Backstage

Turns Me On EP progress report #1

Today I continue to work on the “original mix” (the title track of the EP, as distingished from planned ‘extended club dub’ remix and perhaps an alternative version). I’m working in Renoise and partly enjoying it, partly it is tedious. My task today is to ’embelish’ the vocal with different small announcements, reverberations, and echos. During a work process this feels like a curious mix of creative inspiration and tediousness. I’m going in and falling out of “the flow”. I’m using timeboxing (pomodoro technique). Here’s what I have at 10:58:

 

I hope to finish these details in a few hours, perhaps improve the intro and ‘climax’/conclusion of the track so I can move on to alternative version and, of course, the video (deadline is 1.may, but that’s a bit unrealistic).

Screenshot - 21. 04. 2016 - 11:05:35

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Rudi Rudi: Hardmcslain

I wrote a quick track for slovenian ‘mixtape label/community’ INN KICK run by Žiga Murko. This is in instrumental hip-hop style and is out under my instrumental hiphop oriented moniker “Rudi Rudi” under which I already wrote an album back 2006. So, if you like the track below check the album here: https://novadeviator.bandcamp.com/album/rudi-rudi (I’ve been thinking to re-issue it on Kamizdat someday).

INN KICK works through a private facebook group, where producers are challenged with a sample pack (collection of samples) every month or so. There are no strict rules on style (I guess “electronic” is good enough) or the way the samples are used. After the deadline the tracks are collected from producers and mixed by a guest producer/DJ into a mixtape (it’s basicaly a seamless mix of tracks) and published online (SoundCloud). This time, the sample pack was a collection of tracks from Die Hard (movies/game).

You can check INN KICK releases here: https://soundcloud.com/innkick (the mixtapes are called BLUNTS).

Backstage subscribers can listen to my contribution here:

 

rudi rudi: hardmcslain
soundcloud.com/novadeviator/rudi-rudi-hardmcslain-draft/s-CpBgi

ArpArp at 90%

It was somewhat long Sunday in the studio, and I’m excited. It was a new experience writing a track with a ‘synth player’ in mind – how will she play this or that preset, how much time there is to change a program on the instrument and the fact that there is only three octaves on a keyboard (google:microKorg). The track feels very confident in its almost electro sound. I’m imagining it to work well on a dance floor. I like the kind of tight robotic funk of it. There are number of details to be done and fixed: many transitions seem still imprecise, perhaps even hasty, there’s some dynamics to be taken care of (I’d like that velocities – volumes – of hihats vary and change in time), the bassline that comes in second half of the track is all but acceptable, but all in all this seems to be at 90%, and that means I can pretty much start focusing on next track.

The deadlines are looming in, I pretty much need to finish minimum 8 songs till November 1st.

listen:

download arp-arp-141005.ogg

I’m hungry for feedback. Leave a comment or write.

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Five to the one & A Boza A Boza

After last post things got pretty intense in Rovinj with all the kids running around and stuff, plus, suddenly we’ve been left without internet for a couple of days. We are now back in Ljubljana, trying to establish a work routine and moving forward in search of words, utterances, letters, sentences, images, mental ambiences… It’s not easy to change a place and find balance quickly enough in order to continue work. But today I came up with two more drafts.

The “5 toys to the 1” track started with “regular” bass melody on every beat, with 5 notes repeating. Since 3 repetition makes 15 beats and not 16, I shortened the pattern to these 15 beats and also created 5 beats as a basic measure (bar?) and created a beat to that. Here’s a result with two variations of a beat.

 

“A Boza A Boza” is something going more into a mellow direction. This is very sketchy and I’m not sure how it will develop and transform in the future (if it will be used at all).

 

We had a little discussion today about if these sketches/drafts have their intensities to the max. The thing is, when I’m starting with some idea then it’s mostly play, trying things out. And I frequently ‘max’ things out, throw layer upon layer, remove some of them and then go on. But it’s important to understand that these sketches will change considerably once it is more clear how many elements there are (vocals! live synth! etc) and what happens in the time-structure.

both tracks in renoise xrns sources in a zip: 5toys_a_boza

Cerebral Space

A short one-hour session this morning. I experimented with ring modulator on bass wobble, also with high-pass filter that at some point removes the “bottom end”. Plus some reverberation on that wobble. Poly-rhythms coming out as the wobble just continues to oscilate at 3/4 and after three patterns (12 bars) it comes back to its original place. On the beat-side, I like the space in-between the various elements (no constant high-hat ride, etc) and the glitchy parts seem quite nice. The spaciousness and the low-end focus gives it some kind of “cerebral” feel.

