||adamon - essence of fog machine
| br>Greets all, I recently put up my first bandcamp release titled "Essence of Fog Machine": https://adamon.bandcamp.com/releases
I thought I'd do a little write-up here as several friends/folks have asked about the hardware and techniques I used.
The first track, "Assembly_A", was recorded live during a show in Lawrence for part of a tour that Duluth's superhuman Tim Kaiser came through town with. The overview of my rig was: elektrons (mduw +ot), small euro (6U of ~84hp, mostly harvestman), an op1, and a bugbrand crossover filter (probably a reverb too... ). The original design of the first half of the piece focuses on the use of a mutable inst. ears fed into a tyme sefari (mkii+sot). I had practiced mostly with scratching/rubbing the ears textured surface in piezo mode but Tim gave me a custom kalimba literally minutes before my set so I decided to just improvise with it feeding the ears input (the kalimba has a peizo too). I switched back and forth between the kalimba and the ears piezo to get all the different textures and slowly built up/stretched out/crushed loops in the tsefari. The second "voice" of the first half was a hertz donut (mki) going into one vca of a double andore (mki) doing all of the percussive fm hits. I manually played the fm ratios with the donut modular osc and triggered some of the gates from a pressure points (others came from a zorlon cannon (mkii) as well). Pressure points was also hooked up to various ins on the tserfari and sot which gave me a lot of dynamic control over the whole buggy mess. Given the relatively small size of the euro system, I did a lot of live rerouting of things, for example: I didn't have a mixer available (other andore channel had something else I don't remember now...) to run the ears and the donut into the tsefari, so I would just switch the input out here and there as I built the loops. I did a fair amount of playing with the envelope shape of the donut fm as well to go from quick hits to long moans n such.
The second half of Assembly_A is the addition of a granular pad coming from the ot plus stuff melody from the op1 and buggy stuff from the md. The ot pad is actually just the chords of the progression that I play on the op1 sampled ahead of time and then time stretched (preserving the frequency content to stay in tune however). I have a long history of generative mulching with my elektron rig. The basic work flow is set up some fairly asynchronous sounds on tracks 1-4 (heavy use of parameter locks), set tracks 9-12 to be record machines, and 13-16 to be playback machines with another heavy dose of parameter locking (particularly time/rate and filters with lfos). I then manually trigger the rec machines, the sounds, and the playbacks at different times and slowly build/morph it. The md runs into one input pair of the ot for basically more of the same type of sample/manipulate/playback processing. I tend to lean more on the ot for manipulation via effects but do some time/rate stuff as well. Usually four tracks or so running at different times with different process schemes and then use track 8 for master effects. The remaining part is the slow, whale-like moaning thing which is one of the cof filters self oscillating and me playing with the bp feedback (an absolutely wonderful part of that particular bug ). Overall this is a lot more gear than I typically work with at once now, but it felt manageable enough at the time. Having being a local show was a simple excuse to pull out the kitchen sink too.
Assembly_B was done very recently (just before the release in fact) and was done as a "re-envisioning" of the original concept. The analogies to a fog machine are straight forward enough that I'll spare you the time . This time around the rig was: elektrons (md and ot again), a stereo field, and two bugs this time (pt delay feeding into crossover filter). This was a much simpler setup but a little less linear as the sfield and bugs were heavily cross-patched and both feeding their own input on the ot. The md took the other pair of inputs and ran basically the same setup as the original performance but with new source sounds programmed on tracks 1-4. The ot ran a similar set of processing tracks (I think 6 this time, used more individually this time around). At times sampling would be from the sfield of bugs, other times the md. Most of the "work" was done at the sfield of bugs. It was a tangled web of ins and outs, but among the more noteworthy aspects was the deep bass drones which came essentially from a feedback path between the sfield and the cof low-pass filter. It came out of a particular set of pads on the sfield so it was fun to get that practiced/dialed in. I was able to control it a bit with one of the input gain knobs. A majority of the hissy sounds were derived from the pt delay self oscillating at the longest delay time (you know the nice tingly end ). Taking it out through different outs on the cof and playing with what was feeding the delay allowed for a wide variety of sounds which then were looped/processed in the ot. The only master effect was dark reverb on the master track 8. I sough to roughly follow the same structure as the performance (not necessary just sonically however) and used similar repetitive sequences of actions. The end was again the cof self oscillating, this time with a pair of sines kind of fming eachother and usind the bp feedbacks for bends.
For the artwork, I did an actual cad model of the fog machine by looking at pictures of ones online (I'm an engineer by day), then did up a proper dimensional drawing and printed it out. Then I walked around the machine shop at work and crumpled it, smeared grease on it, put the proverbial coffee cup stain on it, drew on it, and then xeroxed it for a final touch-up of dirty. Then I piped it into photoshop and cut it up and assembled the final view. Originally I had planned to do a lot more with the proper dimensioned views but I didn't like how it sat on the square canvas so I chopped up the borders for the perimeter and stuck with the iso view.
I actually envisioned doing the redux of the piece and releasing them as a pair right after the original performance however it simply took forever to get it done. It was nice though to have a nice chuck of time between them to let the second piece have a better shot a being more of its own making. The final push to finish this was actually heavily influenced by my recent listening of Mike Monday's interview on the art+music+technology podcast If you are sitting on 30+ albums that "just need a quick polishing" like me, I highly recommend hearing Mr. Monday out Gonna try and keep the momentum swinging this year!
Last, but certainly not least, my buddy Howie ( http://mrfuriousrecords.com/ ) did the mastering after a brief moment of intellectual lapse when I was thinking, hey I can master this no problem... needless to say Howie saved the day!
Hope you enjoy! br> br>
| br>This is great! More, please.
and thanks for the detailed write up br> br>
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