Ok, let’s get this out of the way right now – this is an experiment. It was partially successful, and it was interesting, and it’s another song posted, so we’ll call it a win. Most soft synths first load with a default patch. Sometimes this is a nicely programmed sound, but in the case of Omnisphere, it’s a very basic sawtooth wave. Every now and then when it loads up, I wonder if it would actually be a usable sound, and now you have today’s experiment. Here are my rules: I can use as many instances of Omnisphere as I … Continue reading

Constructive Interference

The final push. Six songs left. Will it be uphill or downhill? If today’s track is any indication, maybe neither. The production break doing the covers was a nice mini-reset, and I’m feeling halfway between “write things for me to listen to” and the experimental day trips that started a couple of days ago. Constructive Interference is exactly in that halfway point. It’s part normal electronic thingy, and part production experiment. My primary digital audio workstation (DAW) is MOTU Digital Performer (DP). I’ve been using it since the late 90s and, while I’ve made attempts at many of the other … Continue reading

Last Sad Day / Henry James

If you’ve read any of my past-year accounts, you may remember that the 22nd is Cover Day. I’ve done a few, with mixed results, at least for my own satisfaction. I’m of a mixed mind when it comes to this tradition – on the one hand, I think it’s a huge compliment to have someone cover something you’ve written just days earlier; I’ve certainly taken it that way. On the other hand, I’m always nervous when I’m covering something and know that the original artist is going to hear it. I have two criteria for cover songs: I have to … Continue reading

So Are the Grains of Our Lives

Well, here we are at the end of week three. It’s been a somewhat frustrating month so far, with me wishing that I had a few more songs in the can, but I’m not unhappy with my overall output. I am, however, feeling like I may have reached the end of the ambient arc, or at least want to try doing things that may be a little less listenable, but which give me an opportunity to try out some new techniques or approaches. I have been fascinated with granular synthesis since I first learned about it in the late 90s. … Continue reading

The Wire Heart

An area of sound that I’ve been really enjoying for several years now are “broken” things. Normally, I do this with distortion or granular synthesis, or sometimes by adding randomness to some element of a sound. A few years ago, I bought an expansion pack called “Beautifully Broken” and many of those sounds capture exactly the character I’m talking about, even if I haven’t used the patches in many tracks that have gone beyond the sketch stage. The broken electric piano in The Wire Heart is the sound that really defined what this piece became, even though it wasn’t my … Continue reading