I'm ending the year with yet another all-one-guitar piece: four tracks of Epiphone Moderne, some with Balls Effects KWB + Vox Wah, and some straight into the Focusrite. There's a little echo on one track, and some room-sized convolution reverb on everything. Nothing too fancy, and most tracking was an intuitive response to other little loops.
The title comes from the fact that the Temple of Olympian Zeus had 104 columns, only 15 of which remain standing.
And we've made it to 52 weeks! Thank you to everyone who uploaded and listened! (I think the first Weekly Beats uploads will be due this coming week. I'd say check there for timing. I might just upload one extra here,)
Still mining that guitar-only thing with the recent resonator network, though this time I was using the PureSalem Mendiola. Through the resonator, it sounded a lot more like a banjo and less like a rubab, so I leaned into it. This one's very banjo-friendly front-porch picking music. I'm kind of digging the vibe here.
Rhythm guitar got a bit of low-end rolloff with EQ-8, and the mix got the Wide & Warm audio effect rack.
The title comes from two towns in VA and WV near RT 102, which kind of echoed the country-ish flavor here.
Another all-guitar one. This started pretty loose, and then coalesced around one chord progression. And a busy weekend meant I couldn't wrap it up until now. The overall result...could be music.
Guitar: PureSalem Mendiola, through Balls Effects KWB (for some bits) and straight into the board. One send: a hall-sized convolution reverb.
The title comes from the hydrogen bridge coming off of Messier 99.
Still chasing that all-guitar thing. Here's a four-track piece with just PureSalem Mendiola (done after an attempt with all-pedal-steel didn't go anywhere good). There's Balls Effects KWB on all these, and one track (the single-note pseudo-bass-line) got high-pass auto-filter.
There's Valhalla Supermassive on one track, and a church-sized convolution reverb on the rest, as well as an audio effect rack on the Wide&Warm preset for eq/compression.
The title comes from M97, the Owl Nebula, in Ursa Major.
Another four-track all-guitar thing, again very loose. I'm working toward something with these, and while this one doesn't get there, it's a step. Four channels of PureSalem Mendiola, one of them through Balls Effects KWB, all of them with varying degrees of convolution reverb.
The title comes from the "beginning" association of the surat Al-Alaq.
This week continues the guitar-only approach: three tracks of guitar (though there's a fourth channel I used to cover note tails for smoother edits). Guitar was PureSalem Mendiola, straight into the Focusrite, with no inline processing of the different channels, but everything had some convolution reverb (same concert-hall-sized impulse). There's the Wide&Warm preset for multiband compression.
Title comes from the 95th Section of Swedenborg's The Worlds in Space, in which he describes that as a representation of the inhabitants of Mars.
Another guitar-only track, this one three tracks of PureSalem Mendiola. I tracked a few loose improvisations (much like the last few weeks), and then went off on another key--and these were tighter chord progressions and themes (in response to the first loose line you hear in the left channel). So I threw out the first couple passes, and kept responding to previous snippets in the new key.
Guitar: PureSalem Mendiola (one track neck pickup, one bridge, one both) through EHX LPB2ube. Channels got a couple different convolution reverbs, and there's the Wide & Warm preset for multi-band compression.
Title comes from the galaxy M94 apparently having little dark matter (that we've detected).
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.
I was thinking a bit about the work of Charalambides--the idea of two guitars with delay working up some fuzzy ambience. In tracking, though, I found it going in a more clearly defined chordal and less loosely-timed direction.
This one's just five tracks of PureSalem Mendiola through Balls Effects KWB, with different amounts of gain. There are two convolution reverbs: one "experimental" ABLCR Timelapse, and one more conventional large hall. The stereo output went through Wide&Warm compression/EQ.
The title is from a method of verifying Messier's recorded position for M91.
I'd done some rhythmic composition with guitar and bass, and...it didn't seem that interesting. So Sunday evening I did a few improvisations with home-built Res-O-Glas guitar, Moyo passive volume, and my eight-delay Max/MSP patch with Hainbach's Wires (for grit and warble) and convolution reverb. I recorded that to the drive, and brought it into Ableton for fixing levels a bit.
Title this week refers to NGC 90, a spiral galaxy interacting with NGC 93 to form the galaxy pair Arp 65.
