wandering electronic music

Serial 2016
my project that began with a goal to finish one track per week, and mutated near the end of the year to a goal of 100 total tracks.


18Apr 3 Data Recovery 4:20 For a while I've had the idea to do a track with nothing but square/pulse waves. Only Duotron stops this from being that track, but it was worth it. The other main voice is Microbrute's pulse oscillator through a broken PWM encoder I wrote. The "big" moment is supported by AY3, the drone for the second half is Serum through my PWM encoder, and the few moments of just static are from Bazille.
19Apr 6 Standard Deviant 4:19 This track mostly seemed to write itself; every idea for what I wanted to add or change had synergistic effects. It feels pretty great when that happens. Here the angry robot... okay, the lead, is done by Atcyclotron, which I didn't like as much as the other Atmegatron firmware until I explored it a bit more. Drums are from a lo-fi kit I sampled myself from my TB2 as well as from Uppercussion Bitkits. The TB2 "live" is handling some pads and the "horse beat"/"duh dugga" bits; the bigger pads are done with Massive and the running 32nd note bass is PPG Wave 2.V.
20Apr 8 Ocean 5:15 And now for something completely different: an impressionistic piece done with just one Microbrute part, some effects (mostly Valhalla Room and Pitchproof) and a little resampling.
21Apr 11 Blep 1:19 I had so much trouble working on this little track. I thought the new Strings firmware for Atmegatron was way unstable, but it turns out I had some wrong MIDI settings in Maschine that was causing far too much mayhem. This broke up the creative flow on something that was already a bit odd both in time signature and melodic content, and I was on the edge of giving up and deleting it before I figured out what was up. With Soulsby Strings, there's also the TB2, NI Monark, and a couple of drum sample kits.
22Apr 16 Rider 3:21 I was on such a roll before, it actually feels like it's been longer than 5 days since my last track. One of the things I was doing was writing my first VST synth plugin; I'd done effects in the past but never synths. I started with a very basic test bed for some experimental ideas I had, and wound up with a filterless synth that morphs between pulse and a squishable triangle, with a sort of screwy phase distortion and a 3-osc unison option. I made no attempt to avoid aliasing, but that's okay because it tends to go way out of tune in high octaves for reasons I haven't debugged yet. This "TrySynth" does most of the work in this track, with some drum samples and some pads from Atmegatron Strings and Groovesizer TB2.
23Apr 20 Possible Moment of Truth 3:15 The "moment" (the NY primary election) came and went and didn't really decide much, but the track took a few more revisions to get it into shape. Most of the glitchy percussive stuff came from the TB2 with further processing mostly to make it less ear-wearying. The main line is from Delayertron, with backup from the TB2 and TrySynth, bass from Microbrute, and a bit of a windup noise from Bazille.
24Apr 23 Throwback Thursday Came Late 2:04 Fun with 2-op FM synthesis -- party like it's 1983! Or mabe 1993! The main line is carried by a Patchblock (much more useful to me now that I have a Midiblock to control it with). The really bitey synth is FMetal, the background bits come from mda DX10 (a venerable ancient of the VST world) and PPG Wave 2.v, and some of the other bits are Microbrute. There's a drone in there that's actually Maschine's FM effect on the snare drum sample, and the hi-hats are bolstered by my own noisetable envelope-following effect "Nose."
25Apr 24 14 Pin 2:40 This one starts with a sort of UK Garage beat and before too long it's turned into a pseudo-chiptunes track. I'm starting to think any track of mine that doesn't turn into chiptunes, simply means I stopped it before the metamorphosis could complete. :) Here we have Chromaphone with a lot of Chipcrusher, Atcyclotron, TrySynth, Chipsounds for the noise drums, a Maschine drumkit run through my "Nose" and "BinScreen" effects, and drumming on a plastic water bottle for an accent.
26Apr 25 You Sank My Breadbasket 4:40 Go on, guess.

Did you guess crows, a Steam Controller, and Groovesizer TB2? With Phosphor and Serum on pads? No? Didn't guess that first 48 seconds was all one TB2 patch relying on my favorite bug in its software? It seems that when a squarewave LFO modulates the pulse width of squarewave oscillators, eight kinds of digital hell break loose. And then some weirdo uses it to create a glitchy dark ambient track.
27Apr 27 -lle 5:09 #27 on April 27! And yes, that is two lower-case Ls and and E, nothing to do with antique Apple computers; pronounce it how you like.

