"Krypt 112-115"


"Krypt 112-115" [mp3 removed -- a revised version of this track is on Bandcamp]

Have been mucking about in recent songs ("Frienemies," "Cribtonomicon," "I Wish I Didn't," "Salsa Science," "Gro-Rabbit 2," "Dark Materials") with the Reaktor instrument Krypt, trying to learn what can be personalized in the wilds of preset-land. Why Krypt out of the hundreds of factory and user-built synths assembled with Reaktor modules? Maybe it's the techno-Gothic typeface. But seriously, it was a personal challenge. The Reaktor library has all these fascinating looking synth/ROMpler/sequencer combos but I have found them mostly hard to use--so much tedious micro-adjusting of tiny dials and sliders, and forget trying to assign controllers. So I picked one that seemed fairly incomprehensible and tried to learn it and at the same time make songs that are "mine."

Composing with it is like wrestling a squid. The designers built so much randomization in it that it seems to morph as you write. Touch the "wrong" button and you can lose a couple of hours of sounds.

But if you resist the urge to use all the features at once, and patiently write sequences track by track you can get some fairly seductive "raw material" (to my ear anyway). I've been saving the sequences I write as audio files and adding other instruments later in Cubase, so the work product isn't all Krypt. The virtual groovebox is just providing a foundation rhythm track to build on top of, as well as some squiggly, mutated textures of a "modern digital synthesis" nature. (Specifically, the instrument is based on an interesting mix of "grain cloud" tech and reverb, where a hundred samples are minced down to sound-grains and fluidly reassembled as everything from echo-y whooshes to sharp bell-like peals.)

This particular piece is "all Krypt" in the sense that the "steel drum" melody is played in a ROMpler with factory samples made with...Krypt. I especially like the whispery hats in the break, which slightly, arbitrarily change pitch in mid-run.