Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
 
January 18, 2017

Various Things...

by Chris Randall
 

It is no doubt apparent to long-time readers that I coasted this site for most of 2016, preferring to experiment with other outlets. Having now done my research, it's time to get back in the saddle with a new plan for 2017. So here's some things that are coming up:

1. Videos. Due to spending two months with someone else's teeth in my mouth (which isn't near as interesting as it sounds) I was uncomfortable making videos for the AI YouTube channel. However, that process was completed yesterday, and now we can return to our regularly-scheduled vitriol. Having tried some various things, I've discovered what works and what doesn't in that format, at least as far as my personality and skills go, and have a better idea of how to take the YouTube channel further. Essentially, I will concentrate more on tech and less on talk. The tech and technique videos get way more views and engagement than the ranting videos. So I'll stick to that.

2. Pedagogy. I am once again teaching Entrepreneurship In The Music Industry for a local college this semester. However, in a mild change of things, I will be putting my lectures on the YouTube channel. There are six in all. I'd like to think that these are a bit more basic than most of you will care about, but I think highly of you guys. Maybe they'll be interesting to you; my hope is that they'll help the younglings coming up.

3. Travels. During the next three months I will be visiting Portland, Los Angeles, Prague, and Berlin. If you're in any of those places and want to organize a small (like 3-5 person) meetup, get at me. I've never met many of you, and I would very much like to. Of special note is Sync02 in Portland on March 4th, which we are organizing in league with Control Voltage. There is a Facebook event page here.

4. Audio Damage. Lots happening on that front. As you no doubt know, we had a Web Site Disaster late last year (dealing with this is another reason for silence on the YouTube channel) and I have spent the last while building a new Shopify site. As a result, approximately 10,000 people have written me asking where their old account is. I love this. It's my new favorite thing. In related news, you motherfuckers can't keep a computer running for 20 minutes without doing a full bare metal re-install, if my inbox is any indicator. That aside, we have like 8 new products in the queue, some of which are happening quite soon. 2017 is going to be a very exciting year!

5. Music. I'm working on a new project that is combo audio/visual, and which I will perform live. More on that as it is birthed, but I'm pretty excited about it.

So, tl;dr: more videos, some homework, new shit! Yay!

 
December 27, 2016

Groove Experiments...

by Chris Randall
 



During the course of testing products, I often end up with more-or-less full patches. It is important to test everything in context; you can't just listen to something by itself and expect to just know how it sits in a mix. This is especially important for effects, as they generally end up far too thick for normal production if you don't test them in a song while you're developing.

Our next product is a Eurorack hardware version of our Eos plugin, and during the course of development, I built up a patch with several different sound sources; this morning, I was like "oh, that's almost music right there" and popped out a quick video. This, like most of my modular improvs, doesn't have much of an arrangement, but I kind of liked the feel of it. These sorts of pieces of music are not created with the intent of having a finished song, but rather to test something, and thus they tend to not have much Song to them. But if you know that going in, I think they turn out okay.

As is usual for me, everything is sequenced from Sequencer 1 and White Whale. The bass is coming from the WMD/SSF voice; the melody line is Noise Engineering LI -> our own analog filter prototype. The drums are Boomtschak x 2 and Neuron x 2, and the effects are the usual gaggle. The chord drone and found-sound voice are coming off the 4-track cassette, like normal. In short, nothing in this video you haven't seen a dozen times already in my stuff, but I think it's probably a fun insight in to my workday.

 
October 26, 2016

Oscillator Breach...

by Chris Randall
 



As some of you may know, I dropped a new album on Detroit Underground™ two weeks ago. It is unusual for me not to self-release, as has been my habit for the last 15 years or so, but I really like what Detund is doing; they first popped on my radar when they put out Richard Devine's excellent RISP project, and their releases comprise a major percentage (maybe 80%?) of the music I've been listening to since then. Kero has an amazing visual sense, along with his great taste in IDM stylings, and I wanted to be part of that family.

The album consists of six tracks and four remixes (from Baseck, Proem, Qebo, and Corbin Davis.) The six tracks are, as is my way for the last couple years, all Euro and tape loops of found sounds. The Tech Time videos in my Analog Industries YouTube channel accurately describe my methodology for making these tracks, so in lieu of an extended process explanation, you can go watch those. The tracks all start with a stand-alone Euro patch and tape loops, and once I have something that I like, I part them out in to Live, and do the arrangement and post-production there. Once each track was done, I pre-mastered it to my Otari MTR-12 two-track deck, and then dumped it back in to the computer and sent it to Wade Alin at Standard Mastering for the final squish. (The remixes were mastered and level-matched by Detund. Not sure who they used.) These are mastered to what Wade calls "Old Guy Levels," which is to say that they retain most of their dynamics, and are not square waves at 0dBfs. The artwork was done by the amazing Layer-Based Human Activities™ from Athens, Greece.

If you guys have any technical questions or comments about the album, now is the time and this is the place!

 
September 26, 2016

ADM17 Proton Now Shipping...

by Chris Randall
 
 



Pleased to report that our Karplus-Strong (or, well, "Karplus-Wrong," amirite?) voice module, Proton, is now shipping to retailers! It is a complete synth voice in a single module, with some AD Secret Sauce™, and is US$325.00. It should be hitting the stores in the next couple days. Ask at your local (that's how they know how many to order from us.) I'll put it up in the AD store next weekend if you prefer the whole direct thing.

The video above is an overview; jump to 7:20 if you want to hear it patched, and don't feel like hearing me extemporize on tuned delay lines for seven straight minutes. The product page on the AD site is here. If you don't know what Karplus-Strong synthesis is, Nick Batt and I talk about it at Superbooth for a good long while (and I use an early prototype of Proton to demonstrate it.


 
September 21, 2016

Hands, With Occasional Beard...

by Chris Randall
 



In order to do the overview video for our Proton module, I needed to multi-track and clear a patch I've been playing with for the last couple days. Before I did that, I thought I'd do a quick live performance video of the patch, which you can watch above.

I'm using the four track cassette deck for the noise beds; there are three ambience loops I recorded in various places (Mexico pyramid ambience, Berlin U-Bahn, and the O'Hare airport), plus a fourth track that is a pad. The 4-track I have only has stereo outs, so I have the first track as FX send 2, going to the H9 Max. The second and third tracks go straight to the modular out the main outs, and the fourth track, the pad, goes straight to the modular out FX send 1. In this way, I have direct outs of all four tracks from a deck that doesn't have direct.

The pad is running to a Kompressor module, where I introduce the sidechain pulse, and then to Dimensions to get stereo-fied. The high hat and sidechain pulse are sequenced by the monome/White Whale. The kick, snare, and Boop sound are sequenced by the second Sequencer 1. All are Audio Damage modules. The bass is the WMD/SSF voice, sequenced by the first Sequencer 1. Recorded as a stereo pair straight to Adobe Audition. I used iZotope Ozone 7 for a mild mastering squish, but otherwise, WYSIWYG.
 

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