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środa, 1 kwietnia 2020

Vitalij Postavnichij- OIIIAudio Interview ''Undoubtedly techno determined my life and the direction in the side of modular synthesis''

OIIIAUDIO is a young company from St. Petersburg in Russia, founded by Vitalij Postavnichij, better known under the pseudonym Plutonic Sound and thanks to the First Techno Radio project.

Vitalij is closely connected with the techno scene and has 17 modular instruments within the OIIIAUDIO project, including the classic ARP 4075 filter and Transistor Filter Minimoog, as well as modules such as the newer Spring Reverb Tank or Quad Mixer with Controlled Panorama or MIDI To Drum Converter for control percussion instrument modules via MIDI protocol.

I spoke with Vitalij about modules, music inspired by old schemes, and much more.

To begin with, your company is young enough, but you already have several modules.
What was the reason for launching several modules at the same time?

I have been sound recording since the age of 14. From time to time it was necessary to repair, solder or improve something. By the time the OIIIAUDIO project was launched, there were already several ready-made and tested schemes that became the basis.

Your passion arose with interest to Techno music and switched to analog synthesizers and then to modular synthesizers?

At first there were vinyl records. I was always somewhere at the subconscious level attracted to underground music, only from this music I got real aesthetic pleasure. Therefore, early on I began to collect a collection of vinyl records with my favorite techno tracks. Sometimes I used them at performances, diluting the commercial house beat with real charged music. Later I seriously took up the arrangement and theory of synthesis, which ultimately led to the creation of synthesizers and digital devices. Undoubtedly techno determined my life and the direction in the side of modular synthesis.

Did you start with the classic Minimoog and ARP 4075 filters?

Yes. Once upon a time, I came across schemes of the legendary ARP filter of the 70s. Admiring the simplicity of the scheme, I adapted it to the Eurorack format and got a simple filter with a characteristic sound. Then I began to study the main types of filters, their device and principle of operation, and settled on these two. More precisely three: there is still a diode filter, a circuit close to the Roland filter ...

The ARP 4075 is almost an exact copy of the famous ARP filter circuit, but we also added Styroflex capacitors and integrated the main chip made in the 80s. Really unusual!

How did you come up with the idea of ​​using precisely these capacitors in your module? Because of them, is the sound in this filter very bold?

Here in St. Petersburg there is one person widely known in narrow circles. His name is Mikhail Zaitsev and he is engaged in vintage synthesizers and modernization of synthesizer circuits. I took his recommendations into account when building the filter. And the sound was really characteristic for ARP filters.

Was this an important module for you and a bow to old ARP?

Yes. We have to pay tribute to ARP for such an excellent patent.

You also reproduced the classic Minimoog filter scheme. What inspired you to do this?

Yes. This is one of the main types of filters, patented by Robert Moog a long time ago and one of the most beautifully sounding and greasy filters. Once I came across a Moog synthesizer with a faulty processor, oddly enough. I bought the synthesizer for mere pennies and it made no sound. I contacted the manufacturer and said that I intend to manually re-solder the processor at home and I needed firmware. I heard what I crazy and received the firmware and necessary instructions. I fixed the synthesizer and rejoiced for its fat sound for a long time. So I met with Moog and its products, which aroused interest and subsequently the birth of a transistor filter circuit in Eurorack format.

In the case of the Minimoog filter, this is not just a clone from OIIIAUDIO, it is built on selected transistors, based on the 70-80s circuit and Stiroflex or Wima capacitors, which gives the sound a certain charm and uniqueness.

Do you plan to expand the functionality of the module?

The module contains the minimum required for filtering. This is done intentionally to fully preserve the essence of the sound.

In addition to filters, you also have a module such as a Ring modulator, which has a small format of only 4 HP.
Is this also an important module for you?

It was generally an experiment. The task was to obtain analog multiplication on transistors. It was interesting how it would sound and the experiment turned into a transistor ring modulator module. Sounds great!

You also recently released the new Spring Reverb Tank module - why did you choose the spring?

Yes, this module has undergone several significant adjustments, before becoming a full-fledged device. It was an adventure with a selection of suitable components. I chose the spring in principle - this is the only available version of the analog reverb.

Have you intentionally not used DSP?

In fact, digital signal processing is closer to me, I have a good education in the field of information technology and electronics. And the other day, by the way, a DSP reverb appeared with a separate delay circuit, I’m still testing it and it shows itself well ... There will be projects with DSP processors for spatial signal processing, I have been paying more attention to this recently.

As you say, one of the earliest modules was Quad Mixer With Controlled Panorama, a very useful rack-mount module that allows you to mix 4 signals together and dynamically control their panoramas.
What can you say about it and when you use it?

This is a very functional and simple module. This is one of the main modules in the rack. I always use it to pan groups of instruments, separate them, or for specific effects such as a floating spring or fast pan at relatively high frequencies.

You also have a Dual Amplifier. How to best use it?

