Blog Archives

Cenotes

TR8

The Roland TR-8 encourages ‘performance’ control i.e. making changes and sounds to beats as you record rather than editing after, so I thought I’d try and get a quick “improv” done – here it is, just a single take of drums edited on the go and a few synth tracks unrolled over the top!  I’m hoping to get some “proper” tracks up and recorded soon as well as a classical piece I’m learning in my lessons (which will be tough work!), so watch this space.

ゴジラ

GD

Geek Info: Sticking with the theme of “Get the F on with it”, this is another piece developed from a very quick idea over the weekend.  Only two bits of kit used – all the synth sounds from the Novation Mininova and all drums from the …. *electronic drum roll*……. Roland TR-8.  which is a fantastic drum machine modelled on the original TR808.  I almost said “analogue drum machine” but its not – Its using the very best of modern technology to make it sound like something old.  There must be some logic in there somewhere!

I’ve also been trying to do some painting recently.  Not much time to dedicate to it, but I’ve followed a beginners book and did the classic bowl of fruit yesterday.  Following a guide really showed me how little I know about painting, but it was incredibly enjoyable.  The new “painting” area of the blog HERE

Part 2 – Programme Override

As the malfunction spreads, the struggle intensifies to bring control back to where it truly belongs……

Robot-2-for-WP

Link to Part 1

Reflections

I’ve recorded this piece over the weekend and have titled it ‘Reflections’ in relation to my other post earlier today on Remembrance Day.

Reflections

Reflections

Tech details – mixing this has made me realise I definitely need some new monitors. My old unbranded monitors, kindly butchered into ‘active’ speakers with a Maplin amp by BigBadBeezer have had their day. Time to go shopping…..

I managed to get completely covered in wires by trying to use most of my gear – the Korg Kross features heavily for the more natural sounds, along with warped electronic sounds from the Novation Mininova. Drums are programmed using EZDrummer, but I also dropped in a few subtle parts on the Korg Volca Beats. I was trying to mix natural sounds with electronic and quite like the result.

In the spirit of rambling on, I am also particularly excited about the new Secret Chiefs 3 album which is currently somewhere between California and Copperas St.  Ten years in the making by the sound architect Trey Spurance it is sure to be a gem.  Their music for me is such an uplifting experience – it is a completely different level – the detail, the playing, the composition, the recording quality is unrivalled. Yet the world watches X-Factor…….  sigh…… arrive soon Book of Souls: Folio A.

Piano Lesson Piece and Electronic Noise

Zoom

The title of the post says it like it is.  A few sound bites to be uploaded today…. First up, a piano lesson piece I’ve been working on – Sails by Nikki Iles from the ABRSM Jazz Piano Pieces Grade 3 book.  It’s a really nice relaxed piece and as per most jazz pieces from the book has a solo section, which is not my finest moment, but of course whilst the red recording light isn’t flashing the solos flow out beautifully but are lost forever (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

 

New Gear Noise

Also uploaded are a couple of off-the-cuff electronic mess-arounds.  I have just become the owner of the rather fantastic Korg Volca Beats analogue drum machine (my review on Amazon HERE), so I plugged this and my Mininova synth into my computer and just went for it.  Bearing in mind both of these are very new so I haven’t really had chance to understand how to use them properly, but in the interests of “just going for it”, I just went for it.  One take in one go and trying to play both things at the same time whilst not really knowing how to use either is a recipe for disaster, but it was great fun anyway!  7 hypnotic minutes (for me at least whilst I was doing it).  It will be great to get a proper piece recorded with these soon.

 

“Sounds a bit like Star Trek”

The final hammering upon the eardrums is another synth jam, again in the spirit of just going for it with no planning – it has four tracks one recorded after the other and according to Viktoria “sounds a bit like Star Trek”.  So that is what it is called.

I have a “proper” piece coming which I’ve actually thought about in advance, I have a few parts recorded trying to mix the organic with the absolutely none organic and I’ll hopefully get it uploaded soon!

The NQ

Here’s a quick mess around dedicated to my new home, the Northern Quarter in Manchester.  As with most Bucket of Tentacles uploads, I try and get a basic couple of bits down and then just improv over to top.  Dedicated to perfection….. I think not sar!  A bit of an experiment with programming drums and the Novation Mininova.

The NQ

Ridelow

I can’t wait to have a good wander round the city with my camera in hand, but the quick pic from my phone will have to do for the moment.  There is some fantastic street art around here, and lots of buildings full of character……

Next few tasks ahead are find myself a new piano teacher (why do so many not respond?!), record a few new piano pieces and then move into a warped next phase of BoT!  And of course, get Viktoria up here with me 🙂

Ode to Birmingham

BHAM

No where near as dramatic as it sounds…… With preparing for moving, I don’t have a huge amount of time to do any “proper” writing and recording, so here is a short moody piano improvisation (which yes, I know is not an ode!).  I had an idea with the left hand and just went for it, so excuse dodgy timing and notes! I recorded this on video camera so you get an ’email received’ bling bling somewhere towards the end, and a creaky piano chair!

Bonus Noise! After i got my new job, instead of cautiously saving money for the move, i instantly went out and bought a Novation Mininova. It has lots of buttons and switches for editing rather than pages of indecipherable menus, so is great fun to play with. Really nice bit of kit.  I can even justify the spend as I’ve just sold my Roland V-Drums which i owned for ten years.  I’m very sad to see them go, but we must move on.  So here’s a couple of messy video camera recordings of electronic type noises just to get me used to the buttons.  I’m looking forward to using it properly in some pieces.

A bit of junglist drums and low pitch rumblings (i may try and develop this into a full piece)

Just messing with the arpeggiator

For the record, its been unusually hot in the UK this week – 30 degrees.  Even playing piano has been hard work.

My only fan:

FAN