Richard Devine’s Vimeo account is something special. It’s certainly partly theater – there’s something entirely alien about seeing a nest of gear, tangled in cables and blinking, as if modules have achieved sentience and starting interconnecting themselves. But behind that facade of nerdy chaos is some real thought about how to make sounds by creating unexpected combinations of signal processors. It’s something I’ve been discussing with a lot of people lately – this interplay between stability and instability, automaton and entropy.

Mutant Mesh Drums Patch from Richard Devine on Vimeo.

Richard explains what’s happening here:

Short Patch experiment with a few new modules, including the Mutant BD9, Mutant Snare, Pico Drums x 2, running through various effects. The main CV modulation sources in the patch are the Modcan Quad LFO, and the new Forge which was used to create a fast quick modulation bursts to the Amp decay Pitch etc on the BD9. Drones via the Music Thing Radio Music, playing a feedback drone wave going through the Tiptop Z-DSP “Halls of Valhalla card, program 7.
I ran the BD9 through the new black hole DSP module by Erica Synths, and the Mutable Instruments Clouds running a unreleased firmware, and finally some Rainmaker X 2 for the snare processing, pitch delays. There is also a bit of Z-DSP, Eventide H9, AD Reverb, OWL, and ErbVerb too. Enjoy, download to the audio file below. 🙂
track download:

I love the track, so thanks, Richard.

Actually, maybe what’s really significant about modulars is it makes the otherwise unseen world of signal processing and sound design visible to people. I think that’s wonderful. At the same point, you could easily miss the point here, which is that part of what you’re getting isn’t about the gear at all – not on a superficial level anyway. It’s about the design that went into the individual modules and how they connect to one another, and how Richard thinks about sound design. It’s actually striking to me that there’s a clear compositional link between the sounds and structures Richard is getting with this rig and his voice on software from years ago.

For something with a different feeling, here’s a more melodic groove from just under a year ago – as easy-going and relaxed as the other track is dystopian scifi lounge.

Harmonic Symmetry from Richard Devine on Vimeo.

That also has a download and explanation of signal flow.

It’s nice to see the walkthroughs of how things are routed, too, for the curious.

Lots more:

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