tom moody

Archive for the ‘music – tm’ Category

"Nebulous Gates"

"Nebulous Gates" [6 MB .mp3]

This may end up being the rhythm track for a fuller song but am liking its current minimal state.
The Qu-Bit Nebulae (now out of production) is used to play samples, in one-shot mode, from the Machine Kit (sample kit for Native Instruments' Battery -- this kit was also dropped in the current Komplete roster). The Machine Kit consists of drum hits and pitched sounds made with the Elektron MachineDrum. The samples used here are raw, that is, not additionally processed with Battery effects. The Nebulae loads eight samples at a time into RAM, which can be played simultaneously, so the Machine Kit samples were loaded in batches of eight alphabetically, then played (i.e., triggered) with a hardware sequencer, synced to Linux Ardour's MIDI clock. Ardour was then used to record the resulting polyphonic riffs and arrange them singly and in combinations (along with a fewer other riffs, such as hihats, previously recorded from the modular synth).
At first the Nebulae was dropping notes -- this made for some interesting pauses and syncopation despite being unintended. Turns out that the MIDI clock was sending trigger pulses that were too brief to register. A way to send gates (longer pulses) that the Nebulae would recognize was jerry-rigged.
This is lot of nerdy detail -- sorry, these are my notes so I'll remember what I did.

- tom moody

September 22nd, 2016 at 10:39 am

Posted in music - tm

"Half Clocked"

"Half Clocked" [5 MB .mp3]

More modular synth sounds, assembled into a tune in Linux Ardour 5.3.
For this one I tried to build a techno-style track from the ground up. Kick, snare, and hihat sounds are individually concocted using white noise, FM, sine/square waves, envelopes, a mixer module, and a compressor (the last of which makes the beats audibly more dynamic).
The melodies are chords emanating from individual modules (analog and sampler).
The "clocked" refers to Tiptop Audio's Clocked Delays cartridge for their ZDSP module. The white noise snares get a fair bit of that treatment here. Also used was a sample-and-hold module to change the filter settings on the main tune that runs throughout.
The only "cheats" are kicks and static-y sounds borrowed from the tune "Eight Gates," crafted with the Octatrack.

- tom moody

September 20th, 2016 at 8:15 am

Posted in music - tm

"Gamma Surfer," "SIDGuts Sequence"

"Gamma Surfer" [8.4 MB .mp3]

"SIDGuts Sequence" [5.8 MB .mp3]

Back to music-making on Linux. These tunes were produced using the digital audio workstation Ardour. Its midi-looping bug still hasn't been fixed -- I complained and was told I was being redundant, that's what the bug tracker is for and this is already a known issue. Yeah but it's been a known issue for over six months, how are you supposed to know what users think is a priority to fix if we don't speak up and ... oh, never mind.
One thing about Linux is the developers aren't part of a corporate empire that employs help desk personnel to pretend to care about customer concerns, so the developers handle their own forum traffic and are mucho crabby from dealing directly with humanity at its neediest.
Anyway, because they won't or can't fix the known bug, I decided as a workaround to use the sequencer on my modular synth to write the melodies, and use Ardour's MIDI clock to keep everything in sync so the synth notes could be recorded and edited in the workstation as audio. This worked well, and Ardour's latency compensation eliminated the slight lag in recording time. But then Ardour was crashing like mad during the editing process. I don't even dare mention this on the forum -- the developer would just heave a sigh and refer me to the "how to report crashes" page. Am hoping that the upgrade to 5.3 (done after these tunes) will fix some of that.
So the sounds here are mostly recordings of modular synth patches, with some added percussion from softsynths and snippets from Ableton where I transgressed on my all-Linux-and-modular premise.

Update: Just finished another tune using Ardour 5.3 and it was extremely stable. Whatever was causing crashes in the previous version has apparently been remedied.

- tom moody

September 10th, 2016 at 7:06 pm

Posted in music - tm

"AK Breaks"

"AK Breaks" [12.6 MB .mp3]

Weeks in the making -- while I did other stuff -- but it does take longer to do five minute tracks. The "AK" refers to the Adventure Kid single cycle waves, played in Reaktor with "cheap spring reverb" effects. The "breaks" refers to some drum breaks I downloaded from Ableton, which perk things up, for me at least. Also featuring some sounds made with Linux Ardour, driving my modular synth, and on a separate track, playing those E-Mu Orbit soundfonts featured a while back.
The final mix was done in Ableton, with generous amounts of space-echo style tape delay (from NI's Guitar Rig effects rack) vibrating throughout.
Arrangement-wise, it takes time getting where it's going, but am happy with the way the motifs pile up at the end.

Update: Trimmed slightly, re-uploaded.

- tom moody

August 31st, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Posted in music - tm

"Cumulative Beats (Fat Tech Mix)"

"Cumulative Beats (Fat Tech Mix)" [5.6 MB .mp3]

Continuing to mine some beats I made back in April for sample-nuggets. This version is unabashedly house-esque, with a ridiculous boomy 4/4 beat from an Ableton "make music like the pros" collection.

- tom moody

August 6th, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Posted in music - tm

"Piano Exercise 1"

"Piano Exercise 1" [5 MB .mp3]

Have been listening to Carl Orff's Klavier-├╝bung and got inspired to make some "exercises." Having a human player for this would be appreciated -- MIDI doesn't handle loud and soft velocity (dynamics) very well so this version is mostly loud.

- tom moody

July 30th, 2016 at 11:44 am

Posted in music - tm

"Root Rot"

"Root Rot" [4.2 MB .mp3]

More self-bricolage with leftover loops. New piano, bass, and percussion parts were retrofitted around a "bit rot" beat.

- tom moody

July 21st, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Posted in music - tm

"Two Shakes"

"Two Shakes" [2.5 MB .mp3]

Made with some leftover loops from earlier tracks plus two shakers.

- tom moody

July 20th, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Posted in music - tm

"A-112 Piano Variations"

"A-112 Piano Variations" [2.9 MB .mp3]

Some scratchy piano samples pitch-shifted, layered, played out of phase, etc.

Update: minor edits to make the scratchy samples less so.

- tom moody

July 19th, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Posted in music - tm

"Mutator Folly"

"Mutator Folly" [6.6 MB .mp3]

Square or sawtooth waveforms run through the Mutator filter's stereo channels can be heard chugging and autopanning along throughout this tune. The synths and beats are all Ableton samples and presets, arranged around the "Mutator sessions."

- tom moody

July 11th, 2016 at 12:58 pm

Posted in music - tm