Day 38: Saturday 3 Oct 2015

Ambient, Beatscape, Tracks, Videos No Comment

Saturday Dog:

I started today playing with Patterning. I loaded up the Drum Kit that I made last week and made a new beat which I jammed into AudioShare with Dedalus and Caramel in the effect slots; muting and soloing parts as I went. I then loaded up DJ Puzzles ‘FunkStep’ drum kit and did the same, and the built in ‘Honey Drum’ drum kit and did the same.

All three drum jams were then loaded into Auria and slightly arranged. Hey presto instant Beatscape.

But I didn’t stop there, oh no!

Bass, I said to myself, this needs bass. So iFretless Bass it was. I jammed a bit, copied the file, and panned both copies with a different combination of effects on each side (Johnny, Caramel, Muckraker, and the built in reverb).

And then iSem was calling to me: 2 basslines and 2 pads followed.

Plus a recording of the dog barking which I happened to grab in the process.

The Video:

I shot a video of the dog with his bone, slowed it down, ran it through: Glitch Wizard, Pinnacle Studio, Live FX, and CinemaFXV.


Day 37: Friday 2 Oct 2015

Ambient, Soundscape, Tracks, Videos No Comment


A Synthscape. Ha ha, I guess its an Ambient Soundscape.

My third day trying out Arpeggist by Virsyn. Today I used a slow and sparse arpeggio (50 bpm), and I loaded up Audiobus with the most synths I’ve ever tried. I used Sunrizer, Addictive Synth, Cube Synth, Magellan, Argon, Alchemy, and iSyn Poly. I used Mimex to mix them and recorded into AudioShare.


Then a little arranging in Auria between two versions, and a little help from Dedalus and AUFX:Dub.

The Video:

I filmed a little still (or not so still) life, using Imaengine. Arranged it in Pinnacle and processed it with CinemaFXV.


Day 36: Thursday 1 Oct 2015

Tracks, Videos No Comment


Another Arpeggist attempt.

Arpeggist driving Addictive Synth and Cube Synth, with some Soundscaper, Diode-108, and iSpeech TTS thrown in for good measure.

The Video:

Some texture photos taken with my iPhone, plus some text from Phonto, compiled in Pinnacle Studio, run through CinemaFXV for texture.



Day 35: Weds 30 Sept 2015

Spoken Word, Tracks, Videos No Comment

A Little Piece Of Me:

Whoa. I think I accidentally made an EDM track! Well that’s what messing with with arpeggiators will do for you ūüėČ

Yes this was day two of playing around with Arpeggist by Virsyn. As I said yesterday I’ve avoided arpeggiators and sequencers; partly because I’ve struggled to make them work in the past, and partly because I want to avoid the electronic music cliques associated with them.

Oh well.

Today I used Arpeggist to drive Addictive Synth and Cube Synth; I had no problems getting them to work together (perhaps because they are all Virsyn apps). I did run into trouble when I tried to expand things, but lets worry about that another day.

I did several jams playing with different arps and sounds in each synth. Then I took two segments that I loved and opened them in Launchpad, I added two inbuilt drum loops and jammed up a storm :)

Then it was into Auria so I could layer the vocals. I wrote a quick lyric and added it.

(perhaps this is the moment to say that though I’m happy with this piece, it very much feels like a rough sketch: the lyrics will get better, I can record the vocals better, and things feel a little muddy so I’m sure some time spent with EQ’s etc will benefit this track. Never mind, rough sketches are valuable too.)

Then I noticed that it was a little fast, it felt rushed,. So I went to TwistedWave and slowed it about 10%.

The Video:

Artwork from iColorama and PicFrame was modified by Pinnacle Studio and CinemaFXV, then Glitched with Glitch Wizard. That was run through CinemaFXV a few times for different looks, compiled with Pinnacle Studio along with some more artwork, and given the CinemaFXV treatment one last time.


Musing On Genres

Notes and Musings No Comment
I’ve never gotten my head around the plethora of genres and styles of electronic music; there just seems to be so many. In fact when genres are mentioned I usually have to go and look them up (Thank the gods and goddesses for the internet).
Actually I‚Äôve always had trouble placing the music that I make in any particular niche. I’ve never been a blues guy, or a country guy, or a metal guy, or a reggae guy, though I’ve touched on those genres from time to time, I’ve never really lived within any genre.
But now that I’m using my iPad to make largely electronica music i.e. clearly synth and sampler based, I really feel the need to arrive at some definitions (if only in my own head), for the landscape of sound that I’m moving in.

And that is how I feel about music making, that each song or instrumental piece is a landscape that we are moving through.

So there is a landscape and a journey.

A landscape and a narrative.

A landscape and a mood.

Which leads me to my personal take on genres; its not comprehensive and its open to change, and it probably doesn’t apply to anyone else, but it is how my head is working at the moment, as I think about and make music.

When I make these landscapes, these Soundscapes, there is often no identifiable sounds, no reference to real world instruments or objects, I think of these pieces or elements as Abstract much like abstract paintings (which I make).

