Serial band and project starter, synth player who considers himself a guitarist, compulsive weekly composer.

All submissions (86)

Another all-in-the-box week. Drum machines: 606 (reverse-gated), 808 Aristocrat, 808 Startup, Impulse hand claps. Strings are from Ableton's African sampling project--Zeze, two tracks of Adungu, and finally a Puremagnetik Mellotron cello.

Title from this week's element radon's tendency to seep into buildings from below.

I built this one up out of little snippets of rhythms across four tracks, and ended up with an all-in-the-box piece. Drums and percussion all got reverse gating for a severely clipped envelope--three drum racks (Cassette 606, 808 Depth Charge, percussion) and one Impulse instrument of hand claps. There are two channels of Operator, one for bass, and one for swells, and one track of distorted Puremagnetik Rhodes. Sends: two convolution reverbs (ambience and a weird space) and Echo. Full-chain master on the master channel.

Title from the instability of astatine, this week's element.

A more "intuitive" approach on this one: I threw together a few drum beats during the week that had some ambiguity, and then tracked bass (Epi P-J) and guitar (Res-O) Friday and Saturday, not having much of an overall architectural plan, other than cutting parts out of the bass for the start/stop feeling in the beginning. Gradually it came together with Ableton Simpler grand piano as glue (Auto-Filter high- and low-pass with drive to make it grittier). Auto-Filter overdrive on guitars, EQ-8 on bass. Sends: Echo (Analog Triplet Dub) and two convolution reverbs.

This week's element was Polonium, which...is pretty negative as a subject. Apparently mid-20th-century, Firestone produced polonium spark plugs, which seems...like a bad choice.

I've had a run of busy weeks, this one even busier with the addition of an Elvis Costello cover for friends' covers project. So this week's track...was somewhat simpler in writing and slightly less complex than usual in production.

Six passes of Res-O-Glas guitar straight into the Focusrite. Tracks all got some Auto-Filter with drive for processing, but otherwise no funny stuff. Sends: one convolution reverb and one echo on just one channel. Panning is static. Full-chain Master on the output.

Title from one of the early names ("tectum argenti") for bismuth, this week's element.

This week's track started with the two drum patterns (Electro Dub kit and 64-pad rock kit) that together had a slow, off-kilter groove with each other. I didn't get around to tracking until Friday evening (one whole set of Fahey-tuned guitar that I didn't use, fake Mellotron that I didn't use, either). Saturday I did bass and Epiphone Moderne (Reuss RF-01 and Vox Wah, and also a track of non-distorted Moderne with wah). I extracted a track of unintentional sounds from the fuzz channel, and arranged them throughout for some texture; I'd toyed with the thought of building the piece around them, but opted to go for something less outside this time.

Sends: two convolution reverbs (room ambience, weirder room ambience on the fuzz guitar) and one echo (automated send on the one drum). There's a lot of EQ-8 to roll off low frequencies on the bass and on the electro-dub kit. And some M4L Humanizer on the drums. Full-chain master on everything.

Title from one of the earliest uses (fishing sinkers) for this week's element, lead.

Very busy week including travel to the spatial audio workshop at RPI, so this is a quick little improv with Max/MSP. [cycle~] into the pitch/delay/pan/degrade network, a bit of convolution reverb, and Full-Chain Master in Live.

Title from the use of this week's element thallium in photoresistors.

Very busy week, including prep for a Max/MSP show with mic feedback, so this week's submission is one of the test runs through the Max/MSP patch, with guitar. Kinda ambling and chaotic.

.aiff file captured to the drive, then brought into Ableton for level correcting, a touch of convolution reverb, and Full-Chain Master. And there we have it.

