Readers' patches for the OSC OSCar and the Yamaha CS30 make this month's patchwork an all-analogue affar. This and Stiletto's Roland D-series and Casio CZ-series synths.
Michael Simmons, Bolton
This patch is intended to capture the "Washing Machine" bass feel of Dr Fingers' track of the same name. Its soft and fluid sound makes it suitable for music as varied as house (its inspiration) to new age.
James Malkovics, Leicester
A good, solid old-fashioned analogue bass, this one, used by its creator for a wide variety of styles, but not confined only to the lower registers: it also has potential as a cutting lead sound.
Roland D110 Pro-Sounds
Another batch of D110 sounds under the stethoscope, this time from programming house Stiletto. They are all original and programmed in-house.
All Stiletto sounds are arranged in a bank template so as you move through the bank you come across the following categories: pianos, harpsichords, plucked strings, bells, ethnic/oriental instruments, polysynth textures, crosswave sounds, chiffy breathy sounds, vocal sounds, brasses, strings, woodwind, organs, lead lines, percussive sequencer sounds, basses and an oddball sound.
This batch of sounds consists of one bank of 64 sounds with at least one in each of the categories described above. To give you an idea of what they're worth, here's a selection.
Pianos are well represented and begin with 'Yamaha EP' a bright acoustic sound with a hint of hammer against string. There are several tine pianos and a selection of electric ones.
Harpsichords includes the spicy 'TechnoKlav' and the subdued 'Baroq Soup'. Plucked strings are represented by 'Warm Nylon' (!) and '12Str.Chrs' which, while very useable, don't quite rise to the heights of the 'NylonGuit' preset (C01) on the TX81Z.
Ethnic/oriental instruments includes 'Tinkletime' which sounds as if it's being struck with a mallet (some relation to the marimba family, perhaps) but the sound doesn't die away immediately. Nice.
'Departures' seems to come under the polysynth banner, although it's mainly a vocal sound with a short rise up to the main note. This is one of my favourite sounds in the collection.
Chiffy breathy sounds include the hard-edged, panflute strains of 'Razor Pipe' and the not-so-hard-edged '87% Claret'. Lots more breathy chiffs to choose from here. Some, like 'Phhaaahh..', take us into the realms of vocal sounds which are well-represented in their own right by 'CelesteVox', 'Goilz' and 'Guyz' although the latter two are more string/brass than larynx.
Some lovely brasses here. 'Rich Bitch' is rich indeed, while 'QuiteHorn' is rather more muted.
Strings include the rather piercing 'Perfection' (in the higher registers, anyway) and 'Meta-Cello' which hinges on the percussive. 'PrettySaxy' is pretty good in the woodwind section.
There are several lead lines, the very name of which makes me think of Rick Wakeman playing a Moog - take it or leave it in 1990.
Percussive sequencer sounds include another of my favourites, 'Vel.Bounce', which is simply a hollow-sounding bass but it sounds great in the middle register playing semiquavers.
There are six basses of varying tones including 'Tight Acid' and its compliment 'Alkaliners' which has plenty of boing.
There are two oddball sounds. 'DirePetang' is a panflute which scoops up a semitone, hangs there for a second or two, gives a chiff and disappears. The other is 'RV Tinkle' which I don't propose to discuss in a family magazine (this is the People's Friend, isn't it?).
The voices are available on voice sheets, Dr T's-compatible files, or a free sound injector written by Caged Artists. This reads caged Artist synth files and loads them into the synthesiser and runs as an ST desktop accessory.
Stiletto produce sounds for a variety of synths and samplers. Send for their list; at the bottom you'll see the tag line, "Now there's no excuse for ho-hum sounds!". How right it is. And check out the price below - no, it's not a misprint. It's cheaper than many music PD demo programs. Buy it D110 owners, buy it!
Casio CZ Pro-Sounds
In spite of being called the "poor man's DX" on occasions, Casio's CZ synths have retained the popularity they quickly attained on the launch of the CZ101 in nineteen-hundred-and-frozen-to-death. Interest in new CZ sounds continues as the stream submitted to our Patchwork column bears witness.
These voices from Stiletto come in ten banks of 16 and are available in Genpatch and CZ-Android format, on voice sheets (let your fingers do the typing), QX5 datacassette or with a free PD Librarian/Patch editor for the ST. Unfortunately, the internal voices of the CZ101, for example, can't be named, so unless you have an editor like CZ-Android you are deprived of experiencing the wit of the Stiletto programming team. For the benefit of CZ101 owners everywhere we'll refer to sounds here by both name and number.
As with the Stiletto's D110 sounds, the patches here are original and programmed in-house. Again, these sounds are arranged in a bank template, and fall into similar categories as those for the D110: pianos, harpsichords, plucked strings, bells, ethnic/oriental instruments, polysynth textures, crosswave sounds, chiffy breathy sounds, vocal sounds, brasses, strings, woodwind, organs, lead lines, percussive sequencer sounds, basses and an oddball sound.
The sounds are organised in banks of two (1A and 1B, 2A and 2B and so on) and each pair roughly follows the above layout.
Bank 1A begins with several electronic pianos. Stiletto reckon the CZ is not capable of a convincing acoustic piano sound (there's a challenge to all you programmers out there) so none are included.
'Invert FilterENV' (1A9) is a fat string-like sound with lots of sustain in the release phase, followed by a soft whoosh. 'Metal Bass 1' (1B13) is rather tasty, too.
Can't resist mentioning the oddball sound in 1B, 'Biddleyzang!', which plays a triple attack on a note which sustains while a higher-pitched whine/drone appears and slowly falls in pitch. Very atmospheric.
More electric pianos in Bank 2A. Of note is 'EPNO 08 Digiring' (2A4), a sort of rich, electric harpsichord with lots of string and sustain. Nice.
'Filter Cres 1' (3A10) produces a filter-sweeping crescendo - well named, Stiletto. The oddball sound, 'SEQ plink + echo' (3B16), produces a sustained plink followed by three echoes when you release the key.
More pianos reside in Bank 4A including 'EPNO 16 Hard' (4A4) which is verging towards a harpsichord. There are more filter sweeps with 'Filter Plux 3' (4A9) and a heavy fretless bass in 'Fretless 2' (4B15).
Bank 5B contains the rich 'Axo Para Brass' (5B1) and 'Reedy/Hissy Org' (5B6) which sounds to me as much like a bassoon as an organ. There are also some useful analogue bass sounds in 5B14 and 5B15.
The collection contains many short sounds suitable for sequencer riffs, a selection of bells and lead sounds. I suppose if I wanted to be picky I could complain that there were too many pianos and percussive sequencer sounds and too few instruments (harmonicas, guitars and organs, for example, although there are a number of organs). Though this, of course, is based on personal preference. I did like the analogue-type sounds and the sweeps in particular.
As a package these sounds represent tremendous value for money and are well worth the readies. Wholeheartedly recommended to CZ owners everywhere. Now, where did I put my acoustic piano patch...
Prices: D110 Pro-Sounds £5; Casio CZ Pro-Sounds £10. Both prices include VAT. (Overseas add £2 p&p).
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