This one started with a sparse and syncopated rhythm I imagined, and grew a bit organically from there: first vibes (removed) and PureMagnetik Berlin electric piano, and then PureSalem Mendiola guitar lines (straight into the Focusrite). Finally, a pass with Epiphone bass. My timing is very loose on this one.
There's the usual processing here: Drums are the 64 Pad Kit Jazz with Humanizer. Bass gets the usual EQ-8 rolloff. One guitar gets high-pass Auto-Filter with drive. Sends: one echo and two convolution reverbs (one large, one small). Wide & Warm audio effect rack preset on the output.
The title comes from NGC 89, a peculiar spiral in Robert's Quartet.
Kind of a late edit on this, but it was a busy weekend. This one's drums (Ableton Acoustified Kit 02), two tracks of Epiphone Embassy II bass (one with EQ-8 low-end rolloff, and the other with Auto-Filter high-pass, played higher on the neck), and two tracks of home-built Res-O-Glas guitar--one through Montreal Assembly Count to Five (the backwards-sounding one) and one straight to the Focusrite, though with some low- and high-pass Auto-Filter with drive.
Sends: one echo (with LFO band-pass Auto-Filter in front), one convolution reverb (with high-pass Auto-Filter in front), and Valhalla Supermassive. There's Wide&Warm preset compression on the stereo output.
Title comes from this week's number, counting from last year.
A very collage-like piece, tracked Friday night and Saturday. I started with an odd drum track with Ableton's 64 Pad Kit Special, added a few keys with PureMagnetik Rhodes (Berlin), and then tracked several loops with bass (new D'Addario half-round strings replacing the flats; there should be a touch more high-end) and PureSalem Mendiola through Reuss RF-01 and Vox Wah. The result? Kinda dense, maybe.
Sends: two convolution reverbs (with high-pass in front), Valhalla Supermassive, and Echo with modulated Auto-Filter in front, as a pouring-one-out in honor of Lee "Scratch" Perry.
Inlines: Max Humanizer on drums, EQ-8 for low-end rolloff on bass (still), some high-pass Auto-Filter and Cabinet on guitars. Wide & Warm audio effects rack preset on the stereo mix.
Title comes from 87 being the international calling code for (apparently) phone calls to Inmarsat.
A friend sold me his Montreal Assembly Count to Five pedal, so that's featured on this week's track. I did a few ambient improvs with that (with home-built Res-O-Glas and CMI E-200 guitar strung with Nashville high tuning), and added Ableton's 64 Pad Kit Jazz drums, and a pass with 80s Epiphone Embassy II bass.
Sends: two convolution reverbs and one echo.
Title comes from the asterism with this name containing M85.
Tracked over the weekend, but I didn't have much of a chance to arrange it until Monday, and it required a bit of listening for editing. I'd started with some syncopated drum patterns (sounds from Ableton's 64 Pad Kit Jazz), and then I put down some sparse guitar with the PureSalem Mendiola through the Balls Effects KWB, and then bass. On listening, it made sense to move some of the guitar tracks to a different channel, so this ended up being a four-track thing.
There's a slight difference to how I'm approaching the bassline, particularly in the bridge, which makes this a bit of a departure, I think.
Inlines: Max Humanizer on drums. Guitars got high-pass Auto-Filter with some different cutoffs and different levels of drive, along with some Glue compression and different Cabinet modelers for air. (1x12 seemed to work best here.) Bass got the usual EQ-8 low-end rolloff, but also some compression as well. The stereo mix got Ableton's Wide & Warm effect rack for compression/eq.
Sends: two convolution reverbs (one large, one small) with high-pass Auto-Filter in front. Also a channel of delay on the 3.
The title comes from hepteracts having 84 penetrant 5-faces.
A very late upload by my usual schedule (though not "late" for this streak). All the tracking took place this past weekend, but arrangement wasn't something I could get to until last evening. My usual method of working on these is this:
It was the same thing here, but the pieces weren't quite fitting together until fairly late. Some of the not-quite-fitting might be from A/D latency, which seems to tack a bit higher than the setting when I first open Ableton. It's most notable on bass here, though I did warp some late notes into place when they seemed much later than "feel."
