At the 2018 NAMM Show, KOMA Elektronik gave us an update on their Field Kit FX, Strom Mobile Power & Komplex Sequencer.… Read More KOMA Elektronik Field Kit FX, Strom Mobile Power & Komplex Sequencer
KOMA Elektronik are discontinuing their BD101 and FT201 pedals after a final limited run. 7 years ago, these products launched an upstart boutique brand.
The BD101 analog gate/delay and FT201 state-variable filter/10-step sequencer were released as two pedals in the now-distinctive KOMA white, way back in 2011. They launched that name in Berlin as the company’s first two products. Now, KOMA says they’ll use up their last parts in one final production run, not expected to last too far into January.
And seven years is a pretty decent lifespan for any product. But these particular pedals accomplished a lot – not only heralding the arrival of KOMA, but part of a generation of gear that marked a new age in boutique, independent devices, often emphasizing analog and underground sounds. Now much of that has been swept up in the Eurorack phenomenon, but it has surely included desktop gear, too.
KOMA for their part have gone on to a range of influential gear, a massive artist following, and even a music label, event series, and community space in their native Neukölln, Berlin. As recounted in the press release:
Over the course of their seven-year existence, the BD101 and FT201 have gone through four production runs, including a 50 unit special black edition and a special edition for Scottish post rock band Mogwai. Their sonic signature can be heard on a ton of records, and its signature white enclosures can be found in top notch recording studios as well as on stage with amongst others electronic musicians Alessandro Cortini, Pole, Addison Groove, Henning Baer, RAC, Jimmy Edgar and more rock oriented musicians like Lee Ranaldo, Vessels, Chvrches and a bunch of noise music legends!
Now, KOMA can take that know-how and make room for new machines. (The press release teases some new things to come. It’d be great to see more pedals, of course!)
CDM has managed to be there for some of this history, like the Musikmesse video I shot (really badly) in the back of a van, since KOMA couldn’t afford a booth at the time. That video makes it into the press release:
Jimmy Edgar walks through those pedals in his studio:
And we’ve had some fun Kodak moments with these things over the years:
Find the pedals back at KOMA – or go pay them a visit at their new community space for music electronics, Common Ground:
The post KOMA’s pedals are discontinued, but leave a mighty 7-year legacy appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
Koma today revealed a sequel to their crowd-funded smash hit Field Kit. And it’s a whole bunch of patchable effects, for €249 (€219 for funders).
Inside that box, there’s a load of different effects to play with:
- Frequency Shifter
- Sample Rate Reducer / Bitcrusher
- Digital Delay
- Analog Spring Reverb
Yeah, you read that last one right – there’s actually a physical spring in there for reverb. Behold:
Looping of course means that you could make the FX a hub of performance. And in addition to the other digital effects, that frequency shifter opens up some really interesting possibilities.
So, whereas the first Field Kit depended on you attaching contact mics and working with the mixing functions, the Field Kit FX actually has a lot more sonic possibilities included right out of the box. There’s still a companion book to go with it, and of course this is already intended as a clever
But, for a kind of “weirdo modular effects toolkit” in a case, you also get a bunch of tools for applying these effects, by mixing and sequencing them:
- 4 Channel VCA Mixer
- 4 Step Mini Sequencer
- Envelope Generator
All over the place, you’ve got various patch points. That’s a chance to connect to other analog I/O – which certainly includes Eurorack modulars, but these days a lot of other gear, as well, even desktop units from Novation, Roland, Arturia, KORG, and the like.
And there’s a new 4-Channel CV Interface for bringing it all together, meaning you can come up with pretty elaborate modular connections.
In fact, for under three hundred bucks, the whole thing looks a bit like either a shrunken Eurorack modular or a tabletop of analog and digital effects merged together for patching.
Now, this is still definitely geared for advanced users. There’s no MIDI. And the CV routing, while powerful, might be overwhelming to newcomers – for instance, there’s not a single, simple trigger in to clock that sequencer. (That’s not necessarily a criticism – the various CV options mean loads of creative flexibility. But it does probably mean this box is more for people who want to get deep into patching.)
Watch the overview video, natch:
The post Koma just unveiled a whole patchable analog effects toolkit appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
Okay, first, a power product sounds like about the most boring music tech news ever. But the kids at KOMA have found a way to make modular power exciting.
And of course, because anything involving electricity sounds cooler in German than in English, meet STROM.
First, the video – which turns what seems a dull, technical topic into exciting launch video. Seriously, more fun to watch than that iPhone X announcement (uh, for me, anyway). Let’s let KOMA’s Wouter explain – in a lab coat!
KOMA are embarking on a deep dive into the world of modular Eurorack – which I hear the young folks really love at the moment. First, there was a case system. Now, there’s a power system. And both are nicely affordable.
And since power is what gives you noise, power matters.
I asked KOMA’s Wouter what makes this product different. Answer: “The Strom is cleaner than any of the competition for a way lower price with very low ripple, great safety features with the fusing and the short circuit protection!”
