Chris Stack (formerly of Moog) inaugurates a series of experimental synthesis sounds with a stereo modulation effect, using two of the terrific Moog MF-102 ring modulators as the canvas. It’s a dead-simple combination of cables – you connect the carrier output of the first MF-102 into the input of the second, and the LFO out to the frequency – but once interconnected, the double ring mod effect is capable of a wide range of sounds.

(“Double ring mod … oh my God.” Yeah, I know.)

In fact, for the impatient among you, you might here the experimental synthy sounds at the beginning and miss the subtler pads just before three minutes. This is a technique that really has a broad potential palette, beyond the conventional (and admittedly alien) sounds of the ring mod.

The Moogerfooger has a very recognizable sound, and it’s a wonderful unit. If you can’t afford two or more of these beauties, though, watch carefully – the routing here could easily be replicated in software, once you understand what’s going on. (Pd patch, anyone? Upload to comments and I’ll send you … some kind of prize.)

And if you have a computer and some Moog boxes, you can do this twice.

Chris, I look forward to what you do next! (Bonus, below – the answer to that question, and the question of what to do if you own a Little Phatty and a Slim Phatty. Or … perhaps what do if you’ve got one Phatty and your friend has another?)

  • genjutsushi

    Do you reckon this would be possible with two copies of the Moog filtatron iOS aplication?

  • lala

    Wow, analog stereo tremolo on pads sounds nice; but prohibitive for me.

    @genjutsushi: no, filters aint ringmodulators

  • http://youshootiscore.com Ned Bouhalassa

    Thanks for this article, Peter. Very refreshing sound – now to save up a few beans…

  • http://æ.cun y

    is this open source ?

  • http://obscurerobot.com JamesMcN

    Here's something I threw together in PureData this morning. It doesn't quite capture the Moogerfooger sound, but should be a good starting point.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5930365/DoubleRingmodAllT

    (Peter – feel free to rehost the file until I can find a better place for it than my dropbox)

  • http://obscurerobot.com JamesMcN

    You will need the full archive, please replace the above link with this:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5930365/DoubleRingModAllT

  • Peter Kirn

    Wow, James; thanks! I'll have a look.

  • http://lowbroweye.com Anthony Bowyer-Lowe

    Cool stuff. I've been doing things similar to this for some time but I'm not a videographer type person and its easy to forget occasionally that others don't have bits of modulars and hacked synths laying around for experimentation.

    Respect to Chris for sharing the ideas!

  • http://www.experimentalsynth.com Chris Stack

    Thanks for the great comments. More to come!

  • WOW!

    MIND = BLOWN :O

  • http://www.experimentalsynth.com Chris Stack

    If you liked the rhythm track in the ring mod video, here's a stem to play around with…

    http://soundcloud.com/experimentalsynth/ringmod-r

  • http://noisepages.com/members/jamesmcn/ jamesmcn

    Chris – the best thing about your double ringmod concept is that it is so easy to take in many different directions. I've spent some time trying to bring my PureData patch more in line with the actual behavior of the MF-102s, but I find that I'm getting pulled in other sonic directions. Great video, great inspiration!

  • http://robotcowboy.com Dan Wilco

    @JamesMcN Thanks for the example, I took the liberty of updating it as I wonder why you use phasors instead of oscs and messages instead of signals for the lfo. I also added a shprt 8 note sequence.
    http://danomatika.com/media/2011/01/DoubleRingMod

  • http://noisepages.com/members/jamesmcn/ jamesmcn

    I could probably come up with a logical argument, but the real reason is that it was very early in the morning, and I was probably working with phasors the night before.

  • http://djnsm.com Marc

    Don't forget about control voltage from line level sources to provide higher resolution and sans-MIDI fun!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ4wyz7a27g