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#1 Kai

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 07:25 PM

While I decide which vendors to enrich in the process of this year's upgrades to the studio, and it sits unwired-up, I'm fiddling with apps on the laptop (GarageBand and soon, Ableton Live) to explore cranking out the hits (so to speak) in a minimalist fashion. It occurs to me also that I could handle appearances at future fretless fests with the live laptop approach (similar to Stan's work with Ratko), maybe with a borrowed rhythm section and some rehearsals. My experience with incorporating droids with live musicians goes back to the early 80's when we used a 303, a Boss Bassline, and a Sequential Pro-One synced together as our fifth Beatle. (Large monitors pointed at Liz, our drummer.)

With school and all, I've only had time to create some fragments in my spare time, but a couple of them are now up on my myspace.com site.

One is something where I've tried out Rob's beta F8 filter (figured you wouldn't mind, R.) on the guitar and a synth pad.

Another is something I dashed off last night, and am now planning to be the first of a CD's worth of that style. The version on myspace is lo-res 'cause of their space constraints (apparently), and you can hear the artifacts at the beginning, unfortunately.

I posted some info about the track in my myspace blog. It's just hi-hat, cymbals, bass, a single synth pad, and guitar.

But here's the high-res version:

Sad, but Unfrozen

The guitar part (soloing) isn't where I want it yet; try not to snicker too much at the clams (not to be confused with Spinal Tap's Clam Caravan) and flubs. GarageBand is pretty limited compared with what I'm used to and I haven't edited anything in this yet.

The guitar goes clean into the laptop; its processing is entirely in GarageBand: their idea of a Hi-Watt amp sim, which I tweaked a little, a "Cry-Baby" setting on an auto-wah (I loved that pedal in high school!), and some reverb.
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench - a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side..." - Hunter S. Thompson
C# Orchestra on Soundcloud

#2 Ed DeGenaro

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 07:42 PM

Loved the track including the guitar solo. BUT, I hated the tone of the guitar with a passioN! :(

#3 Kai

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 07:55 PM

Loved the track including the guitar solo. BUT, I hated the tone of the guitar with a passioN! :(

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks. Yeah, I'd like to get a lot more butter and a lot less fuzz to the tone. (I have Betty envy...) I didn't want to spend much time setting up the FX chain lest the muse desert me in the meantime (always the trouble with these dang machines, eh.)

But the nice thing about going in clean is changing it all later. (Well, I can't change the fact that it was bridge pickup [humbucker setting] only.)
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench - a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side..." - Hunter S. Thompson
C# Orchestra on Soundcloud

#4 jahloon

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 07:59 PM

Very nice, the guitar is very retro sounding.

Mmm... always preferred bridge pickups, fatter sound I guess.

Jah
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#5 gazmungus

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 09:32 PM

Hmmmm,

I actually quite like the guitar sound, sort of an early tranny fuzzbox......

(dare I say very early Santana-ish?)

kinda bright rather than the usual smooth and dark fretless OD sound.......

Very interested in the capabilities of garage band, any chance u keep us posted on what's possible? If I can leave logic behind :( .

I haven't bought my new mac yet so I haven't abused GB yet.


_
gary

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#6 Newbie Brad

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 10:08 PM

I think your GB recording sounds really, really good.
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#7 Kai

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 06:31 AM

I think your GB recording sounds really, really good.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks, Brad! I think the minimal nature of the piece helps a lot. I remember discussions on the rec.audio.pro newsgroup about the relationship between arranging and mixing, that "a good arrangement mixes itself." That is, choosing the right combinations of instruments, ones that don't step on each others' portions of the spectrum too much, makes having to do too many tricks with EQ and panning, etc. unnecessary.

I fall too easily into the everything but the kitchen sink trap - "one more part will be just what the mix needs to be complete". The old cliché applies: less is more.
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench - a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side..." - Hunter S. Thompson
C# Orchestra on Soundcloud

#8 rob

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 05:13 PM

Hey Kai,

Don't mind at all. It's fun to hear. Thanks.

