Studio Diary – 2017-01-01

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I took a blogging hiatus for the last couple of weeks while I was on vacation. The end of 2016 was not a good time. I don’t even know where to begin with that, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.

Musically, though, things are going pretty well. The album continues to take shape, with 4 songs now in the pipeline. Two of them are very firm in my mind and the other two are sketches. Good concepts that I need to give form. My muse seems to be with me for the first time in forever, and I am doing what I can to make the most of it.

I am really driven to collaborate more on this album than the last. I want others involved. Unfortunately, everyone is so god damn *busy* it seems like direct interaction is going to be difficult, if not impossible. It’s damn frustrating.

On another front, I’ve started getting back into the eurorack rat race as I tweak some of my modulars configuration. Man, that market moves fast! So much stuff has come out in the year and a half I took a hiatus that I’m almost totally at a loss to catch back up. I’m finding that I’m really only looking at manufacturers I knew before, who’s modules I loved and trusted before. The one exception is Mutable Instruments, who’s clouds and tides modules are pretty fun, and I’d like to add their Warps module to the setup.

I’m really looking forward to having some sounds to play for everyone. I think you’re going to enjoy them.

Studio Diary – 2016-12-19

modular01It’s been a while since I posted one of these, but that’s not becase I’ve been inactive. Quite the contrary, actually.  I’ve been deep in writing what I *think* is goig to be the title track for the new album.  What that title is, I’ll just hold onto for now.  It’s survived the two week test, being a name I’ve been playing with in my head for some time.

The song started as an idea.  Some words written on the train and some sounds swimming in my head.   It’s going to be built around a sound I created on the DSI Pro 2 that shows a different side of that instrument than I normally see.   It’s a softer, gentler, burbling sound that makes for an excellent back drop.  I am countering it’s softness with a wave sequence off of the Kronos.   The more I work with the Kronos, the more I realize it’s an instrument I have been waiting my whole life to own.  It’s absolutly fantastic.

There is a pad melody thats swiming in my head, too.   This is coming off the V-Synth GT and/or the Virus TI.  I haven’t made up my mind yet.

I haven’t made my choice of readers for the spoken word portion of the song that I wrote on the train.  In my head, I heard Neil Degrasse Tyson reading it…but good luck with that.  The more I think, though, the more I want to go into a more gentle and sad direction.

So…right.  Back to it.  I’m looking forward to my vacation next week to really dig in and finish this one.

Studio Diary – 2016-12-13

Tweak till you think you broke it – that’s what today was all about.  

I spent all of my time working with the Dave Smith Pro 2.  This is not a synth that likes to sound ‘nice’ or ‘warm’.  It likes t sound like an audiological middle finger.  I have no problem with this.  In fact, I think this is what makes it a perfect companion to the Virus TI.  They never want to stand on the same ground, and compliment each other well.

Studio Diary – 2016-12-12

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studio Diary – 2016-12-09

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….

Optimizing my digital life

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.  

Studio Diary – 2016-12-06

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.