Sunday, March 14, 2021

Rough Interlude Study, Week 2

Hey all,

Another week has passed on this study, and more sounds and noises have been made. This week was lighter on the digital sounds created, as more time was spent researching and coding. Here is a link to this week's demo video.

 Digital Experimentation

To start off this week, I delved back into pdooll with some sampled juke & footwork beats, hoping to create some exciting rhythmic experiments, which I did for a short while, but ended up in my usual domain of strange ambient sound worlds. However, that aside, I was mainly getting back in the groove of things for this week, as I soon after booted up some other software (Ppooll & VCV rack) and processed similar sounds through them to get an idea of what I wanted in pdooll. I remember why started making my own software now. Ppooll, while awesome and inspiring, is such a pain to use. Routing and working with this software is a nightmare and honestly made me want to stop what I was doing multiple times. But I pushed forward onto (the much more friendly) VCV rack. I used both these softwares for a good 3-4 hours, made some fantastic sounds, and wrote notes of what I wanted for pdooll. The notes were fairly extensive and ambitious, so I decided (as I havent coded in Pd for a good few months now) to start on one of the easier ideas I had: Filter3.

Filter3 is a one input 3 output filter module which, instead of selecting which filter type you want and having one output, each of the three outputs correspond to a lowpass, highpass, and bandpass, allowing for easy access of parallel signals for weird and wonderful sound creation. All the filters are linked to one set of controls (besides the BP width control, which increases the width of the bandpass filter), and you can select up to 4 stages of filtering. However, in usual Pd fashion, its an incredibly broken and weird piece of kit: the width slider creates incredibly strange low end distortion, the oversampling creates wild digital aliasing, and the sound in general breaks and crumbles at higher stages. I consider none of this a problem. All of these bugs make this so much more fun than I was initially expecting, its unpredictable and strange. Its not just a filter, but a strange lofi distortion unit as well. Granted, however however, I do plan on creating an 'offshoot' of this module which works a bit more as it 'should'. Possibly rebranding this one to something more strange and fun.

Analogue Experimentation

Still treading on ground not particularly alien, but focusing on how to push what I am already familiar with more than learning brand new methods. Main idea of this composition revolved around having a beat or percussion element on tape, then recording synthesizer over it while sidechaining it to the perc track. I decided to use my MS20 and Neutron to do everything here, even the percussion. I managed to create a lovely irregular ‘kick’ pattern with lots of background noise I could manipulate and change when recording to create some kind of evolution or structure. Sidechaining elements to this, I used a Boss RCL10 compressor, then recorded a variety of synth parts and loops. But because of the high noise floor on the drums, especially in the louder sections, the sidechaining came out as awkward crushing compression. I love it so much.

Recording the synths and other parts, I used a submixer alongside my pedalboard, allowing me to mix in effects and loops onto one or two channels of my tape with ease. While I am only borrowing this mixer currently, I plan on getting one of my own, as it’s a freeing experience having another bank of 8~ channels on a smaller accessible mixer. For a long time I’ve thought about how tracks like Tomorrow Never Knows were recorded with however many tapeloops all playing at once and the mix of them being performed onto one channel of tape. I fully intend to recreate a setup like this sometime soon, have many loops from many sources playing at once, all processed through the small mixer and onto tape; creating a performance out of it, rather than all the individual loops laid out in a daw and arranging them in that fashion.

A conclusion and summary

Overall this was quite the successful week. I tried out some things with my synths and studio gear I've been wanting to do for quite some time now and made some progress with my coding, more exciting times are to come.

As for what I've been listening to over the past week, continuing on with more Slauson and SOTC, I've listened to red burns multiple times over the past few days, its just such an incredible record. Also been mixing in some more Books & Stereolab, as well as fully indulging my sappy queerness with the call me by your name soundtrack.

Hope yall are well, I look forward to next week's writing.


No comments:

Post a Comment