Archive for June, 2009

Analog synthesizers google book

Posted in gear, research on 29/06/2009 by sync24

Analog synthesizers
By Mark Jenkins

thanks to google books.


sound studies for NC

Posted in creative practice, gear, meeting notes, music on 19/06/2009 by sync24

Between 6/5/09 and 16/6/09 I managed to create about 4 sound studies for NC.
The notes I took along to the meeting between NC and myself (11.00 17th june 2009) are below and have been slightly edited since.

Have made a couple of tracks or ‘fiddles’,

First one:
Layered things up that had been set up using SH09 synth and Bitrman ringmod with a bit of compression.
Resulting sounds were interesting; I’d spent around 15 mins getting a sound sorted out.
The sounds I was looking for were ones that would take me away from knowing what was going on, so I’d lost control of the machine and it was doing it’s own thing, the synth was warming up, the ring mod was doing odd things in response to these sounds due to the unstable nature of the warm-up process.
The synth was also set onto a limitedly modulated random oscillation, which expanded upon peculiarities of the, at this point unstable nature of the machine (due to warm-up process).
These ‘set-ups’ were left to play out for a while and recorded.
Different set-ups were created in the hope of creating a whole picture, as it were, to then be pieced and layered together in the creation of a whole piece.
MP3 Multitrack1 (4.6mb @ 192kbps).
Second fiddle, same process as above, added some SH09 filtered modulated & ring modulated voice and breathing.
MP3 Multitrack2 (3.8mb @ 192kbps).

Next one:
Expanding from previous experiments with the random element, I set the oscillator modulating at a comfortable speed, then worked on a sound for 5 mins or so.
I then recorded or let it play out for a minute.
Continued until I had 5 or 6 pieces to play with.
One piece was set up as beat and I counted steps in 4/4
Other pieces were then layered, shuffled about, off-set and faded in/out over the top of the main beat.
Structural elements of dance music were used lightly to create intro, build etc.
This track was also designed to last about 1min. With an extra bit of bass at the end it was just over.
MP3 1 minz (1.5mb @ 192kbps).

Final one:
Thinking about the drones and drawn out textures from previous fiddles,
Set up SH09 (single osc with 1 oct down sub osc) feeding sound into SPV355 (2 osc also with sub osc)
Sources were faded in, SH09 was being pitch tracked by SPV355,
Texture from both being sent to Space Echo on slowest delay with medium F/b, this was fed straight through ring mod.
noise01 (7.8mb @ 192kbps).

I like the idea of some kind of drone work, extended textures for techno or something…

I think I have got a bit confused about how many tracks I made… was it 3 or 4…?
I’ll look into this and update accordingly.

I will also update this with the notes from the actual meeting with NC, as I need to go through them and dig out the references etc.

Here they are as they stand now:
Curtis roads judging compositions – first transition
Jump round 50 of volume
Click y crackle bit glitchy…

Analog synths and chaos
Chua oscillators? In computer music journal

Dan slater, chaotic sound synthesis
Cmj vol 22 no2

Lucier, David Behrman, David Tudor, Ron Kuivila, Nic Collins,
Agostino di Scipio

Theory of feedback systems, linear systems filtering
Recursive filters inf impulse response.
non linear physical modeling
coupled equations tipped over the edge
iterative maps,
chaotic systems

Live performance about bemusing the audience, let them think u r doing one thing and be doing something else…
(ma pres with gran synth)
as if it’s all gone wrong, or they are being kidded into thinking ur doing one thing when ur doing something else.

Bohor xenaki schafera scalpel in your skull)

End of noiz not 100%

Formalist – imposing ‘shapes’ over sounds
Serialist –

Contemporary music review (nick)
Generative music

Curtis roads – composing electronic music – new book on the way

Culture moving too fast tech progress not enough time to reflect on what there is already.

Thoughts toward performance, think about installation etc.