At the most they may contain some drones. If a piece is largely drone like I think of it as a Dronescape.
If it has more¬†synthy, pad like sounds emerging and¬†disappearing, more¬†‚Äėnotes‚Äô in¬†other words even if no exact harmony, I think of it as Ambient.
So, so far I have Abstract Soundscape and Ambient Soundscape.
Then sometimes drum beats appear. Perhaps as one element in the landscape, one of  the things encountered on the journey; but sometimes as the major element.
In fact sometimes the drumbeat becomes the landscape that the other sounds exist within. Thus we have the Beatscape.
And that is the little world of music that I’ve been living in lately, and it explains my categories in this blog.
Now I’m aware that there is more to music than that. There is more to my music than that.
I can feel the urge to pick up my guitar again, and I’m wondering more and more about returning to some sort of song form, and how I might be able to incorporate those elements into my landscapes.
But I guess thats what this year is about: how to explore these abstractions and ambiences, these soundscapes and beatscapes, and how to include field recordings, found sounds, words, songs, instruments, voices, and whatever else comes to mind.
Cheers, and thanks for listening to my ramblings.

Day 34: Tuesday 29 Sept 2015

Tracks, Videos No Comment

Daleks Can Dance:

Not sure how to classify this one. Any ideas?

One of the areas missing in my musical explorations is the world of sequencers and arpeggiators. I just don’t seem to get on with them; or anything involving midi, or controlling one app with another. So today I thought I’d give it a go.

I fired up Arpeggist which I bought a few weeks ago but haven’t tried yet. I managed to set it up with Argon in AudioBus without a hitch as follows


I also added Caramel to the Argon channel, and run it all thru Dedalus.

Several jams and recordings and playing arounds ensued, bits of which I cut out and reassembled in Auria.

It didn’t turn out as I was expecting, but I went with the flow and followed where the music seemed to want to go.

The Video:

The same Modus Operandi as the last few videos. PicFrame, to Pinnacle Studio, to CinemaFXV, to PicFrame, to Pinnacle, to CinemaFXV. Oh, and Phonto for the Text.









Day 33: Monday 28 Sept 2015

Audio, Beatscape, Tracks, Videos 2 Comments

Drum Meditation (YouTube Edit):

A Beatscape.

Today I created a simple beat in ElasticDrums, which I then jammed into AudioShare with Dedalus in the effect chain.

When I say I ‘jam’ a beat from one of the iPad drum synths, I mean that I create a landscape (or story) by muting and soloing the various parts, live as it record.

ElasticDrums has 6 drum parts; so I create a mixture of those six voices, spontaneously in one go. But it may take several attempts to get a good mix: and today it was my fourth jam that yielded good results. So good in fact that I felt I had arrived at a finished result; a complete Beatscape that told a story, took us on a journey, without need for any additions.

But it was here that my nerve failed me. How could I present a complete track that was just a drumbeat? Even though I was convinced that it was a finished piece?

So carry on I did, and indeed I could add stuff. But to tell you the truth I think I could do better, if I had the time. But it is ‘A Track A Day’…so here is todays track…I have added a bass jam with iFretless Bass, and one from Addictive Synth. Plus a high synth part, and a drone, both from Addictive Synth. But I do have the niggling feeling that I could push this further.

So here is the original ElasticDrums jam. Tell me what you think, is it better left alone? Is it better with additions? Can it be better yet?

The Video:

A series of pictures from iColorama, sequenced with Pinnacle Studio, run through PicFrame, back to Pinnacle etc etc.



Day 32: Sunday 27 Sept 2015

Field Recordings, Soundscape, Tracks, Videos No Comment


A Soundscape.

I began with a jam I did with Thor using one of Jacob Haq’s wonderful bell presets. If you don’t already, I highly recommend that you get to The Soundtestroom and follow his awesome and fun series. The bell sounds are a give away, so here is a taster of his work:¬†giving away 64 Bell presets. Highly, highly HIGHLY recommended.

So I took that jam and slowed it, and reversed it, and blended both versions in Auria. Then I added some Cyclop for extra soundscapy goodness. Next I visited my folder of Field recordings and added a heavily processed recording of children playing, and an unprocessed recording of a crowded cafe (in Trondheim, hence the name).

The Video:

A series of jpegs I made using PicFrame were added to Pinnacle Studio and sequenced in a few ways, these movies were then added back to PicFrame and the resulting movies were put back into Pinnacle before a final run through CinemaFXV.



Day 31: Saturday 26 Sept 2015

Soundscape, Tracks, Videos No Comment

Before The Devil Knows:

A Soundscape today.

Dedalus and Soundscaper feature heavily; but I also used Borderlands Granular, TwistedWave, ToneStack, AltiSpace, AUFX:Dub, and Elastic Drums. Oh yes, and I spoke some lines and played a beer glass with a pen :)

The Video:

I have a folder of textures that I have created over the years, I took one of those and interspersed it with text in Pinnacle Studio. Then I process the completed movie with CinemaFXV.


Day 30: Friday 25 Sept 2015

Beatscape, Tracks, Videos No Comment


Back to the Beatscapes.

Used Elastic Drums to create a beat, then cut out a small section, slowed it in TwistedWave, and looped it with AltiSpace. Then again with AltiSpace and AUFX:Dub. Then again with Altispace and Dedalus. Then again with Altispace, Dedalus and MuckRaker. I loaded them all into Auria for arranging and panning.

Next I added a file that I made by running the poem from Day 27 through Borderlands.

Then I jammed with a preset I made in Cyclop.

And a swelling pad I made in Addictive Synth.

The Video:

A series of images that I made using PicFrame and iColorama arranged in Pinnacle Studio.


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