"Clangs and Whimpers"

clangs_diagram

clangs_diagram_MMMD

"Clangs and Whimpers (Short)" [3.5 MB .mp3]

"Clangs and Whimpers" [5.3 MB .mp3]

mmmd1 stands for minimal morphing machine drum--an analog-modeling synth/sequencer from the Reaktor user library that un-analogically allows you to morph among hihat, snare, and bass drum to get your drum hit. The amount each of those percussion types contributes to the sound of the hit depends on the position of a yellow square in the step key boxes above. The parameters of those three sounds can also be messed with, pre-morph, using the dials under bd, sd, and hh.

In this song I used the mmmd with effects as shown above. The diagram isn't entirely accurate in that several recording sessions were done, each time with the effects configured slightly differently:

Session One: All drums (mmmd1 "Out" in the diagram) went through Flatblaster 1.0 (a compressor/limiter) to channels 1 and 2.

Session Two: Hihat through Echomania (delay) to channels 1 and 2.

Session Three: All drums through Instant Repeater (another delay that adds pitch), then Flatblaster, to channels 1 and 2.

Session Four: As shown above. Since Reaktor's inboard .wav recorder only records channels 1 and 2, I used a second PC to record all four channels simultaneously through an ADAT connection. I could have configured my sound card to do this on a single PC but frankly I get confused with all the in/out and it's too much bother trying to avoid feedback loops among player, recorder, and monitor.

I then did post-production in Cubase with the .wav files resulting from those sessions (cross-fading them and using automation curves to add and subtract reverb).

Am posting two versions of this song. They are identical, except that the long one has more variations and gets progressively noisier. What interests me most in both versions is the funky robot syncopation resulting from the layered delay tracks. Like syncopation at its most primitive and reductive. The sound overall is pretty harsh--the reverb provides the only softening factor.