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.25.2011 @ 4:14 PM
Chris Randall
Sean, seriously dude, you need a hobby or something. I'm gonna have a DSP intervention, and force you to go camping with no iPod or computer.

If nothing else, it'll be fun to watch you come slowly unravelled.


Mar.25.2011 @ 4:35 PM
beauty pill
This is really cool, involving music. It has a really nice mood that defies description.

- c

Mar.25.2011 @ 5:22 PM
beauty pill
"Nice" is not the right word. Too banal. "Transporting" is more like it.

It's strong work, the Micronaut stuff of the last year.

- c

Mar.25.2011 @ 5:37 PM
@CR: I think I want to try some of those Mai Tai-variants you've been describing on Twitter. I don't know if "drinking" can be described as a hobby, but it seems like a start.

Mar.25.2011 @ 9:50 PM
we gotta go get that single-malt, sean.

Mar.26.2011 @ 12:09 AM
@Chris Randall

Thanks, man. You are extremely helpful. I had already seen your comment on twitter about the RA2 headers so I was already poking around in the right place but I wasn't sure what you meant by the clock input.

I noticed in your "this is the way we bend the verb" pic you had added some extra resistors and a cap in some bends? At least I know they aren't on my RRV. How did those bends turn out?

Mar.26.2011 @ 7:28 PM
There needs to be an "I'm with beauty pill" button.

Yeah, I like this one a lot more than most of the others. It's still very minimal, but it seems to evolve (and devolve) better somehow.

Mar.27.2011 @ 10:40 AM
Chris Randall
That last comment plus Chad's got me wondering, so I listened to all five, and I can't really figure out where I went right with that one versus the other four, other than the fact that, after 5 tries (and several I didn't film) I just got better at the idea in general.


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