I’m still on the level of short sketches, no structure yet. It seems like I’m afraid to proceed or lack a real block of time within which I could dive into time-structure (development, breakdowns, etc). And, waiting for lyrics.

Vacation-time-spending just forcibly takes priority.

What do you think about these sketches? Comment below or reply.

download cerebral space [140806] renoise module

Circular Ode & Glitchy Breaks

Yesterday I worked on another version of “circular melodies” as I call them. These are inspired by endlessly rising canon or ‘Canon 5’ by Bach and the further thinking about it as ‘formalized’ by Douglas Hofstadter (this is well summarized here). It’s a boring proof of concept with a simple bassline, that you can listen for good 7 minutes down below. The track goes through 12 minor chords twice. It still got me thinking about the harmonic tensions that are somehow absent from such an endless circulating melody. It becomes more like an atmosphere then real harmonic movement. So I wrote short note:

linearity circularity
is there a peak?
is there a tension?
uniformity give me some contrast,
give us some error!
at least polarity and some chaos.

Then this morning I woke up and started thinking about a possible beginning to the performative version of the project: I heard it in my head – a long slow ambiental build-up, including space echo, delays, arpeggios far away, reverberated, white noise washes, deep pulsations, digital noise, smooth, beatless, rising, building to a climax… and sharp CUT! which then moves to an extremely dry odd-time noise&glitchy break-beat, without a slightlest sight of reverb.

I than quickly sketched the following ‘glitchy breakbeat’, which I consider a test how glitch+clicks could work together with more traditional sound drum programming:
Continue reading

driver 1

Far from being a ‘real’ skeleton as planned, this is an audio part – one pattern (with a bit of simple intro), four bars long draft without structure really. Whipped together in two early morning hours.

Not sure about the main bass kickdrum (the squelching sound becomes a bit annoying after a while, perhaps I’ll roll my own later). The slowly wobling sound have other beat-synced intervals ready to be played with – so a lot of development still possible.

Vacation & work: skeletons

After a somewhat rough week of camping in Italy, we’re now settled in a heavenly house in Rovinj for a good 14 days. As opposed to camping week, I now have digital devices with me – including a laptop, headphones, a soundcard, even a microphone, camera and portable recorder. And as time[line] is pressing on, I tried to work out a plan how to create more material for our (Wanda & Nova deViator) upcoming album.

I’m not entirely sure if this is the right way, but here’s one approach: for next two weeks I’ll try to produce everyday some kind of musical sketch, which I call a ‘skeleton’. It’s not just a few bars of a possible tune, but a longer draft with slightly more developed structures. Basic elements should be there:

  • a beat,
  • a bassline,
  • a melody.

But also at least three parts in time-structure:

  • pattern A
  • a solo or bridge or breakdown/rest part
  • pattern B

Pattern A can later serve as some kind verse, and pattern B as some kind of refrain – but I’m really not inclined to follow basic songs rules – so this might happen or not necessarily.

Additional guidelines include:

  • odd time signatures
  • focus on polyrhythmic inter-play

I hope to post some audio snippets in next few days.

Making guide & Arp Arp Arp!

Yesterday I managed to whip together a kinda nice running melody and a bit of harmonization to it. This is another draft towards a pool of possible starting points for actual tracks.

 

… and, I created a list of, well, conceptual starting points for work on this project, some kind of guidelines:

 

polyrhythmachinemakingguide

 

 

And, as an added bonus, this is something I made a week ago, inspired by Echer, Bach’s canons (via Hofstadter) and Shepard tone. It’s more of a proof of concept, experimenting if it’s possible to create circular chord progressions that end up where they started without ever turning back. The track below goes through all 12 minor chords two times without ever sounding (too) strange.

Three drafts for Polyrhythmachine

As Wanda & Nova deViator we are preparing a new album (and performance) at the end of the year. So, the process has already started. I’ve been trying to create some additions to my library of sounds, especially bass, drumkits and some wobble handmade presets. Today came three very short drafts out of a longer Renoise session. These are meant to be sketches to be used later, when some concrete material for vocal work come out, and these drafts will be then expanded and worked upon further into something much more coherent and meaningful.