Manzini base of the world

Instal/perf mock ups over summer for opportunities next year

Women of electronic music

Posted in discography on 18/06/2009 by sync24

last one before bed:

Women of electronic music from the gearslutz forum again…

Analog Days

Posted in research on 18/06/2009 by sync24

Analog Days – The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer

By Trevor Pinch & Frank Trocco

analog_daysFirst book to read – suggested by both supervisors.

Right up my street! I’ve had this since it came out but never got round to reading it…

Initial thoughts in relation to Michael asking me to think about the book in relation to chapters etc within my own project:

The book as a whole reads as a history (which I found a bit of a relief as I was kind of expecting to be plowing through loads of theory from the get-go…). I found it inspirational in that it showed how things progressed from the backroom hobbyist into academia. The west coast scene comes across to me the most extreme in that it began with quite a hippy mentality and then, through certain circumstances, became absorbed into academia. I enjoyed reading about the pre-academic scene; the space between the hobbyist, tinkerer, diy-ist, along with the influence within counter culture – the 60s drug scene, and can see parallels with the late ’80s and ’90s rave scene where electronic music became hugely popular. I suppose this is one of my main connecting points.

The San Francisco Tape Music Center – 1960s Counterculture and the Avant-Garde

Edited by D. W. Bernstein

tape-music-centerI found the The San Francisco Tape Music Center book after a web search (now in my reading pile along with more that I’ll add on here as time goes on).

I watched the accompanying DVD that came with this book but found myself quite bored by it and the music… I need to address this.

Back to the matter at hand, I guess you could call this section:

The Visual and Audible Aesthetic of Analog Synthesis in Cinema.

Relating my reading to chapters etc. I thought about a survey of electronic music within non-mainstream/underground/counter-culture cinema as a reflection and exploration of new modes of expression and cultural reflection between the late 1950’s and early 1970’s.
Well, not all electronic music makers will have come from a trained or academic background, some will have been exposed to electronic sounds in different contexts and this may have been their main area of inspiration.

…room for development.

I could explore the representation of analog synths in film and television (eg. from Apocalypse Now soundtrack, THX 1138, Forbidden Planet, through to physically being in the film eg. Performance, The Shout, Space is the Place, The Phantom Of The Paradise etc.)

Another area that intrigued me from the reading was, or is, the counter culture to mainstream journey .

Louis & Bebe Barron – I’ve always liked the Forbidden Planet soundtrack and that they also went on to set up a recording studio and worked with John Cage – (on Williams Mix) – this I find interesting and is something I’d like to find out more about

Other quirky facts – The Moog in Performance that Mick Jagger plays went on to become part of Tangerine Dream’s synth line up.

T.O.N.T.O. – It looks amazing and sounds nuts on the two Tonto’s Expanding Head Band albums! I guess it kind of became mainstream through its use with Stevie Wonder and as a bizzare prop in The Phantom Of The Paradise.

In another film (not mentioned in the Analog Days book) an EMS set-up – sits well alongside the wierdness of The Shout and John Hurt’s composer character.

At 5.10 in and there’s the first bit of audio fun:

…and here’s the whole film: The Shout

In Space is the Place – features as Sun Ra’s instrument

The use of these machines above, for me becomes very much about their strangeness or ‘otherworldliness’ however subtle it may be.

There is a distinct otherworldliness to the Apocalypse Now soundtrack, along with others such as The Exorcist, THX 1138, Forbidden Planet etc. along with the work of Goblin in Dario Argento’s quality horror films.

(I am not going to miss Goblin’s first UK show for 20 years at The Scala)

After a bit more idle web searching I came across and this particular thread about a Lack of Electronic Music in contemporary film scores’ , so I made a big list of older films with synths in to one extent or another, I’ll post more about that in due course.

I think the analog synth has always been, for me, a source of wonder in film.

I watched the Moog film (this was also suggested by Nick).

I also found out about a film called “What the future sounded like” which talks about similar stuff to part of the Analog Days book, it focuses on the UK synth company EMS, there’s a funny bit with Hawkwind, Dave Brock talks about how the synth helped them to make music that sounded like and made you feel as if you were on LSD.