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.
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.
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.
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.
The three-guitar thing continues. I didn't start this one until late Friday night with the initial melody, chords, and counterpoint. Then Saturday and Sunday I wrote responses to those. While I think I'm due for a change in direction, this one developed in a way consistent with recent ones, though the (simple) chords seem a bit stronger.
Three tracks of PureSalem Mendiola (bridge, neck, both pickups) direct into the UA Volt 1, sometimes with the "vintage" circuit engaged. Some convolution reverb and Wide&Warm compression/eq preset on the stereo out.
The title comes from the minor planet 502 Sigune.
This one's back to three tracks of PureSalem Mendiola. I started this Saturday evening, and it didn't really take any shape until Sunday afternoon with an editing/tracking session. Sparser, slower than recent ones. Some of my right-hand technique emphasized more lower midrange than high frequencies. Not really a plan there; it's how it came out.
Convolution reverb, compression/eq in the stereo out.
Title comes from this interesting wikipedia factoid about the number 501.
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)!
By my count, this is the 499th weekly composition I've done since I started at the end of 2013 (for the 2014 Weekly Beats). I went into late Saturday with no ideas in mind, and started playing with a few altered chords, then responding to them, and then stitching it all together. There are four tracks of PureSalem Mendiola in standard tuning, and some convolution reverb.
The title comes from minor planet 499 Venusia.
Earlier this week I was thinking of a simple rhythm and found myself tapping it out on the steering wheel: 4/4 on the left, double-time on the right. I brought it into Ableton Live as a kick/floor-tom combo, and started tracking guitar against it. Ultimately...I took the percussion out of it, but it was a way to start.
There are four tracks of guitar here (PureSalem Mendiola) with a touch of convolution reverb. There's a bit of grit on some of the tracks, from turning on the vintage circuit of the UA Volt1.
The title comes from the former Rt. 498 in Maryland.
Kind of an intense week on a number of fronts. The slowness of this piece is a bit of a reaction to that, an attempt to maintain a bit of quiet and space. Guitar: 1960s Univox hollow body (likely a Coily model), tuned in a variant of John Fahey's C tuning. (His was CGCGCE; this is B F# B F# B C#.) Three tracks, just a bit of convolution reverb. A touch of grit from the UA Volt 1.
The title comes from the minor planet 496 Gryphia.
PureSalem Mendiola and 80s Epiphone bass. Once again through the UA Volt, mainly just to try bass through that. There's still some EQ-8 low-end rolloff on the bass, but it doesn't have to be as extreme as some earlier tracks. Some of that may be from the Volt on the Vintage EQ setting, but also there's no kick drum here, so I didn't have to make room for that. Otherwise, just convolution reverb and the compression/EQ on the stereo bus.
The title comes from yet another minor planet, 495 Eulalia.
A return to three tracks of guitar without heavy editing or effects, largely to test a new USB converter (Universal Audio Volt 1). There's some crunch on here, from the converter's preamp itself--it's a bit more musical than clipping on the Focusrite Scarlett. There's the usual convolution reverb and compression/eq on the stereo bus.
The title is from the minor planet 494 Virtus.
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.
I'd approached this week with the thought of changing some working methods. While some things stayed the same (one guitar, no inline tone shaping, common click track), this time the guitar lines are mostly more spacious, and the structure more tenuous and intuitive.
In previous weeks, I was able to edit tracks down easily--if everything's 4/4, with clearly defined phrases, edit points are obvious. With this piece, aggressive editing also removed the vibe. It was easy to crush this one accidentally. What I ended up doing was recording from session view to arrangement view, triggering clips in the session view, and then tweaking a few things later. That preserved the fragile development of the piece. It also led to a structure that was kind of linear in order of tracking, though that's not necessarily a bad thing.
The individual parts varied between 6/4 and 4/4, some with pauses at the end, and some without. I also used a volume pedal for rolling off the attack on some notes. There's convolution reverb, and the usual compression/eq on the stereo mix. It's kind of a vibe.
The title comes from the minor planet 492 Gismonda.
Two very late, very short tracking sessions of three tracks of PureSalem Mendiola. Still similar working methods, but a slightly different harmonic/melodic approach in places. (Still with the barre chords, not that that's a bad thing.)
Convolution reverb and the Ableton Wide & Warm compression/eq setting on the stereo bus.
The title comes from Carthaginian navigator Himilco, who apparently reached the northwestern coast of Europe from the Mediterranean in 490 BCE.
Much of my free time over the last week has been directed toward migrating my websites to a new cloud instance, which also (due to the age of the codebase) means redeveloping them. So it's a work in progress.
Even so, I found some time to track a little guitar-and-pedal-steel thing. PureSalem Mendiola and no-name 10-string 1970s pedal steel in E9 tuning. There's the usual convolution reverb and mastering plugin, but otherwise no funny stuff.
The title comes from the minor planet 489 Comacina.