Saturday, May 29, 2010

Attack of the Bee Woman

Experimenting a bit with analog pedals...

The Moog Little Phatty is passing through EHX Memory Boy delay, providing various insect lead sounds.

The Korg Poly-800 is plugged to EHX Electric Mistress flanger.

Attack of the Bee Woman by khoral

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dude, Where's my Monotron

Korg's new analog toy, the Monotron won't be shipped to our European shores till July, but there are already quite a number of US videos online.

Most of them aren't very interesting, but here's a nice one, featuring some good external audio processing through the MS-20-clone filter of the Monotron. As seen on Matrixsynth (, and created by Musicradar (

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Album Due July 1st

The title says it all, eh?

My next commercial release will be "Life on a Sinking Ship".

The date is July 1st 2010, on CDR and iTunes.

I'm currently polishing the mix and experimenting with short songs to segue the main tracks. I'll post some excerpts and work-in-progress demos until the release.

The tracklist so far:

1 – Colour of Bone (a very very poppy song... boy is that poppy)
2 – Who the Fuck are You (a new faster and much better recording of a song already released round these parts)
3 – Life on a Sinking Ship (a funkier, moodier trip, with a hypnotic feeling)
4 – In the Clockwork City (part.1) (not sure if this will make it through the final release, it's a vocoder tune)
5 – The Opium Spider (inspired by the instrumental off the "Chasing Ghosts" EP, a dark psychedelic cue)
6 – In the Clockwork City (part.2) (reworked from an instrumental, with some weird vocal experimentation)
7 – Machines are your Friends (a long, almost prog-electro piece about living with machines)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Moogy Korg Revisited

More pics of my new modded Microkorg...

As usual, click on the pics for higher resolution.

Next step : closing the back (it's open right now, needs some wood work).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Introducing the Micromoorg

Or is it a MSicrokorg-20? Little Korg? Microphatty?

Anyway, remember some time ago I've posted some pics of a modded Microkorg, à la Moog.

Well, I own it now! I've exchanged my flat one for it.

I'll make some more detailed pics later on, but here's a preview.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Strawberry Reminder

Thanks to everyone who already purchased my 3rd album.

Support for indie music is very much appreciated.

If you haven't got a copy of this fine electropop album, drop me a mail (khoralnet[nospam] so that I can send you this (13€ shipping included).

Songs can be previewed on Deezer.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Alesis Nanoverb

Papa's got a brand new verb!

Well, allright, this isn't exactly new : I've just found it at a garage sale for virtually nothing, and it seems in perfect working order.

The Nanoverb is Alesis's 1996 mini digital reverb unit, on the trail of the Microverb I and II. It's small, and I mean, really small, roughly the size of a guitar pedal. The built is sturdy and trustworthy and the layout couldn't be simpler : 1 Input Gain knob, 1 Output Gain, 1 Mix balance, 1 Preset selector and 1 Parameter adjustment knob.

Yeah, you've heard me : only one Parameter knob, which is pretty drastic, but keep in mind it's a very simple, budget unit.

The Nanoverb features 16 ROM presets.

First, of course, the reverbs.

3 Concert Hall, 3 Room, 3 Plate reverbs : they're all very good, with special mention to the Room algorithm. Not that you will get the natural, lush sound of a pricey Lexicon, but the Nanoverb still produces a nice, moody atmosphere to any track, without getting too metallic or brilliant.

1 Nonlinear reverb (to quote the manual : In the mid '80s, a certain British producer/engineer (who shall remain anonymous) discovered a clever way of creating a huge drum sound. He would place the drum set in a large, reverberant room, mic the room and chop off the end of the reverb tail with a noise gate. When this sound caught on, digital reverbs began to be released with a "Nonlinear" program, which simulated this effect. In the end their simulation became more widely used than the effect it was trying to emulate, and the non linear reverb earned it's place in effects history).

When a reverb is selected, the Parameter knob adjusts the decay.

Then, the "pitch based effects".

1 rather uninspiring Chorus, 1 semi-decent Flanger, 1 usable Rotary, and a couple of more interesting Chorus/Room algorithms.

I've recorded these three demos with the unit.

1. A very digital sequence (a most famous D50 factory patch), first dry, then passing through the various pitch-based presets and tweaking them.

