keith303 - all wheels spinning freely

another month, another OSC round !

this time the only freeware synth available for production was Digits by Extent of the Jam.

which is a “fairly” limited phase distortion synthesizer.

so here’s what i came up with:

Like the sound. I think, the open hihats in the last part have too much high frequencies. Overall great song.

I came across this on Soundcloud and am listening to it now. I didn’t realise this was a one-synth song until I read it here. Impressive!


now that you say it… they’re a bit too prominent in the mix altogether, i agree.

but hey… i wanted to get this done finally and haven’t heard anything else than this in the past couple of days.

thanks for the feedback though… i might come back to the tune before deadline in order to make some final changes. think the last part could’ve been a bit shorter as well…


thank you !

in OSC it’s always just one synth for everything and this time it was a really tricky one, as it is lacking some really essential stuff like “true” filters or sound that doesn’t get covered by artifacts when being modulated by synth internal parameters.


concerning the harsh hihats in 2nd theme:

i replaced the soundcloud file with an improved version.

if you find the time, please let me know what you think.

(download is mandatory ofc)

@J. Hansen

great to hear - thanks for listening.

Impressive what a person can do with the help of phantasy, straight arms and limited amount of instruments. The composition appeals with its simpleness and melody, different parts flow to each other, everything sounds flattened. Great work!

Very beautiful song, I like especially the second part. I agree, the hi hats could still be more subtile and smoothed. What is OSC?


thanks for your little, but very applicableanalysis.

you’re totally right about the simplicity in particular:

i rather follow simple chord-patterns and general song structures and try to work them out with as much sophistication and detail as possible (depending on time, creativity and idea-flow), than trying to re-invent the wheel with complex, never seen (heard) before structures and progressions, that afterall don’t work out for me and the listener, because both are overexerted. i have no musical education, so after all i realized it’s a better idea to keep things simple but under control.


yeah, i could’ve mentioned what OSC is all about in the first place.

theabbreviation stands for “One-Synth-Challenge” , which is a monthly music competition heldby some guy(s) of the KVR Forums.

The whole concept is about using just one single synth for everything, including drums & percussion, in a time-frame of one month. The freeware synth to be used is changing each month.

Besides that there are also further rules that apply, which further limit you in your freedom of choice when it comes to plugin and effect usage for example.

i can only recommend it if you want to gain your productivity, because it definately helps mine.

Keith, thanks for the info. So far your track sounds like the first place. Nice that OSX users could join the competition now.

i have the impression that the most capable people always hold back their songs for as long as possible.

i think “” will also contribute this round - he’s the record holder with like 10 wins orso throughout all OSCs :o

but actually, no matter how this tune will end up, i already won,because the sole fact that i’m able to talk with you guys about a recently finished tune is already a tremendous victory over my ownill-discipline. :wink:

Hm, maybe snare and open hi hats a little bit quieter, so the rest takes more room? No there so far…

welll. .maybe yeah… but i think i’m fine with how it is now. music is never finished nor perfect as we certainly all agree. ;-/

No there so far…

as expected, he uploaded his tune like 10 minutes before midnight, KVR board time.

Great tune, I’ve enjoyed many of your tracks, this is another great one, love the synths/melody/chord progression

Hm, I did not get the OSC rules: Can I use compressors and eqs/filters as fx? Synth1 sounds quite good to my ears :slight_smile:

@Arrhythmic Orange

thanks for your feedback!


OSC rules admittedlyare not overly transparent. some KVR users also interpret them differently than others, especially when it comes to filter/EQ use.

generally spoken, effects like chorus/phaser/flanger or alike are prohobited as long as the respective synth doesn’t support them on its own.

EQs and Filters can be used as needed, even though some will argue that if you use a lot of them, the original sound of the synth will get lost and alienated.

