Monday, 20 July 2009

The 'Horsman Generator' goes public...

Published on MatrixSynth blog, July 20th 2009:

"My as yet unnamed windows application presents an interface based on a traditional 5U modular analog synthesizer system. In conjunction with a low-cost, off-the-shelf USB digital to analog converter, it produces two control voltages in the range 0 to +5V, gates and MIDI data. The voltages produced correspond to the values generated by the on-screen oscillators. Each oscillator (there are 4 standard oscillators plus one that outputs the overall maximum voltage and one that sends overall minimum) has ten different wave patterns available - sine, sawtooth, ramp, square, S&H, sine+sine, rectified sine etc. Also there is an area of the screen where the user can manually draw a waveform, smooth it, invert it, loop it etc. This can then be assigned to any or all oscillators. The wave type can be selected by MIDI CC messages (I use a Behringer BCR2000 to send the CC data). Other parameters that can be selected by MIDI CC are wave amplitude, offset, upper and lower clip levels, frequency and cycle skip. These can be manipulated on-screen too. Each oscillator can be chosen to be the source for CV1 or CV2 output voltages. Additionally the oscillator output is available as MIDI CC streams. The output from one oscillator can be patched into other oscillators to control that oscillator's parameters using the patch matrix module. In this way, complex waveforms can be created.

If you click on part of the screen and drag upwards the oscillator modules scroll up to reveal a 64 step sequencer. This can send MIDI note data and also real CV/trigger signals. All of the CVs and triggers are presented as 3.5mm mono jack sockets at my 'Tobacco Tin Interface' for patching into 'real world' analog synth modules.

The program is still in its infancy with lots of work to do and features to implement (look out for YouTube uploads soon) - and as such I'm really interested in any feedback and ideas that the synth community might have to offer."

Richard Horsman