Notes for the Disc Formation LP on Bandcamp. These are mostly tech jottings so I remember what I did. Any thoughts, questions, etc on the music itself are welcome at the email address on this about page.
1. Every Single Person 01:50
The vocals came from a field recording of a recent walk to the local deli and back. Chopped up you can hear "Every single person who comes in on this crew is off tomorrow," me saying "thanks" and "you can keep the penny" to Mr. Lee, and his "OK" in reply. Most of the synth sounds are a Linplug percussion softsynth called Element P, played with Cubase's in-house midi echo and arpeggiator effects.
2. Squeaky Arpeggio (Granular) 01:54
The granular whine running throughout, with and without reverb, was made with the Qu-Bit Nebulae granular synth/sampler module. As accompaniment I wrote a piano part -- quasi-Modernist variations on a quasi-Caribbean theme. For the LP version, I added notes to the piano part and used it as a score for other synths, which replaced the piano almost entirely.
3. The Other James Taylor 02:54
A "groove" made with some scratch samples, drum hits, and various effects on the Octatrack sequencer. The main effects -- delay and comb filter -- are running on Track 8 as a master track.
4. Pernicious Percussion (Massive) 01:29
See notes re: Pernicious Percussion below. This version runs the Vermona file through a mastering effect called "Post Filter," which is a comb filter adding octave jumps to the pitch, among other changes. This is interrupted twice with a mock-chorus consisting of layered softsynth riffs (NI Massive and Steinberg's Retrologue).
5. Titanthropic 01:37
Written and performed entirely in the Octatrack sampler/sequencer. The bass and lead synths are sampler-altered versions of Reaktor Titan riffs I made and loaded in the Octatrack.
6. Snaps and Claps 01:32
More snippets from the same field recording used in "Every Single Person," as well as live recordings of snap and clap sounds from my hands. Synths are Element P and Massive.
7. Frame Jam 03:14
Most of this was done with a granular synth from the Reaktor user library called Frame. Some Massive riffs were added.
8. Tesseract Ranch 2014 02:20
Considerable reworking of a tune from 2007 done with the Electribe rhythm box and Vermona Perfourmer analog synth. Added were an NI Massive riff (the lofty pad) and Element P (randomly arpeggiated bass notes).
9. Pernicious Percussion 02:18
Written and performed on the Octatrack sequencer, using recordings previously made with the Octatrack's MIDI controls driving the Vermona DRM1 Mkii, a vintage analog drum machine. The Octatrack's arpeggiator is triggering random clap, snare, and cowbell sequences at 150 bpm. There is some actual live knob turning in the distorted toms.
10. Calypsum 2014 02:26
One of the first tunes I did in Cubase, nine years ago, "Calypsum 2," completely tightened up and reworked. Was pleased to discover that the original synths (Free Alpha and Kontakt 1.5) are still playable with a little jiggering from the older version of Cubase I used (SE). Am pretty sure this started as a MIDI drum pattern, playing pitched samples in several instruments (if so, a kind of found, accidental melody).