We’ll get some of our modular boffins on this to check.
The other important detail here is not what this is, but who it comes from – KOMA’s engineer Robert has been the lead on all digital products, and did the programming work on the epic, legendary Komplex Sequencer.
Looks like KOMA are on their way to another big market hit. Hope to visit them soon – and their growing Common Ground community space.
The post KOMA are about to get deep into Eurorack – starting with power appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
KOMA Elektronik has introduced the KOMA Elektronik Field Kit – a Eurorack-compatible toolkit for experimenting with electroacoustic sound – and a Kickstarter project to fund the kit’s production. The Field Kit is optimized to process signals from microphones, contact microphones, electromagnetic pickups and is also able to run DC motors and solenoids. On top of that, it can… Read More Koma Elektronik Intros ‘Field Kit’ Electroacoustic Workstation
This video playlist features a series of short demos that explore the capabilities of the massive KOMA Elektronik Komplex Sequencer. KOMA calls the Komplex Sequencer “a musical monster”. It is built around four full-featured 16-step sequencers that lets you use one or … Continue reading
Tweet Sequential Session with Koma Elektronik Komplex Sequencer, Doepfer Dark Energy, Elektron Analog Four, Moog Slim Phatty, Moog Little Phatty, and Waldorf Blofeld. http://arjenschat.nl
The sound world of Joey Blush (aka Blush Response) is far reaching, entering dark clouds of murky industrial, EBM, and techno, all with relentless forward-pushing grooves. But as we talk to him about how he connects his gear, we’re really looking at how he connects his thoughts.
At its best, whatever we’re doing with gear ought to be about our minds. It’s not just connecting a patch cord. It’s connecting an idea from one place to another – re-wiring neurons.
Synth legend Morton Subotnick spoke this week about that process, as he recalled first creating complex metric structures simply by patching together loops on hardware modular sequencers (there, via the Buchla). As rhythmic structures emerged, he blew his own brain open – and the landmark record Silver Apples on the Moon was born. And I thought of this:
“You’re sequencing the sequence!”
I heard a smiling Wouter Jaspers of KOMA Elektronik repeat that phrase like a Zen koan. His sequencer isn’t intended to be simple. It’s even called Komplex.
The Komplex sequencer has reached the final prototype stage, with a release in coming weeks. KOMA Elektronik visited Joey Blush in the studio to play with the Komplex and a host of modules.
And what’s significant about this is that it is a return to some of what Morton was talking about back in the 60s. This isn’t about something abstract; it’s getting hands-on, gestural control over sounds, so that there’s a direct line from your instinct to making some change in the sound by moving your body.
Literally, how is Joey making the connection? He sends over his signal flow to CDM, in terms of what you see in the KOMA video:
The oscillator is an Intellijel Shapeshifter
into a WMD synchrodyne
into a KOMA SVF-201
A Manhattan Analog VCA on the end
being modulated by MATHS. [uh, the module, though everything I do is modulated by maths!]
Everything is sequenced by the Komplex sequencer
Drums are the [Roland AIRA] TR8 through the [KOMA] FT201
Now, that was a short demo. For a proper live set, let’s have a watch and listen through the blueish smoke of a live set at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London, from 25 May.
Here’s the breakdown for that:
two voices being sequenced by electron octatrack – mutable yarns as midi converter, elektron analog rytm doing drums. All tweaks are done by hand here. I have the OT loaded with sequences I’ve made, more than I need for an entire set, so that I can call up different ones at will and create new ‘tracks’ by tweaking the patch parameters and coming across new things. What you are seeing is sort of a live patching experiment. I know where things have to go but how I get there is different every time.
I also had an interesting conversation with Joey about how he works with the Elektron Octatrack and Analog Rytm drum machines. He’s actually integrating them with the modulars, using them to make things morph even more. And no Eurorack snobbery here – using drum machines like the AIRA or, here, the Elektron, means he always has convenient access to sounds:
I use the octatrack as my main sequencer for the eurorack live and in the studio.
I can sequence CC changes using the midi to cv converter (currently a Vermona QMI) so I can have these evolving sequences that sound like cut up parts you would have done in a computer.
The RYTM handles all percussion duties for obvious reasons – it’s monstrous and it’s a bit easier to carry than a bigger eurorack case.
I really love Joey’s sonic imagination. It’s heavy, it’s industrial, but isn’t just arbitrarily bleak – there’s heart and, somehow, warmth in it. Take this track:
Or a full live set:
This album is well worth a listen:
And now, the 12″ Future Tyrants is up on Bandcamp:
Thanks to Joey for the juicy details.
Check the official site:
All photos courtesy the artist.
The post Inside hands-on live technique with Blush Response, KOMA, Elektron appeared first on Create Digital Music.
KOMA Elektronik has announced that their new Komplex Sequencer – described as ‘a musical monster’ – is now available. The new step sequencer lets you construct complex musical patterns, via both MIDI and CV/Gate. Built around four full-featured 16-step sequencers in a … Continue reading