The Shared System Series compiles the separate recordings of several artists utilizing the same electronic musical instrument, the Shared System. At times it feels as though electronic music has become an overly automated form driven by simplified genre specific apps and software. What happens when the signal path is not pre-defined or optimized for a popular result? The Shared System is a modular synthesizer developed by Make Noise. It has no pre-determined signal path, and is not designed for any particular musical destination. In limiting the artists to this one instrument, we hope the Shared System Series of records will purely illustrate the intentions of the artists.

High quality master lacquers were made by SAE Mastering, and shipped to URP for pressing. The result is a high fidelity 7” record. Like the Shared System instrument, the sleeves for these records are a combination of digital and analog technology. They are designed using computer software and printed using a hand-cranked letterpress called the Vandercook 4.

Series curated by Surachai.

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MNR009  :   Bana Haffar "Matiere"  

Album Cover Art by Bana, Design by Sean Curtis Patrick

A: “Endo”
B: “Exo”

Recorded in artist’s home in Los Angeles, January 2017.
Instrument: Custom Make Noise System

Tracks performed and recorded live without the use of overdubs. This was prepared for by performing the pieces several times live as two movements. Very few patch connections were changed between the tracks “Endo” and “Exo”. Both pieces use a largely identical patch, in the same key, performed in two different ways.

MNR008  :   Hypoxia "Division of Trust"  

A: “Hidden Error”
B: “Hidden Conduct”

Recorded in artist’s studio in Los Angeles, July, 2016.
Instrument: Custom Make Noise System

Division of Trust is dedicated to Virginia Pulido 1923-1995.

Division of Trust EP is comprised of two individual live performances recorded in a single take without any multi-tracking, as with all Hypoxia recordings.
This process is vital to the dynamics and emotional movement of the music, so that each piece reflects a particular moment, even its imperfections.

MNR007  :   Alessandro Cortini "SPIE"

B: “EST”

Recorded in Summer of 2015.
Instrument: Make Noise Shared System

Boomkat review:

Alessandro Cortini returned to his Make Noise Shared System modular synthesizer last summer, to create two variations of a patch that could be described as “…a gorgeous sunrise over a decimated landscape…”

Using the same Make Noise Shared modular synth patch developed on 2013’s ACMN 1 & 2 release, and also explored by Richard Devine and Keith Fullerton Whitman, the NIN synthesist wrests two sprawling, coruscating sound images which smudge and oil across the mind’s eye with a late-night, psilocybic sci-fi quality that’s key to all his solo work.

With Quest he follows elliptical, arcing contours from root drone to sky scraping harmonic blooms in its 11 minute duration, before isolating and feathering out one of its plumes into the B-side’s more brooding agenda, again slowly building from tentative starts to really sink its flags in by the apex and leave us drained and bleeding, roadside in the inky blacknuss of nighttime LA.

MNR005  :   Surachai

Sleeve design by Zach Smith.
Printed by Kelly Kelbel.

A: “Aeon”
B: “Belial”

Recorded in Chicago, IL, June 17 2013. Instrument: Make Noise Shared System

Side A – Aeon
Dual Prismatic Oscillator
DPO Final -> Optomix
DPO OSC 2 Square -> Phonogene Shift
DPO OSC 2 Sine -> Echphon in
Optomix Channel 2 in -> Echophon out
Optomix sum output -> Echophon in
Optomix Sum output->Moddemix Aux In

Phonogene Audio Out -> Wogglebug Ringmod In
Phonogene Audio Out -> Moddemix channel 1 Carrier (left input)

Pressure Points
Pressure Points Channel 4 Gate -> MATHS Channel 1 Trigger
Pressure Points Channel 4 Gate -> Phonogene Record
Pressure Points Channel 4 Gate -> moddemix channel 1 modulator (right)
Pressure Points Sequencer 2 output -> DPO Channel 1 v/oct

Maths Channel 1 -> Phonogene Gene Size In
Maths Channel 4 Cycle Mode -> DPO Angle In

Wogglebug Ring Out -> Modemix Channel Two Modulator (right)
Wogglebug Stepped VC Out -> Phonogene Slide

