tom moody

Archive for the ‘music – tm’ Category

"Little Infernos"

"Little Infernos" [5.1 MB .mp3]

Song made with Tracktion's Waveform digital audio workstation, running on Ubuntu Studio.
Sound sources include:
Eurorack modules: Violin samples granularized in the Qu-Bit Nebulae, filtered in Z-DSP VC-Digital Signal Processor, sequenced with Doepfer A-154/155, then timestretched and further altered in Waveform
Two Waveform Sampler Rack plugins with various beats from my burgeoning ".wav collection"
Arpeggiated 8-bit-ish synths played with the Helm softsynth plugin (LV2 version), running in Ardour, rendered and imported into Waveform

The mood here is creepy, disjointed, and languid.

- tom moody

July 11th, 2017 at 7:23 pm

Posted in music - tm

"Evil Lounge Laugh"

"Evil Lounge Laugh" [5.9 MB .mp3]

Song made with Tracktion's Waveform digital audio workstation, running on Ubuntu Studio.
Sound sources include:
Tracktion's Collective synth/sampler;
Various .wav files, timestretched and otherwise altered for inclusion in the mix, including some vintage EMU SP1200 samples such as "evil laugh"
Recordings (via ADAT) of drum and breakbeat clips playing in Ableton in a Windows PC.

- tom moody

July 6th, 2017 at 10:13 am

Posted in music - tm

streets of passive aggression

streets of passive aggression

My cover drawing for the LP, based on [ahem, cough]. Many, many digital copies of this musical release are still available for purchase! Your support means I will never have to move to Patreon.

- tom moody

June 20th, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Streets of Passive Aggression LP on Bandcamp

Streets of Passive Aggression by Tom Moody
[embedded player removed]

Truculent album notes:

Synthetic sounds for a synthetic society (man). Passive aggression is the new "no." Rebellion against the boredom of the Mac/Windows/Smartphone creativity paradigm. Make something new-ish with old chips and dicey operating systems.
Eurorack, Ardour, Tracktion, Samples, Discontinued Beatboxes, ALSA/JACK. No "progress." Heroes with no faces.

- tom moody

June 14th, 2017 at 9:31 am

Posted in music - tm

"Plucking and Snipping"

"Plucking and Snipping" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

Song made with Tracktion's Waveform digital audio workstation, running on Ubuntu Studio.
Sound sources include:
Tracktion's Collective synth/sampler;
Snippets from 1970s vinyl (which may or may not have been uploaded to YouTube by record companies pretending to be "street");
Recordings of a "live" Eurorack synth sync-ed to the DAW via midi-to-cv; and
Recordings (via ADAT) of a canned breakbeat clip playing in Ableton in a Windows PC.

Imaginary soundtrack for an ultra-benign Burger Time-style game involving picking flowers or mushrooms and some forest critter who steals them from your basket.

- tom moody

June 9th, 2017 at 9:47 am

Posted in music - tm

"That Seventies Song 2"

"That Seventies Song 2" [4.5 MB .mp3]

Another song made with Tracktion Software's Waveform digital audio workstation, running on Ubuntu Studio.
Sound sources include:
Tracktion's Collective synth/sampler;
Snippets from 1970s vinyl (which may or may not have been uploaded to YouTube by record companies pretending to be "street");
Recordings of a "live" Eurorack synth sync-ed to the DAW via midi-to-cv; and
Beats from the Driven Machine Drums sample pack, playing in Waveform's sampler rack plugin.

Update: A "safe" variation of this track is on Bandcamp.

- tom moody

May 29th, 2017 at 3:27 pm

"Collective Rendering"

"Collective Rendering" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

Song made with the Waveform digital audio workstation (a proprietary DAW from Tracktion software that happily works well on a Linux PC).
Many of the sounds emanate from the Collective softsynth bundled with the DAW -- a combination synth and sampler.
The beats are two 808 kits playing in Waveform's "sampler rack" plugins (five samplers, each playing a single beat, so that's ten samplers in all playing 808 hits).
Additional sounds come from sequences played on a Eurorack modular synth, recorded in Waveform, and EQ'd.

- tom moody

May 26th, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in music - tm

"Posse on Greenwich (2017 Mix)"

"Posse on Greenwich (2017 Mix)" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

Some drum and bass type beats I made years ago with Native Instruments' short-lived Intakt plugin were used here, along with some newer "library" DnB beats. The synths used were Zyn-Fusion, formerly ZynAddSubFX (software) and Doepfer A-111-5 (hardware).
After my last post on Tracktion-on-Linux, the company revamped its T7 DAW and it's now called Waveform. The main change is adding a mixer (needed) but unfortunately some stuff broke that was working OK in T7, such as track automation and clip effects. I've submitted a support ticket. In the meantime, this short tune was done using Waveform in its current state of mixed functionality.

