It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to sit down and indulge a little self promotion. In that time I’ve managed to finish two new songs. Both are in some way the result of finding new apps and web resources. So what follows is a brief explanation of the content and the process.
Dub From Another Planet.
This comes two new discoveries. The first is an iPad application called ‘Launchpad’ from Novation. The Company produce midi keyboards and pads to connect with your device (although I just used the standalone app). The app gives you a number of ‘genre’ styles (Drum & Bass, Hip-Hop, Trance etc) from which the one I’m most familiar with is ‘Reggae & Dub’. I have history with the music of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Dennis ‘Blackbeard’ Bovell and artist like Eek’A’Mouse, MackaB & Ini Kamoze. The app use a grid format with columns of tracks and within that numerous loops and effects which you can play live and record into the app.
Around the same time I started playing with that NASA made available some free to use sounds that have been recorded from electron telescopes and other sources. These include the sounds of Quasars and galaxies. They are quite fascinating and, like looking into the embers of a fire, its easy to find patterns in the chaotic static. The whops and squeaks are all in this case of extraterrestrial origin. Its incredibly fascinating stuff.
You can find more of those here: https://soundcloud.com/nasa
I’ve used sounds from NASA, the dub track and a fair amount of processing through Audacity & Garage Band. And this is the result.
Whilst I’m a little less ‘down’ with some of the other genres in Launchpad the flexibility of timing and adding different loops makes this an endlessly entertaining and creative tool. Whilst I’m more likely to investigate ‘Trance’ my son seems to think ‘Dubstep’ is the way to go.
Shortly Before The Flood
The second song which came to fruition really quite quickly is a mass of rhythm & percussion loops. The main loop that acts as the foundation is a reverse of copied/constructed digital version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘When The Levee Breaks’. Its running a little faster and doesn’t include any of the lovely fills that a real drummer would use, and its backwards…. The other loops are all from GarageBand and also includes some ‘Rev’ freebies (I think i would enjoy Rev but its a bit rich for me).
The theme of course derives from the base loop but as this sequence as been in many ways informed by our Norfolk adventure earlier in the year I took into mind the sound of rain on a caravan roof. There’s nothing like being in a caravan in a serious storm. The rain fall is amplified and the only thing keeping you from lightening shock is a couple of rubber tyres.
The dripping rain sounds (like a leaking roof resolved by kitchen pots & pans) are from sampled and processed guitar noises. The electrical storm at end is feedback and stretched chords.
It sounds exactly like this and I’m still quite taken with it.
My feature image for this song is a Norfolk picture with a section of a Gustave Dore illustration for Noah’s Ark. Always had a fondness for a good engraving.
I was uncertain of the title for a while but it is what it is. Its a little close to ‘Here Comes The Flood’ and any other number of deluge (love that word) related tunes. I’m happy with it whatever the weather.
The one thing I’d like to add to this the on-line mastering application Landr. I’ve used a few device to try and balance & equalise tracks but as the input is often variable it’s been problematic to avoid those sonic shocks when sequential tunes leap around in volume. Landr seems to solve this and the (free) MP3 out put is really good. For a monthly fee they offer WAV files. In my view I think they should run accounts and charge per track. Their monthly fee for four WAV files is fair but you would need to be consistent to need this. And I’m anything but consistent.