TWO ORGANS -- shit happens :-)


In 1999 i had the pleasure of meeting Steve Reich @ Irving Plaza in NYC. My then, record producer flew me to see an important event “Reich Remixed” featuring dozens of then name artists in electronica such as ColdCut. I loved the generosity and friendship that grew for several years between Dave and I and when he said, “Hey, you want to meet him?” I could not pass up the opportunity to say hello to a person i consider one of the single most important figures in American Classical music.

Then after the expected quick hello and handshake i was ushered back out to the floor so an interview could take place and about 40 minutes later Bang On a Can took the stage. I had seen Bang on A Can perform Brian Eno’s Music for Airports about a year and 1/2 previously in the World Trade Center Mall. As I recall now, there were posters for “Ambient Activism” that read “Lie Down and Be Counted” and we all started to lie on the floor of the mall and the security guards freaked out on us. Bang on a Can played Music For Airports and Terry Riley’s , “In C” that night. So i was very excited when i heard that Bang On A Can was performing Reich’s Four Organs a mystical organ piece that with Riley’s Persian Surgery Dervishes, LaMonte Young’s “Well Tuned Piano” and Phillip Glass’s Music With Changing Parts formed what i call the pedagogy of New Keyboard music.

So this patch that i will release today has a long history and is a joy to offer.

It has three MIDI controlled Organ sounds that the user can record sequences into to form “loops” The user can set the size of the chord [1-5notes] the Key and the mode and record it in differing sections of length. The Fourth organ is for improvisation over the top.

I just wanted to preamble it a little bit before it drops today




Hadn’t listened to this before. Quite hypnotic.That show sounds wonderful.

Looking forward to trying this out!


It’s a favorite for sure


recording 4 tracks of MIDI is way too expensive processor wise GAHHHHHH


Perhaps we could have four three organs instead? :wink:


It’s a midi thing. I tried it on the Organelle, the raspberrry and the Mac and the behavior is similar at the end of the loop there’s a glitch and I have to scrap the darn thing. I have a really nice fm organ voice but I want to record 4 tracks of midi and have them loop inside pd and it just not working correctly. It sounds good on the Mac but that’s not a fair comparison


Got it working

time to make the donuts (menus) :slight_smile:


It WILL actually be three organs :slight_smile: The menus can’t support all the parameters with four, unless the fourth is completely fixed. We’ll see what shakes when i release the beta

thanks for the encouragements


So after assessing the situation and getting help from the cats. Four became three which became two to make it two full featured organs instead of three or four confusing ones. So TWO, two goddammed organs…


Here is the BETA, i had to stop
Some days things are just going poorly and whether mercury is in retrograde or what i don’t know but i this is an incredibly detailed two organ setup that needs a revision so if you are brave i urge you to give it a try.

It’s perhaps overly ocmplex but produces very nice drones when it works right

AUX 1 selects Organ1 or Organ 2 to record mode
AUX6 lets you set the phrase length to record with 0 being the LONGEST and 6 being the shortest 1/6th length
this will be cleared up later

The issue is this when you press 83 to start recording Organ1 you have to set the organ up first
It lets you set MODE [15 of them, Key, and octave]
and then two full featured FM Organ SYnths

if you set it to 6 --longest it will open the buffer and write you a bugger and THEN turn RED meaning you are recording.

Go To AUX set it to Organ 2 repeat but press 81 instead of 83

You can infinitely record over the buffers set them to teeny lengths and THEN set reverbs and Decay and get Holy Drones, i shit you not


I am messing around with the beta right now and am loving the drones! I have been unsuccessful in recording a phrase or anything of that nature, but in regards to the sound of the patch, it is great! i am excited to see what this is able to become! thanks for this!


start the patch
AUX1 --select the record organ 1
AuX 8 turn on the Tempo
Menu 1 adjust tempo
play some music on the keyboard and set the Organ 1 paramters, [Menu 2 & 3]
Tap 83 [Record organ 1 on]
start playing and the LED will turn red, play until it turns green
That should record a phrase

I’ll do a video tomorrow if i make it through the night :slight_smile:


Nice story taught ,
thanks for that