Modular Tips and Tricks Guest Post: Baseck on the LIP
This is part of a series of guest-post tutorials from Noise Engineering users showing off various tips for NE modules, modular use in general, or how they integrate modular into their workflow. Have someone you think would be great to write a guest post? Have a modular tip you want to submit for us to create a video around? Please submit ideas for this occasional column here.
This week, we had the pleasure of visiting friend of Noise Engineering (and namesake of the Variatic Basicus) Baseck at his studio for a jam session in which he talked to us about how he got into modular, and how he likes to use the new Loquelic Iteritas Percido.
KK: So, Baseck, for anyone who doesn't know you, can you explain a little about who you are, what it is that you do, and what brought you to modular synth?
Baseck: I experiment with sound from all different sorts of equipment, from old-school vintage stuff, from the cheesiest of drum machines to the most futuristic, cutting-edge technology that's being made right now (big up to my friends at NE!).
I think it was the flexibility of being able to tweak sounds and explore [that brought me here]. I made sounds with Gameboys for many years. I was touring for years with two Gameboys with a program on it that had 4 channels of audio. I learned a little bit about synthesis from that because there were like raw wave forms and an envelope generator on there and stuff like that, but it was all stuff on the screen. Once I found modular, I realized with the hands-on control it was just insane. I grew up a turn tablist, so with scratching, being able to control the vinyl and do all sorts of DJ tricks, modular was great for me. I just love tweaking with different buttons, knobs, and switches…
My brother actually used to get mad at me because I would play songs and I always would to use the phono-line switch to cut the audio in and out and he would be like JUST LET THE DAMN SONG PLAY! And we would get in fights. But if I would have let the damn song play, I wouldn't be so hands-on with the stuff that I do now, so I think it kind of ties into it.
KK: Haha I can definitely see this in your beginnings. It all fits together! Tell me about what you're doing in this patch. How are you getting so many awesome sounds?
The patch is pretty simple, with just 3 modules. Obviously the sound source it the Loquelic Iteritas Percido and there are so many CV inputs for this module so I'm using the Voltage Block by Malekko. It's a 16-step sequencer with 8 channels (basically eight 16-step sequencers in one!). So I'm pressing each step and fine tuning how I want it to sound per step. So like sometimes on step 1, I'll have a kick, on step 5, a laser or a snare, and then in between, get weird and experimental. The Voltage Block makes it so I can create scenes of that. So once I create my 16 sounds, I save that and the gate sequence that I'm doing from the Varigate 8+ which are all saved as a pattern. And the next scene I'll sometimes just create a whole different sound palate. Since the LIP has such a wide range of sounds, you hear it going from percussion to acid line, to deep bass or part of melody or get wild within those parameters and try to fit all those sounds on 16 steps and make it like a monophonic synthesizer drum machine.
I've been doing this a lot lately – just try to get the most out of a single module. Even when I got my first Basimilus module, I would try and put every single CV input to hit with LFOs or random or set up so that every gate hit gave you different sounds.
KK: So if someone doesn't have the Varigate/Voltage Block combo, aside from saying "Get it!" what other suggestions do you have?
Lots of modulation. Anything with envelopes. I did an intense patch with the original LI with inputting like 5 envelopes into the CVs, and also combining the envelopes with a pitch sequence. What's rad about the LIP is that it has the built-in envelope. Some of my favorite parameters are morph and fold so even with simple bass lines, with those modulated, you get some nice, weird, alien, goopy textures which I also love in the BIA [editor's note: if you haven't seen Baseck's BIA video...you should]. It's one of my favorite sounds.
Another idea I had is that even in this patch where I have things hard locked, sometimes it's fun to take the CVs out, or smooth out the CVs so you get more liquid sounds.
For more on Baseck, check out his new free single available at Bandcamp, and see him live in LA this weekend for his Birthday bash. Connect on the FB event page.
Stay tuned to the Noise Engineering blog for more tips and tricks for modular users. And if you have questions you'd like to see here, please drop us a line.