Saturday, February 28, 2009

A place with its own harvest

Some more live ambient performance. This time no video, I didn't use the Tenori-On so didn't really have any pretties to look at.

I have been learning how to use Ableton and this is my first effort with its wonderful instrument racks and effects chains.

This is an unfinished, unmixed work in progress. I need to do all kinds of things to this before I am done, but seeing as it was sounding kind of nice at 3am I thought I'd stick it up for comments.

download mp3

Friday, February 27, 2009

Radioactive Paedophile On The Run In Ireland

That's the headline the BBC should have gone with if they had any guts.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Do video games do enough to prepare our children for the post apocalyptic future?

Another turn of genius from The Onion.

Playing video games all day alone, friendless is still the best way to prepare for the solitude of the apocalyptic wasteland.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Late winter sun

After what feels like a very long month of rain and snow it's starting
to get dry enough to cycle to work comfortably. I'm looking forward to
my Brompton so that I can ride both sides of the train.
Right now I'm sitting on the train staring at the cloudy sunset and
fiddling with arpeggios.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Star Trek Future is now.

Well a little tiny bit of it is at least and unfortunately not the whole no-need-for-money and united-earth bit either. Nope, it's the groovy touch screen interfaces bit I am thinking about.

Take a look at this:
Now compare with this:
Every time I see that control surface in action I can't help but think Star Trek NG. It's so damn pretty. And flashy lighty. And touch screeny. /goes into homer like head back drool/.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sony Releases New Stupid Piece of Shit That Doesn’t Fucking Work

Elysium Hexagonal Generator

First I got excited by this thing. That was the first time I heard about harmonic tables and any other way of grouping notes than ebony and ivory (I'm not counting guitars etc. here I'm thinking about interfaces to electronic production).

Then I got super excited about this thing. But that was just way too expensive to get into (Lemur + Ableton + MAX/MSP = big $$). Then came this other thing.

Now if only I bothered to blog them all as I found them eh?

Anyway now I have found this thing. This one is free, Mac only (suits me) and very cool indeed. Spent the evening feeding it into Garage Band and stacking effects and generally making noise. I definitely think I can find a space for this in my (currently being but together) semi generative ambient noise performance set up.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Analogue Bubblebath

Ambient Music for Snowscapes

I got my Tenori-on a few weeks back and have had no time to fiddle or get inspired by it so I resolved to spend some quality time with its flashy lights over the weekend. What little time I had spent with it told me that I needed to get it hooked up to some other stuff to make the most of it so I spent the first half of Saturday pulling my old music kit out of storage and trying to remember how to get it all connected. One fried multi-voltage power supply and a couple of hours later I had a bare bones synth rack and a floor covered in discarded cables.

I was going to use the Tenori as the only sequencing midi controller in the set up as it was the interface I wanted to inspire me. I wanted to poke around, assign a few noises and noodle along. It took me a while to get to grips with what midi messages the Tenori was sending out to the other synths and I still cant figure out how it is doing bank select but the happy side effect is that selecting random positions in the grid yields sounds I didn't know were there on my CS1x.

Many cups of lesbian tea later I had enough layers to improvise a pretty rich soundscape. I am using no sequence layers at all for this just push, bounce and random. All fed through a shitload of delay and phase. It's hardly going to rock a dance floor but I am pretty pleased with it. I can probably tweak a couple of layers and add a better counterpoint to the pad but there is enough depth here for a decent length ambient piece.

For those that care the Tenori is feeding midi to my Yamaha CS1x and a Novation Super Bass Station. These are being routed through a (now getting scratchy) Macki 1202 mixer in and out of a DigiTech Studio Quad effects processor. Tape out being recorded off the crappy line in on my laptop. As was ever the case I am using the CS1x for too many voices which ends up making it sound muddy as it only has one output. At some point I'll grab ableton or something and use some VST voices so I can separate them in the mix.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Fuck, Cunt.

Proper snow

The things you find in a kebab shop at 2:30 am

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Computer Tan, it's TanTastic!

Do you want to look great in the office? Are you tired, overworked, pasty? Then just go to and you can have that just come back from holiday look all year round!
At first I thought this was a joke, I mean it has to be right? Upon looking at the website and its accompanying bullshit it seems as if it is for real, well at least its real that they will take your money for looking into a blue screen on your monitor for an hour a day.

Computer tan is claiming that it is able to convince the backlight in your LCD monitor to emit ultra violet radiation strong enough to give you a "just got back from holiday" tan while you sit and eat your lunch. at your desk. in the office.

The on site infomercial has that well known orange faced "TV Presenter" Hannah Yasmin take you through all the tricky science of how the "revolutionary" technology "converts the electrical impulse delivered to your PC into radiated, factor free UVC rays". Hannah struts, poses and grins like the desperate media whore she so obviously is round an office where people sit at desks basking in the blue glow of their PCs. Some of the safety concious ones are even wearing those little over the eye black goggle things.

Call me cynical but considering the site also offers tanning creams and other products I am guessing that best results are only had when used in conjunction with their own creams. I'm going to try out the free trial at lunchtime I think.

After trying the five minute trial I finally got to the punchline. It is a genius piece of public safety campaign warning about overexposure to UV. Complete with some nasty pics of people's burnt faces. I am really disapointed. I really wanted this to be a real scam but full marks to the production company.

Sunrise. Time to go

At least it's light by 7 these mornings. For a while there I was only
seeing daylight through windows.