Carving Out Space: Dynamix and STO

Before we get started, lets talk about delays for just a minute, don’t worry, it bears on what we’re talking about here…

Analogue delays, it seems like they’re where it’s at. They’re popular, and I can understand why. They just seem to sit better than typically brighter digital delays. I’ve had the pleasure of using both analogue and digital delays, and even some nice digital delays designed to emulate analogue. Why is it so much easier to hit a track with an analogue (true or emulated) delay than a digital one? I think it comes down to frequency. A brighter, digital delay tends to contend for the same sonic space, the same frequencies as the source sound. Analogue delays are usually darker, they tend to have less of the higher frequencies. So, while they maintain the character of source, they don’t compete for our attention as much. They simply sit well with very little fuss.

Now, bringing this to our little Make Noise system, I love the Sub oscillator on STO. It makes this great beefy noise with plenty of harmonics. It can blend really nicely with the Shape or Sine outputs, but sometimes I want it to stand out more distinctly. This can be hard because of how harmonically rich it is. It has a tendency to compete with the main oscillator, rather than stand apart. A great way to get a nice separation is by simply using a channel of Dynamix.

  1. We don’t need to use up our limited modulation sources to do this, which is nice because we only have Contour and Function right now.
  2. Plug the Sub output into the input of one of Dynamix’s two channels.
  3. With nothing plugged into the Level input, the Level knob acts as a manual control.
  4. Use the level knob to dial back the volume and harmonics of the Sub output until you achieve the desired separation from the shape/sine outputs.

Now, being an LPG, by the time you get the harmonics where you want them you may have a level imbalance between your bass and melody. If you have a Rosie you can use it to correct the imbalance. Simply plug your shape/sine output into ch. A and your Sub into ch. B and cross-fade between the two until you get a good balance. (Of course mixers and other tools can be used to re-balance the volume as well.) Lastly, don’t forget that, while our little system uses LPGs, you can achieve the same effect, a little more easily even, by using a low pass filter (I’d suggest a one or two pole filter).

I find this little trick particularly useful, when I’m trying to take advantage of the S-Gate, to create a bass line that stands out from the melody.