Friday, May 22, 2009

A6 meets monome and prophet

While spending some time managing my learning curve this afternoon I managed to actually squeeze out something productive, musical and fun! "Does A.I. Dream of Monomial Sheep?":

While learning to code in my own patterns in polygomé I got the monophonic bass grove going on the Andromeda (A6). I love the interference pattern created by playing polygomé polyphonically with a monophonic patch. The A6's ribbon controller gives me the lovely filter sweeps.

Then I set up Ultrabeat in Logic and got that going with boiingg. Fun! Polyrhythms for those with no percussion training whatsoever! After I had recorded both of these tracks (A6 bass, boiingg drums) I realized that (á la map~map) they sounded pretty good played simultaneously, so I just left them at that.

Then I played with some bell sounds on my Prophet (p600). Panned them hard left. Then I dug up an old lead sound I programmed on my p600 about 16 years ago that served me well then, and it serves me well now, towards the end of the track, panned hard right.

Okay, so, anyone with tips out there on how to make electronic dance music more interesting? I don't know what to do when the old fashioned verse / chorus structure isn't there. And also on my mixing, arranging and "mastering" (placed, quite deliberately, in scare quotes). Did I over-compress it? Over-anything else? Etc.?

I would welcome any constructive criticism (especially from those of you out there on Soundcloud). Thanks for following, and thanks for the support. Peace

Sunday, May 17, 2009

some monome semiotics

islandis recently shared a paper on the monome phenomenon that he wrote for a semiotics class he is taking at Duke:

It has garnered a little (but not enough, in my opinion) conversation on the monome forum.

The monome device is an odd kind of sign system. Even a honeycomb pattern would give more of a musical sense of scale-pattern. A grid is so deliberately open ended. In classical semiotic terms, is it the symbol, the reference or the referent? When you decouple that grid, which is which? Are the buttons the references, the LEDs the symbols and the application output the symbol? How do they all overlap?

Hmm. Nothing quite like monome meditative joy. Thanks for following.  Peace.

Friday, May 8, 2009

progress plot

Life has a way of getting in the way of living sometimes. Having time for my avocation is certainly something I want to prioritize - if for nothing else than my own sanity. There is, however, something to the word "avocation" that indicates that it must hold only a relative place of importance in one's scheme of things.

Good things have been happening vocationally recently. Lots of good creativity. That is, of course, the point of a sabbatical. And I am happy about it. And big things have been happening in my life as well. Lots of family joys and sorrows all at once.

That being said, avocational productivity is down these days while learning, thankfully, plods on. The Andromeda is massive. I will try to just get a sine wave out of the thing and, as warned, I have to sort through menus and manuals to figure out why I hear overtones! The filter is still whining - why? Haven't I turned down all the resonance? Okay - Where is the modulation routing to the resonance? Etc, etc. Oh, well. I still love it!

The Andromeda and the Prophet sound great together. I will have to record a sample and share soon. Something about analog with analog. You just can't beat it. I even love it when they are slightly out of tune with one another. I am also loving the Prophet ever more as I have an analog beast to compare it to. The P600 is lovely in her simplicity.

I think I will commit to a week of production before the summer is out. I want to do the whole "make an album in a day" thing, but, instead, turn it into a week. I'm going to go for about six songs. Pop music is what I am hearing in my head these days. Really cheesy, dance-y, disco-y kind of stuff. So, a pop song a day? It should be fun. I have a tentative name for the album: "cliché." That should free me from lofty expectations. Until then, thanks for the encouragement.