Another 4-track guitar piece. I keep thinking to do something very spacious and minimal, something barely-there...but once I start writing parts against other parts, the pieces tend to fill up. There's still a bit of space here.

As I've been doing lately, this is just PureSalem Mendiola into the UA Volt 1, with some convolution reverb on the tracks, as well as the Wide and Warm mastering preset from Ableton.

This marks the 500th weekly composition I've done since joining the 2014 Weekly Beats project. That's...a lot of music.

The title comes from the model number of the old rotary telephones: the Western Electric 500. (Had I known the title in advance, I could have tried tracking with a little Western Electric amp I have...but I write first and do titles later.)

Thank you for listening (so far)!

Kedbreak136345 days ago

I can relate with the original excitement about getting an opportunity to AT LAST plug in all the random pedals accumulated over the years (i have this Geiger Counter pedal that I still have not been able to put to use) but then discovering that really sparse is better, simple and tasteful is better, and the best is just to focus on capturing a sound and a vibe. To not overthink things, and just delicately capture the emotion of the moment, like a fragile soap bubble.

onezero348 days ago

@Kedbreak136 Thank you!

Over time, the number of tracks I've used has gone way down. Most surprising to me is how many tracks a lot of them used! Early on, if I was lacking an idea, I'd throw another track or instrument on, so then it would take quite a lot of time to focus the pieces. The earliest ones strike me now as very busy without direction. As the years have gone on, I tend to spend less time on them--sometimes tracking is all done in under an hour, and sometimes arrangement and editing could be that short as well. (Some pieces are quickly tracked but need more editing; some require three or so tracking sessions, but come together quickly around an idea.)

I've noticed that starting in 2021 I became a bit lazy about pulling out and connecting various effects boxes. Early on, I wanted to use all the stuff I've accumulated over the years, though in the last couple years, it's been more interesting to see what I can do with a very direct tonal profile: guitar into converter. Some of this may be laziness--it seems like a lot of trouble to get things out, connect them, break them down, and put them away again. Grabbing a guitar and plugging it in seems more direct.

Earlier pieces were more textural and focused on sonic profile, but I've moved over time to doing fragmented melodic lines over chord progressions. There's more of an emotional connection that way, I think.

Kedbreak136350 days ago

Congratulations on 500 weeks in a row! That is an impressive achievement!

How did that discipline and practice make you change your approach to composition? What is the most surprising to you when you listen back to some of the early tracks?

More submissions by onezero for Weekly Music 2023

52/52! A return to three tracks of PureSalem Mendiola, recorded in two quick late-night sessions Friday and Saturday. It's been...a week. But here we are.

There's a bit of line hum audible in places; it's weird that that's not typically been the case for a while with this guitar. Bridge, neck, and both-pickup tracks, with some convolution reverb and the usual effect rack on the stereo out.

The title comes from a little town in Pennsylvania, on route 522. (Not far from week 475's namesake Meadow Gap.)

A couple late-night tracking sessions and a bit of aggressive editing resulted in this brief four-track piece. All PureSalem Mendiola, neck pickup, bridge (two tracks), and both. The starting point was moving around an arpeggiated 7, and it developed from there. Unlike some recent ones, there are opportunities for full rests here and there.

The title comes from the minor planet 521 Brixia.

Three tracks of $60 Univox hollowbody in modified Fahey tuning (Bb F Bb F Bb C, compared to CGCGCE). Fingerpicking, with the barred sections being played as one finger moving a barre around. Somehow this came together quickly, over two short late-night sessions. There's the usual convolution reverb and compression/eq on the stereo out.

The title comes from the interesting galaxy cluster Abell 520,

I'd wanted to do something slower with a bit more space. This one again is three tracks of PureSalem Mendiola, straight into the UA Volt 1. Slow, but there's a vibe. There's the usual convolution reverb and compression/eq on the stereo out.

The title comes from the minor planet 519 Sylvania.

The three-guitar-piece series continues. This time it's low-tuned Univox hollow body, in a variant of Fahey C tuning (in this case, Bb F Bb F Bb C--the same tuning, but a whole step down). I tracked this in two short sessions--one late Saturday and one Sunday afternoon...though finding the right through-line took a while. There's a sparse gentleness to this one.

No inline effects, but some compression/eq on the stereo out, and convolution reverb.

The title comes from the asteroid 518 Halawe.

This week's track is another intentionally shorter piece, trying to make use of some silences and space. Initially I'd tracked a lot of different phrases in a different key Tuesday evening, a more aggressive approach that I'd liked...but it didn't lead to satisfying development. Finally, a more sparse combination of phrases in a different key seemed to lead somewhere, so I followed those, abandoning the first set. (I did keep them, though they're not used at all here.)

Three tracks of PureSalem Mendiola, with the end of one phrase bumped over to an additional channel, to allow for a note to decay across the beginning of the next phrase. Straight into the UA Volt-1, bit of convolution reverb on the channels and compression/eq on the stereo out. There's a bit of a vibe to this one.

The title comes from a village along England's A517.

Guitar-only with PureSalem Mendiola, three tracks (bridge, neck, both pickups). Recorded in three short sessions, though a bit longer to edit into shape. There's the usual signal chain: UA Volt, Ableton, some convolution reverb, and some compression/eq on the stereo.

There's a short clip on a fourth track to allow one note to fade over the next phrase on the source track.

The title comes from Arouca 516, one of the world's longest pedestrian bridges.

Three tracks of fingerpicked Danelectro baritone guitar, with kind Elizabethan vibe, maybe? No effects, but some convolution reverb.

The title comes from the asteroid 515 Athalia.

