March 24, 2011

New (and older) Micronaut Stuff...

by Chris Randall

This is definitely absolutely the final "experiment" video. I have decided how I'm going to do the next micronaut full-length, and am going to begin work on that in earnest now. In this one, everything is sequenced in Live. I'm using the SoundPrism Pro app to play the TETR4 for the main melody line. I record the one-measure clip in to Live, then loop it, as you can see.

A quick note about SoundPrism. If you have an internet connection and are a musician, you probably saw the hullaballoo a couple weeks about how Apple had rejected a SoundPrism update because of MIDI capability being an in-app-purchase. Audanika re-submitted the MIDI version as a "Pro" build, and it is now available in the App Store for $9.99. This is a very cool app, and I recommend it.

Due to many requests, I've taken the audio from three of the "experiment" videos, plus the full track of "location 1" (the field recording video/song), plus one previously-unheard track called "procedure 1" which I did entirely in Max, no samples, no external synths, and made a BandCamp release. (Boy, that was a long sentence.)

Anyhow, it can be found here for pay-what-you-want-minimum-nothing, which is how I've taken to doing the off-release stuff.

An interesting technical point is that these five tracks were created with five different methods.

1. location 1: Field recordings, re-sequenced in Live.

2. experiment 2: hardware synths, sequenced with an Apple //e and Roland CMU-800R.

3. procedure 1: Entirely procedural/algorithmic, done entirely in Max/MSP, end to end. No samples, no hardware synths, no plug-ins.

4. experiment 4: MIDI algorithmically generated in Max/MSP, driving hardware, recorded in Live.

5. experiment 5: All hardware, driven by MIDI sequenced in Live, recorded in Cubase 5.

While those facts, in and of themselves, aren't that amazing, what I found odd was that, upon assembly of the collection, all five tracks are strikingly similar. I think this was a result of the whole point of these experiments, which was to determine a new workflow that didn't involve making short samples and moving them about until I had a song. In other words, I wasn't looking to push any melodic envelopes; rather, I was concentrating on technical matters.

Strange how things work out.


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Mar.24.2011 @ 9:43 AM
Mike Nickel
Very cool, thank you. Did you skip an experiment or two though?

Mar.24.2011 @ 9:44 AM
Chris Randall
Yeah. I didn't care for the first one, at least in this context, and the 3rd one isn't a complete track. What you see in the video is the sum of it. In with the others, it just sounds like a clip of a half-finished song.


Mar.24.2011 @ 2:44 PM
All them procedures, reminds me when I used to hear on the base, "Don't make an MOS out of it".

Mar.24.2011 @ 2:45 PM
And cheers... that be a nerdsexy tune.

Mar.24.2011 @ 3:41 PM
Damn, experiment 1 was by far my favorite of the bunch. Still, thanks for putting this up. Downloading now.

Mar.24.2011 @ 6:12 PM
When you are working on these things, do you stand there at that shelf the whole time? Seems like that would get uncomfortable in a hurry. Well, either that or you bang these cool tracks out with incredible speed.

Mar.24.2011 @ 6:26 PM
@Chris Randall
That's fucking awesome. Seriously.

I love that you are using your newly bent RRV-10. After hearing you with one, I found one online and I'm glad. It's a nice little unit for not alot of money if you look around.

I know you aren't too keen on giving away your bends since they are top secret but did you add some pots or switches to the exterior of the RRV-10 to turn your bends on and off? I can't really see it in the video. One of these days, I'll have to poke around inside it to see what sorts of cool bends there are.

Keep up the good work!

Mar.24.2011 @ 6:31 PM

Standing is good for your health, right? I'm a habitual stander. I like to stand around while everyone else sits until either they get really uncomfortable with the fact that I'm standing and ask me to please sit down or my knees begin to get uncomfortable. hah. It's better than sitting on your ass all day in front of a computer which I'm sure Chris does quite a bit.

Mar.24.2011 @ 6:40 PM
Chris Randall
I do most of my work standing up, even coding and graphics and shit. My back started to hurt from 10 years of staring at a computer screen slouched in an office chair, so I took Measures.

It also keeps me from being a big fat fatty. I'm 42 now. Gotta stay active.

It's plenty comfortable, anyhow, once you get used to it.


Mar.24.2011 @ 6:46 PM
Chris Randall
Regarding the RRV-10, you can _just_ see the switches to the right of the right-most knob. There are three in all, which are on-off-on, for six bends total. One of them in particular I'm very happy with. In the beginning of the video, you hear two sounds. One is the MeeBlip running through the spring and echo of the Space Echo, and that should be pretty obvious.

The other is a quick noise burst from the MS-20 running through the RRV-10 with the good bend active. What it does is kill the diffusion in the reverb algorithm, which results in a very dense multi-tap delay. It doesn't work on all the algorithms.

The two other really good bends are running one of the clock inputs at half speed, which results in the early reflections being de-rezzed while the tail is unaffected (this also makes the three delay algos, which don't have any tail, bitcrush-sounding), and one that changes the envelope and gain of the LPF. This last one has a really cool effect on the delay algos; the 'verb algos tend to get very metallic, which I don't think I find useful, or I haven't yet.

I want to find an RDS-10 now and give it the same treatment. ;-)


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