Thanks, and why so long
So here it is, a new demo after 6 years of slumber. It's too early to say
whether my comeback will change into something stable for years to come and
whether creating music will again be my main activity, nevertheless it looks
promising and I would like to thank all of you who helped me get to this point
by reaching out to me, by words of encouragement, by answering my questions, and
most importantly by patiently supporting me via Patreon or Paypal donations. It
is a factor that binds the whole thing up and makes it work, simple as that.
Because when you give me a bit of your money, you transfer a bit of
your energy to me, which I then transfer, or convert, into a synth demo.
Otherwise I would have to put that energy into my day job and would have little
left for the creative stuff. And it takes a considerable amount of energy for me to make a demo,
because I treat it more like a short film (or an EP album). I cannot explore and understand an instrument and then
present a visually & musically coherent and entertaining piece in one week or even month. I'm thinking about scaling down the visual / editing element
and concentrating more on pure sound design (it would mean demos appearing more
frequently), but I'm not sure this is what we all want and enjoy. This format
means blood, sweat and tears, but I guess striving for the unattainable perfection is
paradoxically one of the joys of life.
My reviews of synths
I won't be making a review of the JD-XA, at least
not now. It
was borrowed to me by a friend for 3 months, so I don't feel I have discovered
the instrument (which is quite deep) to the extent that would make the review sensible. And I have not
played anything in the past 6 years, so there is nothing that I could compare
the JD-XA to. It would be stupid to write about a new instrument when my brain
contains memories of Yamaha AN1x or Virus TI. Besides, I'm not really an expert,
I don't even have an oscilloscope or a decent 24bit/192kHz this and that, so I'm
not sure it is legal to voice any opinions:) My one sentence review is this:
sell your crap and buy this synth, it sounds great (although a bit hi-fi), makes creativity easy and
covers the ground of half of the other older synths out there.
How I see our Patreon relationship
Notwithstanding its huge advantage (the fact that it
exists) I have a personal problem with the Patreon
thing and the way it is structured, or generally used / perceived. I don't want
to create any elaborate 'tiers' with promises, because that would basically boil down to
wrapping myself up like a finished product, killing the fun of it and dividing people into categories
according to the amount of money they have. One might think that instead of one
video I could do five: "Roland - unboxing", "Roland - first impressions",
"Roland - demo trailer", "Roland - demo", "Some tricks how to make your Roland
sound better", etc, and keep my fans and supporters engaged, give them more. But the more non-demo videos I do, the longer you would have
to wait for the next demo. Besides, would you really care to watch all that
stuff? IMO it's just a distraction, vacuous entertainment. I know
there's a huge market for it, but I won't be selling drugs or snake oil. All I can give back at this stage is a demo (coming in one or two pieces) and a "thank you" for your energy,
and I hope this energy will be proven to be well spent when it comes back to you
in a form of inspiration and a renewed desire to dig at your synth and
create something that works for you and your art. To find a golden mean and
create a sense of fairness, I have
decided to offer my new patches for free download to my (at least 1 month long) patrons,
while everybody else can get them for E/$25 if interested (is the
price ok for 200 sounds?), just write me an email or mention 'JDXA patches' in
your paypal transfer. All my patches for all my older synths stay free.
Buying and loading my Roland JD-XA sounds / patches
My paypal address is [wcologarb at tlen.pl]. The
price is E/$25. Just send a transfer entitled "jdxa patches" and I'll send those
back to your email.
The whole set of my sounds fills up the JD-XA (256 sounds), although some of the sounds come in variations,
so let's say there is around 200 original patches.
I have exported my patches using two options: as a
backup file, and as individual files in SMF (*.mid)
format. If you want to use the backup file, just copy the whole "ROLAND" folder
onto your pendrive and insert the pendrive into your JDXA (read the owner's
manual about this procedure, otherwise you risk damaging your instrument).
you want to use the SMF option, here's how to do it: you load the SMF files into the Roland Librarian software on your computer
by using the menu File->Import SMF. Each sound will show up on the Librarian
list as "WC OLO GARB". Then you select that sound on that list and send it to
the JDXA (you push the "Write->Selected" button). Remember that if my sound was
saved in slot P10 in my JD-XA, then you will have to scroll the Librarian list
all the way down to "P" to see this "WC OLO GARB" sound. It's quite cumbersome,
but it seems that companies have abandoned the more straightforward sysex format
for whatever reason. To make it easier to locate my sounds from the demo, they
come with the names according to this format: "wcog_jdxa_12_diamondlove_g10"
 means it is the 12th sound in the youtube demo,
[diamondlove] hints at the visuals used in the demo for that sound,
[g10] is the location in the synth's memory (the location on the Librarian
Remember to "set up midi devices" (USB) in your JD-XA
before importing the sounds (again, read the owner's manual).
Some of my JD-XA patches may sound strangely
different yet the same when played on your JD-XA. That's because of the random LFO phase.
When I press a key on the demo, the LFO was, for example, at 0 degrees. But when
you press a key on that patch, it may happen that your LFO is at 180 degrees at
this specific moment, so the modulation / groove will "flip" upside down.
Bye and see you soon
Of course I am always open to
suggestions if you think that I might do things in a better way. I don't follow
all the trends or technological improvements, it drains too much of my energy. I'm much more away from the happenings of the "normal
/ modern" life now.