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Guest Post: POB on Making Brass on a Modular Synth

This week we continue our series of guest-post tutorials from Noise Engineering users showing off various tips for NE modules, modular use in general, or how they integrate modular into their workflow. A short video will be accompanied by some text about who the person is and what’s happening in the patch. Have someone you think would be great to write a guest post? Have a modular tip you want to submit for us to create a video around? Please submit ideas for this occasional column here.

If you are into modular synths, you probably already know Patrick O’Brien, or POB Energy. Patrick is a fixture in the Los Angeles Modular Synth scene (and is now one of the co-organizers of Modular on the Spot Los Angeles!). He also makes some really beautiful music.

A while back, we asked Patrick to put together a demo for our new Ataraxic Iteritas. In the process of making the jam for that demo, he dropped the Loquelic Iteritas Percido into the case and got ready to roll.

…and then a strange thing happened.



I’m often asked if our users surprise us with what they create using our modules, and the true answer is all the time. But I have to admit, when Patrick sent us this video, Stephen and I both said, “WHOA! What’s making that brass sound?!”

Color us surprised to learn it was our own product.

Of course we asked Patrick how he did it. And so did a lot of you! Patrick, being approximately the nicest person we’ve ever met, agreed to walk us through it.

I asked Patrick to describe himself. He said, “I work in the news business managing a team of folks who distribute local news to mobile, web, and social media platforms. And every moment outside of that, I’m working on modular synth projects, putting up patches on social media or keeping the YouTubes active. Although this is the year I’ll be putting out lots of tracks on Bandcamp and streaming services as well as some limited releases.” [ed. note: for some more in-depth background on POB that involves info on his first synth, raccoon hats, rapping, and his early career goals, check out his previous guest post]

KK: so without further ado, let’s get to the patch. Here, POB breaks it down step by step so you, too, can have a horn section in your case.


The setup is surprisingly simple.The brass sounds are surprisingly made without any CV modulation on parameters. The only inputs are a pitch sequence and a trigger. Patrick is triggering the whole thing with the Zularic Repetitor, which is clocked by the ALM Busy Circuits Pamela’s New Workout. The pitch sequence comes from the QuBit Octone, and he uses the Erica Synths Black Hole DSP for that luscious reverb. For details, hit the play button!


For more on POB, find him in the usual spaces:

Bandcamp Instagram Facebook Youtube

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