Mono-log

A daily upload project that began in 2012 with the Nord Modular G1.

499

June 23rd, 2016

Today’s upload is experimenting with patterns, drum sounds and fx, as much of what I do is. This one comes with a little bit of jamming on the desk, although only a small Mackie I am borrowing while I wait for the Soundcraft PSU to be fixed. The Mackie has dials instead of sliders, which I struggle with, but it’s yeilding some interesting results having limitations such as this.

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The patterns are coming from Supercollider, which is driving the Akai sampler full of 808 sounds, and the 101 is used just for that extra bass kick. Fx are, as always, the DP4.

There isn’t much going on, and nor should there be honestly, but I did find something interesting while recording this, as is often the case, so hopefully it is interesting to hear how that all comes together.

Enjoy.

498

June 22nd, 2016

Although I am still learning the role of mono-log and my uploads, one thing is for certain, it is constantly keeping me in check. It stands as a constant reminder to get into the studio and create more, and to do that I need to be rested, to eat well, to organise my day and prioritse.

It’s been exactly a week since I last managed to share an upload, and although in many ways this is not a major failing, the fact that a week has gone by without my creating something I feel I want to share, really bugs the hell out of me.

Part of the annoyance is allowing things to get in the way, that brain illness that spreads deep into the mind that changes perspective, changes sound, changes direction, changes focus.

I don’t think I have had the pleasure to meet someone who actually gets visibly agitated if not spending time making music, although I do remember reading artists when on long tours get crazy, always performing and never creating.

I have yet to really understand this fully, if that is at all possible, but can only relate it to something like eating or sleeping. The body eventually puts its hands up and says “food, sleep, now!”. Interestingly, I find food is something I forget about when in the studio until borderline dizzy, and sleep is something that always gets priority over studio time. I need to be fully rested or I simply can’t be bothered to do anything, and I find not being able to do anything really frustrating.

Today’s upload is something I found while stumbling through some archives while in the studio today. I recall this was made during my time trying to recreate a famous acid line in an early Plastikman track, and combining it in feel to another artist I was influenced by back in the early to mid 90’s, none other than Aphex Twin, who, it has to be said, rarely gets mentioned on here.

Given his recent release, a result of digging through his own archives (lazy bastard), it seems fitting to do the same.

On a side note, if you have yet to watch his latest video filmed in Dublin, Ireland, do check it out, certainly one for fans of Shane Meadows or perhaps Mike Leigh.

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497

June 15th, 2016

Some very late night coding with Supercollider after many failed attempts to get into the studio and then my mixer power supply died. Still, it’s a reason to try something in the laptop.

All the sounds are created and sequenced in Supercollider, quite the software once you get the hang of it.

Enjoy.

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496

June 8th, 2016

More experimenting with Supercollider using some old sample from the early 00’s. I created this after listening to Chris Coode as Recon earlier today. I have always loved his music, both as Recon and Motion.

Where are you Chris?

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494

June 5th, 2016

Axoloti is a very small and affordable (only €65 for the core) software/hardware modular system that shares many similarities to the Clavia Nord Modular G1 and G2 systems.

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The main difference between the Nord Modular and Axoloti is the latter is far more open, allowing your own objects and scripts to be written in C++. I have only really starting looking into this and have yet to get a system myself, so you can find out more on the comparison page at the Axoloti website.

Much like the Nord Modular environment, the softare can run away from the hardware, although not producing any sound itself. Also the hardware can run separated from the software, although unlike the Nord Modular, no dials or button are installed, you would have to add these all yourself, even the casing is not included.

I created a patch without hearing it, and emailed it to latest SM-LL artist Vialan to test out on his Axoloti. This morning I just received back the results with his own much needed tweaks and it’s sounding pretty good.

Vialan doesn’t know I am uploading this today so, hello Vialan, excellent sounds from you as always.

Enjoy.

495

June 5th, 2016

I have been recently working on a Supercollider patch that divides up a sound into equal parts to then be rearranged. Finally I managed to get it working closer to how I want it.

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What I enjoy most about this method of working, is that it deals with both the sound editing and sequencing all in one, as apposed to two seperate events.

Using lower bass sounds, louder clicks can be produced, which in turn not only create temporal punctuations helping inforce how a pattern is perceived, but can also be used to trigger other events elsewhere due to the nature of that click being so extreme.

Equally wider stereo sounds, especially those whose stereo movement is already eveident within the sound, can be used to position sounds spatially in any pattern, perhaps giving other sounds space, or even used to create more interesting patterns of its own.

Another aspect of this approach I like is the way it works with the studio. Typically I would either try to recreate the studio in a laptop both for allowing me to sketch ideas or work elsewhere, but also to push how I might use the studio, borrowing ideas from each. This approach of dividing sound into parts, allows me to utilise any sounds, tracks or sections previously recorded from the studio, and basically loading them into the Supercollider patch and reconfigure it. All the sound of the studio is present, but with the structuring of the computer. It creates complexities in different areas, always sounds exciting, and is a reasonably fast way of working which I always really appreciate.

When I have spoke with other artists, often they relish spending hours in the studio on tracks, aiming for perfection, and often presumed this to be how I work. I don’t. I really can’t deal with hearing the same track over and over again while working on it, unless there really isn’t much to hear, in which case I can either more easily switch off or allow it in. There is no stress involed as it’s just something simple on repeat, that either works or doesn’t, and so is more easily thrown away. I typically get attached after the fact, when the track is done.

Typically I will switch between one idea and another very quickly, or will create a simple sketch to understand how the sounds behave before settling on something. Often this needs to happen multiple times before something I can get excited about begins to emerge, and at that point getting it finished quickly is key, otherwise it will change and be lost.

One way to ensure things don’t get lost that often, is to record almost everything at every key stage. To help deal with identifying what that stage sounds like, I have since even considered how to think about the record. I used to panic and think of a record as this serious thing, an epic work, a presentation of many skills, pushing everything to the limit and put out into the public. However, I don’t feel it works quite that way anymore, and so today think of it more as a record of where you are at that moment in time, a documentation.

The idea of the record can obviously extend to the public domain, but ultimately the bridge from private record and public record is pretty seamless. Essentially they are both records, just excisting in different contexts.

For me, it is the process of creating a record that stands far above the final result, and it’s that selection of a final result for public, that is more abstracted from the studio and curatorial. This blog obviously serves as a nice intersection between the two.

As always, it is how we choose to think about and use technology, that really opens things up creatively, freeing us from whatever constraints we have placed upon ourselves.

493

June 3rd, 2016

A bit of a fun upload today, although they are always fun this one was especially fun as it is me and Lucia in the studio together at the same time, which rarely happens.

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Generally speaking when me and Lucia work together it’s seperately and in turn, normally with some back and forth inbetween. The reason it changed today was we were both relaxing listening to Akiko Kiyama, something we haven’t listened to in a while, and the discussion led to us deciding to hit the studio there and then and make some techno together, something we have never done before. Although it’s far from finished, if it ever will be, we thought we would share the results anyway.

Lots of 808 boingy toms, reminiscent of early Plastikman and Akiko herself, but not as good as either haha. Enjoy.

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