Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Notes While Making the Next EP

I have spent quite a bit of time in Ableton Live this past week, trying to craft a four-track EP for release early next year. Some observations/notes:

  • I love Vember Surge. ...Not as much as Predator. But close. It's brilliant. Very digital, very bright, very electronic. Predator has become my go-to synth because of it's ease and flexibility, but Surge is the synth that I use when something needs to stand out in the mix. ...And that it does!
  • I've tried my hand at playing some live percussion (in the form of loops). In so-doing, I realized that I have a complete lack of rhythm. And so I've been working on it: really pushing myself to get the timing right and not just rely on quantization and hand-tweaking recordings. I'm getting better. But not good. : )
  • I sold my Virus. This is huge news, since it was definitely the best instrument in my rig. But I switched machines (from a PowerMac to a MacBook), and didn't have the slot for it. And I needed the money. : | To be honest, I'm not really missing it yet. Weird. I suppose part of the reason for that is:
  • I have become less focused on synthesizers. They've shifted from being "what makes music fun" to... just an instrument for creating fun music. I don't spend any time looking at other synths. None. I don't stop in to Guitar Center to check out the synths. It doesn't even cross my mind. I unsubscribed from most of my "gear lust" news feeds. It's just not as important to me any more. Predator does the trick, Surge adds some interest. Which reminds me:
  • I am not really using Atmosphere any more. I wish I could... but it just doesn't work on a MacBook, period. I mean... it works, but it's annoying and prohibitively slow. I still usually find cause to put one track of it into any given mix, but I have to immediately freeze it and move on: it's really just THAT slow.
  • I decided to go through my (small) music collection and pull out the tracks that were most inspirational: the kinds of tracks (at least, elements of which) I would like to emulate when writing my own music. I ended up with 46 exemplar tracks. 15 of them are mine... so that says something. The other recurring artists were Nine Inch Nails (yes, really), Tangerine Dream, and Esem.
  • I am enjoying these four new tracks. I hope you will, too. ; )

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