Noggin ft. Mr. Sprott – Cepstrum (mix 3)

Part 1

Title: Cepstrum (mix 3)
Artist: Noggin ft. Mr. Sprott
Album: Old Town Acid (demos)
Date: 2011

ALMOST instant jam (and request, too). Recorded this last weekend with Kyle in an effort to wrench some tweaky acidity out of his nord micro modular. That there is a hell of a synth packed into tiny little red box. It is also kind of a testament to where music technology itself really stands. Bear with me for the ensuing rant…
When the Nord red boxes started coming out, they were insanely popular. I remember being 15/16 and just lusting after this seemingly super synth, the Nord lead 2. Seemed like all my favorite producers were using them. They had power and they worked just like an analog synth. This is important to note, because, more recently, synth manufacturers have been including ‘analog’ parameters onto their synths, in an effort to quantify ‘analog-ness’ (but let’s be frank here, it’s a binary friggin option). Usually these knobs do nothing more than introduce some jitter and/or detune into the main oscillator’s frequency. The Nords didn’t have this. But people still went crazy for the sound.
First point: Isn’t it funny how nowadays you’ve got to have that ‘analog feel’ knob, in order to ‘fake out’ the listener that his digital synth sounds ‘more analog’…therefore…better. When VA synths WEREN’T a dime a dozen, the Nords didn’t need this knob because, damn, they already sounded good….like a theoretical analog synth (not an ACTUAL analog synth). I find it funny that one of the most popular VA’s out does very little to fake the analog side of things…it’s some pure oscillators with some controls set up in the same fashion as an analog synth.
Moving on, with the Nord modular synths, they literally give you access (via a computer) to a blank canvas where you can patch various synth building blocks together to create your own synth. The possibilities are limited only by how much processing power is required to compute each building block….it’s plenty of power for most things. MOST NOTABLY, a direct reincarnation of a Nord Lead! Yea, you can actually patch the modular in such a way that the tones it outputs are the exact same as from a Nord Lead. What is further enlightening into the matter, is that you can download the Nord Lead banks of sounds to the Modulars, and then you get a behind-the-scenes look at how the nord leads actually produce sound.
GUESS WHAT? It’s pretty damn simple. It’s your basic subtractive synth…oscillators, some envelopes, and a filter. It’s also interesting to note that every one of the Nord Lead patches I brought up used the exact same modular patch, only with the settings/knobs tweaked in different ways.
Second point: By allowing us this behind-the-scenes look inside such a popular synth as the nord lead, one can see how so much of synths is in the marketing, vs the technology. Here you have this modular synth, which can do a perfect emulation of a very popular synth (it actually looks like said popular synth was built directly out of this modular patching environment), plus a whole hell of a lot more, and still wait silently in the shadow of the infamous red boards.
I don’t think it’s a problem, but I applaud Nord for allowing me the chance to explore around, what looks to me like, the basic skeleton they have used to build their own synths.
Think about it this way…imagine if you could create a totally bitching patch in the modular environment, lock it in so it can’t be messed up, then put that patch in another box and call it another synth….Nord can.
Disagree? Agree? Let my ranting encourage your own.
Ok so about this track, yea, it’s MPC and nord micro from Kyle’s living room in Austin. It’s noisy. It’s acid. It’s got fm. Kyle claims to have made these patches that we pulled from 6 – 7 years ago on Walter st. in San Francisco.
Download: cepstrum20110505 (right click and choose ‘save as’)

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