Title from the discovery of liquid mercury under this temple in Teotihuacan

This is a weird one. For a while I've been thinking of doing a piece composed of gestures on guitar, rather than playing notes--building a piece out of a vocabulary of incidental sounds. So this is a step toward that. I did several passes of Res-O-Glas (direct into the board) and several clips of Moog guitar through Vox Wah for drone texture. Arranging it...I shortened a lot of the Res-O clips to focus on scrapes and clicks (leaving in the switch-pop of a pickup selector switch, which still kind of sounds wrong...), time-stretching some clips, compressing others, and looking for repetitive patterns in them.

Four Res-O tracks are panned to fixed positions, while the Moog got auto-pan. Sends: two different convolution reverbs--a smaller room for the Res-O, and a concert hall for the Moog. Full-Chain Master on the 2 buss.

Title from this week's element, gold, apparently formed in the Earth's mantle.

A very intuitive piece--I cobbled together three drum kits with syncopated rhythms, and composed a keyboard line...which I threw out after I picked up the Fahey-tuned Univox hollow body. There are three tracks of that, with varying degrees of fuzz. Not a bad hook...though very simple.

Sends: convo reverb and a delay; full-chain master on the master, and drum buss on the drums.

Title from the derivation of this week's element, platinum.

Carved out a little time this week for a track. My initial thought was to do something shoegazey, and then I immediately started making this vintage-y funk thing. Apparently my internal aesthetic compass is a gyroscope.

Drum racks of Acoustified 15 and Emperor kit (through Drum Buss), Operator with a triangle wave and a hint of 3rd harmonic, Electric on the MkI2 crunch preset, Epi P-J with bass rolloff, and Epi Moderne through Reuss RF-01 and Vox Wah. Sends are a convolution reverb and Echo on Dub Syndicate preset. Full-Chain Master on the master channel.

Title from the iridescent quality of iridium (which gives it its name).

Another busy week, but this track still came together. I've been listening a lot to John Zorn's The Book Beri'ah, and wanted to do something with a syncopated danceability like many of the pieces there. I put up a Drum Rack (64-pad jazz) through a severe gate (influence of the new Burial there), and then...just responded to it on bass. Then I responded to that with more bass, added hand claps and percussion, and then a layer of baglama-tuned Heit Deluxe guitar. A touch of reverb and a bit of automated delay on the drums/percussion...and here we are.

Title from one of the properties of this week's element, osmium.

Very busy week with travel, but here's a rhythm-driven track that I managed to put together. Three drum racks, an Impulse device (hand claps), two Electric instruments for keys, bass (direct), and Res-o-Glas guitar (direct). Standard signal chains; more notes soon.

Title from a use of this week's element, rhenium.

Lots going on with work and show prep, but I did carve out some time for this week's track: two drum rack kits (64-pad jazz and Emperor), a bit of electric piano (MkI2 Crunchy), Collision (modulated vibes), Operator on a triangle-wave organ tone, Res-O-Glas guitar (through Auto-Filter and Cabinet), and Epi P-J bass (through EQ-8 for low-end rolloff). Sends: Delay (10.1 flavor) and Convolution reverb. Full-chain master on the mix.

Title from two uses of this week's element, tungsten.

A busy week, but I managed to get a track together. Three different drum racks (64-pad jazz, 64-pad special, Carbon kit) with Drum Buss, handclaps, two relatively untreated tracks of Res-O-Glas guitar (though through EHX LPB2ube and Vox Wah) and a track of Epi P-J bass (through the Balls KWB). Not a lot of time for tracking, so this one's collaged together quickly.

Sends: two Echo channels and one convolution reverb. Full-chain master.

Title from the use of tantalum in capacitors.

A very busy week, including beginning prep for my upcoming performance in Chicago, so I've had my head in Max/MSP (particularly developing performance interfaces I can use on the iPad with Cycling74's Mira). So it was fairly natural to do some improvs with the input shifter patch, and this is one of them. Max/MSP -> file, Ableton Live for tweaking levels and compression, and adding a bit of convolution reverb to the mix. (And it's a rehearsal opportunity.)

Title from one of the uses of this week's element hafnium--as the electrode in plasma cutting.