Three tracks of Danelectro baritone, with a contemplative vibe. Kind of digging it. The bridge pickup got the UA Volt-1 vintage circuit, while neck and both got the UA Volt-1 regular circuit. Bit of convolution reverb and the usual compression/eq on the stereo.

The title comes from the remote shell process, which is usually exposed on port 514.

Again with the three-guitar approach, done quickly in a few tracking sessions. This one's back to the PureSalem Mendiola, straight into the UA Volt 1. The signal chain in Ableton is the usual one: some sends to convolution reverb, stereo bus eq/compression, but nothing special in the channels.

Also again with the minor-planet-related title, though it's probably a better inspiration than Roman taxes.

Another three-tracks-of-Danelectro-baritone track, this one focusing mostly on fingerpicking. Straight into the UA Volt 1, but one section (right channel, 2:45-3:10) sounded weirdly lacking in tonal color, so I put it through high-pass auto-filter with drive. (Some of that lack of tone comes from where I was playing on the high strings: the 12th fret's a bit flat, so it's tricky to get a clean note sounding there, and several times the note sounded dead.) There's some convolution reverb and the usual multi band eq/compression on the stereo mix.

The title comes from the asteroid 512 Taurinensis

To switch things up a bit, this week's track uses the Danelectro Baritone. Three tracks (neck, bridge, both in series) straight into the UA Volt, no pedals. There's the usual convolution reverb and finalizing effects rack. I tracked in a couple quick late-night sessions Friday and Saturday; four clips didn't get used, but I ended up using everything else.

The title comes from the Indian astronomer Aryabhata, who developed many mathematical equations, including one describing the Earth's rotation, in (apparently) 511 CE.

This past week I had two live, in-person performances, and spent some time with tracks from earlier this year--it's the first time I've officially released any of the weeklies. Laodica is a collection of 10 guitar tracks from this year.

So...that all leaves not a lot of time for a new track, but I managed to fit in a three-track guitar thing. The usual signal chain, and PureSalem Mendiola.

The title comes from Ontario's Parry Sound, which has highway 510 running nearby.

Another three-guitar/no-drums thing, which fit into a busy weekend in two quick tracking sessions. Some weeks, I'll generate a lot of little motives that could fit in with something stronger, but end up being tossed. This one had only two bits that didn't get used: they could have worked, but I ended up tracking stronger lines over them.

PureSalem Mendiola into the UA Volt 1 (not on the vintage circuit), no pedals. A little convolution reverb, and the usual compression/eq on the stereo out.

The title comes from (again) the minor planet 509 Iolanda.

In and among a busier than usual weekend, I've managed to put this one together: a pleasant little all-Mendiola piece. Some of these figures were surprisingly difficult to nail, though they sound simple. (This was a balance between fingering choices and occasional converter drift distortion ruining the occasional take.)

The title comes from the number 508 apparently being the number of graphical forest partitions of 30.

Still with the guitar-only, this one four tracks of PureSalem Mendiola (bridge, neck, both, with one going through Uni-Vibe), This one's rather pretty, and has a bit of a vibe.

The title comes from the asteroid 507 Laodica--we're back to the celestial objects for this week.

With a very busy end-of-week and weekend, I was able to wedge in just a couple short tracking sessions, and a late arrangement/edit cycle. This one's just three tracks of PureSalem Mendiola into the UA Volt-1, with a touch of convolution reverb and the usual stereo compression.

I'm kind of neutral about this one--the stronger theme only came about in the last Sunday afternoon tracking, and earlier sessions had a bunch of wandering things that didn't make the final cut. It has a pleasant enough vibe, though.

The title comes from IC 506, an elliptical galaxy in the constellation Hydra.

This week's track came together in one quick Saturday-night tracking session with the PureSalem Mendiola and...a new-to-me stereo Uni-Vibe pedal.

There are four tracks of guitar, though the Uni-Vibe track is itself (of course) stereo, with chorus on the left and vibrato on the right. One can sum these down to monaural with the width control, but I kind of liked the stereo separation. Since I needed two inputs, I went into the Focusrite Scarlett instead of the recent UA Volt, and the slightly different sonic profile is a neat change.

As I usually do, I started with one little motif (the Uni-Vibe at the beginning) and responded to it on multiple tracks, then going back and repeating the process for new sections. There's even a bit of a key change in here, which is nice. Also, as usual, there's some convolution reverb and the wide & warm preset audio rack on the stereo out.

The title comes from the number 505 being the magic constant for the magic square and n-queens problem, for n=10.

More one-guitar, this time with the home-built Res-O-Glas straight into the UA Volt-1. There's a bit of convolution reverb and the usual eq/compression on the stereo mix.

Title comes from exoplanet Gliese 504 b.

Earlier this week, my Monday night ambient improv livestream was delayed by a bad cable, though it took me 20 minutes (live on Twitch) to figure that out. I ended up recording a lot of the plug/unplug/restart/swap-gear process, and had the thought that I should incorporate it into this week's track. That's the buzz/wah-noise/click sound in the background at the beginning, middle, and end.

Initially I'd tried sub looping a lot of it to use it as a rhythmic element, but that ended up sounding annoying. So I played guitar against it, and ultimately reverted to some snippets of the debug-noise, with cleaner guitar as an alternative or counterpoint.

There's some convolution reverb here, as well as compression/eq on the stereo.

The title comes from NGC 503 being an elliptical galaxy, but also from the ellipses in things I've left out of this, and the interruption of the live performance.

Weekly Music 2023

Write, record, and upload a new piece of music every week.

weekly from 2023-01-02 to 2024-01-01