Tag Archives: workflow

Studio Diary – 2016-12-02

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.

 

Studio Diary – 2016-11-22

More experiments with the Virus TI2. I've got a nice musical pulse that's generating that could be a possible addition to my current piece. I also worked with making a noise drone on the Pro 2, but wasn't getting anywhere tonight.

I've also pulled out the schritmacher for a bit. Am I sure I want to sell this? Yes… yes, I am. Better things are coming..

A discussion on twitter lead me to go dig out an old noise track, embedded hear for your enjoyment:

PolyEvolver Drone Demo by NoiseTheorem | Noise Theorem | Free Listening on SoundCloud

 

The problem

The problem, it seems…is screens.

Screens are everywhere…on my synth, on my desk at work, on my DAW, on my phone….I am sick of screens. I’ve spent my life staring at them and I don’t want to stare at them anymore.

This presents a problem – How does one create music in the modern era without being absolutely bombarded by gigantic screens full of more information than I want? How does one make music without mouse within a 50ft radias?

I hate screens. Screens are evil. They get in my way and make my music harder to make. I want the screens to be gone.

How do I get rid of them?

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?

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….

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…

 

Writing

I’ve been assembling the gear and arranging it so that I could start in earnest the process of writing a follow up to 2012’s ‘Dust’.  I am glad to say that I think I am now ‘there’ as far as the cast of characters I am going to use to produce this album.  For all of my fellow gear nerds, this will be my core tool set:

  • Eurorack Modular System (of course)
  • Virus TI2 Polar Dark Star
  • DSI Pro2
  • Elektron A4, Octatrack and Analog Rytm
  • Korg KronosX

I will, of course, be bringing in other tools from my storage closet as I feel the need.  My first track that I am writing now is using the Akai MPC1000 through a mess of pedals (Korg SDD3000, Rodeck Restyler, Eventide ModFactor) and that’s turning out well.  I like this concept of core devices and rotating in and out the extras.  It makes the setup more manageable.

So writing has begun…and I will post about my concepts soon.  Time to get to it.