Category Archives: Music

Music that I create and my opinions about music. Computer/Electronic music is the main interest.

New Music – ‘Random-2’

Yesterday, I dropped a new generative modular composition called ‘Random-2’.

It is another generative modular piece that I made on VCV Rack software which calls itself a Virtual Eurorack DAW. It is free for download and is open-source meaning anyone can freely download the software code and modify it for their own purpose.

What is generative? To me it means that the notes (melody, harmony, et. al. are generated randomly under some form of control for octave, scale, timbre and other musical properties. Often the voices (instruments) are arranged in a sort of random fashion.

What is a Virtual Eurorack DAW? Virtual means it is software, not hardware. Eurorack is a form of modular synthesizer hardware first specified in 1996 and it is said to be the dominant modular synthesizer hardware available today. VCV Rack can be thought of as a software version of Eurorack that graphically shows what the hardware would look like and act like on your computer screen.

But what is a modular synthesizer? A synthesizer (synth) is an electronic instrument, often played with a keyboard, that combines simple waveforms to produce more complex sounds, such as those of various other instruments. Most bands today will have at least one synthesizer. If you have an electronic piano keyboard in your house, it probably is a synthesizer. Modular means that instead of every part of the synthesizer packed and wired together in your keyboard case (which limits flexibility), all of the parts (modules) are separate and the artist can choose which parts to use and how to wire (patch) the modules together to produce the sounds she wants. The modules are mounted in a case which is defined by the Eurorack specification.

What is a DAW? Digital Audio Workstation is usually software that is used to build an mix music on a computer. Functions would typically include recording, mixing. mastering the audio. Applying special functions to the audio like reverb, delay, compression, etc. At this time, VCV Rack is not as flexible as a full fledged DAW but you can get the audio and video production from VCV Rack to a DAW and do any processing you want. I record audio and video from VCV Rack and import the results into Reaper DAW for my final processing. By the way, I used Reaper’s video capabilities to artfully distort the video.


Having told you more than you wanted to know, here is the composition.

Random 2
Watch this video on YouTube.

At least I have not wasted all my time during this time of ‘social distancing’.

May we all have the best possible outcomes,

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020 Cyril Ball

Two Music Releases This Month

September 2019, I have released two new songs. I have gotten some good feedback on them as well.

The latest piece called “Spiral Marbles” is an upbeat, electronic fantasy. This may be one of the best that I have ever done!

Spiral Marbles
Watch this video on YouTube.

Earlier this month, I released “Polyphonic Pastorale” which is a slower, easier going piece.

Polyphonic Pastorale
Watch this video on YouTube.


Strut Strange – My New Release

You can pre-save this new release on Spotify.

Just completed and released, “Strut Strange” will be available on Spotify and many other streams and purchase opportunities within two weeks.

“Strut Strange” began as an experiment to learn some new plugins in my software synthesizer of choice VCV Rack. As happens so often, it evolved into music that I liked and that I hope you will like also.

Here is the YouTube video of the piece:

Strut Strange
Watch this video on YouTube.

Give it a listen. You might like it.

Let us all have the best of all possible outcomes,

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019 Cyril Ball

VCV Rack and TouchOSC video

I just created a tutorial about using a software app for midi control with VCV Rack.

TouchOSC is an app available for iPhone, iPad, any Android device. I have used it on Android on both my phone and my tablet. You can buy it for a small price at the Apple App Store or at Google Play Store. It requires a software bridge on your computer to communicate to other software. The Bridge and an editor for layouts are available for download at the publisher’s website That site also has a lot of documentation on using the tool and creating your own layouts.

As you probably already know, VCV Rack has become my tool of choice for creating electronic music. One problem that I have is that, when a patch get large, I find myself zooming in and out a lot to find controls on modules that I want to tweak. If I hook the most used controls to TouchOSC on my Android tablet or phone, I can tweak them without even seeing them on the screen!

I created a TouchOSC layout specifically for my use with VCV Rack. That layout and the VCV Rack patch used in the video are available for download here:

TouchOSC - VCV Rack Tutorial
Watch this video on YouTube.

An interesting thing to me is that I have done a number of turorials using direct screen capture on my Windows machine. Never before have I attempted to merge and edit a direct screen capture with a live camera video. I had to redo things many times to get it right.

I hope this is useful to some musicians.

May we all have the best possible outcomes.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019 Cyril Ball

VCV Rack finally out of beta testing

As I have published here before, I have really enjoyed producing music using the VCV Rack software (open-source virtual modular synthesizer).

A couple of days ago, VCV Rack finally left beta testing and became full production software. I have been waiting eagerly for this, so, the very first day it was available, I installed it. My first trial of it on that first day is below.

I found the usage better, easier and the computer efficiency better. The graphics and audio appear to have improved as well.

This is great stuff!

Music Contest Submission

Yesterday, I submitted a composition to a contest. The contest is called the Very Cool Patch challenge.

This is challenge to people who are using VCV Rack modular synthesis software to make music. The “patch” is the combination of plugins and wires between the plugins used to make the composition.

This particular challenge is called: “ very cool patch challenge edition 27“. The challenge for this edition is to use the “Evolution” plugin by “ML Modules”.

These challenges have been presented for about a year now, but I have not entered one until now. Here is the YouTube version. I hope you like it.

Of course, if I win anything, I’ll let you know.

May we all have the best possible outcomes,

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019 Cyril Ball

Whale Song

I was experimenting with the VCV Rack modular synthesis software, when it started making sounds at me that I thought similar to whale songs.

I couldn’t resist putting this together. It also contains some interesting generative drums.

It is already on my bandcamp store and has been uploaded to my distributor. It should be available on Spotify, iTune, Google Music, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc. in about a week.

Here it is on Soundcloud:

And here on YouTube:


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Another Release.

Two albums in one month. Very exciting. With this release, I have finished putting my 2018 production out there for sale. It is all very different from my previous work.

This album is called Meditative and it is. Quite ambient, downtempo.

You can listen and maybe purchase on Bandcamp.

You can view it on my YouTube playlist:

Or you can listen to it on my Soundcloud playlist:

I hope some of my readers like it!


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019 Cyril Ball