Elsewhere

My mind is not here today. Its on an uncertain future and a past locked in concrete.

It is on my lack of sleep and my productivity. It's on the intensity of my emotions. It is looking inward, trying to find the path out.

It wants to be creating music. It needs the sounds tonight.

 

A blog a day..

I've sort of committed myself to posting to my blog every day. Unfortunately, I don't always have anything new and interesting to say…which could make it difficult.

I *DO* however have a lot of old media that had been posted to my other blog that is still out there on YouTube, SoundCloud, BandCamp, etc. that I can repost with some commentary. Hurray for recycled content!

So let's get started, shall we?

This was done for one of my broadcasts in 2013. I keep meaning to start them up again, but just don't seem to find the time..

Enjoy.

Improvisation

I had a brief improvisation last night on my virus. I was just programming a patch when this sort of ambient pad piece started flowing out of my fingers. In my head, I could hear a machine loop and drums and a sort of drone off the modular..maybe a simple pulsing bass sound to push it forward..but my audience of one only heard the one part.

“I like that. It gives me images in my mind.” she said.

If only she could hear the piece as I do. What images would it draw?

80 milliseconds

It takes 80 milliseconds from the time something happened to the time you brain has decided what happened and how to break the news to you. 80 milliseconds. What happens in those 80 milliseconds?

Wait 80 milliseconds and your brain will tell you.

 

Labor of Love

I started recording the audio elements to the track I’d been improvising around. The capture went well, but I am having some trouble structuring. I’ve *kind of* got an intro…kind of…but not really, and I don’t know what to do in the body. The impove I did with J the other night sounded *really* good…but I just can’t get back to that sound.

Part of the reason I am having issues, I think, is also that my speakers are poorly placed. I don’t know how to improve that much given the layout of the room I am in. One nice thing in my old space was that the PC was centered which made recording and mixing easy. I need to figure out a better way to lay things out for mixing. I almost need a separate set of speackers for mix and compose. That is just so expensive though…

The important thing, though, is that I am engaging in the process of recording and arranging. I haven’t gone to that step with a track in a long while, and it is extrenely important to keep engaged in it. Even if progress is painfully slow, at least it’s there.

So never stop – Keep moving – Breathe….

The Well

For the past two years, I have found it impossible to write (music or words). Months would pass and I wouldn’t even look at my gear, or I’d turn it on and just spend time mucking about the internet instead.

Now…Its like an unbeatable force pullling me. I have to write. I *have to*. I have things in my head…lots of things…and I need to get them out. My well is full again.

So how did I go from having an empty well to a full one? What was it that triggered the the floodgates to open and replenish me?

Honestly, I have no fucking clue. It is a complete mystery why I had nothing in my head and now its full. The way it happened, you’d think aliens abducted me and uploaded these thoughts and ideas right into my brain. One day, I woke up and they were just *there*.

I wish I knew how it happens. It happened when I wrote ‘Dust‘. Out of no where, I was compelled to write and to do so at th exclusion of everything else. It was a drive that I had. I had something in my head, and I needed to get it out or my head would explode Scanners style all over the living room. What triggers it, I don’t think I will ever know.

But why isn’t important anyway. What is important is that I have a full well to draw on for the first time in a long while. I need to respect that gift by using it and not squandering it. This means some difficulties for the people around me as I become a moody bastard and lock myself in my studio for long hours. It means my mind may not always be ‘in it’ when we are discussing other things. It means that sometimes, I may be late to appointments becuase I had an idea that just had to come out RIGHT FUCKING NOW. It means that I must write, record and release this album I have within me. I must. If not, I risk running the well dry and having nothing to show for it.

 

Choosing my DAW

For a while now, I have been using Reason 8 as my primary DAW. My previous album, Dust, was recorded using Ableton Live 8. The question I am wrestling with as I begin my new album is if I want to continue using Reason 8 or go back to Live 8 (and upgrade to V9) to work on the new recording?

Both environments have their plusses and minuses. For the way I work, my DAW is basically a big multitrack tape deck with some cool editing capabilities. I tend to work with long linear performance tracks that I perform minimal edits on. I don’t do the micro-editing every-little-sample-in-the-right-place style of overworking tracks into dullness (I have a whole blog post I could make about that, but it wouldn’t make me many friends..) and prefer to do most of my thinking in the peformances. For this, both DAWS are fine. I do feel that Reason may be a bit more focused for this type of editing since Live seems to focus on the clip view (which I honestly never use, not even in writing).

Live, however, has VSTi, which reason just plain doesnt. I don’t use VST instruments, but I have a *lot* of FX. Also, sometimes its nice to build a quick something in Reaktor and use it on a send. Can’t do that with Reason without looping the audio through a third application.

I *could* try rewire…but I’ve never had luck getting that to work and not crash projects.

hmmm…

Overall, I’ll probably go with Reason for this one. It just kind of makes sense to go with the simpler tool. Also, I really like the way I can build FX chains by patching cables. For an oldschool guy like me, that speaks to my home and where I came from as a musician.

So…decision made: Reason 8 for entanglement. Time to start recording…