With the track 90% done last night, I went to bed thinking of this as a fairly traditional ambient track. But of course it's a me sort of ambient track. Working on it today, I encountered the rule where the last 10% takes 90% of the work, and also Murphy's Law of TrySynth Forgetting its Parameters. Ooops! The better-behaved synths in this track are Chipsounds, MicroBrute, Hive, and Viktor. And there was so much post-processing that it was really just processing.
28May 1 All Roads 3:09 A sampled and sliced line from the Microbrute, blips from Chipsounds, pads from Serum, and Conundrums via finger-drumming improvised in two-bar sections. Pretty minimal, but I had to sit on it a bit to get it to gel. For posterity, I'll call this one of those times when I don't love the result but don't hate it either and prefer to call it done and move on. But then, I've been pretty moody lately (to oversimplify complex emotions) and so it goes.
29May 3 Restorative Maintenance 4:05 Starting with a similar technique to "All Roads" except with the Atmegatron, it goes on to add another sampled Atmegatron layer and some more Atmegatron for good measure. A little extra noisiness from Decimort, but more of that is from Sandman (one of the most fun things I've won in a raffle) as well as cranking the compression a bit after Valhalla VintageVerb. The track name reflects my mental state in the past few days but is also somewhat inspired by the Overwatch characters Zenyatta and Symmetra.
30May 12 heck off human 2:44 Things have been a bit crazy in the past few days, including the 30-hour power outage that delayed working on this track. As often happens, I had a different thought in mind but since it also involved blowing off steam, this will work. Uppercussion Conundrums with a bit of mda ePiano for the beats, Microbrute for the synth bass, Massive with SimulAnalog JCM9000 for the faked electric bass, Atmegatron for the plucky stuff and Kinetic Metal for some other noise.
31May 18 Fluorine Merged 3:30 With the recent passing of synth legend and my childhood musical hero Isao Tomita, I've been listening to a lot of classic synth music. This includes Jean-Michele Jarre's 80s work, full of string machines and phasers. I've written other tracks in the past that built string sections from several different synthesis techniques and samples, so I thought I'd revisit that idea a bit differently. Here we have Atmegatron Strings (full of glitchy wrongness as usual), Night Flight (which does a fair imitation of Jarre's Eminent 310), Serum, and an old version of AAS String Studio and plenty of effects.

On another note, I am going to be remixing the song "Oni Daiko" for Saint Louis Osuwa Taiko's upcoming album, and that might take up enough of my time that I'll likely suspend this project for a bit. I expected that when I started this project, and I'm on track 31 in week 20 anyway.
32May 21 Fused 1:55 A short and fairly simple one this time. The Bastl bitRanger was just recently announced, and it looks like a lot of fun but on the expensive side given it's sort of a one-trick... well, few-tricks pony. I'm on the fence about it, and will most likely wait for my Thingamagoop 3000 to be shipped before I contemplate another purchase. (Then again, synth hardware does tend to resell decently if I don't like it.... hmmm.) Still, the demo video provided the inspiration for this track, sort of.

Anyway: Uppercussion Bitkits, Microbrute, Chipsounds, PPG Wave 2.V, and a bell sample modified into crunchy bits (while the bell-like tones are actually from the PPG) because whim and mischief, that's why.
33May 26 Ghost Biscuit 2:25 And now for something completely different: a track made entirely with Olegtron 4060. It's basically a breakout box for a CD4060 chip, with all kinds of ways to make rhythmic patterns and textures and squeals and thumps by plugging in simple electronic components. I recorded a few takes with different configurations, synced the samples and put this together. Truly experimental music, because this thing is about 60% unpredictable. I used a few effects, but nothing extreme.
34Jun 2 Harbor Blacklights 3:25 A not so great night playing Overwatch turned into a pretty good night making music. I started thinking about settings for William Gibson and Bruce Sterling novels, back when they wrote actual cyberpunk, and this is what came out. TB2, MicroBrute, FM8, and some samples from Luftrum Nano Electronics.
---Jun 15 ------ Just a note that I'm currently working on the "Oni Daiko" remix -- it's a big project compared to my usual stuff -- and won't have any new tracks here until it's done.


Check out my older musical projects:
Falls A Star
Lotus Wire


All music is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Creative Commons License