Last week's piece required quite a bit of arrangement, so to get myself back on track for this week, I opted to improvise with pedal steel and my eight-delay Max/MSP patch. A few weeks ago, I added FFT pitch shift to the patch, and 50% blend of one-fifth down is very satisfying. So there's a lot of that here
The signal chain going in is pedal steel > Balls Effects KWB (a fuzz/boost), Vox Wah, and Moyo passive volume. Inside the patch, there's the FFT, a VST of AudioThing Reels, the delay lines, a send to a VST of AudioThing Motor, auto-pan, and convolution reverb (Huddersfield Town Hall) on the output.
The eight delay lines were set to different lengths, but they were related by calculating 12-part increments from a base of 15.5 seconds.
To keep things from becoming too austere, I added yet another convolution reverb (Fort Worden Cistern) in Live, and put Full Chain multi-band eq/compression on the output.
The title comes from 83 being a safe prime.
This one began with the syncopated drums (Ableton 64 Pad Kit Jazz) and not much else of a thought behind it, though a few electric piano chords with PureMagnetik Berlin Mark Two kind of pointed the way. I added the usual 80s Epiphone Embassy II bass, tracked a bit more of the electric piano, and then finally tracked pedal steel. I'd tuned the 9th and 10th strings down a bit, from their usual E9 values (so the tuning is now A C# E F# G# B E G# D# F#), and that gives me a bit more of the notes I want on the low side of the board. (I track pedal steel with a Moyo passive volume pedal.)
Inline processing: a bit of Max Humanizer on the drums, Glue compressor on the pedal steel, and the usual EQ-8 on bass. The usual full-chain multi band compression on the output.
Sends: Ableton Echo, convolution reverb, and Valhalla Supermassive.
Title comes from NGC 70, a distant spiral galaxy.
A very loungey/dubby kind of thing. By my usual standards this would be late (for various weekend reasons), but I'm taking advantage of this year's scheduling. This one started with sparse drums--initially I was thinking hip-hop, but with the dub echo, extremely mellow electric piano, and pedal steel...it went in a different direction.
Drums: Ableton 64 Pad Dub Techno kit, with Max Humanizer
Keys: PureMagnetik electric piano, Berlin Mark Two, with some auto-pan
Bass: 80s Epiphone Embassy II with flatwounds and EMG selects, p-pickup only, EQ-8 for low-end rolloff.
No-name 70s kit-built 10-string pedal steel with Moyo volume pedal, with Glue compressor and auto-pan
Sends: two Echo channels, one convolution reverb (with high-pass filter in front) for air on drums and bass, and Valhalla Supermassive
Full-chain multi-band compression (flat) on the stereo mix.
Title comes from the largest graceful graph on 14 nodes having 68 edges.
This past week brought unfortunate family news. To be as easy on myself as possible, this week's track is an improvisation with pedal steel guitar and my eight-delay Max/MSP patch. There's a Moyo volume pedal to take the attack off, Waves Factory Cassette for a bit of character, and a convolution reverb for space. The reference delay time is 19300ms, and the individual delays are based on divisions of 21 of that amount. Each delay is a different value.
This is essentially real-time, though I did tweak levels after the fact, and shortened the end fade.
The title is from Euler's idoneal numbers, also called suitable numbers, of which there are 65. (And I hope that this is a suitable tribute to those we've lost this week..)
Running a little late (for me) on this one, for...reasons. I wrote the drum patterns late Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, had some piano lines I threw out, and put down bass (Epiphone P-J, EQ-8 rolloff, room-sized convolution reverb send) and pedal steel (Balls Effects KWB, Moyo Volume, Ableton Auto-Filter, Glue Compressor, Utility, Auto-Pan). I ultimately replaced the piano with Ableton's Operator (Bells & Thin Pad preset). Then...although I'd tracked more pedal steel, I just put in some reversed accents from the first channel into another.
Sends: room-sized convolution reverb, Echo, and Valhalla Supermassive. Full-Chain multi-band compression on the stereo mix, and finally some inline Max Humanizer on the drums.
Title from 64 being the sixth power of 2.
This one started as a kind of dub rhythm, which I did in Ableton's Drum Rack (with 64 Pad Kit Special), against a couple different Echo sends. Next I added a few accents with acoustic samples from a Yamaha CP-70, and initially melodica (which I then replaced with Operator, replacing all the parts). Instead of a regular guitar part, I went with the no-name pedal steel through Moyo volume (and ultimately high-pass Auto-Filter with drive, Cabinet for air, and Utility to bring the gain down). Finally I tracked Epiphone P-J bass (with EQ-8 bass rolloff).
Sends: in addition to the two echoes, I added a couple convolution reverbs: one a spring, and one a regular room.
Inlines: there's also some auto-pan on pedal steel and keyboards, as well as Max Humanizer on the drums. There's full-chain multi band compression on the whole mix.
Title comes from the fact that the rings of Saturn, if compressed into one thing, would be about 62 miles in diameter.
Running maybe a bit late on this one--hey, it was Thundersnow weekend--but I've been uploading at the start of deadlines, not the finish. So...going to say it's all good.
This one started with some syncopated drums (64 pad kit rock) and a couple (Ableton Grand) piano chords...and I thought to add Epiphone bass (usual P-J, EQ-8 low-end rolloff and reverb send) and...instead of regular guitar, just pedal steel (no effects other than passive volume pedal). I fleshed it out with a few more piano bits, added and removed hand claps, and added some sends: Delay, Valhalla Supermassive, Echo (Dub Syndicate preset), and convolution reverb with high-pass auto-filter in front to avoid low-end buildup. I went back and added some Max Humanizer on drums to reduce the mechanical feeling, and did alternating sends to delay and echo.
The title comes from the ziggurats of the Sumerians, who gave us the 60-minute hour, among other 60-based things.
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.