About a year ago, the venerable Elektron released their Digitone: an FM synth box with a sequencer, promising to make the elusive methods of frequency modulation into a more hands-on experience. Well, 17 years earlier, Yamaha tried a similar thing: the DX200. And about a month ago, a kind and generous man named Calvin met with me on a chilly night in the parking lot of a Walgreen's Pharmacy in Austin to loan me his DX200 (pictured here).
The Coffeeshopped Blog
In what will (probably?) be the last launch of the year for Coffeeshopped, Patch Base 3.3 now supports the Roland XV-5080, XV-3080, XV-5050, and XV-2020. And whew, these were some doozies to tackle (the work started on these months ago), but very worth it.
Patch Base 3.2 adds 2 new editor/librarians for the Roland JV-880 and JV-80. These synths were the beginning of the family tree that led to the JV-1080 and eventually the powerful XV-5080 (which I'm working on support for!). Don Solaris has a great article and diagrams of the evolution of Roland's sample-based synths.
Patch Base is the best collection of patch editors and librarians for a growing number of hardware synthesizers, and version 3 is a major update: adding new features including full undo support and patch bank backup and editing for most of the synths that Patch Base supports. Multitimbral / Performance editing and saving are now also supported for a wide array of synths.
It's been quiet on the Coffeeshopped website and email list for a few months now, but that's not due to a lack of activity: I've been working full-time on the next (big!) update of Patch Base: Version 3.
It took some planning and some work, but the latest version of Patch Base (available today) will offer you a discounted price on All Access if you've purchased individual editors in the past.
Patch Base 2.10 adds an editor for the most complex FM synthesizer I've ever encountered: the Yamaha FS1R. This thing is a beast. First of all, it has 8 operators for FM synthesis! Imagine the possible chaos. And, each operator has both a "Voiced" and "Unvoiced" part. The Voiced part is your tone generator (similar to the DX7), and the Unvoiced part is essentially a noise generator with its own envelopes, frequency controls, and bandpass filter.
About a month ago, my regular Craigslist search for synths in the Austin area turned up a Roland D-10 at a too-good-to-be-true price! It looked like it needed some love, but the guy assured me that it worked very well. So we met up at a coffee shop and made the transaction. I got home, plugged it in, and what do you know: a few of the panel buttons didn't work, the outputs cut out sometimes, and the middle E key doesn't work at all. Rather than bother pestering the guy who lied to me, I figured that I could still make an editor for it, even with the broken buttons.