Airwindows Chord Organ Firmware Redux

Three hours of video explaining my updated Chord Organ Firmware, which is HERE!

This time, the mic worked and this marathon masterclass in all things Chord Organ is strongly recommended for Eurorack DIYers and synth enthusiasts! It’s basically a total braindump in the current state of the art for procedural chord structure generation, with a huge pile of tips and tricks. This is the evolution of the modular synth jams I’ve been doing for years, and I give every secret and concept away <3

Time for bed now. It’s all in the video. Everything is footnoted for quick reference (which took many hours) so here you go, nothing more for me to say. Enjoy the masterclass, now or for future reference and all your Chord Organ needs :)

00:00 Setup Jam (no human intervention)

24:55 Beginning

28:50 Radio Music, the Chord Organ source

30:05 Radio Music Audio Rate Retriggering

32.48 Chord Organ Bass, Turing Machine Envelope

38:35 Low Chords, Malekko Dual Borg in series

40:50 High Chords, Turing Machine Envelope

44:05 Glitching Input CV

44:55 Configuration of Turing Machine Expanders: Extra Pulses As Gates

48:55 Root is in Circle Of Fifths

50:20 Chord Can Select Arbitrary Chords (not only inversions of root)

51:40 WHY do we select chords in circle of fifths, and make root use circle of fifths?

52:50 Chord Variations stay in the same key at all times whatever mode you’re in

58:05 Root Variations change key by one sharp for each step of offset

1:00:36 Chord Organ Config File Explained


1:13:50 Chromatic Sequence, Easily Jammable

1:15:00 Jammableness based on Voltage Variation Intensity

1:18:40 The Problem With Normal Random Chords

1:20:30 How To Random-Chord Harmoniously

1:24:00 The Arpeggiator Setting (linear scale within the mode)

1:26:36 (the funny note is because the ROOT KNOB is slightly misadjusted)

1:27:40 Patching Envs and Sequences To Arpeggiator (without chord progressions)

1:31:20 Adding Chord Progression To Arpeggios

1:33:53 More Sudden Chord Offsets As Extra Voltages

1:37:00 Playing Along With A Difficult Randomness

1:37:55 Playing Along With Easier Randomness

1:40:30 Desynchronize Arp From Beat (still follows chords though!)

1:45:33 Shorter Sequences On Arp

1:51:24 Pan To Show Mimetic Digitalis (and arp sequencing)

1:52:54 Reset To Origin (Mimetic Digitalis)

1:54:27 Back To Orderly Retriggers (on the arpeggiator)

1:58:49 The Point Of All This (the machine also improvises)

2:01:16 Slowing And Returning To A Tuned Fast Arp (by throwing in rise time on cycling O-Coast)

2:05:30 Chord Organ (&RM) Hardware Mods: Substituting Capacitors, or Omit C1 For Dark Tone

2:07:36 Examples Of Settings Files

2:13:12 Special Glide Settings For Bass (crossing notes in glide)

2:16:00 Bass Glide Trick Demonstrated On Moog (also: Tommy Mars Electrocomp Horn Patch)

2:20:30 Reference High Ambient Soloed (no Glide)

2:21:00 High Ambient, Glide of 32767

2:22:30 Chord Organ Stack Setting (chorusing)

2:27:00 Stock Stack Setting vs Other Values (example of stock !STACK)

2:29:16 Glide of 12 (not actually Stack 12 yet) and what low Stack values do

2:31:00 Reprogramming SD Card Live (to make an example of Stack 12)

2:31:50 Stack 12 (chorus that offsets each note by ONE SEMITONE. Total clash!)

2:33:00 Stack 12 and Glide 32767: THX From Hell :D

2:34:50 Stack 1 is an Octave, Glide 10000 (faster but still seconds)

2:37:30 Stack 2 is a Fifth on all chord notes, whatever they are: Glide 10000

2:40:00 Just Add Reverb (and, how to write config files)

2:42:00 Stock Waveforms (plus ‘!WAVES’ default extra wavetables)

2:43:30 Raw Output (no filter) Stock Waveforms with !WAVES

2:48:00 Filtering The Raw Output (lots of resonant filter)

2:48:50 Outro Jam (Moog Lead over Turing Chords)

2:56:00 Final Statements

2:57:00 BTW, Root Pots Are Chromatic And Must Be Tuned

2:58:36 Quality Of Music Thing Modular Kits Is Exceptional And Best

3:00:10 Retriggering A Radio Music At Audio Rates (or use for drumsamples!)

3:04:20 Free, Open Source, Airwindows is Patreon Supported
How To Hear Modes by David Newman:

Edit: updated 5/20/2020 with an important update. My Chord Organ firmware now runs at a wildly elevated sample rate: 300k and up! You can also specify really low sample rates if you want, but the thing about superhigh sample rates is that it greatly reduces aliasing… so EVERYTHING sounds better. That especially includes the wavetables: they go from kinda cheesy (I was not thrilled with them in the video) to quite amazing, because when you play naive wavetables at super high rates, the artifacts become harmonically related to the notes! If you didn’t click with the wavetables, definitely try them again (warning, you can’t push sample rates even higher, like 340k, unless you skip the wavetable stuff)