Noise Engineering

Get out of the box -- and back in

Noise Engineering is a Eurorack and 5U modular synthesizer manufacturer based in Los Angeles, California. 

Guest post: DUB station ZERO thinks outside the box with Bin Seq

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 on modular? Have a modular tip you want to submit for us to create a video around? Please submit ideas here.

This week, I caught up with Instagram user dubstationzero. I’d been loving his stuff for a while, and in June, he turned up at a Perfect Circuit event we were doing. We talked at length about modules and he mentioned picking up a Bin Seq, and the plans he had for it...as you’ll see below, his ideas were outside the box and exciting because they weren’t really what I’ve seen most users doing with it. I asked him to let me know when he posted a patch with it.

It didn’t take long before he sent something along...and when I saw it I immediately asked him if he’d be willing to write it up.

Kris Kaiser: Greetings! who are you and what do you do in the world? 

DUB station ZERO: My name is Nick Shinton a.k.a DUB station ZERO. I’m a former Chef, now in the produce industry, host of the DineLocalSD podcast, husband and surfer. My first involvement in music was in Washington DC area. I started out by engineering dub sound effects for live reggae performances during the early 2000’s. After moving to Ocean Beach, San Diego in ‘05, I began my journey as a producer working with Ableton. I got into modular and hardware about 2 1/2 years ago.

KK: What brought you to modular?

Modular is the culmination of a dream of mine that I have had ever since I started engineering dub: to be able to produce a dub mix of original beats on the fly that I could jam on. My set up back in the day included a 12-channel mixer which I would take direct inputs from all the musicians on stage to create an alternate mix of aux sends to fx chains which would be mixed into the main board for just FX returns. It was a jammable mobile dub system but it needed a band to work with. When I moved out to the West Coast, my professional obligations as a chef really kept me from diving into the local reggae scene. Through a desire to continue working with music, I ended up cutting my teeth at producing. 

I got into modular and hardware about two and a half years ago. Modular has allowed me to take everything I learned from producing solo and include it with my original inspiration of making dub. These days, I’ve been jamming a lot with my buddy Jesse David, with the goal of performing live.

KK: Let’s talk about the patch you’ve created.

DSZ: In this patch, I’m using the Bin Seq to drive a step sequencer that not only advances with a clock but also has the capability of advancing a step per gate. Bin Seq is patched to both the x clock input of a Make Noise Rene as well as the a1 input of the Abstract Data Event Boss. The logic-driven gate out of the Event Boss is patched to the y clock of Rene. Thus all three gate and cv patterns of Rene are instantly controlled/influenced by any changes to the Bin Seq. Rene X is patched to the Roland 510 (bass line), Rene Y is patched to the Ataraxic Iteritas through the Sinc Bucina (yielding the melodica-type sound) and Rene C to the Loquelic Iteritas Percido (brass sound inspired by POB energy #lip4pob).

The key to getting repeating patterns is using resets. In this patch I am step sequencing the reset for Rene using the Intellijel Steppy. For the first part of the patch Rene resets every sixty four 16th notes relative to the Bin Seq Which is repeating every eight 16th notes. This big ratio gives lots of variations. At the 1:48 mark in the video, I change the reset for Rene: for a couple of bars Rene resets at five 16th notes and then to sixteen 16th notes then back to 64 .

Additionally the bass line is ducking the kick from the from the Drumbrute Impact (MIDI trig to cv, creates a negative envelope; patched to the mod VCA input of the 510) using a technique that I learned from a previous Noise engineering blog! 

KK: I like this use of the BS -- there may be others using it like this, but I’m not sure I’ve seen it. How else might you change up this patch?

DSZ: You could definitely get even more creative with your resets, both globally and per module, including different ratios, relationships and clock divisions to each other.  Another idea would be to use logic triggers for even more reset expression.

links to social media:  

Instagram @dubstationzero

Youtube: DUB station ZERO 


Noise Engineering is proudly located in Los Angeles, CA