On the other hand it has been clearly stated on the forums, that if filters and EQ are allowed, you can’t say they are allowed “a little bit” and not “too much”.

so i use them as much as i like and am set. hasn’t caused me any trouble than 2 or 3 strange guys pointing their dirty fingers at me for a moment :wink:

keith303, thanks. That’s funny, I think you used Renoise’s width slider on the hi hats. If you listen to your track in mono, the hihats will completely disappear.

Jurek, yes i used the width slider because i wasn’t allowed to use a chorus, which i sometimes use on hats to give them a broader stage.

how comes you checked the tune in mono?

but thanks for the hint, i didn’t know that the combination width slider + mono would lead to phase cancellation.

Hey keith303, sorry I didn’t want to criticize your very nice work, I just was wondering that it actually completely disappears. I am trying currently heavy composing (with mixing and mastering in one step, very bad way of work), that’s way I do often mono tests by pressing the mono button on the mixer app of my audio interface.

I came to the conclusion that:

  • you shouldn’t use Renoise stereo tools at all, except the expander device (not surround).

  • also the chorus is very problematic. It uses the approach to spin the phase of one channel to achieve a stereo effect. But that result will of course cause deletion while adding left and right. There is also a stereo compatible approach for a chorus, in a way that each channel will get a mono chorus separately, with slightly modified settings. That should be mono stable.

I don’t know if this is allowed in the OSC-challenge, but:

Can’t you “fake” (or rather, “handcraft”) a chorus effect by layering a sample with a few slightly detuned copies of itself? (two or three copies should do it?)

As far as I know, this is the actual effect that chorus is trying to emulate. Except that of course, the above method won’t work for longer samples or as a real-time stream effect (as the detuned versions inevitably get out of sync). So they used a trick to fix that, which gave birth to the famous chorus DSP effect. As far as I understand it, it slowly oscillates the pitch both up and down using a delay-line. This means it’s basically a bunch of subtle flangers, layered, each with a different LFO frequency and phase.

(and at every point in this effect you can add filters, EQs, feedback lines, etc. which gives the various flavours of chorus effects out there)

(BTW if anyone thinks I missed something in my low-level understanding of how the chorus effect operates (in general), or even that I got it completely wrong, I love to be enlightened and educated :wink: )

Also, instead of just detuning, while you’re using samples, you can also layer subtle pitch-slides. Now that I think of it, you can probably make some really cool kick-ass custom chorus/flanger effects using just the Renoise 3 sampler modulation sets. Too bad you have to explicitly duplicate the sample waveforms, because as far as I know you can’t really send a single waveform to multiple modulation sets, can you?


i’m really always open for criticism, and in this case i didn’t even perceive it as such, but rather than a good advice made due to your observations, which i’m really grateful for, because i’d have probably pulled the width slider again in the future as a workaround for the missing chorus’s stereo broadening characteristic.

now i’ve also made some mono/stereotests with “corvex”, the chorus i usually use in my tunes on hihats (very subtle most of the time) to create some more stereo width and room.

i wasn’t able to achieve any cancellation there, so everything seems good with that one at least.

even renoise internal chorus doesn’t seem to cause any nasty phase cancellation… wasn’t able to get the signal muted there as well in mono mode.

@triple zero

well the first problem is that samples of any sort (even bounced or rendered shots of the respective round’s synth) aren’t allowed at all.

the synth chosen for the respective round is really the only source of sound you may use.

you could still do this with multiple instances of the synth and slightly detune (if supported by the synth) and delay them in a lower volume… but besides that this will probably kill your CPU quite quickly if you intend to do it on more than 2 or 3 tracks, it’s also quite a hassle to edit notes or make changes to note or automation data in general then.

but i think your idea about how a chorus works is pretty correct, at least it matches with mine :wink:

by the way, this round is a synth1 one round, and dispite its popularity and cult status, it’s actually the first time i’m using this synth more elaborate.

it features its own chorus, distortion, phaser and of course delay effects and is besides that a REAL beast compared to the two previous rounds synths (odsay & digits).

it even has filter and amp dedicated ADSR ENVs :wink:

so this will be a very relaxed and straight forward round with not too much “thinking around the corner” stuff :slight_smile: