFreeze cores and raysFreezes the movement of the cores and rays, which can still rotate (L key). With freeze and lock rotation enabled, nebula clouds will also freeze
LLock rotationStops and starts the rotation of the camera. If the rays are in the frozen state (F key), only brightness of the rays will change according to the music's loudness
NNebula cloudsEnable nebula clouds that fill the screen with an animated haze. These clouds are not available for all modes (M key)
EEnhance nebula cloudsIf nebula clouds (N key) are enabled, pressing the 'E key' will accentuate them
+ / -Adjust ray brightnessIncrease (+ key) or decrease (- key) brightness of the rays, multiple presses further increase or decrease their intensity
A / SAdd or subtract raysAdd (A key) or subtract (S key) rays to the visualizer
PChange color paletteIncrement to next color palette, out of about 10 different color palettes
ITrack infoDisplays the track cover image, title, artist and album names at the bottom left of the screen
CCycle mode after trackThe visualizer mode increments to next mode when a new track begins. Enabled by default
RResetReset the brightness (+ / - keys) and density of rays (A / S keys) to their default values
?HelpDisplays most of the keyboard shortcuts, but this current table also tells you what the official Help won't
Any other keyAnnoying soundAvoid hitting unpaired keys!

The two improvements I’d like to see to the iTunes visualizer: (a) easy control for the number of cores in the scene, and (b) full control on how close or far we are from the cores.

If I missed any hidden iTunes visualizer keyboard control, please let me know in the comments below! Have fun — Alex / Satri