A little night music

One of my all time hobbies (besides computers, software and openstreetmap) is programming and playing synths (»Yes I can«). Today I took some time to hack the Korg Z1. It’s a physical modeling synth which provides models of various instruments, like analogue synthesizers, electric pianos and organs, bowed and plucked strings, or woodwind instruments. I used the latter model to create a sound that sounds like an unknown acoustic instrument, but in fact it’s a newly invented instrument.

One of my favorite musicians is Joe Zawinul, who was one of the rare masters who knew how to program and to play synths. He used similar sounds from a Korg Prophecy, the monophonic predecessor of the Z1. I learned a lot about music by listening to many of his compositions. Additionally they are an excellent source of inspiration and, last but not least, joy. Here’s the sound I programmed in SysEx format:


It’s not finished yet. I still need to program a better vibrato or tremolo for the modulation wheel and some overdrive for the x-y-pad controller. The portamento controller, however, is ready to use as well as the two assignable buttons and, most importantly, the pitch bender (“Jammerhaken”). The pitch bender modulates the reed pressure, resulting in a bend range of about a minor third downwards and two semitones upwards. Due to the pressure reduction, the latter one also result in more noise in the sound and less harmonical tones.
The two buttons will add some hard distortion to the sound, reliably distroying the acoustic feeling of the sound >;-> .

Here’s a simple recording I did in a couple of minutes without any preparation or even mastering, so I apologise for the boring and unstructured playing. But anyway, “a sound says more than thousand words”. The string pad comes from an Acces Virus synth, and all sounds have been played live, without using any MIDI sequencer or multitrack recorder. I hope you like it:

A little night music

»I like beautiful sounds« (Nasca Octavian Paul)

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