Drums: Ableton 64 Pad Kit Special, with Max Humanizer and 80-90% probability on most drum hits, though 1, 2, and 4 get 100%.
Keys: PureMagnetik Mark Two Berlin
Bass: 80s Epiphone Embassy II, with EQ-8 low-end reduction
Guitars: PureSalem Mendiola through Balls Effects KWB. One channel's mostly neck pickup with the other being mostly bridge.
Sends: Ableton Echo plugin and convolution reverb (BM7 Clear Ambience) with high-pass Auto-Filter in front.
Wide & Warm preset audio effect rack on the stereo output
Title comes from radio emissions from an unknown object in M82.
Here's a piece I started late in the week, with no plan in mind. I started with a beat that wasn't particularly clear or strong, relocated the 1, and then worked up some variations. The kit: Ableton's 64 Pads Dub Techno Kit, with 90% randomization on a lot of beats, and a touch of Max Humanizer, as well as echo send on the 2 and 4.
Bass: 80s Epiphone Embassy II, direct to the Focusrite A/D--there are two tracks of bass here, one higher on the neck (panned slightly left) and one lower (center). The higher one got Auto-Filter high-pass, while the lower one got EQ-8 with the low end rolled off 6dB, rather than cut entirely.
Guitar: home-built Res-O-Glas with Lace Alumitones, straight into the Focusrite. There's AudioThing Wires on this, 50% blend.
Sends: Ableton Echo, one convolution reverb, and Valhalla Supermassive on the guitar.
Title comes from M81, a Grand Design spiral galaxy.
I'd thought I was going to do something more abstract this week, though my bass- and guitar-playing sessions ended up making it kind of funky. So it's a groove.
Drums: Ableton Fairfax kit, which sounds interestingly synthetic, but also has some impact. I added a touch of Max Humanizer and gave it some room-sized convolution reverb, and automated delay send on the 2 and 4.
Bass: 80s Epiphone Embassy II, on p-pickup. Low-end rolloff with EQ-8, and then another track also of bass, but in the higher register, with high-pass Auto-Filter with a bit of drive.
Guitar: PureSalem Mendiola on the bridge mini-humbucker, through Balls Effects KWB. One got room-sized convolution reverb send, and the other got a much larger hall send.
Title comes from the function of the old 80-type vacuum tube.
I'd had a thought of doing something a bit sparser this week, and while this one's more dense than I was thinking, some of the initial inspiration remains. The rhythms are mostly very syncopated, and are done with the usual 64 Pad Kit Jazz with an automated delay send and Max Humanizer.
For guitar, I used my home-built Res-O-Glas, and started with the little single-note line, and then responded to it with the chordal tremolo guitar (using a pedal from Mike Carey in Milwaukee), with a send to Valhalla Supermassive. I went back and forth between trem and non-trem channels, to do leads in response to rhythm, and rhythm in response to leads. The clean lead channel had a send to a large convolution reverb--spacious, but not quite as harmonic as the Valhalla.
For bass, I did the usual 80s Epiphone Embassy II, on the P-pickup. It got some low-end rolloff with EQ-8, and a send to a smaller convolution reverb (as did the drums).
The title comes from the use of the number 77 as a password at the Swedish border during WWII.
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.
Here's one I recorded in a few quick, improvisatory sessions, but it needed a bit of attention to edit together. My initial thought was to emphasize toms and kick, avoiding the snare if I could, and then respond to that. (There's a snare rimshot sound every so often, but no overt snare hits.)
Recording the guitar went quickly, though once I'd settled on which key I preferred, I did need to go back and record a bit more. With bass, I'd recorded a bunch of parts, and ended up throwing most of them out, going instead with lines I tracked last in arrangement view.
Guitar: PureSalem Mendiola straight into the Focusrite. (Each channel got inline Auto-Filter for drive/coloration). Bass: 80s Epiphone Embassy II (neck pickup only). EQ-8 for some low-end rolloff. Drums: Ableton 64 Pad Kit Special, with Max Humanizer.
Sends: Valhalla Supermassive, Ableton Delay, convolution reverb with Auto-Filter to roll off lows.
Title comes from the lenticular galaxy NGC 74.
