Andrulian's blog

Creating sounds | Making music | supporting fellow musicians | reflections in time

Ideas, unfamiliar styles and a big dollop of synchronicity — April 12, 2013

Ideas, unfamiliar styles and a big dollop of synchronicity

As ideas go, it was one of those that seemed good at the time and a bit bonkers in hindsight.

And also one of those that led to several other useful areas.

Sample a Leapfrog counting train toy, mangle and glitch the samples and make a song out of it.

The reasoning was that I intended to severly clip the samples or make them unrecognisable to use as sounds in a song instead of synth sounds.

I thought it would be hard but not impossible. A bit different, encourage creativity.

Of course the problem with sampling stuff is that you have to consider the tempo of the original when using the resulting samples. Whilst some sounds are happy to play over several notes, even an octave, or be stretched to make them a bit longer, these weren’t. Trying to loop sections into sounds wasn’t happening smoothly either.

So I thought I’d still use the samples (originals, glitched and processed) and add in sounds of my own. I also decided to create the song in a sort of techno / electro style. Which is intetesting as I’ve never done it before.

So for a few nights I battled trying to get the timing of samples together. Learning new techniques. The drum parts came fairly easily and the bass parts took some work but weren’t too bad.

It was taking shape but a bit busy in places so I thinned it out or probably a better explanation would be to give sounds their own space in the song which meant a lot of copy/paste, deleting inserting and moving patterns in Caustic.

It needed a synth part, albeit minimal. I thought that TAL Noisemaker would be good but needed more help in how to use it. Synchronicity never fails me. I found a video about creating progressive trance.

How could that be of help? Well not directly to this project, but it’s something I’ve struggled with for a while. I love that type of sound and listen to it most of the time. The video filled in a few gaps, surprisingly I’m not that far off,  only need to make a few tweaks and it will be starting to come together. Strangely when I’ve looked the that information directly I’ve not found it.

The video even used Noisemaker for a synth sound but used one of the presets and adjusted a filter setting slightly. Which is pretty much my experience of Noisemaker so far which is why I want to learn how to use it properly as it has awesome capabilities.

As it happened, I used parametric EQ (also in the video) and compression (learned from a Computer Music tutorial) on a sound I’d already made.

I’ve now got an interpretation of the counting train song I’m happy with and can do the final production. I also have now have the techniques for writing my own progressive trance tracks.

However, I still haven’t learned how to use Noisemaker properly. This doesn’t worry me though. I’ll go with the musical flow and know that I will learn how to use it when the time is right.