It’s been a while since my Last Berlin School Experiment. The recording of Ambient Explorations 11 gave me some new ideas I want to explore deeper. This is one of those.
This Experiment was done in one take in which three tracks were recorded: the Monotribe, the Volca Sample being sequenced by the SQ-1, and a stereo track for the Streichfett. There were some awkward silences in the the last two tracks, so I copied them and delayed in time (by about one minute). Two volca tracks were then panned left and right and a Calf Pulsator was used as an auto-pan for enhancing the stereo field. As for the secondary Streichfett track, It is only heard on some points, with a strong delay… almost as a distant memory.
The Streichfett and the Monotribe (which has a MIDI mod) are controlled from my PCR-500 in split mode, and a sustain pedal is used on the Streichfett. The Korg SQ-1 is sequencing the Volca Keys and the synchronization between the SQ-1 and the LFO on the Monotribe was dialed in by ear (thus them going in and out of sync while the music progresses).
As always, the audio was recorded and mixed on Ardour, and the final video was assembled using kdenlive, on an Arch Linux box.
Up until now I’ve been using mostly minor scales on this series, but this is becoming boring, specially with all the nice, warmer summer time getting closer. So I decided to move on to the Major Scale. This was a four-track recording, two of them made with the Streichfett being controlled from the SQ-1. There was little intervention from my part (apart from programming the melodies in the SQ-1) so I didn’t record any video from those two sessions. The other two tracks (which were recorded to make the video part) were done using the MicroKorg.
A few things happened when making this track. For once, I decided to use the Solo section of the Streichfett, which I’ve been neglecting since ever. I also when forward to program something that reminds me of Tomita’s work (although I cannot point exactly when he used it): a noise-resonant filter patch for the microKorg. I also recorded all four track “dry”, so all the audio FX (delays, reverbs) were done in the DAW using Calf Plugins (EQ and vintage delay) and also the very interesting TAP Reverberator (also a free and open source plugin). I noticed the compressor at the end of the sound chain was destroying the attack transients of the Tomita patch, so I replaced it for the Calf Saturator. I think the end result is much more full-bodied than the Compressed version, but I’ll leave that to your better judgement.
Oh… I also changed my audio references for mixing and mastering… I hope the sound is now more balanced.
As usual, the audio for this video was recorded and mixed using Ardour, and the final video was assembled using KdenLive, on an Arch Linux machine.
This video was recorded right after my latest Vlog episode. The Volca FM had just arrived at my place and I was doing some experimentation with it. The ChevyBass preset was used as a base for tweaking the carrier and modulation envelopes. I must say there is some similarities between FM and west coast synthesis: both focus on tailoring the harmonic content using complex oscillators, rather than filtering. I found some parallelism between Velocity in FM and the Dynamics of west coast synths. In this regard, having the Velocity decoupled from the Note In data is a blessing in disguise, as it allows new approaches to sound sculpting, that cannot be easily attained using a classical FM synth like the DX7.. or my little black box: the FB-01.
However, it is the effect chain that really delivers the Berlin Scholl vibe to this track: the output of the Volca FM is split tinto two: one path goes straight into the EM600 for some tape delay, while the other goes into the VP-1 Phaser and then into the NUX Time Core emulating an analogue delay. Both chains are glued using the RV600 reverb unit. As for the Streichfett, it is using only the internal Phaser and Reverb for ambience.
This track was recorded live, using ardour (which provided the click track) and the OpenCamera app (android). The audio was treated using Calf Plugins (EQ, Compression, Tape Emulator). The video was assembled using KdenLive.
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