|35||July 4||Wind Circle||4:31||The "Oni Daiko" remix project is waiting on final approval, and as fun and educational as it's been, I've been eager to do something quick, easy and original. Here's an ambient track using Atmegatron Strings, Serum, and NI The Giant.|
I'll be working on a second remix soon, so I can't assume my normal schedule resumes now. Even so, I'm still ahead with track 35 during week 27.
|36||July 5||Forewarned Baladi||3:16||I was goofing around with Atmegadrum, and found it got a bit weirder than I'd previously realized. I sampled and chopped it up and found myself with a very familiar bellydance rhythm. I was obligated to use it in a track at that point. We begin with a rhythm assembled from key click samples, run through Mangleverb to give it that beepy filter. It's got enough feedback it'll continue to beep rhythmically even without input, unless I suppress it, so that was fun. For synths I'm using the Groovesizer and mda DX10, with exactly two notes (fed to a complex double echo) from PlastiCZ. A Monstrosities Kit from Uppercussion and a pitched-up tingsha sample rounds it out.|
|37||Aug 4||Phlogiston Vents||3:26||Back from the remix project... and a vacation... and almost back from illness. WOK Viktor, Thingamagoop 3000, Gnat Shepherd Free (yes, toy vuvuzela samples) and a waveform I sampled from my Atmegatron, all heavily dosed with cold medicine. Wait, that's me. I'm still feeling sick and weird, and so this track might be too.|
|38||Aug 13||T3KR||2:37||Still in a fairly experimental vein here. Lots of rhythm loops I made with the Thingamagoop 3000, and one with the ArcSyn demo (though I think it's great and will probably go ahead and pick it up). Drones from the Red Sound Darkstar I've just acquired, and a sample from a couple years ago where I was playing my bass with an eBow. The echoing bass note is from the exact same Microbrute patch I used for the remix of St Louis Osuwa Taiko's "Tenchi" but pitched down 4 octaves and with a different set of effects. I don't want to change anything on the Microbrute for now in case I get over this cold well enough to do the behind-the-scenes interview before it's too late, but I'm still sniffing and coughing too much this weekend.|
|39||Aug 14||Antimatter Revolution||5:33||Sometimes the title comes first and the music follows. If I recall correctly, my spouse came up with this one in December when I was contemplating band names. I was playing with ArcSyn when she remembered it, and I thought "I need to find some semi-relevant quotes to go with this" and here we have it. Some things about liberation and unity and "violent motion" only they're about atoms and electrons, from a public domain reading of a 1922 book about science. One which mentions "Professor Curie and his Polish wife" and makes some confident declarations about what's a particle and what's a wave... and was that author ever in for a few surprises.|
I was really tempted to use only the "floating in nothing" bit because I like it so much. Forgive me if I come back to that one and turn it into something even spacier and dreamier.
|40||Aug 15||Dusk Dust||3:14||Continuing my streak with a track that came together from exploring the Darkstar's abilities. It's providing the guitar-like sounds on this one. Synth bass is on Monark while Arcsyn and Razor are on pad duty. A tornado siren sample is cajoled into a drone, and a few Maschine Transistor Punch samples join in.|
|41||Aug 18||Incomp Optics||1:45||This one gave me all manner of creative and technical trouble, and after the last crash I decided I would just keep it short and declare the thing over so I can move on. Groovesizer TB2 and a lot of processing are featured; drums are Tremor and some samples. The bassline and, well, non-bass line, are both WOK Bassimo. PPG 2.v does some subtle supporting stuff. Players of Guild Wars 2 might recognize the track name.|
|42||Aug 23||Fractional Charge||2:22||At work today I was listening to the oddball rhythms of my Mad Engineering album (as Falls A Star), and was really into it. This one is a bit more sedate, but still a somewhat twisty 7/8. Joining the drum samples are Spitfire Labs Harmonic Piano and Frozen Strings, Korg Legacy Collection M1 (secondary piano) and Wavestation (pads), and Arcsyn (weirder pads).|
|43||Aug 26||Negative Load||1:45||Another short one in 7/8, but swinging this time. A couple of drum sample kits, plus Chromaphone, mda DX10, and Bazille making extra percussive noises. Some extra grunge from Detunized Newsreel Noises and un-gating the dirt from Unfiltered Audio Sandman.|
|44||Aug 28||Forward Stumble||2:30||I thought it was time to go full ambient again, so then of course I didn't do that. The percussive bits are from the Olegtron*4060 with some sample slicing and effects, less programmed than simply allowed to be. Pads are PPG Wave 2.V and Korg Legacy MonoPoly. I let the MicroBrute out of Tenchi Jail for the chiptunes-ish lead sound, after posting something earlier today about how it can't sound like the Atmegatron.|
|45||Sep 5||Make Lemonade||2:15||Last week my spouse went in for outpatient surgery, which turned into an unexpected overnight hospital stay. (All is well now for the moment.) The IV infusion pump made a rhythmic series of soft clicks and whines as it worked, and it was her idea to record it "so something good would come out of this." So this is a cellphone recording of the machine, processed with NI Transient Master, Unfiltered Audio Fault, and Valhalla Room.|
|46||Sep 8||Salt Fish||3:16||I made the mistake recently of getting into one of those incredibly pointless discussions about what is or isn't art. Someone decided, based on my mention of being occasionally inspired by other music, that my own music must be derivative and therefore dismissable as Not Art...|
So. The use of ChipSounds, Atcyclotron, and Bazille (with patches I programmed from scratch), the choice of a Bitkits drum sample kit, the style in which I sequenced the Korg Legacy M1, and some of my choice of effects were all inspired by the fact I've been listening to a bunch of chiptunes lately (as I often do) as well as some nerdy prog rock (which I don't that often). The switch from 4/4 to 3/4 for a bit was just something I wanted to do. Also, I'm kind of fired up about music in general since the St. Louis Japanese Festival and the release of Misotose, and I read a cool interview with the creator of the Cyberpunk 2020 roleplaying game.