"Sad but Unfrozen" is another truly evocative piece. I'm really excited about hearing more of what you are doing. I like the idea of pushing GB. To me, it's the creativity within the limitations that are interesting. You are certainly doing a wonderful thing with the limitations in this song.

Feynman was one of my heros as well. It was neat to read your blog entry regarding him this morning. Just yesterday, my son and I had a conversation about his "physical" relationship with the universe. Little kids certainly don't have a hard time feeling the spirituality of being the "stuff of stars" and a universally co-mingled wave.

Rob

#9 Kai

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 01:19 AM

OK, here's another GarageBand special, featuring Rob's newly MIDI-sync'ed beta F8 filter bank on the synth pad, which was kinda vanilla 'til I threw the filter on it. I tweaked a preset of his called Texture by increasing the Q on three of the eight filters. On a guitar it sounds like The Planet of the Leslie Speakers. (Didn't use it on guitar here.)

No name for the piece yet. Sort of funk meets trance, I guess. The part where the drums and bass (with fretless doubling the bass) come in will probably be saved for a later climactic middle section with beaucoups de guitar and synth rave-ups, with a few minutes of slow development before that, more meditative. I kinda hear the two brothers from another mother shredding during the maximum buildup.

The raga for this piece (should you care to shred along) uses C# (of course) Phrygian with a natural 6th on the ascending scale and flat 6th on the descending (a common occurence in ragas.) So:

C# D E F# G# A# B C# up; C# B A G# F# E D C# down. Anytime you use the 6th in passing going up, it's A#; if using it in passing going down to another note, it's A. (More to the raga than that, but that's a key part.)

Philterz

Enjoy!

Here's a snap of the filter window:

Posted Image
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench - a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side..." - Hunter S. Thompson
C# Orchestra on Soundcloud

#10 jahloon

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 08:44 AM

Track name alert!

Planet of the Leslie Speakers



Sounds pretty good, too.

j
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#11 rob

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 11:42 AM

And many thanks to Kai for suggesting that I add the sync feature. It's the most important feature on the AU!

Thanks for the music lesson to! I learn so much hanging around here.

Rob

P.S. I think I'll start an electronica "band" and call myself Leslie Speakers. Then I can use the track name.

#12 Chilly Willy

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 06:10 PM

Kai,
Sounds very peaceful. I dig it a lot!
:)

#13 Kai

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 08:16 PM

Thanks, Willem.

Here's GarageBand Follies #3:

Night Motorman in the Tube (Jahloon Vindaloo Mix)

Reminds me a bit of some of Jah Wobble's 90's stuff, hence the title (he had a job in the London Underground driving a train once.) Play it on good speakers - subsonic bass. Afraid there's some mysterious clicks perhaps introduced in the export to iTunes feature which seems to be the only way to do a mixdown. (Though I have another trick up my sleeve which I may have to employ.)

No electric fretless on it yet, but one of the virtual instruments available in GB is a classical guitar which has a interesting whole step pitchbend from below mapped onto the highest MIDI velocities - sounds just like someone doing a bend on a fretless nylon! You'll hear it panned a bit to the right in the mix.

GB is proving to be an interesting straitjacket within which to work. Everything you hear in this piece is available in the stock GB package.
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench - a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side..." - Hunter S. Thompson
C# Orchestra on Soundcloud

#14 transient

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 10:25 PM

Good work on all three. Love the night-ish "calm-but-slightly-dark" mood :whistling:

.
e
No guitars were harmed during the collection of the information presented in this post.
Can't say the same thing for frets though...

#15 jahloon

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 11:08 PM

Thanks, Willem.

Here's GarageBand Follies #3:

Night Motorman in the Tube (Jahloon Vindaloo Mix)

Reminds me a bit of some of Jah Wobble's 90's stuff, hence the title (he had a job in the London Underground driving a train once.)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Very cool but the synchronicity thing is getting to me.

I dropped round a mates house tonight and he told me he is Jah Wobble's new manager.

But he was playing his Old English Folk Tune album, I think I prefer your piece Kai.

Jah

Bugger, more synchronicity. :whistling:
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk




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