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.
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)!
This one's odd. After several weeks of fairly naturalistic playing, I thought to do something with severely edited sounds--short cuts out of longer-duration chords and intervals. The signal chain was PureSalem Mendiola through Balls Effects KWB distortion (to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the clip), and into Vox Wah for tone shaping. The middle and end sections reveal a bit more of the original playing, but a lot of this is edited down from that. One emergent riff came from copying and pasting the short clips over some previous material--I wouldn't have arrived at this riff otherwise.
There's some convolution reverb and the usual wide&warm preset for compression/eq, but no funny stuff other than the hard edits.
The title comes from A493 in Wales, which (according to Wikipedia) avoids the town of Cross Foxes.
Another very loose all-guitar piece, tracked quickly, but it took fiddling to get it into a structure. Guitar: Univox Effie hollow body in Fahey-C-like tuning (B here). Inline effects: high-pass Auto-Filter with drive. Sends: two convolution reverbs and one echo. Wide&Warm effect rack on the output.
Title comes from a proposed highway 98 in upstate NY.
While I did start with drums this week, I removed them in the spirt of continuing last week's (more successful) guitar-only approach. This one was quick to track (a half hour total), but editing was difficult--I'd recorded snippets, with the thought of stringing them together in a spacious structure. In doing the actual editing...getting it to hang together as an identity was tricky. I had to balance repetition and variety, and I'm not convinced it worked. But...there's a kind of endless-aimless summer-day quality to this, as summer recedes.
Guitar: home-built Res-O-Glas, with tonal variety coming from the bridge-or-neck-or-both pickup selection. This went through the Balls Effects KWB for a bit of drive, but not the distortion of last week. Then some tracks got the Moyo passive volume, to take the attack off.
Two channels got inline auto-pan, and all of them got lesser or greater amounts of sends to a church-sized convolution reverb, and Ableton's Echo plugin. There's the now-usual Wide&Warm compression/eq preset on the stereo mix.
The title comes from there being 92 days of summer.
Another quick-recording/long-editing piece. This one started just as some drum syncopation, with a few atmospheric keys...and then kind of came together with bass and guitar.
Drums: Ableton 64 Pad Kit Jazz, with Max Humanizer
Keys: PureMagnetik Berlin electric piano
Guitar: PureSalem Mendiola through Vox Wah; one channel with Auto-Filter drive
Bass: 80s Epiphone Embassy II with EQ-8 low-end rolloff
Sends: convolution reverb (with high-pass Auto-Filter in front), Echo, Valhalla Supermassive
Master full-chain audio effect rack on the output.
Title comes from Messier 76, the Little Dumbbell Nebula.
This piece came together from some syncopated drum lines and little compositional direction. I put down some Electric and Operator lines, tracked bass around a few repetitive figures, and guitar (Res-O through Vox Wah) on top...which didn't coalesce until I copied the guitar lines to another channel and reversed all the clips in that channel. Then it kind of came together. Very little inline processing except for M4L Humanizer and Drum Buss on the drums, Auto-Pan on the keys, Auto-Filter with drive on the forwards guitar. Sends: two convolution reverbs, Delay, Echo. Full-Chain master on the master channel. Kind of floaty.
Title from associations from this week's element, uranium. I'm a fan of the work of the late sculptor James L. Acord, who was the only private individual to have earned a license to work with radioactive materials, including uranium (which he initially gathered by leaching it off of mango red Fiestaware). He'd planned a series of sculptures--reliquaries--designed to contain radioactive materials, which he'd wanted to install at the Hanford Reservation, a project he didn't live to complete.