And arpeggios have been done since 1730 and certainly throughout the history of electronic music, so they must be completely played out by now. :)
|47||Sep 10||Seeing Spots||2:42||I was setting up a ditty with Uppercussion Monstrosities cymbal samples as our Bissell SpotBot cleaned up after the dogs in the next room. I figured I wasn't really going to get very far into making a track until things quieted down... but serendipity and the vacuum both kicked in to high gear. The loud whine just happened to fit the psuedo-pitch of the cymbals I was using. Unconcerned that a recording of noise might be too noisy, I hastily sampled the vacuum with my phone. With some buzzes from Uppercussion Bitkits run through my envelope-following shift register noise plugin, the track was done before the carpet.|
|48||Sep 17||Wet Rocks||1:52||When I think polyrythms and things that sound like polyrythms but may not be, I think 6/8 time -- it just sort of flows automatically. The drums here are from Zombie Fights Shark's Dia de la Glitch drums-only collection, with a little extra from the Rising Crescent Maschine expansion. The you-might-have-missed-them background pads were done in NI Form, and the shaker/piano is Una Corda.|
|49||Sep 20||Unforseen Jaunt||1:45||After abandoning a technically and artistically troublesome track, I believe I'm giving up on the Groovesizer TB2; it's not as good a fit as I once thought. I have the Adventure Kid Waveforms installed on the TB2, and decided I'd give them a try in Maschine Sampler. Success! Atmegatron covers the bass, Arcsyn on pads, and more Dia de la Glitch drums. I gave the track a little wobbly varnish by timestretching it just a little with three different algorithms and blending the results.|
|50||Sep 22||Market Day||3:33||A few weeks ago when traffic stopped us beneath an overpass, my spouse said I should record the sound. I mentioned the Around Bridges sample pack I'd bought during a sale; that's been on my mind along with some thoughts about musical texture. So I added some under-bridge ambience to an experiment I'd started with Inear Display Ephemere, and then additional typewriter, foley, and piano noise (from The Giant), and some wobbly drones from Serum.|
|51||Sep 24||Phase Engine||1:53||I mentioned I was thinking about texture, and specifically about a kind of sound I used to get with FLStudio's 3xOSC when loading samples into it that aren't single-cycle waveforms as intended. There is a lot of high frequency content, a lot of aliasing and graininess that work for some purposes. This track started as an experiment in Bazille to recreate that complexity without loading samples, by making two oscillators fight over phase and mostly cancel each other out. The drums are 5 instances of Maschine DrumSynth Kick, manipulated to yield snare, tom, and hi-hat-ish sounds (instead of simply using the appropriate generators). Background drones are from Bastl Trinity XOR.|
|52||Sep 26||Debatable||4:59||You could call this my reaction to American presidential politics in 2016: pretty much just four minutes and fifty-nine seconds of incoherent, inharmonic howling. (Two instances of Ephemere, and a lot of timestretching and a lot of filtering and stretching of FFT partials.)|
|53||Sep 28||Continue||5:38||The guitar-like lines that I wrote first (on Analog Lab 2) made me think of the end of a long walk that had been enjoyable, but now a weary determination to make it to the end is starting to override everything else... and the weather is starting to turn. Melancholy, but really everything is okay. Darkstar and Night Flight provide pads, while the feedback-ish drone is Ephemere proving it's not just a bizarre drum synth. Some of the crackling was the result of recording live with heavy CPU load, and some was created by running the whole track (up to that point) through the very versatile distortion effect in Sound Forge. The latter, with additional treatment, also became the "weather" noise layers.|
|54||Sep 29||Robot Selfie||2:05||Another thing that started as an experiment, went sort of in the direction I thought until I kept messing with it, and then went off somewhere else entirely and dragged me along for the ride. If I was more honest with all of these descriptions, I think most of them would say that and that would be boring, though I try to keep the music itself not boring. :) This is just four samples from one of the drumkits in the Electric Vice Maschine expansion (two kicks, one snare and an open hi-hat), with some heavy duty effects and parameter automation.|