Monthly Archives: January 2012

This came from the 30-minute recording mentioned in D-a-D #013. It uses three patches from Omnisphere: what you hear in the beginning until about the one-minute mark in all one big fat Tarnce* patch; the second track is a fade-in string pad. There are 2 copies of this used here: one is panned left; and the other panned right with different EQ and offset by about 1 second – this becomes obvious since the track panned left ends first. Finally, from 1-minute on you hear the same “water-in-a-tube” sound I used in D-a-D #014. Obviously I’m getting attached to that sound.

The “title” of this ditty has three sources:
1) The ending of the chord progression is similar to “Where The Streets Have No Name” by U2.
2) It’s basically nothing but a Trance or IDM music lead-in/breakdown/snippet; that part that plays before the drums come in, or the bass drops, and people dance.
3) *And finally, “Tarnce.” This is a running gag in the forum. I guess folks there have a hard time typing “trance.” Or, like me, some folks have a hard time just listening to trance and poke fun at the style of music itself. However I do like the intros and outros.

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This came from the 30-minute recording mentioned in D-a-D #013. It uses three patches from Omnisphere: those “movie voices,” some patch that uses birds & animal in-a-market samples, and an arpeggiated xylophone/marimabas/tin can/glass sound. I used Logic to mix the recordings together. I reversed an edited portion of the xylophone line and then used a crossfade to bring in the main part of the song. The voices cut off just when the reversed line ends. There is a little reverb added.

I enjoy using ambient “nature effects.” I love the unpredictability of the mixed outcome. Hell, I have at least 24 hours worth of different types of rainstorms that I have recorded over time. Not too hard to do in Central New York since it rains here more in total amount than Seattle, Washington.

Also there is a little tremolo high-pass filter for the ambient sound so it doesn’t muddy down the lead so much, and provide a little more perceived space.

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This came from the 30-minute recording mentioned in D-a-D #013. It uses just two patches from Omnisphere. I added & controlled the Leslie effect on the piano after-the-fact in Logic when I was mixing the two recordings together. I also added a little reverb overall, and added chorus ensemble for the last 2 notes of the piano line. I love that water-in-a-tube sound, with a few whales mixed in.

I envisioned in this ditty a picture of Trent Reznor putting some white stuff on his nose and hitting the beach. At night. And in an uncharacteristically good mood.

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Let me tell you, Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere is worth every freakin’ penny they ask for. The best synth you can buy. Virtual or Hardware. Hands down. Period.

I was tabbing through a handful of new sounds this evening. I’m not sure if this recording came from the free patches I got from’s Bank Download page, or the sound bank I purchased from for $9.99 (at 7.8 cents per sound, it’s worth it).

Tonight, I limited myself to these handful of new sounds (tabbed through about 150). I had my recorder going while I tried ’em out for about 30 minutes; edited out the good pieces and parts; and layered a few of them. As a result, I ended up with 3 or 4 good ditties to post. This is the first one of the bunch. This is just one patch here titled something like “B52s Over A Clock Shop.” Great name for a sound! Lives up to it’s name, too. In this case is not layered with anything else.

I have a thing for bells, or at least the sound of bells, especially if they are arpeggiated. They can used to in either a positive happy manner (pleasing, like wind chimes) or … not necessarily pleasing, to build suspense. To me this ditty lives somewhere between those two realms. It’s in a major key, and could probably be used a bed for some sort of vocal ballad-y thing over the top of it, like the song “MLK” by U2.

For me, I think this particular ditty came from somewhere between the sound of the wind chimes blowing in the winter wind right outside my back door, and this creepy video named “Pencil Face.”

This may not play well on small speakers, best to use headphones. Or a subwoofer. Right, Jeremy?

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Only you can prevent bass neglect

While out somewhere with a friend we ran into Jim, whom we hadn’t seen (or hadn’t spoken with) in a bit. My entry into the ensuing dialog started with that normal, innocuous, everyday question: “How have you been?”

Right off the bat he shared his New Year’s resolution. This year Jim will endeavor to improve this life’s experience for himself and others by choosing different words. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just in his head, or spoken with others. He said, more or less, “I’m choosing to utilize words with similar definition but with a different overall meaning.”

This philosophical preamble brought a sense of heightened awareness when he answered the aforementioned simple question:
He continued, “…so I won’t tell you that I’ve been busy. I will tell you that I have been active.”

Funny how one word can change everything: the color of the perceived emotion, action, or outcome of a sentence. With that in mind? I haven’t posted anything musical in the last several days due to being very active.

However, being very active is not the same as being too busy to keep working on this project.
I have to make the time for it. Here comes an effort to catch up.

A reduced version of a moody piece of mine entitled, “Simple Burden.” The piano was dialed in just right from the previous ditty. I started playing without thinking; glad the recorder was still rolling. Note to self: what’s up with all the syncopated rhythms in the melody lately?

At any rate, I just love how much aural detail this virtual piano has (Pianoteq Play 3), right down to the virtual pedal noise. The reverb is from Audio Damage EOS.

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The goal I had intended for this ditty was to go through the paces to re-record a two-year-old song entitled, “This Side of the Bridge,” but to do it for realsies, meaning I want to make it final. Period. Be done with it. Commit it to a master track for a CD, before it fell out of my ears and was lost permanently. In order to do this, the structure needed to be mapped out, drums programmed, add a second bridge, and decide on things like: fade-in, A/B/A/B, Chorus, A/B/A/B, chorus, fade-out… maybe a “Q” part for good measure… yadda yadda yadda, you know the drill.

In order to compose stuff like this, or in this case re-do something I’ve already done, I have a standard setup (rig?) I use for both recording and live performance, which consists of virtual instruments at the ready (but not always all of them are used): 1) a piano with it’s own reverb, 2) a soft or heavy synth pad, 3) an arpeggiated left-hand bass pattern, 4) two or more separate (but complimentary) drum patterns, 5) two or more master effects, 6) some kind of solo sound, and 7) at least one or more live channels for organic elements–voice, guitar, or other real-world sound source; sometimes bringing in a hardware synth.

When you put all of this stuff together in one rig, it’s generally called a “stack” since these sounds are stacked in layers on one another and all played or triggered by one one performer.

Originally this whole rig was set up two years ago in Apple’s Mainstage 2. In electronic music composition, two years can be an eternity regarding the tools that we use. Mainstage hasn’t handled these heavyweight plugins so well in the past (Omnipshere, Stylus RMX, et al). I don’t feel like coughing up another $30 for the recent Mainstage upgrade that supposedly solves a number of the issues I had; besides, I’ve recently purchased Ableton Live 8. When converting a ditty into a final track, there can be a fair amount of prep work to be done translating and re-programming this rig from Mainstage (with Logic Pro Instruments) into Ableton Live 8 tracks and instruments.

For the record, this ditty here is not “This Side of the Bridge.” It’s not the same chord structure, but it uses most of the same synth patches and drum patterns. It’s more or less my typical noodling around with a synth stack; a trial run to look for missing elements from the translation between two DAWs (host programs). It was fun substituting out Am and Bb-maj now and again for a little flavor in the pattern. “This Side…” will show up in another D-a-D in the future.

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