Chris Stack

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Player of synths, computers, guitars, ouds, flutes, and percussion. Principal editor, writer, videographer, musician, and researcher at experimentalsynth.com — that’s how Chris Stack describes himself. His musical endeavors range from Xenography,” a new album of synth, Moog Guitar, piano, shakuhachi, and processed voice works, to solo performances on piano and oud. Chris’ past music/tech experiences include marketing manager Moog Music and Vo Inventions; stints as engineering manager, marketing manager and manufacturing manager at dB-tronics; printed circuit designer at Computer Dynamics; and freelance printed circuit designer for Bob Moog at Big Briar.

We chatted with Chris about how he’s using the Pro 2.

Chris, what made you choose the Pro 2?

“I got to check out the Pro 2 when Geary Yelton was working on his review of it. I was immediately blown away. While I like the sound (it is nicely different than all the Moog gear I have), it’s the sequencer/mod matrix/CV interface that really sold me on it. I think a desktop version could be really popular with the Eurorack crowd.”

How are you using it?

“I’m using it every way imaginable. One simple method that’s a favorite of mine is outlined in this video:

I use this in multiple ways, with a variety of synths in place of the MicroBrute. Basically any analogish synth with CV ins. Here’s an example with a Moog Sub 37:

And here’s a more expanded version with a Moog Voyager, MicroBrute, and the Patterning drum app:

“I’ve also been getting a lot of use out of the Pro 2 drum patch/sequence I created. It’s the basis of the Pro 2/Big modular video. Here it is by itself:

I’ve been using that patch in some recording recently. It’s behind all the drums in this piece (drums start at 3:00):

For these drums, I synced the Pro 2 to Ableton, ran the Pro 2 audio into Ableton and did a bunch of tempo-synced processing on it. I recorded 32 bars of that, then exported it to Logic for more slicing, processing, and arranging. I also used the Pro 2 in another very cool way on this. The low analog synth that builds up before the drums come in is a Moog Little Phatty. When recording it I left the Pro 2 synced to Logic’s clock and had the Pro 2 sending a synced CV step sequence to modulate the Phatty’s filter cutoff. This technique shows up elsewhere in the recording on some fast sq wave LFO insect-like sounds. Working on a bigger version of this with Sally Sparks, Geary Yelton, et al. All the melodic synths are in a 1/4 tone Arabic scale, with Haken Continuum and fretless bass in 1/4 tone scale as well. Both played by Sally… She’s a badass.”

What’s one of your favorite things about it?

“The sequencer/mod matrix/CV interface combined with its great synth voice. I’ve also been using the Pro 2 to design a bunch of paraphonic patches similar to the mellow, muted Prophet 5 patches Jon Hassell and Peter Gabriel used in the 80s.”

What does it give you that other synths might not?

“The sequencer/mod matrix/CV interface add a lot of value to my other synths. My Moog stuff sounds great, but most or all of it is VERY limited when it comes to tempo synced CV fun (the Sub 37 was borrowed). The Pro 2 makes all my other analog/CV synths more useful to me. It added value to my entire studio.”

Any interesting Pro 2 tricks or techniques you’d like to share?

“I’ve been having a lot of fun with the Pro 2 and Moog Mother 32 recently. Syncing sequences of different step lengths results in nicely evolving patterns:

It let me take that drum sequence to some interesting places too as you can hear in this:

Here’s something else that’s cool:

This song from my album XENOGRAPHY features two Pro 2s. I’m doing the rhythmic sequencing and Moog Voyager bass (filter tweaked by Pro 2 CV) and Sally is doing the distorted lead shredding (also filter tweaked by CV from my Pro 2), Haken Continuum and piano. And iConnectivity just reposted one of my videos that features the Pro 2:

https://www.facebook.com/iConnectivityAudioMIDI/posts/1175983105757467?pnref=story

There are a lot more tips and tricks here:

Check out Chris Stack’s website here.


MORE ABOUT THE PRO 2

For more information, check out the Pro 2 product page here.

Find your local dealer for Pro 2 pricing here.

If you’re using the Pro 2 in interesting ways, tell us about it. Contact us at stories@davesmithinstruments.com.