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Modular Tips and Tricks Guest Post: Rheyne

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're pleased to present a guest post from user Jon Barbieri, popularly known as Rheyne, who many of you have undoubtedly seen on Instagram or YouTube. He talked to us about how he uses our Loquelic Iteritas Percido in combination with the wildly awesome Moog DFAM. Not having my hands on the DFAM myself, I was anxious to dive in and see what he was doing and how he was doing it.

Kris: Thanks for doing this, Jon! Tell us a little about yourself and the Rheyne project.

Jon Barbieri: "Rheyne" is an Ableton-based live looping project I started in 2010. During the day, I work at a musical instrument store, where I'm able to try out a lot of the new gear from the major vendors as soon as it lands at the shop! It's a great place to work if you're in a band or have a music project of some type.

KK: Ooh, I bet! So is that how you got into modular?

JB: We're a Moog dealer at the day job and we have easy access to the Mother-32, so I took the plunge. As a complete voice it was easy to integrate into my live looping setup, and also let me experiment with some patching. The 0-Coast came next, and I thought it would stop there, but then I saw a Richard Devine video called "Mutant Mesh Drums Patch" and it completely blew me away. It really woke me up to the possibilities of these modules. The video is awesome to watch and has superb audio quality. His videos are basically the baseline I've tried to follow, in terms of providing the listener /watcher with clean audio and video, both synced to each other. I started calling the modular videos "sequenced jams" since they're prepared before recording them, to separate them from the "live jams" which are improvised on camera with nothing pre-recorded or pre-sequenced.

KK: Nice.  Live jams are pretty tough to pull off, for sure. I can definitely appreciate someone putting in the work to really sequence a good set and make something listenable and beautiful. Speaking of...this seems like a good place to show readers what you came up with:

KK: I love this. I've made it pretty obvious that the LIP and DFAM were the key players here, but it's a pretty complex patch.  What else is happening?

JB: The patch is an experiment with combining triggers from various sources into the LIP and a Moog DFAM I built at Moogfest this year. The trigger sources are a Make Noise Tempi with all of its outputs in trigger-mode, Maths, and an Erica Synths Pico Trigger with a custom sequence programmed from my phone. The triggers are combined into an Erica Synths Pico Logic, with both channels set to "OR" mode, sending one channel to the LIP trigger input, and the other to the DFAM's clock advance input. A slowly decaying envelope from Maths is sent to the Logic circuit to provide some random breaks or pauses to the rhythm, for a little variety. The LIP is playing the squelchy arpeggio, with its Mod and Damp inputs modulated by some slow sine waves from an Erica Synths Black Octasource. Time on the LIP is modulated by CV from the attack stage of an Erica Synths VC EG expander. Algorithms are being switched by a square LFO on a Mother-32 from VO to SS, and the pitch is controlled by an Erica Synths Pico Sequencer. The bass swells are from a Make Noise DPO, sequenced by the Mother-32 and processed in stereo by a Make Noise modDemix, by sending the triangle LFO from the Mother-32 and a slope from CH4 of Maths to both carrier inputs on the modDemix. The envelope for the bass is a Make Noise Function to an Optomix, and Function's EOR output is triggering chord changes I recorded from my Fender Rhodes into a Morphagene, which is running through an Erica Synths Black Hole DSP to create the pad sound. The pitch of both VCOs of the DFAM are modulated by its own internal sequencer and a Make Noise Wogglebug, and the velocity on its VCO envelope and the FM amount are modulated by the Octasource. All of the sound sources are combined into a Make Noise Rosie, which goes to a Strymon BigSky for the final mix.

Also, the reel used in the Morphagene is available for download for folks to use in their own Morphagene. It's a standard WAV if someone wanted to use it in any sampler or project:

KK: Wow. Super cool of you to make that available. I usually end these by asking about other modules that might work well in the combination...but that patch was gloriously complicated as it is!  Do you have any thoughts you might want to share?

JB: Grabbing triggers from anywhere in your system and combining them into a Logic circuit can give you some interesting results. Sending gates or triggers to one input of Logic and breaking up those triggers with LFOs and envelopes adds some nice changes and variety. Most folks have Maths, which has a logic "OR" output. It's also completely safe to combine triggers from multiple sources and shove them into a single input of Maths, even with stackables. This gives you a lot of flexibility to use Maths as a mixer for triggers, and combined with its own envelopes, you'll have a lot of rhythmic variety when you send the output from "OR" to another module's trigger input. For your kick drum of choice, some subtle modulations to the pitch can help break up the monotony. An ambient synth pad can be created from any mono synth by taking an arpeggio well-spaced notes (notes too close together might sound muddy), a soft attack and decay / release, and close to a full wet mix on a long reverb (12sec or more). There's still a lot of space in this patch for more medium and high-pitched percussion to contrast the kick, like some 16th-note hi-hats, or a plucky arpeggio in a different range from the LIP.

For more information on the Rheyne project, check out Jon's social media:

YouTube   Facebook  Instagram   

Twitter  SoundCloud

Live Jams and Sequenced Jams on BandCamp

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 answered here, or would like to recommend a user or a tip for the blog, please drop us a line.

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