Sunday, July 20, 2014

Progress 14-07-20

©2014 Linda Palmer
My workspace changed a little this week, a slight configuration change for ease of playing. The setup allows me to loop any device that I have very easily.

Typically I'll lay down a beat using an Impulse instrument in Ableton Live, using the bottom row to trigger it while assigning the top row to Looper controls for the two vocal channels on the computer. Two MIDI tracks in Ableton are assigned to control the performance synths, if needs be.



It's an interesting web of cable I've woven here:

MIDI inputs to the laptop:
  • Roland JV-35
  • Roland Duo Capture controlling the Roland SH-201
  • Arturia Beatstep
  • APC 20

The signal web is a bit more complex into the sound board (Boss BR1600CD):
  • Channel 1: Roland MC-202 analog synth
  • Channel 2: Dry microphone
  • Channels 3 & 4: Roland JV-35 (PCM-based Ensemble Synth)
  • Channels 5 & 6: Roland SH-201 (Digital Analog Synth) via the Boss DD-20 Gigadelay
  • Channels 7 & 8: Roland Duo Capture (laptop) with another mic into it.

I can more easily work on content rather than connection with this static setup. What I've sacrificed is  the synths being able to use the panoply of effects in Ableton Live, as they go straight into the board now. This means less grain delay, so my sound is changing a little.

There's a bit of a learning curve, but it's not bad at all. This week I did a lot of vocal sampling and Impulse work. When I'm not serious enough to boot up Ableton Live, I can still play the synths, with the DD-20 Gigadelay providing loops and huge delays as needed.


Work is happening, but I'm still working. You will hear stuff pretty soon, thanks for your patience and support.

Listening: Candytrash's H & G

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Progress 14-07-13

©2014 Linda Palmer
Another complete repatch that incorporates the 16 track means that all devices can sound at any time. The big difference is that I've got the capture unit with the sound from the computer coming through the board, in two stereo channels, instead of outputting it directly to the monitors. Although not everything is into the computer, it is all able to be recorded by the digital studio.

The disadvantage of the set up is the relatively long boot time of the studio, the Boss BR-1600. Still, it's up in about a minute, so it's not all that bad. I can route the computer signal to the monitors as needed, a  simple patch. The studio's internal recording is 24 bit, which can be imported to the computer as needed. I'd much rather mix down on the computer.



Extensive looping is happening. This is a big sound.
Listening: the fridge motor by My Fridge

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Progress 14-07-06

©2014 Linda Palmer
Although new arrangements have been coming together, I haven't recorded a single note in the last couple of weeks. I've been more interested in playing than in recording lately. This is reminding me of when I first got my Roland JV-35 in the nineties, unable to record or arrange. I'll sit down to play, and I'll improvise through whole pieces on just that synth alone, sometimes utilizing the dual voice mode, sometimes just a single piano.

It's a very organic mode for me. Pieces grow, then the arrangement informs me how to change it the next time around. It makes me very familiar with the sound set, and is a deliberative mode, which matches my mood lately. Also, I've been very shy of beats and bass lately. The pounding of neighbors cars' subwoofers in repetitive  single measure nonsense has me working in higher ranges, and in flowing, changing time. This is part of the reason, I'm sure, that working in the DAW has been so spare lately.


I'll be doing some work later today, but it doesn't look likely that I'll complete the summer piece before the deadline of tomorrow for the EFC Music Challenge. I'll still be working on the piece, however, and will post it when it's ready.

Listening: The Music Challenge Stream

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Progress 14-06-29

©2014 Linda Palmer
Several developments have me scrambling to work in the last couple of weeks, and though nothing has actually hit the hard drive yet, a couple of pieces are forming.

The first piece will be my Music Challenge piece for the Summer challenge. It's a little ambitious, and I hope I can pull it off this week. It's a piece about waiting for a summer storm, of course.

An exciting development with incidental music has arisen, and I'll be doing a couple of short meditative pieces for some animation by a good friend. I'm really looking forward to this, and my work on the first piece above will likely inform them.

Thanks for all your patience to those who would like me to release. Whether I make the deadline or not on the challenge, I'll still post it for you. Certainly the animations will be fun.

Listening: Peter Cline's Silk Road.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

EFC's Summer Music Challenge

The Electric Future Collective have come up with another music challenge . In the past the challenges have been varied, from technical challenges of using a set of samples to simple themes to write to. This challenge is again a theme based challenge, submitted by my co-collaborator @3dtoros. It's a simple theme of summer, rather welcome to me on this second day of the season.

The process is open in this challenge, allowing artists freedom to compose as they like to the theme at hand. The collected pieces of this challenge will be released on Bandcamp on the Mobiusspin label. Tracks can be up to ten minutes in length, and downloadable in lossless quality from SoundCloud.

You can find complete rules on the Music Challenge page at SoundCloud. Check back as the dates may change as needed. Come join us!

UPDATE: The dates on this challenge have been extended for two weeks. The deadline is now July 7, 2014. Hope you can participate!

Here's Luke Clarke's contribution to whet your whistle:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Progress 14-06-15

©2014 Linda Palmer
Musically not much real progress has been happening here at Airbase Studio. I've been doing a lot of practicing scales, and finding new modes. I do this every day, usually in the afternoon, and on the JV-35's PCM tones. I've been favoring piano and guitar tones, and have been using the sustain pedal a lot.

I'm tending to want to sing, of course. I have no words for these improvisations, and when I'm alone I can ululate a bit. I plan on setting up some loops a little later today in Ableton, something to work with as I look for a new sound.

My listening has tended to minor key pop, R.E.M. and She Makes War. Obviously, I'm in a mood.

I did enjoy listening to a collaborative music project called I Improvised Vol. 2, put together on Geeky Disco Records. It's a fine collection of quick improvs  from many friends on the internet, both eclectic and clever. I found a bit of joy listening to the release on Tracy's Expansion of Presence streaming radio show. You can find the show at Tracy's Expansion of Presence.

Here, of course is the album, available on Bandcamp:

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Black Dog Blue

A true expression of the ambient genre, Hilliat Fields's EP Black Dog Blue will be released tomorrow.

I found the compositions to be steady, painting notes in a field of piano feedback. The effect is much like an organ, as the chords play out in simple pulses. Some of the compositions recall Hilliat Fields earlier work, the more extensive album Aphelion, which explored guitar tones in much the same manner.

The album has a slightly dark edge to it's chord choices, which are not quite anodyne, and lead me to  contemplative thought. A good background to writing. The pieces are simply numbered rather than named, lending the pieces the anonymity that seems to pervade the album.

These pieces are unlike much of Hilliat Fields's work, which is more of a dark pop in nature, haunting beautiful vocals. For more structured pieces, my favorite remains 2011's Heavy Metal.

You can find it on i-tunes tomorrow.  Follow @hilliatfields on twitter, and also find a wealth of other music on the website hilliatfields.com.