I hate December.
The holidays are majorly messing with my ability to create. Parties, people…and more people. I’m getting into that part of the year where I want to just go hide from everyone and hibernate until after my birthday.
Birthdays…ugh. I hate them. Enough said.
I did, fortunately, have some time to work in the studio this weekend. A little bit on Saturday morning and a little sprinkled through the day on Sunday. For whatever reason, I decided to work with that Electronic Music Works EMW-300 Controller/sequencer that I bought on a whim a while back. I’d like to say that I’m finding it’s magic, but I really am not. There is no way to sugar coat it – buying it was a mistake. It’s a one trick pony and I don’t like the trick. What’s worse is I can’t sell it because I found out the clock input isn’t working. More specifically, the switch that switches from internal to external clock is faulty. Color me pissed. Off to the closet it goes. Maybe one day, I’ll hack the shit out of it or something.
So I guess this is to say the time was not very productive. Oh well.
Did I mention I hate December?
Yesterday was a subtly very productive time in the studio, even though I wasn’t in the studio for most of the productive moments.
After work, I met with a friend who has done voice work with me before. I showed her something I had written that I may be interested in having her record. We discussed its themes and tone over a (very good) drink and agreed to setup some studio time after the holidays.
I also made a deal with a friend who wants to sell off all his eurorack and go all in on Serge modular stuff. He doesn’t want to be bothered with the whole process of pricing, posting, haggling and shipping all his stuff. I agreed to broker the sales. He’s going to send me his whole rig, I’ll part it out for him. My broker fee is play time with the rig.
It will be interesting to work with someone else rig for a while, even integrated with mine. His selection of modules is very clearly from a different mindset to my own, having a lot more digital, fewer filters and a lot more crazy oscillators and function generators. Combining the rig with mine should be interesting.
And, finally, on the eurorack topic, I installed my Mutable Instruments Clouds installed and started futzing with it. It’s a very interesting module that creates a very interesting ‘smeared’ version of whatever signal you toss into it. Very interesting possibilities there. I’m going to need to feed it some signals from outside the euro, I think, to get the most out of it. It creates some very interesting textures out of the source material it’s given.
Today, I won’t have a lot of time as I’ve got the whole holiday shopping waste of time to contend with. Blah….
There have been a few changes around NoiseTheorem HQ.
First off, I killed any/all social media sites I’m not active with. Goodbye to Ello, Blogger, Instagram, Fickr and snapchat. Oh, and Pinterest. I just give zero fucks about Pinterest. I am keeping twitter, facebook, google plus and Tumblr.
I also killed my custom private web page, and will just use this blog as my primary communications platform (since it works and syndicates data to other platforms so well). I’m going to work on the layout a bit, but nothing crazy. Visuals are not my thing.
And I guess that’s what is driving this: not only realizing what I’m not, but accepting it and working with that. I think it’s an important step.
I didn’t get to spend much time in the studio last night, just a short bit listening to a recording and taking some notes. I’ve got a third concept for a song going and I’m starting to jot down ideas for it’s execution. It’s likely to be near the middle or end of the album.
The album is not looking like it’s going to be very uplifting. In fact, each track seems to be a small expression of how I think everything will actually end. I’m into exploring that a lot at the moment as I need to work through this ever growing pessimism I’ve got seething behind my eyes.
Also, I’ve started making changes around my social media. I killed any service that just felt worthless and burdensome to me. I have no use for Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Snapchat, Ello or….a half dozen other small sites I just don’t bother with. My media interactions are going to be focused on this blog, Twitter, Facebook and Google + (I had high hopes for that last one, but still believe it’s viable). Any other social network, I’m killing.
Cleaning up my digital life is important, cleansing. It’s also clearing up my mind for what’s ahead.
Work calls. Off to it.
Continued working with the virus tonight. The more I do, the more I get used to it's front panel. It's obvious to me that once access created the VSTi, they decided the front panel ergonomics didn't matter. It's a great synth, but a terrible interface!
I also started toying with a cover I'd thought about conceptually in high school. It's a great classic song who's time has really come around again, unfortunately. I've a singer in mind, and I'm hoping she will work on it with me.
Last night was supposed to be a studio night, but a train struck a pedestrian and I was delayed 3 hours getting home….so a cheeseburger and hockey was how I spent my night instead.
The last few days have been quiet. When writing music, it’s also good to listen to it as well. That’s what I’ve been focusing on as I’m taking notes about concepts for tracks.
One thing I need to find is a way to come up with some dialog for a few tracks. I wish I was a better writer, as I’d like this album to have a sort of story. I’ve got some great voice talent who wants to contribute to my recording, but nothing for them to *say* or *sing*. This seems forever a problem.
Not much to report from this weekend. I had very little time in the studio. Friday was Pigface 25th anniversary, and I got home…the next day. Spent that day largely recovering.
Sunday, a friend bought a Yamaha REFACE CS…whatever…over. I don’t know the model number. It’s a fun little synth. I hate, hate, hate minikeys and nothing will ever change that. For what it is, it was pretty cool. If it were $100, I’d consider one.
I wish Yamaha would bundle all their REFACE boxes into a single, awesome synthesis workstation with a great interface and digital connectivity beyond USB. I think that’s about as likely to happen as an asteroid landing on Donald Trump. Oh well.
Tonight, I’ve got some dedicated studio time. I’ve got a nice drone patch on the Virus TI that I’d like to record some source material with. I’ll post it up if I think it stands on it’s own.