LFO Sequences, by Green Daruma

This project started as a demo set of the LFO Seq module I have been working on in Audulus. But I was in such a situation that I had access to a piano and nice spring reverb, so I thought I would expand the project to be an exploration of LFOs in sound design. Not in an overly intellectual way though. I have been doing a lot of overly abstract music lately and I haven’t really enjoyed the results listening back a few days later. For this project I really wanted something I could revisit as well as an approach that was more of a balance of generative technique with traditional improvised melodies.

The primary tools were an iPad running Audulus connected to a Eurorack case with a DPO and an Intellijel Atlantis in it as well as various effects and utilities. Also plugged into the modular was the Elektron Digitakt sampler/sequencer. The goal was to record as much in parallel as possible using an 8-Input Audio interface, and then simply edit in Ableton Live. Spring reverb was added to pretty much everything afterwards, as I simply love the sound. I actually saved some of the patches i used to make these songs so I am providing a few examples for the curious.

  1. Phase Compliance - I started in Audulus by running two LFO seq and changing parameters by switching between stored values. One voice was a 1-Toast synth voice and the other was a replica of the oscillators on the Moog Voyager running out of the iPad and through the Intellijel Polaris Filter in some crazy bandpass mode. The digitakt accompanies with percussion sampled from eurorack. The SH-01a provides the “lead” where the patch is being heavily modulated by the LFO.

  2. Cloud Morphology - Composition started on the digitakt for this one, I was interested in how using a free-running LFO addressed to sample slot could be used to give some variance and life to a loop. Gate sequences were sent to Audulus through CV where they fed a couple of LFO seq modules which were controlling a pair of synth voices in Audulus (oscimillator modules) which I ran through various eurorack effects for a more percussive approach to Audulus accompaniment. There is also a little SH-01a on this track as well for added texture.

  3. Pixelisms - This is actually a combination of two different projects I had on the digitakt. One was an exploration of the Perc 2 and various other drum synth modules in Audulus being triggered by euclidean rhythms, and the other was an abandoned noise music project that I began to experiment with by sequencing the LFO with parameters to create rapidly evolving patterns that didn’t strictly repeat. I basically recorded one take on top of the other, improvising with the built-in delay and reverb on the digitakt.

  4. Consonant Particles - This song started, like many of the others, with an LFO sequencer making a bassline in Audulus using a synth voice inspired by the SH-101, but with phase modulation instead of FM and an audio rate modulation oscillator, accompanied by the digitakt on drums. There was something messed up with the pitch range though and it would cap out on a dissonant note, which I thought sounded interesting, so I left it in. Piano was added afterwards to lend a little more continuity to what is otherwise an improvised track.

  5. Molecular Mirror - Again, Audulus and the LFO Seq provide the starting point for this song, using a 1-Toast synth voice as well as a patch with FM and hard sync to create interesting timbres. Piano was improvised over this base with one line being pitched down an octave to create a muffled “underwater” sound. Additional layers of texture from the abandoned noise project again make an appearance to fill out the space and suggest biological functions and strange creatures. Molecular Mirror.audulus (643.3 KB)

  6. Isonormalistic - The bass and lead are both straight from Audulus being sequenced by the LFO Seq. This time I was using a patch that emulated a minimoog with three sawtooth waves and a 24db low pass filter followed by a VCA. The Digitakt was sent through the Intellijel Polaris for an interesting phasing effect on some of the percussion. This is a pretty good example of of how the LFO Seq can be used to create melodies that I would normally never think of.

  7. Chromatic Anachronism - This was the first track in the process of this album and was designed as a demo of the LFO Seq as a live performance tool. I was again working with two LFO Seqs that were sending out VPO CV to the DPO and the Atlantis and then back into Audulus where it was sent through a series of delays and panning effects before going through the “Really Humongous” reverb. This was originally a 20+ minute jam of adjusting the melodies and delay settings as well as attaching LFOs to various knobs. I more or less made two or three edits and added a token amount of completely unnecessary spring reverb, otherwise this is a one-take track that was super fun to make. Chromatic Anachronism.audulus (468.2 KB) Please note that this patch requires and ES-8 and a couple of synth voices to come to life.

  8. 65 Percent - Pretty much the opposite approach was taken from the last track for this song. Composition began on the Digitakt taking samples from the modular and creating melodies with heavily Frequency modulated sounds. Then an irregular gate sequence was sent to Audulus where percussive elements were created on the fly using euclidean sequences and oscillator synth voices which have sequenced LFO’s sent their way.

  9. Open Space Resonance- The drone in the background was created by stacking a pair of Kaleidoscopic Operators and having one sit on the tonic and the other sequenced by an LFO Seq module synced to the Digitakt, which provided some chill percussion. Piano and Spring reverb were then added liberally as is tradition. Open Space Resonance.audulus (893.5 KB)

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Can’t wait to dig into this!

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Thanks for including your process. I appreciate how you seem to just do what it takes to get the tracks to a more cohesive stage, like some piano stabs or abrupt changes, for example.

Molecular Mirror is a treat. The synthesizer gnaws away while the piano drifts in and out of adult truths. The album has a soothing, medicinal aspect.

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Great album! Each track very much has their own distinct vibe. You have a great ear for the overall mix and like @futureaztec indicated, you’re great at (seemingly) keeping the focus on solid and complete sounding song structures. This will be an easy one on the ears for future listens. Thanks for share!

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I had a chance to sit down and really listen to the album today rather than have it playing as backround. Great piece of work. I like the fact that even at it’s most esoteric there is still a discernible beat and melodic theme. I think melody and rhythmic content are very important and serve to separate music from noise. (Noise being an audio signal with no discernible pattern). You can make a lot of interesting music with the tools available today, but you can also make a lot of noise.

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