A little later than usual with this one, but...the timing of the challenge works in my favor here.
This week I (mostly) finished restoring a 70s (maybe earlier? but the pickups seem to be 70s) pedal steel, built from a kit, and out of commission for quite a long time before it came to me. I've put on new tuners, cleaned things up, made adjustments, and...it's a playable instrument! I've wanted to play a pedal steel for years, so it's nice to bring that to life. So this week's track had to feature it. (Inline effects: a bit of Auto-Filter for high-pass, and Auto-Pan for faint tremolo.
I did start with a couple syncopated patterns I came up with using Ableton's 64 Pad Kit Jazz, with some Max Humanizer. After tracking pedal steel and Epiphone bass (usual EQ-8 rolloff), added two tracks of home-built Res-O-Glas guitar (through the Balls Effects KWB and Vox Wah, then inline high-pass Auto-Filter and Cabinet for some air).
Sends: two Echo channels (Tape Reverb and Dark Fade presets), and two convolution reverbs with high-pass Auto-Filter.
There's Master Full-Chain (flat) on the stereo out.
The title comes from there being 59 stellations on a regular icosohedron.
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.
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.
Mostly in-the-box, plus bass. Drum rack of 909, hand clap samples, Tension/Clav and Electric/Rhodes, Epiphone bass. Lots of roll-off on bass below 87Hz to get out of the way of the kick. Three sends--two convolution reverbs and one filter delay.
Title comes from the 50 Gates of Wisdom/Impurity of the Kabbalah.
8 tracks (drum rack of single-hit trap kit, handclaps, percussion, three electric pianos, guitar, bass). Funk. Half-way through the year!
Nothing special in production notes, other than my using the Glue compressor to side-chain the bass to the biamped/dual-filtered kick drum. (One resonant peak on the shell, one on the beater). The glue compressor gets a bit dirty on the peaks in a pleasing way. Also there are two different convolution reverbs with different small rooms for air on them.
Otherwise, lots of editing on the guitar to remove notes--not to hide mistakes so much as to make space.
A funk track emerged this week. I started playing with beats (single-hits from a dry funk kit), added percussion (tabla, claps, conga/bongo), Wurlitzer and Rhodes...some piano and organ that I removed, put on bass, and two tracks (distorted and not distorted) of Epiphone Moderne through the Vox Wah. Notable production items...included M4L humanizer, subtle use of a couple different convolution reverbs (room and plate), simple delay cascading into filter delay, and not any automation--it just seemed to work better as a static thing.
Title comes from association from the Pythagorean distaste for the number 17, coming as it does as the interval between the numbers 16 and 18. Also, I've used a lot of major seconds in this. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/17_(number)#cite_note-14, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_second#Epogdoon)
Also, mad respect to anyone hanging in there!
I had a show this weekend, and spent much of the week preparing for it (new Max/MSP patch, testing with instruments), but late in the week, I wanted to hear something like this drum beat, and whipped that up with some keyboards. I tracked bass and guitar on Saturday, and spent a few hours on Sunday to arrange and mix. There's a drum rack of dry trap kit (high-pass Auto-Filter on the kick; low-pass Auto-filter with drive on the whole kit), one of a hand drum I have, and hand claps (with low-pass Auto-Filter with drive to make it a little less clean). There's Ableton's Electric instrument (MkI2 Crunchy) through band-pass Auto-Filter with modulation, Simpler (Grand Piano preset) with the same Auto-Filter treatment, and Collision (Street Bells) for some variety. (I almost put vibes there, but low street bells sounded better.)
Bass is the Epiphone P-J (on P), with a little convolution reverb. Guitar: '67 Kalamazoo into Vox Wah, and the same guitar through the Reuss RF-01 Repeater Fuzz into the Vox Wah. I tracked more parts than I used.
The tricky thing with this one was getting the parts not to conflict; everything worked better the sparser it was. There's some simple delay in addition to the convolution reverb, and Full-Chain Master on the master channel.
The title comes from it being week 4, and is a bit of a reference to the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.