Archive for March, 2013
"Odd Burbles" [6.8 MB .mp3]
Continuing with this hardware-only series where I'm Octatracking modular synth blorts, MIDI-to-cv-triggering and recording them simultaneously. This is a "gritty" analog sound owing largely to the use of a couple of cv-controlled, low-res sample modules that are error-prone (in a good way to my ears).
Also minimal because I'm still taking baby steps with this fairly complicated method of building up sound.
I cheated once and used the computer -- ran out of tracks and had to mix down four tracks to one. Have since figured out how to do that within the sequencer. There's no real point to being a purist since this is the antithesis of "live" -- where you might want to highlight performative integrity. But not relying on Cubase is forcing me to learn my way around the machine. Some Elektron users (in YouTube comments?) noted that the trig (sequencer step key) method of recording is rather cumbersome for a machine that purports to "sample on the fly." Am not doing anything on the fly and it's still cumbersome.
Update, Aug. 2013: Bumped the volume and re-uploaded.
The Atlantic analyzes the rise of that dumb Harlem Shake video and how much its viral nature owes to professional media fixers (pretty much everything).
The Atlantic, an established magazine, uses some street language to show that it's not part of the problem. The article's title is "How Memes Are Orchestrated by the Man." Wait, I thought you were The Man!
YouTube became the people's iTunes a few years ago* but whatever underground associations that might have had are long gone. According to the Atlantic "Google's YouTube, not Apple's iTunes, is now the dominant force in music. Nearly 2 billion music videos are viewed on YouTube every day."
Ha, ha, "viewed": a song is posted in its entirety with a still photo as visual accompaniment.
The rise of dumb memes via big-media pump-priming isn't really something artists need to be concerned with, except that new media blurs art, commerce, little guys, and big guys. When you read about the gaming for dollars such as the Atlantic describes you should be happy to be in a niche market for elite weirdos. Maybe you can get some ideas, or be negatively inspired, by how the pros are working the Net these days.
My studio "long wall" is occupied so I broke these internet-originating drawings into two groups.
There is a lot of talk about making screen based art "gallery friendly."
The best reason to print them out is not to "create scarcity" (the fave bugaboo reason of the "art and technology" websites) but to actually facilitate viewing them all in one place at a certain scale, which your phone or desktop is not going to allow you to do. These are done on nice paper so they "pop" if you are going to the trouble to print them. But if you believe it's for conspiratorial reasons adduced by university Marxists go ahead. Part of making them sellable is not being too goofy and making collectors nervous and I can't claim to have any wisdom on that score.
Many thanks to Computers Club Drawing Society for making this work possible.
"Sonic Ute (Beatbox Version)" [3.2 MB .mp3]
More metronomic than the previous assembly of these MIDI-triggered-then-sampled modular synth patterns. All done in the beatbox (i.e., no software FX or other post-production in Cubase).
hat tips to seacrestcheadle and others
"Polyphonic LFO Trio" [4.6 MB .mp3]
Four synth parts played polyphonically: sustained chords, then some permutational melodies. (Not using the modular, this is a conventional analog I was testing out before taking it to the shop for some knob repair - more info than you needed, sorry.) At the end, FM modulation adds grit, and I really like the tune at 1:15, which sounds sort of Canterburyish (Egg?), not sure why.
Bass lines and conventional jazz drums were added to make the "trio" with the imaginary synth player.
"Sonic Ute" [2.9 MB .mp3]
Using the Octatrack sequencer as a midi controller for the modular synth and also as a sampler and multitrack mixer of the sounds thus produced. Still at a primitive stage here but was able to get three parts playing with some simple harmonies. Then, post-production: some of the synths were treated with an "amp simulator" so they sound like guitar distortion. Also some breakbeats underneath.
Cross-posted to Computers Club Drawing Society (this is the jpeg version).
My 40th drawing there; yes, I am counting.
Charles Freeman on what the US achieved in Iraq (i.e., nothing):
If the idea was to showcase the virtues of the rule of law and American-style civil liberties, then our behavior at Abu Ghraib, our denial of the protections of the Geneva Conventions to our battlefield enemies, and our suspension of habeas corpus (as well as many other elements of the Bill of Rights) at home put paid to that. These lapses from our constitution and the traditions of our republic have left us morally diminished. They have greatly devalued our credibility as international advocates of human freedoms everywhere, not just in the Middle East. We have few ideological admirers in the Arab or broader Islamic worlds these days. Our performance in Iraq is part of the reason for that.
Freeman was a first-term Obama almost-appointee nixed by the forces of darkness. The above excerpt comes from a speech given 13 days before Mitt Romney lost; long but worth a read.
unplanned collaboration with Rene Abythe