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Frequency Central Raging Bull – Part 1: Full Tracks [matttech]

Frequency Central Raging Bull Demo 1

 

INTRODUCTION

These tracks emerged during some commissioned demo recording sessions of the Frequency Central Raging Bull – a Moog Taurus VCA / VCF clone. Some more basic demos will follow. These demonstrate how the module can be featured as the primary tonal manipulation device, or – in the case of demo 03 – the sole sound source.


 

DEMO 01

The first Raging Bull demo is a cheesy/cheeky little track in a “retro” electro vein, which aims to demonstrate some traditional “Moog-like” filter usage – with varying degrees of Resonance, Cutoff, VCA drive etc.. Some lovely rounded “woody” tones are achieved, with the VCA drive adding a pleasing fatness to the overall sound. Some of the patches also have a “brass-like” quality to them. Every bit of filtering you hear in this track is from the Raging Bull, apart from some automated software filtering on the drums. All synth sounds are either running through the Raging Bull, or are created by its self-oscillation.

Patch Details

1. The sound source for the main bassline was the Intellijel Rubicon: Saw, Double-Pulse (up an octave) and Square SUB (-1 oct), fed into a mixer and then into the Raging Bull.

2. The sequence comes from Silent Way, and various envelopes are used: Envelope 1 controls the Raging Bull’s VCA; Envelope 2 controls the PWM of the Double-Pulse wave; and a gate triggers a Tiptop Z4000 ADSR which controls the Bull’s Cutoff

3. The Cutoff ADSR is mixed in CV Tools with the main sequence, so that the filter tracks the sequence.

4. The envelopes are tailored so that longer held notes – eg: when the Portamento is used – produce a nice filter sweep (and also affect the PWM where applicable)

5. During the recording different balances of the three waves are brought in manually, and the various filter controls (Cutoff, Resonance, Input Level) are manipulated. The filter envelope is also tweaked, as is its polarity (in CV Tools). The Rubicon Double-Pulse’s PW is also manually tweaked.

6. A second sound is used to create an arpeggiated part over the top. This comprises of a Double Saw and normal Saw from the Rubicon, with Silent Way envelopes controlling the Raging Bulls Cutoff and VCA. A slower Maths envelope is also sweeping the Cutoff up and down every 2 bars. The Cutoff and Resonance is manipulated during the recording. The Silent Way envelope’s Sustain is also automated at various points to make the filter and VCA envelopes more “spiky”.

7. A third sound is derived from the Intellijel Dixie (again through the Raging Bull), and variations on this are used at different points. The main Rubicon bassline riff is sent into the Dixie’s Sync input, with the Dixie itself left to drone on one note. The Rubicon also FM’s the Dixie via its Linear FM input – so it is being Synced and FM’d by the same sequenced Rubicon part. At other points the FM is removed, and a more traditional “Osc Sync” sound can be heard – the part appears to be more static, in terms of pitch. During some sections the FM is manually faded out over a number of bars, leaving the simple droning “Osc Sync” sound. The Dixie’s waves (Pulse and Saw) are then saturated and manually crossfaded within the WMD Multimode VCA. This sound also generates a fourth patch, where the Silent Way envelope is altered to produce a very short percussive sound, almost like a cowbell.

8. The Raging Bull’s self-oscillation was also used to create a part which doubles the main bassline near the end (07.30 onwards), but in a higher register, and employing a strange harmony. Wobbleboard-esque “whomps” appear now and then, with Maths’ whip-like envelopes employed to produce the the self-oscillation pitch shaping. The self-oscillation was also used to track the bassline in order to create a sub-bass (at 00.55), and various bleeps and zaps (06.55 onwards). The latter were created in the following fashion: Initially a re-triggered Silent Way envelope controls the cutoff of the Raging Bull’s self-oscillation; then this is mixed in with a randomly-sequenced Rubicon output to create filter FM; finally the output of the Turing Machine is added to randomly shift the Cutoff up and down.

9. Some additional sweeps – created via modulation/ FM of the self-oscillating filter – were borrowed from Demo 02 and added to bring extra interest to certain sections (see: 01:08 onwards). No sampled sound effects were used at all – just the Bull in full effect!

10. Occasional Highpass Filtering (in software) was applied to the main Raging Bull “bassline” when it plays in the higher octave, but all other filtering is the Raging Bull alone.


