For this second Artist Series, we’ve had the enormous pleasure to count on Fast Boo as commanders of the ship; two young fellas stemming from Barcelona’s surroundings within one of the most prolific and exciting music scenes in the area.
They first started as Hip Hop producers back in the days, consolidating their ‘RCA Flacos’ project and as they’ve matured and perfected they’re sound, they’ve inevitably shifted they’re sonic approach to a more danceable and sexy sound with Fast Boo.
Now, they’ve recently released his debut album, that include 10 original tracks released on Little Red Corvette Records with various vocal collaborations. These same 10 tracks have been converted to projects and kits for this library, sharing with you how they’ve composed, arranged and produced they’re tracks. So, we’re going to chatter with them about all this things and more…
Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Befaco’s Sampling Modulator eurorack synth module. Befaco is a spanish synth manufacturer whose output is focused mainly on Eurorack modulars.
They started as a small DIY project community, hosting workshops at Barcelona’s “Hangar” art production center. I used to be one of those attending these workshops, and with their help and knowledge built a few of their modules -aswell as my “x0xb0x” tb-303 clone and my “Elkorus” solina rack chorus unit-. Not only they’re great synth designers, they’re also very nice chaps and will do whatever it takes to help you finish your DIY project.
Befaco’s modules were build to a custom format at first. They used eurorack 3u size panels, +/-15v power -much like 5u modulars- and banana connectors -like Buchla and Serge systems-. Today they have adapted their designs to the eurorack “standard” with +/-12v rails and minijack connectors, but you can still build their modules with your choice of connector -current PCBs are designed to fit both options- and even power -some modules work equally well at both voltages-. The modules also look much better now in my opinion, since they have abandoned their self drilled white DIY panels in favour of a professionally silkscreened black design -that reminds me of big “macho” modulars-, with much better interface layouts aswell.
So, what does the “Sampling Modulator” do?
Like most of Befaco’s lineup the Sampling Modulator follows the west coast synth design philosophy of “one module: many functions”. It can be used as a gate sequencer, clocked sample and hold, oscillator, clock generator, sampling shaper and even as a bit-crusher of sorts. All in all, this makes it an extremely versatile module, and considering that is only 8hp in size -like most “regular” Doepfer modules-, the bang for buck/hp is quite high!
Our first Artist Series features Skygaze, the musical project of Jaime Tellado. An architect by profession fond of music from an early age, butit was not until April 2013, when he decided to give a name to his current project, which has been published in various netlabels (Neonized Records, SoullessLab Records, Love Our Records and more).
In 2014 he was the winner for an artistic residence in Laboral Arts Center in Gijón (Spain). That same year he self-released a cassette LP titled “Endless Harvest“, plus an EP on Love Our Records and participated in several compilations, includingSynthzine. He has been nominated for the Vicious Music Awards 2014 in the categories of Best IDM Artist, best album and best live act. His live has been seen at festivals like Sónar 2015, ARTeNOU, CasiMiniFest, Nokodekor MIRA. Continue Reading
I specially love de 25Khz sampling setting of the s950, it reminds me of early Oizo tracks, a sound that i think is very, very classy.
Funds are tight so I tried to emulate it to convince me that I don’t need yet another piece of gear. In order to emulate it I took the original files from the sampler shootout and used a long forgotten plug that I had in my arsenal (www.toneprojects.com/products/plug-…itex-stx-1260/) to give it some textured lofiness.
The key to achieve this sound is finding the right cutoff points of the high roll off and low roll off filters in the “tone” section. Here i cut everything below around 50 hz and everything above about 8k. Theres also a little bump in the filters (read peak resonance), that gives it perceived fulness/presence at the cutoff frequencies to conteract the cuts. This is a similar technique as the one used by the Voice of God from Little Labs, wich we studied previously here: Positifpositif – Positif-synth-school-vol-7.
So now you know why people like the sound of vintage samplers. Whats really happening is that the sound is being filtered by these in order to tame the aliasing artifacts caused by the low sample rate. These in return gives sometimes a pleasant punch to drums due to the resonance bumps of these anti aliasing-filters.
Of course, you don’t even need the Sonitex plug to achieve this. You can use a lowpass and a hipass resonant filter (bundled with most daws) plus a little bit of saturation and compression from your favourite plugs. All you really need is a bit of patience and ear training to achieve similar results without much effort.
Also it’s interesting to note that not only this is cheaper than buying a hardware sampler. It’s also much more convenient and less time consuming than loading a sample to one of these old beasts, and it also let’s you apply these treatments to much longer recordings that the original samplers.
All in all, worth the effort in my opinion.
FIRST SAMPLE: ORIGINAL
SECOND SAMPLE: AKAI
THIRD SAMPLE: SONITEX STX-1260