Saturday, 31 March 2012

Quote of the week

"Nobody realises that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal"
Albert Camus

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

New Track: Box (Dub Torpor)

"Box" is basically an edit of a laptop jam we had recently, but with additions, subtractions and a few enhancements. Initially, we were very pleased with the playback of the reference recording we had of the jam (we always record what we do live to a Zoom H2), but once it was edited down from its original ten minute form, it lost something. It wasn't that I had cut out all the good bits, and it wasn't the fact that it was shorter, it was something else.. I suppose, months ago we would have been happy to put the original edit out, but now I felt we needed to try to push the boat out a little more. 

In a sense, we have been doing that anyway. There are a good few sessions that have not been mixed yet, and some of these have a quite new vibe to them. I set to work on "Box" initially to try and put a bit of the 'funk' back that I felt had been lost from the initial loops in the jam. Once we had thrown a load of other loops at the new ones we had ended up with a very bass-laden thing (it still is a bit), and it seemed to me that there was a lot in there that was not getting heard.

So, I returned to the Ableton files and began to re-build the track. Once I did  this I discovered plenty of errors that, once corrected, added a lot more to the mix. To bring back the 'funk' I separated some of the conflicting elements and added some new drum parts to emphasise the bass rhythms. Doing these two things then gave me enough to be able to re-edit it. So, I set about cutting parts out. Once this was completed, it was just a matter of re-balancing the levels and I was done.

I have made it sound like this was a quick and easy job, but it was in fact complex, and was constructed (on and off) over three or four days. When you are working intensely on something I find it important to walk away from it every so often, otherwise it is easy to lose sight of the effect that you will have on your audience and what the thing is that you are actually trying to do in the first place.

The sounds within "Box" are a recording of Andi cutting wire (which sounded to me like he was cutting the feet off sparrows in the woods), some leg slapping and various electronic distortions with a hint of shortwave.

We have ended up with a better version for your listening ears. Another free download (5th in a series of free tracls for 2012). We hope that you enjoy it..

Simon x

PS: The artwork photo is again by Andi.

Monday, 26 March 2012

New videos: Circular Spectrograms

I have been playing with Circular Spectrograms. I found that our track "I Told You Not To Eat That" worked well with it. It was done using a (Mac only) application by Andrew Ohlman. You can download it here: Circular Spectogram

What you are seeing is the bass frequencies at the bottom of the circle, the high frequencies toward the centre. Amplitude (volume) is represented by brightness, blue represents the left and red represents the right channel of the audio.

This Quartz Composer based app is based on Musical Spectrum Analysis work by Jon-Kyle Mohr and Lee Martin and you can see more here: http://spectrogr.am/

Don't watch it too many times though..when I was working on it I looked out of the window at one point and got the spiral "motion after effect" - the buildings went all bendy and started moving about!

Here is a second one. This time for "Wire Frame Ghost". The parameters are the same, except this time the right channel is in yellow.

Its interesting how different it looks compared to "I Told You.." and also in this one how the Morse Code present in the shortwave samples is represented. Also, the presence of sonar makes it look like an old radar screen.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Quote of the week

Back by huge demand!
(actually Simon threatened to give me a Chinese Burn if it failed to return)
Quote of the week's back.

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music"
Billy Wilder.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 5 March 2012

Wire Frame Ghost

The fourth in a series of single track, free download releases for 2012. "Wire Frame Ghost" is an edit from a recent laptop jam at Andi's place. It is virtually unchanged from the original jam, we only shortened the beginning a little.

It is a more mellow track than some of our other recent efforts, and we hope that you enjoy this slightly different vibe. It begins with our typical sounds.. shortwave radio, sonar, and piano strings being plucked. Other sounds join; filtered white noise and tape hiss, backwards acoustic guitar harmonics, plus new sounds created with digital synths in Logic and patterns Andi generated using the Korg iMS20 on the iPad. Check the Korg out here. Its an amazing piece of kit.

The title "Wire Frame Ghost" seemed to fit the vibe generated from metal strings and electronic interference. Artwork is again by Andi.