Here's one that grew kind of organically out of some syncopated drums. I'd started with Ableton's 64 Pad Kit Rock, and something in the high-hat suggested a funky approach. For some extra flavor, there's 64 Pad Finger Snare LBB, and a track of handclaps.
I initially tracked a few Rhodes lines with PureMagnetik Mark Two Berlin, but ended up removing them, along with PureMagnetik Mellotron. Instead, I tracked a lot of Epiphone bass (though initial loops weren't quite funky enough, so out they went), and then two passes with PureSalem Mendiola through Vox Wah (one bridge pickup and one neck pickup.)
Inlines: Max Humanizer on the drums and percussion, Bass got the usual EQ-8 rolloff.
Sends: Ableton Delay, Valhalla Supermassive, and room-sized convolution reverb. Full-Chain multi band compression on the stereo out.
The title comes from the root of the Rhône river, which runs through the 69th department of France.
Another intuitively-structured one, this one began with a slow drum beat, and got interesting when I added long-persisting delay with filtering to it. I did a few different rhythms with Ableton's 64 Pad Kit Special drum rack, and added some handclaps, along with some Rhodes which I took out again.
Next up was Epiphone P-J bass, using the usual signal chain (EQ-8 for bass rolloff), though I'd also rolled down the tone control. I'd initially thought of rolling off highs...but changed my mind for this one, so the bass is close to typical.
Guitar was home-built Res-O-Glas through the Balls Effects KWB for a bit of overdrive, and Vox Wah for both tone shaping (rhythm track) and effect (lead track).
Sends: bandpass Auto-Filter with LFO frequency center into Ableton's Echo (analog triplet dub preset, tweaked to remove some noise), Valhalla supermassive on a large reverb preset, and high-pass Auto-Filter in front of a room-sized convolution reverb.
Inline: Bass got EQ-8, while drums got Max Humanizer. Guitars got some auto-pan to get them out of each other's way, though lead guitar also got some Glue Compressor. And I used that channel to do some reversed clips from time to time as well.
The editing/arrangement process involved a lot of cutting things out--I played more than I kept in. (This is even down to certain notes; it just sounded better with things left out.)
Title comes from *67 being the call-waiting-blocking code for a lot of telephone systems.
This week's track came at me kind of sideways--while I started with syncopated drums as I often do...the melodic and harmonic components started with keyboards, lending a different flavor, I think. On Saturday I tracked a few bits of guitar, not sure how it'd all come together, and bass on Sunday before collaging the clips. Finally, I tracked a couple guitar phrases to fill in gaps. And...here we are.
Drums: Ableton 64 Pad Kit Jazz with Max Humanizer
Drum Rack of hand claps with Max Humanizer
Piano: PureMagnetik CP-70, acoustic only
Electric Piano: PureMagnetik Rhodes Mark One, through AudioThing Motor
Bass: Epiphone P-J, low-end rolloff with EQ-8
Guitar: PureSalem Mendiola through Ableton Auto-Filter (high-pass and low-pass with drive, Ableton Utility and Cabinet
Sends: Bandpass Auto-Filter with LFO into Echo, Valhalla Supermassive, convolution reverb with high-pass Auto-Filter
Title comes from this being the 66th track since I started doing numerically-based names, and stretches of the famous Route 66 have been removed from maps.
This was a busy weekend, so I'm getting this up late (for me). It's also just a four-tracker, and short. This started as some syncopated drum patterns in 6/4, with some alternate drum lines in 4/4, and alternating between the two. I used Ableton's 64 Pad Kit Jazz for these, and added a bit of Max Humanizer to slop it up a bit.
I did bass next--the usual Epiphone P-J with just the P pickup. I also did the usual EQ-8 rolloff. Some of these suggested different, related keys, though...I didn't really explore that thoroughly.
Guitars were done in a few passes, but had the same signal path: PureSalem Mendiola through Balls Effects KWB and Vox Wah, though one channel was neck pickup and the other bridge pickup.
Sends: two convolution reverbs, one large room, and one larger hall. There's also Echo plugin. And there's Ableton's Full-Chain multi band compression rack on the output.
Title comes from there being 63 groats in a guinea, according to the old English monetary system.