September 26, 2015
09/25/2015 A Shortage of Resources


I see that it has been over 4 months since my last entry. I shall try to give the reasons for this, and some of them may indeed be true. Oh well. Let's see how this goes.


A new musical project appeared on the horizon in the middle of May. I was approaching this with an equal measure of enthusiasm and trepidation. I have still not yet managed to move this project forward. This is disappointing, and I really need to attend to this. Other factors may have contributed to this lack of attention and focus. 2015 has been particularly tough, particularly at work. There have been numerous job-losses over the last 10 months, and there may be more to come. You would think that, with a reduced workforce, the amount of work needing to be done would decline in line with reduced staffing. In my department, that certainly hasn't happened. So the working day has become longer just to keep thinkgs "ticking over". Family/domestic things still require attention, and with the reduced number of  hours available due to work commitments, I seem to have had a lot less time and energy available for actually creating music this year. In July, I took time out for a much needed family holiday. which certainly went a long way towards recharging the batteries, but upon returning to work, I found that things seem to have become even busier. Enough of the boring stuff. What about musical matters?

In early June I completed a new track, Parallax. I think this is probably one of my more successful pieces of the last two years, and is another foray into the realm of ambient-influenced sound and music, whilst not being ambient in the traditional sense of the term, but I don't let these things bother me. This track was another deliberate attempt to create a track which utilised "space" to give the final mix some air, as opposed to "Divide and Conquer", which was a deliberate attempt to create a "wall of sound", with a reasonable amount of harmonic content. The track generated some interest and discussion on KVR, the upshot of this being a remix, completed in early August, called Paradromic, featuring an even sparser arrangement, which I also think was reasonably successful. Most people seemed to prefer the earlier piece, but the process involved during the remix, and subsequent listening alerted me to some improved dynamics, both musical and sonic, which weren't present in the original. I may produce another mix of this later, attempting to incorporate the most successful elements of each track. 

Whilst I was on holiday, I made a few field recordings on my Android phone using a piece of software called, somewhat surprisingly, Field Recorder. The quality of the recordings is surprisingly good considering they were made on a phone. When I got back home, I put together a track which became the basis for my AmbientOnline Volume 5 submission, although I knew I couldn't submit the track in this form as the field recording I used consisted of  people chanting in a temple and the performance element would prohibit the use of the sample. Consequently, I have spent a couple of evenings recently replacing the chanting with more fakery and misdirection. I recorded a synth patch from z3ta+2 and stretching it to various degrees in Audacity to produce a string-synth texture. I have also been playing with a Zebralette patch which features some interesting harmonic characteristics, whose wilder side I hope to tame using the addition of some selective automation to produce a pseudo-random result.

Last weekend I processed the audio from the last remaining complete Hobgoblin track in my posession. This consisted of some Low and High pass EQ (I had already performed the necessary hiss removal), and then adding a mild quad-band compressor. I have since been asked to write a history of Hobgoblin, but I fear that there isn't really much information available, or even of interest. A single A4 page would present a major challenge.

I have just started work an another TD-influenced piece. This will feature some fairly prominent sequenced bass synth, a couple of 'trons and I'm thinking of wheeling out Lounge Lizard 4 and a phaser too. I'm currently of a mind to produce a track of 15-20 minutes in length, so I don't think this is likely to be finished anytime soon. I'm doing something a little strange with this piece. I've begun in the middle, and will flesh it out in both directions to produce a beginning and an ending. 

A couple of weeks ago I completed the 2015 remix of Offsets. No major work was involved here. I revisited the EQ, panning and leveling, modified the bassline, added some saturation with Satin and mastered it. The second album is now 66% complete. Next up for the remix treatment is "Stand Still I Say". After all, any album worth its salt would not be complete without a piece of Ambient ElectroHouse Pop, and people gotta dance.

My music has had a fair amount of support in various forms from different people on the internet in the last week. This sort of thing is unexpected, but nevertheless, extremely welcome. Arriving home from a long day at the office to an enthusiastic message from a listener is not only restorative, but positively uplifting. Enthusiasm is infectious.

Time to go to work, in a manner of speaking.