Rene XCLK -> Wogglebug Clock out
RENE QCV -> DPO OSC 2 v/oct
RENE CV -> Maths Both Channel 4
RENE Gate X -> DPO Strike

Main Output -> Moddemix Sum output

Side B – Belial
Heart In -> Echophon Clock Out
Ringmod In -> Echophon Feedback Out
Stepped CV Out -> DPO Fold CV In
Stepped CV Out -> Echophon Echo CV In
Stepped CV Out -> ModDeMix Channel 2 Carrier (left input)
Stepped CV Out -> MATHS Channel 4 Fall CV In
Random Clock -> RENE XCLK In
Clock Out -> RENE YCLK In
Woggle CV Out -> MATHS Channel 1 Fall In
Woggle CV Out -> Phonogene Gene Shift In

X-CV In -> MATHS Channel 3 (Negative Voltage)
YMOD In -> MATHS Channel 1 Out
Y-CV -> DPO Channel 2 Sine Out
QCV Out -> Echophon Mix CV In
QCV Out -> MATHS Channel 2 input (Negative Voltage)
QCV Out -> DPO FM Bus CV In
CV Out -> DPO Angle CV In
CV Out -> DPO Channel 1 1V/oct In
G-X Out -> DPO Strike In
G-Y Out -> MATHS Channel 1 Trigger In

Pressure Points
Channel 1 Pressure Out -> DPO Channel 2 Expo CV In
Channel 2 Pressure Out -> DPO Channel 1 Expo CV In
Channel 3 Pressure Out -> Echophon Depth CV In
Channel 4 Pressure Out -> Echophon Freeze In
Channel 4 Gate Out -> Phonogene Rec In

Channel 1 Both CV In – > MATHS Channel 4 out
Channel 1 Out -> Phonogene Slide CV In
Channel 1 Out -> DPO Modbus Index CV In
Channel 2 Out -> Echophon Echo CV In
OR Out -> Echophon Feedback CV In
Channel 3 Out -> DPO Shape CV In
Channel 4 Out -> MATHS Channel 3 In (Negative Voltage)
Channel 4 Trigger In -> Echophon Clock Out

Dual Prismatic Oscillator
Channel 1 Triangle Out -> ModDeMix Channel 1 Modulator (right input)
Channel 1 Saw -> Phonogene Gene Size CV In
Final Output -> Optomix Channel 2 In
Final Output -> ModDeMix Channel 1 Carrier In (left input)
Channel 2 Expo In -> ModDeMix Out 2

Moddemix Channel 1 output -> Echophon Audio In
Moddemix Channel 1 output -> Optomix Channel 1 Audio In

Aux In -> Echophon Mix Out
Sum out -> Phonogene Audio In

Main Output -> Phonogene Out

MNR004  :   Keith Fullerton Whitman

Sleeve design by Zach Smith.
Printed by Kelly Kelbel.

A: “Vehement Denial”
B: “Platelets”

Recorded at ASH VAN, Cambridge, MA, March-April 2013. Instrument: Make Noise Shared System

… borrowing a bit from the techniques that Pauline Oliveros used in her earliest pieces, I started by running the Wogglebug at audio-rates, using the smooth & stepped outputs as an fm-source for the DPO running at sub-bass frequencies & patching the clock into the Rene running a diatonic sequence. The various wrap-around heterodynings essentially added a third “voice” to the patch & the resultant “tonal” rhythms started resolving themselves in nice ways, reminding me a bit of the sort(s) of experiments with drum-programming I carried out in the mid-90’s whilst I was still recording as “Hrvatski” … there was enough gain in the input of the Phonogene to preamp a small battery-powered microphone, which was getting a real-time feedback loop of the sounds the Skiff was creating, plus a little bit of drone-singing & in-situ Concrète-sound - both track were recorded in real-time to a PCM recorder, a digital dictaphone, and a cassette walkman …

MNR003  :   Robert A. A. Lowe

Sleeve design by Zach Smith.
Printed by Kelly Kelbel.

