arcDev noise industries

Another plugin maker who makes cool music is Skye Klein from Australia, who plays under the moniker of Terminal Sound System along with a bunch of other projects.  His music, in TSS anyway, is dubby, minimalist, occasionally bordering on ambient but at other times moving towards industrial glitching.  His latest album is Compressor, and another, Constructing Towers, is due out soon You can hear the latest music at the TSS site.  His older stuff is all downloadable from Embryo Records.  Among my favorites from the old stuff are minimal tolerance to injected errata, deep trauma, and tomorrow will not come, though I have not really listened to the whole catalogue yet.

His plugin and software site is arcDev Noise Industries, which has a frustratingly cool web interface that evokes some alien version of DOS or the ancient gopher net protocol.  Type ‘help’ if you can’t figure it out.

I use two of his plugins a lot.  The first is the aptly named hosebeast, which you can hear in action on rreplay‘s sizzle.  Hosebeast is a “5-part fx processor for noisy, lofi, glitchy and general audio mayhem” with a filter, granulator, warper, bitcrusher, and ring modulator in any combination, including multiples of the same.  In other words a FSU device.

The other great arcDev plugin is arcDev’s entry in the 2007 KVR Developers’ Challenge plugin contest, Ellipsis.  It, along with mdsp‘s livecut, which I’ll discuss in its own post some time, are responsible for the drums in cubanecho and f it from rreplay.  Cubanecho also relies on mdsp’s entry in the 2006 KVR Developers’ Challenge, fire.  If you take a guitar and set it standing up with the strings against a tabletop, then pull it away a little and let go, then the strings will bounce on the edge of the tabletop ever more rapidly, just so: Booooooooing Booooing  Boooing Boing Bng Bn bn bnbnbnbnbn (I take no responsibility for any damage to guitars or furniture this may cause).  Mdsp has figured out how to mathematically model that warping speed change using delays in fire.

The way Ellipsis works is that you load ten samples into it, most usefully, drum loops that will more or less go together.  You have to tweak the settings a bit to make the drums play at the right (or wrong!) speed.  Then when you hit a corresponding note on your midi controller (usually a keyboard, but I use a footboard), it triggers the loop.  You can set it for any BPM and it will speed up or slow down your loop accordingly, or sync it to your plugin host.  If you only like the last half or the first quarter of the loop, you can play just that, or play it in reverse.  One useful way to set it is to put the same drum loop in several times and play different portions of it frontwards or backwards to give some variation to the drums.

So that’s it for today.  I couldn’t find any of mdsp’s music to play for you, but I hope you enjoy rreplay and Terminal Sound System.

plugin freak…

I confess, I’m a plugin freak.  I have at last count, about 500 VSTs and VSTis installed, and have just set up an ubuntu studio version of my desktop so I can try out the LADSPA plugs for linux.

dronebox and polycombI finally broke down and bought Oli Larkin‘s great dronebox and polycomb VSTs.  I’ve been using an old demo version of dronebox for a while, but when I figured out how to run midi notes out of my guitar into the polycomb filter, the results were too cool so I straightened up and bought it.  Dronebox is a set of six or seven resonant comb filters with all sorts of tweakable settings.  You tune each one to a note, and when the corresponding note gets fed through, it resonates like a sympathetic string.  I use it as the wash in these two ambient pieces: “ambient 040328” and “ambient 040428“.  The loop is recorded live with the elogoxa Elottronix plugin, which has a great filter section you can hear tweaked in both pieces.  A bit more rocking, this song combines the dronebox with another of my favorite plugs, Krakli’s TrAmp, in a song suitably named “dronebox tramp.”  This time the looper is loopy llama or mobius, can’t remember which.  Both are great…I’ve generally gone with loopy llama lately ‘cuz its simpler and uses less resources.  You can hear it a lot in rreplay, where TrAmp, Dronebox, and DK+ drums, all get worked out regularly in plogue bidule.  Mobius is a spot-on emulation of the Gibson echoplex.  You can use the same manual for most of the controls.  Oh, except mobius is like having 8 echoplexes. Oh, and with unlimited loop length.  Oh, and its free instead of about a thousand bucks.

And now back to Oli’s plugins.  If you want to know what polycomb will do to guitar, check out this freshly recorded piece, polycombatose, where I am just working through all the presets.  The looper is loopy llama this time, recording just the bass (the trusty Hohner slammer run through an electri-Q eq and ruby tube tube emulator).  Missing Eric on the bass… The drums on both dronebox tramp and polycombatose are from nusofting’s most excellent DK+ drum machine, this time imitating an ancient Acetone rhythm box.  In order to get midi notes out of the guitar, I use G-Tune (which besides being a strobe-accurate tuner, converts the signal it reads to a midi note) and then run its midi out to a maple midi port. Of course, everything is played and recorded in one take via the ever-amazing plogue bidule.

Leave a comment if you wish, would love to know if you are listening.

last rreplay for a while…

Ahh well, Eric has gone back to Boston, thus ending for now one of the funnest musical projects I’ve had in a while.  rreplay recorded our last-for-now session on July 1.  It was a bit out there for a number of reasons on my part.  First, I had not regularly practiced in a month while I was away in Kolkata and Japan (more on the sounds from there later…), so the ideas were bubbling up but the fingers were a bit sluggish.  Second, I had just returned from Tokyo, where Monisha and I stayed a few extra days so I could catch the avant gard Japanese experimental guitar festival (also about which more later).  So what’s to listen to?  My favorite for weird factor is “squelch.”  What is not bass is manipulated guitar echo.  “drip grind” has a cool wash thing going that mutates over time.  I think my favorite is “nothing to declare,”  though “spider camp” and “flow control” are kinda cool in an experimentalist sort of way…all three are in the key of z.  That leaves “low town twilight” where I was trying too hard to evoke a particular mood instead of just going with it, and “neither flotsam nor jetsam.”  Not bad all in all.  I’ll certainly miss rreplay-ing.  We’ll put together an album or two more from it…if you find anything in the rrepository particularly compelling, in part or in whole, let us know in the comments here!

