Let me begin by saying something that’s probably gone without saying for a while now, but has to be repeated…
Money’s going to be tight in my house soon, and there’s a chance that
we’ll have to turn off DSL. If this happens, everything I serve
from my house will disappear, which means the music links and the
pictures will break. If this happens, you’ll be able to tell
because of that, and I apologize in advance in case it does, because
next it’ll mean that I’ll only be able to write every other month or so.
That out of the way, I’m actually in a better mood than I ought to be.
Thank you all for the comments.
vertigo_josh: The stupendous bass you heard was brought to you by this:
As you can see, that’s a sine wave, a pure tone with no
harmonics. You’ve heard the advantage to such a tone- the
disadvantage is that it can be easily phase cancelled and when played
on equipment that can’t generate its frequency, it becomes completely
silent and useless.
As it happens, Cheesetracker supports multiple outputs, so someday I
may be able to scrape pennies for a multi-out sort of interface, so the
sine wave can be isolated and I can try to keep it from being phase
cancelled by the other parts.
In the meantime, I’ve been playing with the notion of giving it a
companion ‘sound’ firstly to give it a bit more ‘life’ and secondly, so
that it will have harmonics and become audible on cheaper
stereos. It’s just a matter of coming up with the right blend.
Cleosama: Welcome aboard and thank you kindly for all your
On software: The guy that showed me Fruityloops… what’s
the polite way to say this… sucked, and because of that, its
nifty interface took a back seat and I kinda shoved it aside in my
mind. Works I’ve heard in Acid aren’t bad, they’re just…
well, to its credit the works I’ve heard done in acid were also done by
amateurs so I get the impression that it doesn’t do anything the
europeans on the 90’s MOD trackers couldn’t do once they modernized
them to play more than 8 sounds at a time.
Now, you’ll notice from the screenshot here that there aren’t quite the
pretty faders and all that like you’d see in a typical sequencer
…but all the notes are there, represented by exactly where they
happen in time. You’ll notice I haven’t even filled half the
columns in with numbers, implying that since those are for ‘effects’
(expression) I haven’t even remotely tapped what the thing can do.
Not shown are the envelope generators which can have pretty much as
many points in them as you want. (Not as obnoxious powerful as
the ones built into Akai samplers, however.) Also absent are the
Hydrogen drum machine simulator, Beast synthesizer modeler (wasn’t
needed for this one) and snd (literally, the old SGI sound editor, with
LADSPA plugins. Might use it in the future to put some filtering
effects or simulated reverb on these guys…)
There’s two points to using the free software- the first, I’m
broke! (which is probably reason enough) and the second is
philosophical. I’ll get into that some other time.
I’ve indeed heard of Air. “Sexy Boy” came out at the same time as
about 8,000 other electronic works, and I’m thinking it came out much
at the same time as “Around the World” (Daft Punk) which I downright
hated when it happened, because MTV edits the piece so that it ends
before it becomes interesting. (I now think it’s an awesome piece
and a good example of its genre. If you think it’s repetitive,
listen to what the bass does to the harmonic structure as the music
goes by.) I’m thinking “Pearl’s Girl” and “Born Slippy” were out
for a while (Underworld) and I’m also thinking Propellerheads were in,
Crystal Method came up, “Out of Body Experience” was kindof older by
then (Rabbit in the Moon) and so on…
That was a long way of saying they got drowned out by a lot of other
noise, so I never got around to buying their albums. As fast as
all that junk came out (I think I forgot to mention Roni Size and
Goldie were starting to popularize Drum n Bass…) it’s no wonder
the market is currently sick of electronic music as a foreground.
My heaviest instinct is to ask you to send me a timed storyboard so
that I can write for you, the problem is that I can’t promise I’ll
deliver for you until I know we’re out of money trouble!
Otherwise, I could finish the piece all I wanted to but I’d have no way
to conveniently send the finished work to you besides mailing you a
compact disc. (If it doesn’t matter, or you want to send me one
for exercise, by all means, send me a timed storyboard.)
On conventional instruments in tech music:
Let me start with the obvious positives- I agree that the more I
listen to the sounds, the less breath of life they seem to have in
them. I want to play with them more, and see if I can make it
more organic sounding.
The music that most excites me lately is older music spun by DJ’s at a
college station up here. This is where I usually hawk their
webcast but it’s been down lately, and I don’t think it’s available
anymore… but they’re still on the air One of the
radio shows archives at sonicsunset.com.
The main vibes of this music are of futuristic outer space music, and
while I think anybody that dares call electronic the ‘music of the
future’ nowadays is a moron, I still think it’s possible, if not
necessary, to try and add something alien to your art. It is very
possible to do this with a blend of conventional instruments, however,
it’s a delicate balance… Too much untreated piano added to
“Midnight” will make it sound too much like “Children” (Robert Miles)
and not enough like “Strings of Life” (Derrick May) just as a simple
Possibilities I’m thinking of for now include that “Father Time” may
have some Suling (Indonesian bamboo flute) work and perhaps a lyric
stanza thrown in… I want to give it a broader form with a bit
more harmonic variety than it already has but this will cause it to run
longer… so we’ll see.
Thanks again for all the thoughts regarding the music. There’ll
be more on the way (whether I’m able to post it up or not.)
Griff_the_Bear: I almost don’t want to show you the link again,
because I don’t intend to scare you away from what I was doing, but you
caught me off guard and I wanted to… make sure all your wits
are there. This is an “article” making fun of people that have
problems seperating their fantasy from reality. I still have some
friends among these people, and I kinda just let them do their thing,
but … you’ll see. (I’ve told a friend that you do not
demonstrate the symptomatic blurring of fantasy and realtiy that these
folks do, because, well, you don’t.) This is absolutely not to be read by children:
dolphinajs: I don’t see the gnome thing… I’m six feet tall and I can’t grow a beard…
I chose ‘chunter’ as a log-in name because it’s a contraction of my
real name… I figure my name is common enough in the world that
I don’t have too much to fear by using my real name here, and depending
on the looney in question I might actually dare certain people to visit
During the selfish task of seeing if my log-in name scores often on
Google, I found out that ‘chunter’ is a real word with a meaning,
though from what I gather it’s not a word that’s used in North
America. Urbandictionary.com says this:
Chunter – Talk in a low inarticulate manner i.e. mutter. Maybe of Lancastrian or Yorkshire origin.
I find I prefer the first definition I stumbled upon, which called it
‘inconsequential muttering’. (I think it was an article quoting
Oxford English Dictionary, whose website is not free.)
THE JIM HARRICK, JR TEST
Even if you’re not into sports, hell, especially if you’re not into sports, try this out.
My favourites are-
‘How many goals are on a basketball court?’
‘How many points are awarded for a 3-point field goal?’
‘How many halves are in a game?’
…and of course, a sizeable chunk of the kids taking the test failed
it anyway. Hooray for recruiting. (Yes, they’re all fired.)
I’ll try to have more to say next time…
See you next time.