A: “Heptagramic Approximation”
B: “Alpha Crucis”

Recorded 2012 in Brooklyn, NY USA
Instrument: Make Noise Shared System

Upon receiving the Shared System in the post, i proceeded to look at the instrument sitting in the corner for about two weeks without touching it. The process by which i came to the compositions on this record was a slow one. I had come to know the components of the system individually and in combination with others modules from a number of designers, each with different aesthetics. That was always a major reason for my interest in modular synthesis, the possibility of combining different strains of thought from one module to the next. This all in a format that would allow such ideas to congeal.

For this series we were given fairly strict parameters within a system coming from one designer with a heavy aesthetic. The challenge was to create two real time patch pieces recorded without multi tracking or any sort of outboard gear, effects, etc. Everything you will hear on these sides was done in a single pass without treatment of any kind outside of what was in the synthesizer. any delays or echoes you hear are generated by the machine.

With Heptagramic Approximation the patch was minimal and the interactions were simple. The end result turned out a bit more like Raymond Scott’s more jaunty compositions, as the focus of the whole piece was more to do with pluck and bouncy Low-Pass Gates. The static nature of the percussion was to be broken up by fluffs of melody produced by a pressure sensitive controller which gave a slightly deeper dimension to the motorik charge of the percussive clacks.

Alpha Crucis was a much more complex patch utilizing every module in the system. The goal was to drift into a dreamlike state, almost like an extension of the melodic undercurrent from the A side composition. As if to contrast the first composition, i focused on layering and dragging, where Heptagramic Approximation was upbeat and clean. The overall feel of the piece lives in a more contemporary space, which is nice to see that juxtaposition as well as an exercise in exploration of the instrument’s capabilities.

MNR002  :   Alessandro Cortini

Sleeve design by Zach Smith.
Printed by Kelly Kelbel.

“ACMN1” & “ACMN2”

Recorded 2012 in LA, California USA.
Instrument: Make Noise Shared System

The pieces were written and recorded over a few days…as I often do I left the system on the floor, in my music room (not the studio!) under a big skylight, and sat next to it, listening through my home stereo system. Working in this environment makes it easier for me to detach from the “responsibilities” that come with working inside a proper studio, and I seem to be more able to let go and explore instruments without being too concerned about the result…the process becomes enjoyable again and that almost always leads to an enjoyable outcome for me and (hopefully) for the listener.

I tend to leave patches on for several days before recording: I am slow at analyzing and processing what I do, so it takes days of “bombarding” my head with a piece in order to make changes and shape it into what will be a (temporary) final version.

MNR001  :   Richard Devine

Sleeve design by Zach Smith.
Printed by Kelly Kelbel.

“Creature I” & “Creature II”

Recorded 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia USA.
Instruments: Make Noise Shared System

‘The Make Noise Creature pieces where written in the months of July and August 2012 here at my studio in Atlanta GA. It involved using only the Make Noise Shared system and one eventide “Space” reverb pedal that was used as a send and return to the Echophon module. The main inspiration for these two pieces was derived from the early works of Morton Subotnick.. I can remember listening to Morton’s “Until Spring” and “Wild Bull” records thinking how amazing the timbres and gestures where. I loved the unusual places these pieces took me. I loved the way everything sounded so organic and rich but at the same time synthesized. I also loved how these works almost told a story in that it conjured up so many interesting spaces and images in my mind.’

‘The “Creature” series is in a way paying homage to those works. Each piece took one month to record. I designed the patch to work more as a performance patch in which I could access all the most important parameters and controls. I didn’t have a way to automate anything with the patch other then creating all the gestures with my hand and doing the changes on the fly. So I created several diagrams that I drew out on several sheets of paper that would outline the different parts of the songs. I then performed each part with a timer so that I had practiced each part to a specific amount of time. I knew we only had around 4:50 seconds per side to work with, so getting everything to flow smoothly was very difficult.

Everything happened in real-time so there where many mistakes in recording the tracks correctly all the way through. I had recorded 26 different versions of the Creature II track before I had one that I was happy with. It was frustrating at times but in the end I am very happy with the way these two pieces turned out. I hope that they will hopefully inspire people the way Morton’s works inspired me.’

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