Let's Get It Started...
So, now that my "Chris Randall" record is done and about to go to the pressing plant, I've begun to think about my next Micronaut record. I have to take the Micronaut project seriously, because a not-insignificant portion of our income is realized via the placement of Micronaut songs in Xbox games and extreme sports television shows. In that vein, I've always written the Micronaut albums with a somewhat watered-down vision of what I thought made a good electronic album.
This time, in order to obviate that problem, I'm going to make a two-disk set, where the first disk is the straight-ahead traditional Micronaut stylings which have always proved to work, and the second disk will be all procedural stuff which is programmed rather than played, and will really allow me to explore some new territory. Problem solved.
So, I was spending the last couple weeks thinking about how I might approach doing an entire album of procedural music, and it seemed to me that Plogue Bidule has all the tools I need to get the job done. (Mainly it hosts VSTs, and since I can make VSTs, I don't have to sweat the details too much.) I'll freely admit that Bidule is still in its infancy, and is missing some key tools that would make the job easier, but nothing I can't live without.
So, I spent some time yesterday and today making a mixer group that will work for my general needs. You can see it above, and click for a detailed full-size view. The mixer objects already in Bidule are just this side of useless, so I had to make one that had effects sends, EQ, etc. As you can probably parse out, I have four stereo inputs, two stereo effects loops, and I've put URS A-series on the inputs, URS BLT on the effect returns, and URS 1980 comp/lim and Fulltec on the two-buss.
It occurred to me during a conversation with Adam today that one could use this layout, a 12 I/O FW audio interface, and a little computer and have a fairly capable digital mixer. But that's completely tertiary to the conversation.
Next step is procedural drum sounds. This should be entertaining. In a process like this, where you're setting up conditions so the music writes itself, much more time is spent in the planning than in the actual execution. So I figure four to six months of making layouts, then three hours of actually recording them. Funny. Anyone have any thoughts on techniques for procedural (aleatoric) music they want to share?