A Mother Lode of Synthesizer Documentaries


A thread got some momentum on the Facebook Eurorack Synthesizers group about bingeable synthesizer docs. I am shamelessly lifting from that series of suggestions.

So, here you are, several hours of electronic music watching.


MODULO is a short musical documentary and tribute to Hugh Le Caine, possibly the first user of control voltages.

The Delian Mode is a doc about Delia Derbyshire who realized the original Doctor Who theme.

Delia Derbyshire – Sculptress of Sound documentary Multi-part doc about Delia.

Daphne Oram documentary – Wee Have Also Sound-Houses  Daphne originated the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Audio only, sadly.

Synth Britannia is a BBC4 doc about synth musicians form the 80’s.

People Who Do Noise is about noise musicians.

Moog: A Film by Hans Fjellestad

Cool Hunting Video: Mark Mothersbaugh’s Synth Collection Mark is a member if Devo, and here’s his collection.

Detroit Techno – The Creation of Techno Music

Sub Berlin -“The Story of Tresor”  About the legendary Berlin Club Tresor. The Eye – The New England Synthesizer Museum A trip to the New England Synthesizer Museum

Modulations traces the evolution of Electronica music

I Dream of Wires is the quintessential modular synthesizer documentary. You should go buy it. The BluRay has the 4 hour cut. Epic!

What the Future Sounded Like (2006) The birth of electronic Music in Great Britain

Trailer for DECONSTRUCTING DAD–The Music, Machines and Mystery of Raymond Scott  a jazz musician and builder of a giant machine in his house.

The New Sound Of Music 1979 (Part 1)  Multi-parts on Youtube about electronic music.

The Art of Sounds (2007) – Pierre Henry In French, this doc covers the musique concrete artist.

Edgard Varèse Poeme électronique (film documentary) Edgard Varèse’s groundbreaking electronic piece a backstory

Eliane Radigue – IMA Portrait documentary  Another pioneering electronic music synthesist, Radigue used Buchlas, Moogs and ARPs.

Electronic Music History Documentary (1980)  insight into how electronic music was born and created with some really old equipment.

A BIG LIST of docs if you haven’t had enough yet.

Using a pattern generator to make a song


dsc_0555-mov My beloved Arturia BeatstepPro is kind of dead at the moment, so I’ve sought sequence solace with other devices in my rack. In this case, it the Kilpatrick K4815. The module holds 64 patterns and after dorking around I found one that I really like. It’s that one in the tiny video to the left.

I took the CV out and patched it simultaneously to the Rings, the E350 and the Braids. The Rings, a resonator, is capable of polyphony, unlike a basic oscillator. But, the trick is that it only “strums” a note when the voltage changes. So, while the other two VCOs are playing the same note twice, the Rings doesn’t sound the repeated note. BUT when the incoming CV changes for a new note, it doesn’t end the one already playing.

The end result is as if I were playing a stringed instrument and there are some cool harmonies between the VCO’s and the Rings.

I devised a song out of this stuff.


Cable Hanger for Your Laser Cutter

After a very unfortunate incident with a seller, DataAlchemy, on, I’m offering this pdf so you can cut your own on a lasercutter. It needs 1/4″ acrylic plexiglass.
cabeltidy PDF Click that and save it.

I’m still pretty pissed that this, which was on sale for 84-cents a pop on Amazon, and of which I bought fifteen, got me 15 doo-hickeys that were not the product I ordered. After complaining to DATA ALCHEMY, I did get a notice that my money will be refunded and I will not have to return them.cablepomona Morons.

So, if you still need cable hangers, download the pdf and ask a friend at a maker space to cut it for you.

I recorded a jam…


I play on the synthesizer all the time, but don’t always record it. This time I made a groove I liked, and recorded it in Reaper.

Long before I recorded anything, I spent a lot of time on the Beatstep pro devising 16-step sequences that worked well together to create harmonies and rudimentary counterpoints. When I got a few I liked, I extended them all to 64 steps, then made slight variations to them by silencing individual steps, or adding a few, and tweaking their notes.


I used the little Qunexus keyboard to play another voice.

All in all, there were 6 voices at play here:
1 – Sequence 1 from BSP controlling a Braids VCO2 – Seq 2 from BSP controlling a voice mixed from the Z3000 and Analogue Solutions VCOs running thru an E440 filter
3 – all 8 gates out feeding a Delptronics Little Drummer Boy which fed into an E560 Deflector Shield frequency shifter (I like the sound of pitch-shifted drums)
4 – a voice played on the keyboard controlling an E350 Morphing Terrarium whose Morph X was modulated by a very attenuated LFO
5 – tElharmonic knob-twisted manually
6 – Clips from a Radio Music going into a Doepfer phase shifter which feeds a Synthrotek Echo

ldb(8 gates going from the BSP to the LDB-1)

I’m a big believer in buffered multiples to distribute CV’s and mixers to bring all the voices to the final output. I can handle 9 voices mixed for output.

Here’s “Listen to me.”

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