2. A very analog pad from the Prophet 08, with various heavy reverbs.

3. The same D50 sequence, this time using the other effects..

Finally, the specs:

Electrical Frequency Response: ±1dB from 20Hz to 20 kHz
Dynamic Range: >90dB "A" wtg., 20 Hz-22kHz
Distortion: <0.009%><0.005%>
Crosstalk: <90db>

Number of Channels: 2
Format: 1/4" unbalanced
Nominal Level: -10 dBV, adjustable to +4 dBu
Maximum Level: +10 dBV
Impedance: 1MW/channel stereo, 500kW/channel mono
A/D - D/A Conversions
A/D converter: 18 bit Sigma-Delta, 128 times oversampling
D/A converter: 18 bit Sigma-Delta, 8 times oversampling

Number of Channels: 2
Format: 1/4" unbalanced
Maximum Level: +17.5 dBu
Nominal Level -20 dBV or +4dBu, front- panel adjustable
Output Impedance: 500 ohms

Power 9 Volt Power Transformer (Alesis P3)
Processor Speed: 3 MIPs (million instructions per second)
Internal processing resolution: 24 bit accumulator
Factory Preset Programs (ROM): 16

Delay memory: 1270 milliseconds

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Worms Everywhere

Remember Mario?

Pixelites pop up everywhere in town...

Ah, Worms, now that's a game.

Get'em John Deacon! (private joke).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Green Tea Chocolate

Dug up from the blog archives... written summer 2009. Most probably all Prophet 08. A fine tune, I might reuse it for the upcoming "Life on a Sinking Ship" EP, because the chords seem to match one of the songs. 

In Japan, they have all sorts of Kit Kat... strawberry, lemon, milk tea... and the very best one is matcha Kit Kat, that is, green tea chocolate, which tastes like delicate, bittersweet memory.

Thanks to Anne&Sebastien for bringing back this scent of Japan.

Green Tea Chocolate by khoral

Monday, May 10, 2010

Microkorg Patches

I hadn't been using my Microkorg too much these last couple of years, but lately I've added it to my live rig and got to program new stuff.

The following track is 100% Microkorg, except CR78 drums.

All patches used on this track can be downloaded in this zip file.

They are in sysex format. You may use a free software like MIDI-OX to load them in your Microkorg.

Breathless by khoral

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hats Off to Gforce Software

Now here's what I call responsiveness : I've sent an email this morning to Gforce Software asking about the status of the expansion pack that was announced early on for the outstanding Virtual String Machine.

A mere two hours later, I've received word from Dave Spiers that the expansion pack is still in the works, thanks Jeebus, and will feature some historic stringey beauties such as the Roland VP330 and Yamaha GX-1.

The Virtual String Machine is to me the definitive, well, string machine emulation, providing instant 1970's/1980's string magic to any song. My own review is HERE.

Needless to say I'm a huge fan of Gforce's products, ever since I've bought their fantabulous Mellotron plugin, and I'll sure wait anxiously for more on the Virtual String Machine.

Gforce Software official site :

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Microkorg Inside

It's getting hot in here.

I had to open my Microkorg to check out something, and grabbed the opportunity to take this rather indecent shot.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What's Next?

Well, more Cover Series obviously, but more important order of business is the follow-up to "Broken Sails", that is, the upcoming "Life on a Sinking Ship" EP.

It will feature 6 brand new songs.

Here's the probable tracklist:

1 - Colour of Bone (atmospheric, deep pop, part of our live répertoire)

2 - Life on a Sinking Ship (swirling, winding funky trip)

3 - Machines are your Friends (a long, almost progressive work)

4 - Opium Spider II (psychedelic electro-pop, based on the closing track to "Chasing Ghosts")

5 - Who the Fuck are You (bouncy edgy groovy tune, of which a demo has been released here some months ago, but this is a brand new recording, and the ending song of the live act)

6 - We Die in Sleep (beautiful ballad sung by Molly Sundar)

I can't give a release date yet, but it'll be a commercial one, first released as a nicely crafted CDR, then as iTunes digital download.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cover Series 3 : Muddy River (Bob Dylan)

Part 3 of my ongoing Cover Series : this time a tribute to the Man himself, my all-time idol Bob Dylan.

Download all songs with iPod icons.

I've purposedly chosen tracks not too well known, and went for a slightly grittier, less produced sound than usual.

1 - High Water (a raw, dirty blues gem from 2001 "Love and Theft")
2 - Not Dark Yet (somber, bitter ballad from 1997 "Time out of mind")
3 - Man in the Long Black Coat ( a Tom Waits-like masterpiece from 1989 "Oh Mercy")
4 - Huck's Tune (an alternate mix to a track already released round these parts, from 2008 "Tell Tale Signs")
5 - Lay Down your Weary Tune (unreleased song, 1963)
6 - Wigwam (instrumental from 1970 "Self Portrait")

I've used acoustic and slide guitars, Moog bass (and lead solo on "Wigwam"), Prophet 08 pads on "Not Dark Yet" and "Huck's Tune", Gforce VSM on "Lay Down" and Gforce Mellotron pretty much everywhere else.

High Water by khoral