This one was difficult to finish--I didn't want to fall into a retread, and some aspects are similar to a lot of other this-tempo guitar/bass/keys/drums things I've done. So...what to do? I started editing stuff out, and this start/stop approach seemed to pull it into having an identity.

64-pad jazz drum rack, 64-pad special kit (both with M4L Humanizer and Drum Buss, two Puremagnetik Rhodes instruments, Epi P-J bass through the Balls KWB (still pulled down bass with EQ-8), two tracks of Res-O-Glas (KWB and not, one with Auto-Filter drive and not), Sends: two Echo and one convolution reverb. Full-chain master on the master.

Title from the difficulty of extracting this week's element lutetium, but also kind of a difficult track to extract, so it fit.

Kind of a chill-out vibe this week. I was hearing some syncopated drumming, so put up a 64-pad jazz drum rack, then some Puremagnetik Rhodes as chords and leads. Saturday night I tracked Epi P-J bass (through the Balls Effects KWB, and with EQ-8 and Cabinet for tone shaping) and Epiphone Moderne (through Vox Wah, both with and without Reuss Effects Repeater Fuzz. Without involved high-pass and low-pass Auto-Filter with drive.). A last pass involved adding some percussion and balancing some chords that weren't quite compatible...and here we are.

Sends: two different Echo plugins (based on vintage presets) and a convolution reverb. Full-Chain Master on the master channel.

Title from the meaning of the name of the village of Ytterby, site of the mine where this week's element (ytterbium) was discovered.

I spent the weekend at Cycling74's Expo, which is devoted to things we can do with Max/MSP, so this week's track is in Max. I used the input shifter patch I've been using for a while, with a filtered square wave as source material, and then dropped the recorded result by an octave. There's a convolution reverb send, and Full-Chain Master on the output.

Title from the use of Thulium in lasers. (A lot of these elements are getting tricky to differentiate.)

Kind of like last week's, this week's tempo was all over the place before I tracked guitar and bass. Finally it seemed like uptempo dub, so here we are. Percussion is the 64-pad Jazz Drum Rack, 64-pad Dub Techno kit, Impulse of some hand drums I have, and hand claps. Keys are Puremagnetik Mark I Rhodes, Drawbar, and CP-70. Guitars: baglama-tuned Heit Deluxe for clean-ish rhythm, and Epiphone Moderne (Reuss RF-01 Fuzz and Vox Wah). Bass is the usual Epiphone P-J (with EQ8 to roll off lows).

Sends: auto-filter to roll off lows before a convolution reverb (marble foyer), and two Echo channels, one Dub Syndicate with high-pass, and one Analog Triplet with an LFO-bandpass filter in front. Full-chain master on everything, and auto-pan on the keys and percussion.

I submitted this, and then listening back...didn't like the lower mids. Here's a corrected mix (still on Sunday!)

Title from the use of erbium in lasers..

This week's track started much differently--at 117bpm. I had some interesting drum patterns going on, but couldn't find a way into them. Guitar and keyboard lines weren't all that interesting. So I took a radical step on Saturday and cranked the bpm down to 68--ah, now it's a dub track. OK. Then I could finish it.

Instruments: Drum Rack of 64-pad single hit jazz kit samples, Drum Rack of Dub Techno single hits, Impulse of hand claps, Operator with pitch mod (sort of a cuĂ­ca effect), Puremagnetik CP-70 ("Lite" preset), Epiphone P-J bass (EQ-8 to roll off lows), and Epiphone Moderne (through Balls Effects KWB and Vox Wah) for guitar. At the last minute, I remembered to put Drum Buss on the drums. (Oops.)

Sends: two channels of Echo (Dark Fade and Dub Syndicate presets), and one empty-swimming-pool convolution reverb. Full-chain master on the out.

Title from the use of this week's element, Holmium, an atom of which was used by IBM a couple years back to store one bit of data.

