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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Back in 2002 when Chris Willits released his excellent Folding, And The Tea on 12k, I started exploring dividing loopable sounds into equal sections.
I had already been using granular software back since Granulab and Granny 8, which you can create excellent rhythmical patterns and sounds in it, and had already been using sample edits to create patterns within sound, clicks and simple things, but Chris Willits presented to me a whole new way of thinking about editing sound and patterns.
Folding, And The Tea continues to be a reference point for me, not only in dealing with sound editing, but as a reminder of constantly thinking of interesting ways to consider sounds role in making music and even what music can be.
Folding, And The Tea showed it can be both abstract and incredibly musical, which really is the two farthest ends of the same scale.
Today’s upload revisits a similar approach, and one I explored to great lenghts in Max/MSP back in 2002 shortly after Folding, And The Tea was released, but this time in Supercollider.
I am using a older track as the sound source, one you might recognise. I think the sound sits somewhere between Willits and perhaps Full Swing Edits, a release I have mentioned on this blog many times.
When the day is overcast, rain hitting my window, the day seems night, the same music always hits my ears, that of Pete Namlook.
Today’s upload is a bit of a cover version of Pete Namlook’s ‘Duane Sky’ under his ‘Sequential’ alias. I probably spent far to long on this, going back and forth on sounds, layers, decisions, until, as always, simply settling on the bare minimum.
I struggle greatly to create music with much going on, it simply confuses me. I sit there for hours tweaking eq, moving things about, until I end up removing almost everything and work with just a few sounds, and only then to things start to sit together for me. I think it might be to do with my wanting to hear sounds in the best way they can be heard, and not compromised to fit with others. It seems odd to me, to make many sounds to then tweak them to fill up the frequency range, when one sound could do the job just as well.
The sub kick is a sample from my SH-101, the percussion is Roland R8 samples, the roaring note is Moog Mother 32 and the glistening melody is me playing my SH-101 live and rather badly, just like Aphex Twin used to…that takes practice you know ;)
I hope you enjoy the cover, but be sure to listen to the original, it’s obviously much better, as is all Pete Namlooks music. R.I.P.
More basic experiments with Supercollider, this time emulating some ideas I have been previously testing out in the Moog Mother 32. This direction is mainly to see how the internal filter behaves in Supercollider, but also a little on my programming skills.
Nothing all that fancy, but something I will certainly explore more of in the near future.
Tonight is a quick sketch created entirely in Supercollider and based loosely on some previous uploads that also explored software only directions.
I modelled the kick on the Roland TR-808, the bass sound loosely on a crossed SH-101/TB-303 and the stab sound based on the sort of stab sound typically made on the SH-101. The reverb is Supercollider’s built in reverb.