- tom moody

April 8th, 2017 at 8:43 am

Posted in linux diary, music - tm

"Streets of Passive Aggression"

"Streets of Passive Aggression" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

As noted previously, I've been working with the Tracktion digital audio workstation, which, amazingly for a commercial DAW, offers a Linux version in addition to the standard Mac & Cheese alternatives. My understanding is its JUCE code is designed to work with any OS, and, on Linux, integrates very well with the JACK audio standard.

I use looping MIDI files quite a bit in my autodidact-ish form of composing -- that is, listening to C2-F3-F2-A2-D3-A3-F3-D#3-C#3 (or whatever) over and over as I write the next part that plays in harmony or counterpoint to that. If I have to keep adjusting the loop markers to keep notes from disappearing -- as happens constantly with Ardour, I get frustrated and go read an e-book or something instead of working on music. Several people on the Linuxmusicians forum noted that Tracktion and Bitwig are "stable" in that regard, so I'm checking out the alternatives.

The good news is Tracktion-on-Linux is incredibly stable for long term editing work with MIDI and audio. It's superior to Cubase and Ableton in its ability to render loops "on the fly" (as they say) and place them in the timeline as you are working. It also has a better browser that allows you to quickly find and move samples from your PC into an open project window, or individual sample players.

The bad news, on Linux at least, is it doesn't handle third party plugins well. They tend to crash, or not have save-able presets. This forces you to use Tracktion plugins -- which are perfectly fine for most effects such as delay, reverb, compressor, limiter, but somewhat lacking for software synthesizer choices. Tracktion has a ROMpler-type sampler, that you can arrange in racks of multiple samplers, and that's what I used to make this track, pulling from my burgeoning, motley sample archive. (Many of these sound files originate "on the internet," including 808 kits, the Legowelt synth collection, and some truly gritty 8-bit "Streets of Rage" samples -- hat tip to kiptok for that last one, I think). The one softsynth used here, Helm (that chirping sound at the beginning and end) is pretty reliable as a plugin as long as you don't care about saving presets -- Tracktion remembers the settings for project, however.

So, for the moment, at least, am treating Tracktion as a self-contained instrument sitting on the PC -- like a virtual Octatrack -- until I get a better handle on the "plugin situation."

- tom moody

March 17th, 2017 at 9:54 am

Posted in linux diary, music - tm

"Nova's Elixir"

"Nova's Elixir" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

Original title: "Softsynth Interaction." Have been learning the Tracktion digital audio workstation, which has a Linux version. Looping MIDI works there, where it's still buggy on Ardour. Tracktion-on-Linux is incredibly stable as long as you use their house plugins. Instead of an unfortunate limitation, am trying to think of it as fact of life and treat Tracktion as a self-contained instrument sitting on the PC -- like a virtual Octatrack -- that can do some interesting things.

Have not yet gone full-on Tracktion; most of this tune is made in Ardour with a combination of Ardour- and Tracktion-made loops.

The basic beat was done in Ardour with the LSP Plugins sampler instrument. The first two synth voices are also Ardour-made, employing (i) the Calf Monosynth and Harrison reverb running inside the Carla plugin host (which works fine except for the audible pop at the loop point -- the developer hasn't coded for that yet and it only affects monitoring, not the exported audio loop, but it's still annoying) and (ii) Loomer Aspect.

The other synth voices and beats are all sequenced in Tracktion using non-Tracktion plugins, then imported back into Ardour for a final mix. The synths are Loomer Aspect (a different patch), Helm and ZynAddSubFX. I got these working at about the 90% level -- I couldn't save presets or they might crash but it was enough to get some audio saved.

The challenge here was mastering. That beat has a very heavy bass kick that interacts badly with other tracks when you boost the gain for a "CD mix." To get it up to the same volume level as my other tracks without obvious distortion, I had to use the PSP Vintage Warmer on (sigh) Windows, which I was hoping to move away from. None of the Linux limiters I tried (including Tracktion's) could handle the job. If I was a pro mixing engineer I would fix this in the mix but it's beyond my skill set ATM. [/linux diary]

- tom moody

March 14th, 2017 at 7:52 am

Posted in linux diary, music - tm