What is the Infernal Noise Machine?
THE INM IS NOT A MUSIC SYNTHESIZER
The Infernal Noise Machine was designed towards the creation of noise, sound effects, and for the general field of sound design. Having said that, the INM can create “musical” tones and sound – and quite a few of them – but that was not the goal. It is semi-modular, which means part of the signal path is hard-wired and cannot be changed, but it does allows some variation and external control. It can be used completely independently, but is intended for use with external control voltage (CV) sources to affect or modulate various parameters, which is where the INM truly comes alive (you will see what I mean).
So what can you do with it? Incidental sounds and ambiences, unholy caterwauling, soundscapes from melancholy to manic, even percussion and other traditional musical sounds. The Infernal Noise Machine is particularly effective for making drones that evolve with time as well, with no external sources required. The internal architecture allows for a wide range of self-evolving, beat-frequency style tonal variations over an infinite range of rates. There is really no simple way to describe what the INM can do – you have to find out for yourself. This is a unique device. It requires a bit of time and patience to get a feel for how it works, but it is worth the effort.
The INM does not operate the same way as a traditional synth.
The traditional signal path in a synthesizer can be generalized as the following:
|oscillator -> filter / effects / mixing -> output|
The oscillator is the “heart”, so to speak, and everything else comes further down the line. External modulation sources are used to vary different aspects of the components of the chain, e.g.: oscillator frequency, filter cutoff frequency and resonance, output level, and so on.
With the INM, the signal path is a bit different
The voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) is not the heart, but an effect. The heart of the INM is the Imp, a voltage-controlled noise source. The VCO is used to “color” the tone of the noise. While the actual signal path is technically the same as traditional synths, with the Imp being used to modulate the frequency of the VCO, the key to proper use of the INM is that the Imp is the core, and the VCO is an effect.
The following are some samples from the INM.
These were one ~45 minute long sample that has been split into bite size, somewhat coherent chunks. As you will hear, I love drones, but these really show off some of the possibilities of the INM. Metallic, percussive, video game, musical, noise, all kinds of fun.
Currently, I only have two CV sources (a 1964 function generator). They were applied to the VCA1, VCA2, Frequency and Range inputs while I played with the controls.