Home Electro for Fun and Profit -- LP liner notes

Notes for the Home Electro for Fun and Profit 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 -- the contact form on Bandcamp also works. This is my tenth and final Bandcamp release for 2014 -- 100 songs in all have been published this year. Am working on CD-R and cassette versions of all of these; a cassette version of this release is available on Bandcamp (including streaming and downloads) as well as the digital version. "Home Electro..." is mostly new material, with a few accelerated versions of older tunes -- meaning they are played faster, cut and spliced with new ideas.

1. Jeff's Birthday 02:57

In several songs on this release I am using the Expert Sleepers "Step LFO" plugin, which converts audio signals from a PC into sequenced control voltages that can be used to drive Eurorack modules. One channel sends gate info and another sends pitch -- these do not have to be synchronous. In this tune am crafting synth patches with the Step LFO output in combination with hardware (LFOs, VCAs, filters, compressor, and pitch-shifting effect to make the quasi-chords). In most of these, the underlying sound source is ALM's SID GUTS module, which includes a vintage Commodore 64 sound chip. SID GUTS also has its own internal modulation, which can be triggered by this same computer/hardware setup. Loops from live sessions are recorded, cut up, and rearranged in Cubase; am also adding beats (a stripped-down version of a Loopmash preset).

2. Antimatter Park (132 bpm) 01:51

Beats and minced vocal sounds made in the Elektron Octatrack and rearranged in Cubase. In this tune and "Antimatter Park," am using the Octatrack's LFOs to randomize sample rates, sample start times, comb filter settings, and other variables. You may note the repurposing of samples from "Random Series Ending," a tune on my previous LP. Sorry, I had a few more things I wanted to do with those!

3. Electroll 1 (2014) 02:18

I made CD versions of my earlier tunes and inadvertently played them 16% faster in a DJ-style CD deck, and many of them sound better to my ears now. This "atmospheric hiphop piece" (as I described it last year) is rearranged, then sped up, using timestretch to preserve the pitch. The original was done mostly with the Reaktor Rhythmaker synth and reverb'd Vermona Kick Lancet desktop drum unit (the latter is making the eerie hoot owl sound, among others). A melody from the end of the song was moved to the beginning and many notes were trimmed to increase the pace.

4. Heavy Hippos (Double Spectral) 01:56

A piece from 2005, "Heavy Heavy Hippos," employed Native Instrument's now-discontinued Spektral Delay plug-in. Trying to duplicate that sound I used the "Spectral" effect from the Reaktor User Library, which is not as versatile. The first part of this tune features Spectral and the second part is a drastically reworked (and sped-up) "Heavy Heavy Hippos," with a new synth line and ride cymbal drum solo.

5. Cut Bait 01:20

That same DJ deck I used to boost the speed of my earlier tunes allows one to make loops "on the fly," as they say, using the unit's push buttons, so I recorded a bunch of these, beat-matched them in Cubase and made this arrangement.

6. A-112 Delay Experiments 02:51

Doepfer A-112 sampler in delay mode, with a couple of mixers to create a feedback loop. Six minutes of meandering experimentation (posted in 2012) were cut back to 2:51 and the underlying beats were tightened up for this leaner, meaner version.

7. Blight Curvature 2:29

Bass, piano and some atmospherics done with the Linplug Alpha softsynth. The percussion is all turntable sounds manicured and run through various effects. The e-piano part was moved from the end to the beginning and the speed was increased (again, with timestretch to preserve the pitch).

8. Spheres 303 01:03

Expert Sleepers ES-3 and Step LFO plugin used with various Eurorack oscillators and filters for a short TB-303 like jam. It's not as spontaneous as it sounds -- loops got moved around and miraculously remained fluid and crackle-free, which is unusual with this much "live" filtering.

9. Antimatter Park 02:30

Same method as Antimatter Park (132 bpm) -- the bpm here is 105.

10. NY Home Electro Suite 03:44

Same method as "Jeff's Birthday" above but adding some other oscillators: Tiptop's Z3000 and WMD's Gamma Wave Source.