Right on the heels of “Sirius,” I made “Circuit.”
Once again, the ARP was one of 6 voices in this piece. No keyboard this time, because there was enough going on with the sequencers.
Here is “Sirius,” a live recording.
When I do these I’ll rehearse a while and then record and improvise. The Beatstep Pro is the center of this universe, and as you can see in the video, I bounce between sequences, making changes when it feels right.
I started “january” the same way I start all of my pieces. I got a sequence stuck in my head, so I turned on the synthesizer and programmed the notes into a sequencer, then added accompaniment on two more sequencers and supplemented those melody lines with some keyboard.
I record EVERYTHING into my digital work station, Reaper, and these recordings can go on for the better part of an hour, grabbing individual lines from each of the synth voices separately and recording the MIDI info that comes out the sequencers and the keyboard.
The first draft of “january” is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkfCn… So, with all the info I needed to make this song, I started fiddling with the tons of MIDI tracks I had, duplicating parts, redoing others, and tweaking the keyboard lines. I also sped it up to 140 bpm from 120.
When I finished rewriting the melodies in the DAW, I recorded them separately. The cool thing about my method is I can preview how the synth voices will sound and can experiment easily.
The modular voices are as follows:
Sequence 1 (lowest on screen) is a Braids Macro Oscillator going into a VCA with a second ADSR sweeping the Timbre parameter
Sequence 2 (the lines in the middle) is an E350 Morphing Terrarium and a Z3000 going into an E440 Filter and then a VCA, with a second ADSR changing the filter cutoff
Sequence 3 (top line of the video) is a vintage ARP2600 (1973) as the main bass line and simultaneously a Rings is getting the control voltage, and because the way Rings resonates, pitch only changes when there’s a NEW note, so the same note hit over and over, only makes a sound the first time it gets the signal
Sequence 4 (also appearing on the bottom) is a Braids and an Erica Varishape VCO going into an SVVCF filter with cutoff controlled by both velocity coming from Reaper, and my hand moving over a Koma Kommander.
So, the whole piece is 4 lines of music at a time. I figured this thing would have more appeal with a video. So, with a very handy piece of ExtendScript from http://omino.com/pixelblog/2011/12/26…, I was able to import the MIDI tracks into After Effects and derive pitch and velocity information on a note by note basis. Also, I imported the individual audio tracks and used the amplitude information to drive things like particular size. Trapcode Particular did most of the heavy lifting. More keyframe tweaking to compensate for the delays in particle generation.
So, it’s done. Whew.
So, yeah, I got some play on Brainvoyager’s Electronic Fusion podcast.
I just discovered a great podcast. Brainvoyager is the work of Jos Verboven. The name covers exactly what Jos’ music stands for: a voyage within the listener’s brain, thus turning him or her into a real brain voyager. His music is best described as a mixture of contemporary rhythms and hypnotic electronic ambiences with influences from Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Robert Schroeder & Steve Roach.
Brainvoyager lives on Mixcloud.
Here are more links to Jos’ work:
I got a new audio interface that let’s me record 8 simultaneous voices from the rack into Reaper. There, I can move things around and add effects as needed.
I wanted to use Mutable Instruments Rings as an oscillator. I use the Beatstep Pro all the time and I try to fit the Prizma into my flow. Voice 2 of the Prizma fed 1v/o to the Rings. I love how it plucks and alternates stereo sides when it’s plucked.
Voice #1 – Braids “Bees-In-trees”/Beatstep Pro
Voice #2 – Morphing Terrarium/Beatstep Pro
Voice #3 – Braids Factory/Qunexus keyboard
Voice #4 – Anti-Oscillator+Z3000+Pittsburgh Filter/Prizma
Voice #5 – Rings/Prizma
Drums A – Radio Music/Beatstep Pro
Drums B – Little Drummer Boy/Beatstep Pro
Here’s an experiment to see how my machine would fare as a drum machine.
The Beatstep Pro is a great drum machine, and I have a lot of noise making modules.
I used an
Optomix with some noise for #1
Disting MK3 Resonator for #2
Braids in various modes for #3
Rings for #4
Little Drummer Boy for #s 5, 6 and 7
Radio Music playing drum samples for #8
Each drum was fed into a MOTU828 and then into Reaper, for mixing and panning. I added some reverb too.
I noticed a couple things right away.
The Disting resonator makes a sound on both the rising and falling edge of any gate, so I had to crank gate width to 0 on the BSP so the Disting wouldn’t ping twice every note..
The Radio Music was late, so I had to turn gate timing for each beat on the BSP to -50 so things would happen on time.
I could probably build some more simple drums, but I’d want more ADSRs to do it right, and setup the 2600.