A couple times during the week I played with some different drum patterns, playing them off against each other, finally coming up with the drum theme heard throughout this piece. I also added a few simple passes of percussion, and then embellished a few with more beats.

I'd thought maybe I'd do just two basses against each other, and recorded a lot of clips in E and G that I ended up throwing out. Saturday night I re-tracked bass in A, and then did another pass of fuzz bass through the Balls Effects KWB. I put a few Rhodes lines, and then a pass of clean Epi Moderne that I'd thought of as glue, but ended up using a lot of it.

Sends: one room-sized convolution reverb, and one lightly modulated echo.

Inlines: some auto-pan on percussion and keys. EQ-8 on bass to roll off some lows, and some Cabinet for air. Auto-filter with drive and cabinet on guitar. Drum Buss on drums. Full-chain master on the stereo mix.

Title from the use of this week's element dysprosium in dosimeters.

Noting that (musician) Scott Walker passed this week, I had The Drift in mind, and thought I'd let his influence percolate. I tracked ring-modulated Puremagnetik grand piano, ring-modulated electric piano, and Ableton's 64-pad jazz drum kit without an obvious clock at first, playing intuitively. I did a similar pass with ring-modulated Res-o-Glas guitar--not paying attention to other tracks. Then I put down more regular drum patterns and Saturday night tracked bass (ring-modulated for tremolo, and audio-range ring-modulated on another part), and then a little sends-only percussion. Sends: two convolution reverbs. Auto-pan on most things, though I should have auto-panned the one alternate bass track. (Too late now.)

Title from the use of this week's element terbium in the SoundBug transducer--it turns any flat surface into a speaker, apparently.

Back to the funk. This week brought a new pedal (the Balls Effects KWB pedal, a variant of the MXR Distortion +/Ross pedal with switchable diodes and sweepable clipping), so I used that on guitars and bass. This one started as drum tracks (Drum Rack 64-pad Jazz kit), to which I added a bit of a low end with additional Typhoon kick and some percussion). Then I added two Puremagnetik Rhodes pianos, and laid down guitar (modulated wah and stationary wah) and bass (EQ-8 for bass rolloff). Sends: room-sized convolution reverb and an Echo channel.

Title from...a dad joke about the use of gadolinium (element 64) as part of the emergency shut-down procedure of some reactors, including the CANDU. (Sorry.)

Since I'm still listening a lot to later Talk Talk, this week's piece bears some influence--I wanted something that resisted settling down, collaged together from a lot of loose improvisation. I used a drum rack of Ableton's 64-pad jazz drums, some handclaps, and improvised with some Fahey-tuned Univox hollow body. Keys and bass came later, and for extra texture stretched some of the guitar lines and put them through reverb only.

Sends: two convolution reverbs and one channel of echo. Little touches of auto-pan and auto-pan tremolo throughout. And some M4L Humanizer on the drums. Full-chain master on the 2.

Title from two applications of europium: in the bright reds of CRTs and in memory chips.

Another piece that accumulated organically: I'd started by putting up a few drum racks against each other (64-pad rock kit, bongos, Hilda kit), and then put a few chords and figures of different keyboards (Live's MkI3 Mellow Piano and Puremagnetik's CP-70 pack, on the electronic-only setting). I put down Epiphone P-J bass, and then Res-O-Glas guitar through EHX LPB2ube, one pass through a mild overdrive, and another through more extreme boost.

Inline effects: M4L Humanizer on drums and MkI3, Drum Buss on percussion. EQ-8 for bass rolloff on bass, various combinations of Auto-Filter (for drive and to roll off weird direct-sounding harmonics from the Alumitones) and Cabinet on guitar. Sends: Convolution reverb (studio room impulse) and Auto-Filter with LFO into Echo on Tweezy Tape preset. Various auto-pan, and full-chain master on the stereo mix.

Title from one method of growing symmetric crystals of samarium, this week's element.

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