An amplifier is a functional module for controlling the amplitude of both control signals and sound. I made it with double channel for using use it for the right and left channels as stereo.

What are Trigger Divider and MIDI Drum Converter, and how do they relate to rhythm generation?

Here, rather, rhythms allow you to generate a Trigger Divider in combination with a sequencer or Clock Generator module. MIDI to Drum Converter is a different device.

What can you say about the Trigger Divider and what inspired you to release this module?

Trigger Divider is one of the first digital modules, it is very effective in creating rhythms and has shown itself well when working with different musical dimensions. The idea was precisely to introduce rhythmically repeating patterns of 3.5 or 7 steps into the musical material, which can sound very interesting and unusual! In addition, the module was a sporting interest for me as a programmer. It is based on the most rational and optimized binary mathematics, which allows us to process high frequencies of input pulses on such a simple processor.

And the MIDI to Drum Converter module is the interface between the Eurorack rack and a MIDI sequencer, computer or groovebox. It allows you to control eight percussion instruments in the rack, translates the duration and impact force into the interface of control voltages. I use two of these modules in a bunch during live performances, they are connected in series and allow you to control 16 channels at once and create synchronization with digital hardware. And to control the entire techno equipment in rack I use Drum Brute.

Was this what you needed to create complex rhythms?

This was the only option to fully control the entire rack from one place.

The X-Y Universal Joystick Controller is also included. The Universal (AC / DC) Eurorack Joystick Controller with Offset Function.
Why just a joystick?

Haaa. The joystick turned out to be the most popular module. It is ordered most often. I don’t know what it is connected with - its price or the simplicity of the idea. But the module itself turned out to be incredibly functional and easy to understand. In general, one of the basic laws of OIIIAUDIO is simplicity in understanding and using instruments, so that even a novice musician can easily understand how to connect the module.

Where is the oscillator? Why OIIIAUDIO does not have VCO. Do you plan to design it?

OIIIAUDIO has a Classic Synthesizer Voice module that has recently appeared and is passing the test. This module has both an oscillator and a filter and an amplifier - the basic elements of voice in one bottle. There are projects of oscillators and LFO, but they are still under development. Most likely these will be dual or quad solutions.

You also have 3 auxiliary modules, such as Dual Passive Attenuator with definition of balance sides and Universal Mixer Distributor, which allows you to mix AC or DC signals, sounds or control voltages and distribute them into four independent copies. And the third is passive Multiples for multiplying the signal (including stereo).
What can you say about these modules?

These are utilities. Gathering elements into groups, balancing or multiplying the Gate signal to create a more complex barrel of two or three modules, or to make Side-Chain, will not work without utilities. These are little helpers. In my stance there are always must enough of them.

You also continue to promote Techno and are associated with Internet radio and record labels.
What can you say about ILOVETECHNO.FM and Plutonic Sound - how strong is your relationship with this?

Plutonic Sound is the main project in the techno genre, it's my nickname, under which I give live performances and release albums and singles. There is also an Eles Dea project (read as LSD) in the Psychodelic Downtempo genre.

The first Techno Radio, also known as ILOVETECHNO.FM, has been in existence since 2013 and is best known in Germany and Russia. It will soon be transformed and become part of OIIIAUDIO, take pride of place in a separate section on the site. It is planned to expand the number of radio streams and develop a radio station, merge with the main record label OIIIAUDIO Records and a daughter label INOSUN Records, which releasing music in the genres of Downtempo and Ambient.
These are also projects founded by me, and in general - this will all be one big project.

The basic idea is to give people the opportunity to express themselves through music. To do this, we create devices, open record labels and develop Internet radio. It is important to give musicians opportunity to release their creativity. And do it widely - in all stores and stream services, a platform for live broadcasts from the studio or performances. And give access them simple and stylish high-quality equipment. That makes sense!

You also share knowledge and ideas on your site - for example, in a blog post articles about the basics of synthesis or how rhythm was born, etc.

What can you say about this?

Yes. It is necessary to share information. As a sound engineer with enough experience, I have been studying the influence of sound material on a person for a long time, how is creating and managing mind-conditions. Sooner or later, everyone comes to the questions: “How to accurately convey what I feel in music?”, “How to create a certain context during a track or event?”, “Will it also sound emotionally on the dance floor?”. And I plan to make all these developments into articles on the OIIIAUDIO website, but this will be a little later, while I am only creating and preparing the material. Yes, also there are areas such as sound synthesis, events or production, which also require attention, well, you know... In general, the blog is for this. Sharing best practices and ideas, share this knowledge, discuss that!

What OIIIAUDIO planning for 2020?

A large-scale unification of all projects into one is planned. This is rational both from the point of view of branding, positioning and advertising, and from the point of view of managing lines of activity. It is planned to expand the market and increase brand awareness. Planned dance events and album releases and other promo solutions.

We are always glad to cooperate and always open to musicians and artists. For this we exist!

More info about OIIIAUDIO modules here :

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