rrecent rreplay rrecordings

The last three rreplay sessions are online in the rrepository, for April 14, April 25, and April 28.  Let’s see, from the April 14 session, I kinda like cello panetta for its faux strings (all mangled guitar, btw), steel driver for its beat, and round the perimeter for the synth line following the guitar around.  From the 25th, aoomph takes a while to get started but then closes out with some sicko guitar-following synth stuff.  This one will probably turn up again in edited fashion.  There is also convolution blues, which tries to go straight, but ends up, ummm, convoluted.  A couple more blues, this time with slide, start off the April 28 session. Here’s one, and here is the other.  The rest I need to listen to a little more before making a recommendation, but you can check ’em out in the rrepository, along with most everything else we’ve recorded.  WHy so much blues?  Maybe just got back from Chicago….

More mess from 1983…

Wow, posting a mess song turned up Melody and Greg, neither of whom I’ve heard from in 25 yrs (more my fault than theirs!), so let’s see what happens if I post a few more. Here are the other three songs from our only studio session. The first one is a fast and loud guess at what 1999 would look like from 1984 if folks like Reagan stayed in power…hmmm, not too far off….Its called suburban dogs after the last verse, which I wrote along with some other stuff after a long night of partying …when I woke up, someone, I think Bobby, had read it and told me, all hungover, “this sucks, this sucks, but this one is ok” with the ok one turning into the song and the other stuff going out with the trash. The next one we came up with during a sound check in Jacksonville Beach about a week before the recording session. Corey came up with the beat and I started playing the guitar line, and Palmer heard it and came up with the lyrics: the result was new beat. The last one, she’s mine, was Palmer’s ode to Melody, who was not exactly ownable! It is a Psychedelic Furs-ish sounding thing with a weird intro and break.

Again, if this post turns up more people from back then, join waymusic and then you can write what what you remember from the Daytona scene in the wiki as soon as you log in. I’ll keep putting up more music in the meanwhile. If you leave a comment here, don’t forget to also leave me an email addie by sending a note to me from the contact page so I can write back if you want. And if you are just coming here for the first time, don’t forget to check out the rest of way.music, including rreplay, my current project with bassist Eric Parker – as always, the music is listenable and downloadable for free.

rreplay new album out, home page live

rreplay’s first album, rrepertoire, is now out. You can order it on cd by donating $10 to way.net using the amazon paybox and sending us an email with your address or just download the mp3 files for free. The rreplay home page has also gone live.

Also, there are a whole bunch of new mp3 files from the last week in the rrepository. A lot of the new stuff explores granular guitar and drum chopping. There are some swampy psychedelic slide blues, some Latin inflections, and one attempt to run three different echo units through each other, among other things. Enjoy, we did!

As always, check out way.music for more free tunes.

rreplay

Eric and I are putting together a demo cd to get gigs, and we will sort out what we think are the best cuts from our recordings here. If anyone is out there, we would love to know what you think of the songs. We have decided to call the band rreplay. We had been initialing all the songs rrep for Eric (EP) and me (RR), and Karen came up with a whole bunch of song titles punning on words beginning with “rep.” We thought rreplay sort of captures what we’re doing then, no? Anyway, on to the music.

My favorite thing we’ve done as of right now is a very loose cover of a chicha song by Los Mirlos — “Sonido Amazonico.” Ours is going by the name of “Amazonia Dub” right now. Chica is hybrid pyschedelic surf twang cumbia music played by hard partying Peruvians who had come to the oil boom cities of Amazonian Peru in the 1960s. Great stuff. You can find out more at Los Mirlos’s website and at Barbes Records, where you can hear a whole collection of Chicha songs. Once I heard it I had to get the album!

My second favorite song that clocks in under ten minutes is this one, which for now is called “cool keep” (We have to figure out what to do with the longer stuff, like this trip-hoppy kind of thing). I also like this little slide blues from last week. This is its rowdier sister. We’ll probably put one blues thing on just to mix it up.

Well, that’s all for now. As always check out all the free music on way.net if you like what you’ve found here.

Way Music…some new music

Eric Parker, from Boston, is in town for a few more months. He is a great bass player and we have been having weekly jams. You can hear him in his Boston outfit, a free form music project back east called Rabid Owl. We are probably going to set up a few gigs under the “way music” moniker (alternate name: rrep) as soon as I can get the laptop stable enough to take out. Here are some cuts from a recent session:

  • outer time” bass and granulated guitar
  • rreplay“– I’ll probably chop of the end jam a bit as it gets rrepetitive.
  • B&D” — don’t worry, it stands for bass and drums, the latter of which get a bit dubbed out.
  • Eric in the Evening in Reverse,” a 40 minute jam that we think progresses in the opposite way from Boston Jazz DJ Eric Jackson, who has a show called Eric in the Evening on WGBH. Jackson starts a set with some mellow jazz and gradually, imperceptibly, edges the music toward more and more out there. Monisha and I used to regularly put him on for dinner thinking “this is nice” only to be lured into a squawking, raucous, usually really interesting excursion. We start with the rawk and mellow out later, hence the title.

All the songs are mp3, stereo at 192k, recorded in one take, Eric Parker on bass, Rich Rath on guitars and computer. As always, share them, download them tell your friends. If you are interested in hearing more of my various projects, check out Way Music. We’d love to hear from you if you listen to us, so leave a comment.