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Just string together any old rubbish.

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Just string together any old rubbish.

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:41 am

Very productive day yesterday, I actually recorded some music! :)
As time goes past me at warp speed as I get older I care less and less about the actual process of recording, I’m just on a burn-out to see what produces something that still sounds interesting even though the methods are dubious.
It’s very trendy, and has been for some time now, to make things deliberately distressed, and lo-fi, I love all that but it’s interesting to take it further, and try to make extreme malfunctions and distortions work in my music. This is a bit of a stupid statement really, as I’m the one that has the power to say "this works, it’s OK, because I said it is"
But the danger we have as musicians in general is that we love the music we make simply because we made it, but that doesn’t make it good, or valuable in any way whatsoever, we need external feedback, an audience as the final judge, it doesn’t matter in any way what we think.
But a good idea is a good idea, and a lot of modern technological musicians take something that is already quite extreme and just add more, more of everything, it’s worked for a lot of people, and musicologists theorise endlessly about the evolution of new musics, but often the reality is that the musician in question just reached for the aux send that had a flanger on it, and just turned everything up to maximum, and left it there.
Take Cool Jazz, and put it through a Lexicon = Space Jazz, slow down an opera singer and add even more Lexicon = Diamanda Galas, loads of cool dudes with delays and we got Dub, take a bit of Erik Satie and add a whole studio production to it and you’ve got David Sylvian, listen to a Bulgarian choir, it’s Kate Bush without the the effects.
I loved the Shadows as a kid, they are still one of my favourite bands, they had that magical machine the Copycat, Michael Brook the guitarist with Martha and the Muffins met Brian Eno and it was instant Shadows, the only difference was a ton of delay.
You just have to have the guts to turn that knob up to 11.
I had two synths on the go yesterday, a load of dodgy pedals, effects on the mixer distorting, but every time I made the smallest adjustment to either synth it produced humongous changes, harmonics were poking out of the gloom, like tall sparking rain-drop covered grass on a bed of dark earth, it was time to hit record, and bring those out with ReaEQ.
I’m getting more patient, a lot of the pedals I own have nearly got sold because they seemed too far out or too lo-fi, but I’m learning to make the most out of their weaknesses, and all of a sudden what seemed useless turns into a indispensable diamond.
I’m treating everything like this now, and connecting stuff up in endless chains, I can highly recommend it, it’s like putting a massive magnifying glass on the end of any instrument, you almost just have to breath on a knob and interesting things start to emerge.
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Re: Just string together any old rubbish.

Postby The Elf » Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:50 pm

For a couple of decades I've delighted in passing sounds through horrible external gear - often toys, broken speakers, overdriven cassette recorders, benchtop test amps...

But what I've found is that I need to balance all this horror with equally beautiful sounds to give them context. A bunch of nasty sounds is just that (and often sounds like I simply have no idea what I'm doing), but a few nasty sounds juxtaposed with a few beautiful sounds and magic starts to ooze from the speakers.
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Re: Just string together any old rubbish.

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:19 pm

The Elf wrote:For a couple of decades I've delighted in passing sounds through horrible external gear - often toys, broken speakers, overdriven cassette recorders, benchtop test amps...

But what I've found is that I need to balance all this horror with equally beautiful sounds to give them context. A bunch of nasty sounds is just that (and often sounds like I simply have no idea what I'm doing), but a few nasty sounds juxtaposed with a few beautiful sounds and magic starts to ooze from the speakers.

That’s what happened yesterday, one synth was beauty, and the other was the beast, as you say, it’s the contrasts that often makes something work.
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Re: Just string together any old rubbish.

Postby resistorman » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:41 pm

:clap: :D :bouncy:
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Re: Just string together any old rubbish.

Postby shufflebeat » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:13 pm

Arpangel wrote:...an audience as the final judge, it doesn’t matter in any way what we think...

Whoa! Back up there, kemosabe. Them're revolutionary ideas that have no place in this, er... place.

They'll get what they're given and if they don't like it we'll go and work in Tesco, then they'll be sorry.
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Re: Just string together any old rubbish.

Postby Ian Shaw » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:34 pm

This is indeed the way to go. I don't seem to have the patience these days to see anything through to the end, but enjoy the process of chaining stuff together - software or hardware - & see what happens. Record everything & come back to it to find the nuggets at a later date.
Only occasionally do I come across something and think, damn, I wish I could recreate that again, but have no recollection of how I did it in the first place.
I don't bother with chords, keys & the like anymore, but the juxtaposition of horrible sounds against beautiful ones is often pleasing I find
I see music more like putting together a jigsaw of sounds where I make the individual pieces myself.

Enjoy
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Re: Just string together any old rubbish.

Postby Arpangel » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:39 am

Ian Shaw wrote:This is indeed the way to go. I don't seem to have the patience these days to see anything through to the end, but enjoy the process of chaining stuff together - software or hardware - & see what happens. Record everything & come back to it to find the nuggets at a later date.
Only occasionally do I come across something and think, damn, I wish I could recreate that again, but have no recollection of how I did it in the first place.
I don't bother with chords, keys & the like anymore, but the juxtaposition of horrible sounds against beautiful ones is often pleasing I find
I see music more like putting together a jigsaw of sounds where I make the individual pieces myself.

Enjoy

I may as well have written that myself.
But ditching equipment for a minute, my view of what actually makes my music, and what I’m doing is changing a lot, it’s totally impossible to make anything new or original, let’s get that straight, so where do we go from there? The answer is don’t give a damn, just do it, my measure of success is does it have an effect on me in any way? if it affects me it’ll probably affect someone else, somewhere.
I said the audience has to be the ultimate judge, but also, we have to do what we think is good, regardless, lots of music sounded awful to me when I was a kid, that’s because I didn’t have a library of experiences to draw on to fully appreciate it, a glass of whiskey tastes like poison when you’re a kid, but when you grow up, it’s beautiful.
Lots of music is like that, whole genres have been ridiculed in the early stages of their development, but now they are just part of the mainstream.
So basically, I don’t know if what I do is any good or not, when I’m making it, but if there is something there I’ll just keep going, if there’s not, I’ll stop.
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