Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.

Archives: May 2011

May 27, 2011

New Toy, Oh Way Oh...

by Chris Randall

[insert usual apology for lack of posting here.]

I've been swamped the last two weeks. I took on an art project, of all things, that is sucking up my copious free time at an alarming pace, plus dealing with a t-shirt company that obviously was unaware of the power of this fully operational Death Star. They shorted me in my order, plus gave me a lot of shitty pulls; I ended up with only 74% of my order, which won't stand, of course. But it entailed a dozen trips to their office. Needless to say, we won't be using these guys again.

And on top of that, we're in the final push on the new plug. This is one of our rare utility plugs, having an utter lack of weirdness. It is now feature complete and the Windows version is in beta. We've decided to not drop any science on it until it is actually released. As soon as it is out, back to the relentless 64-bit porting. Yee haw.

So yeah, busy busy busy, blah blah blah. I am, however, in the mood to make either seriously heavy Killing Joke / Cop Shoot Cop music, or produce a hip-hop act. If you're in the Phoenix metroplex and are either looking to jam on some heavy post-industrial, or you have a good flow and need some beats, hit me up via the contact link. Because I don't have enough to do right now.

May 21, 2011

The Perfect Monosynth...

by Chris Randall

While it's generally accepted as a truism that either the Korg MS20 or the Moog MiniMoog is the perfect monosynth, in this modern world we live in, both are horribly behind the times.

The reason I bring this up is that a side project I'm working on in my spare time involves creating a monosynth. The platform is fairly limited, so I can't put in every feature under the sun. As such, I have to limit it to about the same number of features as a MiniMoog, give or take a few. I've used the Source as the starting point of my topology, so two multi-wave oscillators plus a noise source through a LPF. Envelopes for LPF and Amp, and a single LFO.

What would you add to/remove from this topology to make it t3h awesome?

May 16, 2011

Get Busy, Y'all...

by Chris Randall

'Tis the season, apparently. While it may seem that little is emanating forth from the various Audio Damage facilities, that's about to change. We'll have at least two additions to the store in the near future, possibly three. One is a new utilitarian plug-in and two aren't. Neither are they Euro modules. Or anything that plugs in at all.

After these three releases occur, we're gonna lay in to the Dubstation 64-bit update, and make an attempt at some of the problems plaguing the 64-bit Logic side of things (fucking Logic.)

So anyhow, you can expect a lot of AD news in the next few days as we roll these things out. We'll also be updating the store, so we'll be offline for a while (most likely tomorrow), so don't freak out if you see that.

And finally, as you can see from the photo above, I finally got a proper photo scanner to replace my dead all-in-one. I picked up one of these bad boys. Two thumbs way up. If you have film to scan, you need this, plain and simple.

May 12, 2011

Out Of The Office Open Thread...

by Chris Randall

After that last epic conversation, I'm busy congratulating myself for having created a blog that, after years of tuning, can have such a high level of completely bullshit-free discourse. The previous post didn't have a single comment deleted (I only have to delete maybe one a month now) nor a single ad spam, nor a single instance of anyone calling anyone else a Nazi, nor a single "LOL +1" jumping smily face. This is a rare thing on the internet, and I'm pleased to have had a role, however minor, in its genesis.

In any event, the missus and I are rolling to Los Angeles today. We're hitting the MOCA tomorrow for the Art In The Streets exhibit, and going to the JPL Open House on Saturday. A little mini-vacation, if you will. I may or may not post, depending on available time and inspiration.

In the meantime, as a conversation starter, I propose this article that Eno wrote for Wired some 12 years ago. I assume, from the context and time frame, the console in question is a Neve Capricorn, one that I have a similar experience with. Anyhow, here's the keys. Don't break anything.

May 8, 2011

Medium != Message...

by Chris Randall

One thing I've often said, when confronted with the type of person that gets in to the minutia of the recording process, perhaps at the expense of the big picture, is that a good song will survive any production process, while a bad song can't be saved by the most sophisticated gear and recording techniques available.

This sort of idea is anathema to the Gear Queer, who is always certain that there is that one more piece of kit sitting out there, just beyond grasp, that will push things over the edge and make all the difference. We're each of us guilty of this behavior, of course. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, etc. But the simple fact of the matter is that the work of art exists already, as a wave function, and whatever you need to collapse that bitch and bring shit out in to the cold light of day is what you need. There are records that wouldn't exist without a massive, and relatively expensive, modular synth and a fairly detail-oriented production approach (see: A Funneled Stone), and others that would sound fucking retarded if they were anything but a guitar and a vocal. (See: Robert Johnson's entire ouvre. Happy 100th b'day to Mr. Johnson, btw.)

Now, this entire approach could be perceived as my own way of justifying my several rather ridiculous recording habits, the which you're all perfectly aware of. I approach photography and music-making in the same way, trying to squeeze something interesting out of a device not really meant to do what I'm asking of it, largely via a trial-and-error approach rather than any cohesive planning on my part. My general philosophy with respect to photography is the Shakespeare/Monkey method: if you take enough pictures, some of them are bound to be interesting, and quantity has a quality all its own. No particular reason this can't be applied to music. (See: Wesley Willis.)

I guess what I'm trying to say, when it comes down to it, is this: I am of the firm opinion that there is interesting shit hiding in my brain. All I have to do is figure out how to get it out. While a new piece of The Shiny might make certain aspects of that chore easier, at the end of the day, the song lives in my brain, not in the gear. The medium is the messenger, not the message itself.

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