 

DEMO 02

This Techno-flavoured dance track was put together largely to demonstrate how effective “plucked” synth/ synth bass sounds can be produced with the Raging Bull. I wanted to keep the main riff and sound sources very simple, so that the effect of the filter could be clearly heard. Some additional sounds were added over the top – mainly comprising of the Raging Bull self-oscillating, with various modulation applied to create zaps, sweeps etc.. Further self-osciullation is explored in Demo 03.

Patch Details

1. Doepfer a155 was used for the main sequence, multed to the following places: 1v/OCT input of an Intellijel Rubicon (Saw) and WMD PDO mk.2 (Wiggly Saw, up an octave), and also to the 2nd CV input of the Raging Bull to make the cutoff track the sequence. The PDO was synced to the Rubicon, and the Rubicon was synced to the clock pulse to make the clicks at the start of each note regular and even (This is a feature of the Moog Minitaur, where it is called “note sync”.

2. The 4MS Pingable Envelope Generator was sent the main clock and a snappy envelope used to control both the Cutoff and the VCA amplitude of the Raging Bull. This creates an almost Lowpass Gate effect where the modulation of the filter cutoff and VCA amplitude are always linked, and the sharp Exponential nature of the PEG’s envelopes accentuates this approach further.

3. A slowly-cycling Makenoise Function envelope was used to modulate the FM of the PDO as the recording progress, but as the PDO is synced to the Rubicon this produces a nice “phase-like” effect instead of a pitch sweep.

4. The Function envelope was also applied to the CURVE CV input of the PEG at points, making its shape sweep from sharply exponential to a more rounded shape.

5. The various controls of the Raging Bull (Cutoff, Cutoff CV amount, Resonance, and two Input levels) were manipulated throughout.

6. Some additional sounds were added over the top – The self-oscillating Raging Bull was modulated by various envelopes from Maths, so that it produced “zaps”, sweeps and filtered noise from the Cyclebox.


 

DEMO 03

On this demo I decided to concentrate on the self-oscillation of the filter, to see if I could create something interesting from that alone. Obviously one use of an oscillating filter is to create kick drum-like sounds, so that is where I started. I also wanted a variety of other textures to come in at various points, but also for everything in the mix to be produced from one recording of the Raging Bull’s oscillation alone.Patch Details

1. Firstly, a snappy Maths envelope was set up in order to create the “kick”. It was set to trigger on each beat, with a second slower Maths envelope subtly modulating its FALL time.

2. The 4MS Rotating Clock Divider was then used to produce a number of different divisions, which were all fed into an a151 Quad Sequential Switch. This was randomly stepped through, with the resulting rhythm providing triggers for a second envelope – the a171-2 VCS clone.

3. The a171-2 was patched into a VCA containing the output of an e350 wavetable oscillator. The pitch of the e350 was controlled by a random voltage from the a149-1 “Source of Uncertainty”, with another of the a149-1’s outputs modulating the wavetables.

4. The a171-2’s RISE and FALL times were modulated by further a149-1 random voltages, so that they changed from snappy “zaps” to softer “swooshes”. As these were applied to the VCA containing the e350’s output, the result was an ever-changing series of rhythmic oscillator “FM stabs”.

5. The e350 VCA’s output was fed into a mixer, along with the Maths “kick” envelope, and the second slower Maths envelope which was brought in to add movement to the low end of the self-oscillation, providing a bendy “bassline” drone.

6. The output of this mixer was fed into the Raging Bull’s Cutoff CV input, so that – by the end of all this patching – the filter was modulated by a mix of “kicks”, bendy bass drones and e350 “FM stabs”.

7. The Raging Bull’s output was recorded dry, and also processed by the Modcan Dual Delay, set to “stereo”.

8. The Dual Delay’s internal Lowpass Filter was modulated by the SUM output of the Vulcan Modulator – and its various Delay time and Feedback CV inputs were modulated by another output from the a149-1.

9. During recording virtually all the available controls were manually tweaked: the levels of the various cutoff modulation sources; the rates of the Maths envelopes (which were pushed into cycling at audio rates towards the end); the Raging Bull’s main Cutoff; the Dual Delay’s feedback and filter cutoff; ….and probably more things I’ve forgotten about!

It’s all a bit erratic, but was an interesting exercise in seeing how much material can be generated from a self-oscillating filter alone…and also demonstrates how well the filter will FM and respond to CV sources. It will also do a pretty good job at creating a kick drum! Bear in mind that you will need some decent monitoring to even be able to HEAR some of the sub-bass in this recording..