Holy Bot

Bedroom music production, gaming and random shit


June 2015

Control Your Gear

I got another new piece of equipment, a Behringer B-Control Rotary BCR2000. It’s a cascadable desktop control surface that was released over 10 years ago. So I’m late on this, but I haven’t had the need until now. (I’m aware of Behringer’s newer product range X-Touch, but in short, I do favor the many rotary knobs to a few faders, even if they’re motorized.)

The purpose was mainly to have the BCR2000 act as a programmer for a recently purchased Alpha Juno-2, and it really does open up the synth. Even if I know a thing or two about subtractive synthesis, to have all parameters laid out like this, and being able to make multiple adjustments simultaneously, well that’s just unbeatable.

Not Perfect

Now the BCR2000 isn’t perfect. To set it up and upload custom presets (SysEx) could have been easier. The knobs feel alright, but not as good as the microKORG’s or MiniBrute’s. The illuminated encoders can also be a bit imprecise; there are 15 LED in the ring around each knob, and they transmit values from 0 to 127, which should mean that each light holds approximately 8-9 steps, but in reality the amount jumps, i.e. the first light covers 5 steps and the second 8 steps.

To shift between USB and stand-alone modes, which is necessary in my case using both hard- and software, is a bit fiddly.

I’d also prefer the clumsy thingy to be a little more compact.


Anyway, it’s a great device. And it turns out the BCR2000 also talks to my microKORG, which makes the notorious menu diving redundant. And on top of that it works wonderfully with Live and Reason’s softsynths and features.

There seem to be plenty of resources for the BCR2000 like a Yahoo group and a several threads on Gearslutz.

Moreover, SynthGraphics offers a few ready-made SysEx files and custom panel overlays. While the overlay of the Alpha Juno is a great translation of the PG-300 map, the microKORG overlay is okay but fails the ease of the original virtual patch matrix – still it’s much better than using the microKORG on its own.

New gear, old corner.

Some time ago I got an Arturia MiniBrute. Initially I was a bit perplexed by how the Steiner-Parker multimode filter worked. Anyway, here’s a short demo made of 100 percent Brute sounds (some external effects are added though).

All drum sounds – programmed in some kind of UK garage fashion – are designed on the synth, often utilizing the Brute Factor.

The rest is merely a single setting, multitracked as four-voice polyphonic. The lead is rich of harmonics with mixed waveforms and a bit of the signature Ultrasaw and Metalizer wave shaper.

P.S. If you’re interested, there are more demos of soloed synths like this at Synth Farm,

Japanese Synthesizer

So I got this package in the mail today. Really just a toy. Maybe not so musical but still a true analog synthesis that’s up to no-good-lush-creamy-noise. Who doesn’t need that? It also features a stylus controller and built-in speaker. And check out the price tag. It fit quite nice next to the volca range (but sounds very different and is more chaotic). Yes it’s the Gakken SX-150 Mark II.

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