good stuff

I have an app on my phone that counts the time since or until a specified date. So this is how I am keenly aware it has been 2 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days since I put down a deposit on a Miezo 18. I had a rough expectation of 3 months, and was thinking about emailing to ask for a time estimate soonish. But today I got a build photo!

I love how the raintree body and ovangkol fretboard match so well, and I find the texture and colors really pleasing. For aesthetic reasons I almost wish I’d gone for an unlined fretless — but I’m sure when the instrument arrives I will be glad of the frets.

Shouldn’t have long to wait now!

Xaoc Koszalin arrived, and I’ve played with it for roughly an hour. It is VERY different from the Freq Shifter in Bitwig. The biggest differences:

  • Koszalin is thru-zero (downshifting a frequency below 0Hz will “reflect” and start climbing back upwards again, though with inversed phase). This is cool when you feed it things other than sines, so some pitches start crawling back up while some are still heading downward. The Bitwig one just stops at 0.
  • Koszalin does simultaneous up and down shifting on separate outputs. This is great for several patch possibilities — get ringmod by mixing them equally, stereoize a mono signal, or shift up and then serially back down (or vice versa). Probably several other tricks going on here too to experiment with.
  • Koszalin has feedback! This is huge in terms of the sonic possibilities. The feedback can be up, down, or a combination (up left and down right). There’s also a “Density” knob which seems to add a slightly delayed signal to fill in between the stripes of the barber pole; basically something to just try and see what it does.
  • Bitwig’s has a wet/dry knob. This would have been nice on Koszalin, but there’s always Blinds and other options for mixing in the dry signal.
  • Koszalin has both exponential FM (for pseudo pitch tracking) and linear TZFM (for dynamic depth without too much disruption of pitch).
  • Koszalin sounds smoother when fed with sub-audio-rate signals that are shifted up into audio range.

The magic of a frequency shifter is that it’s linear rather than exponential. Aside from making harmonic tones inharmonic (or trying to un-stretch inharmonic ones from Odessa for instance), this has some cool implications.

When two sounds are playing at slightly different pitches, there’s a “beating” effect that happens as their waves support or cancel each other out. This is what makes it possible to tune by ear — keep adjusting until the beating disappears.

What if all the partials are off by progressively larger differences though? The beating effect will happen at different rates, causing a sort of crawling “barberpole” motion that can sound really cool. I mean, it easily gets into overly psychedlic wackiness, but with some good judgement it can definitely be a useful effect. At higher rates it becomes a different sort of timbral effect. When you start throwing in the power of feedback and FM, it’s quite a tool.

But yeah, just running Odessa into it and trying to unbend its inharmonicity can lead to some really spiffy drones. Or right now, I have an unearthly Rings > Koszalin > Mimeophon > Rings feedback patch going. Or with the feedback, you can ping it and get weird little self-made melodies…