Thursday, 30 December 2010

...the hinges on this thing have rusted up...

I've not been in here much at time really. Crikey look at the dust...
Reading absolutely everything on 5 forums and keeping up to date with Twitter and Facebook kind of does for all my free time really.
Daft really....could be doing so much more.

Anyway, what has been happening?

A lovely Christmas was had by all here. The lovely Mrs Pedro tried to sate my gear lust by ordering the Sonar X1 Producer upgrade and the Spectrasonics Trilogy to Trilian upgrade for me as Chrimbo pressies. Neither arrived in time, sadly.

The Dolphins at Dolphin Music appear to be dragging their flippers a bit - blaming the weather - but I'm not sure the weather is much of an excuse now. The Trilian upgrade order got a bit lost (not their fault) but once correctly placed the discs made it all the way from Las Vegas to here in Nottingham in just 3 days so, unless Sonar is coming via a pretty torturous route, I reckon the weather has helped to excuse some supply chain issues here and there.

Anyway, gr8gonzo's radio show "Experiments in Mass Appeal" on The Dividing Line Broadcast Network this Saturday (9pm-Midnight) is a Frost*ie special and will include some contributions from Frost* forum inhabitants. I've submitted a little audio "cartoon" which might (hopefully) raise a smile.

Right, must go back and help Trilian to shovel its 35GB of sample data into my PC!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Ah, Blender, how I loathe thee...

It was a total, total head-feck to learn how to use it and I was just about getting good results with it when the bomb-shell of the threat of redundancy hit in the middle of last year. Then I lost interest in the project for some reason...

Now, with the threat of redundancy lifted (as much as it can be these days), I am desperately trying to pick the flippin' thing back up again...but it's not proving to be easy. The interface is so counter-intuitive...I mean, right-mouse-button to select things?? Jeez...

Anyway, that's what I am wasting my time on at the moment....

Monday, 21 June 2010

Genre Bending....again

Inspired by Mouse's orchestral take on a Tinyfish song I re-visited an earlier idea to see if I could pull off a string-quartet re-imagining of some of Milliontown, the track.

The biggest hurdle was finding a string sound that wasn't obviously meant to sound like multiple players but in doing so didn't sound like a cheap kazoo!

The Korg Triton contains a patch called "Few Bows Here" which was the closest fit but it was quite light on realistic articulations and rather heavy on vibrato but it was the best I had.

So I set about trying to devise an arrangement that carried the main themes but didn't sound too dull and samey. I did all this by ear and from memory/imagination, I didn't play along with the track because, as it transpired, I'd got it a semi-tone or two lower than the original! I'd worked out the opening section on the keyboard without bothering to start it on the right note!

So after much fumbling around trying to trim bits to flow together the structure settled down and I began to balance the four parts so that it was "believable" in terms of what real players might be able to play (and not trying to keep up with Jem's fingers!).

I was quite surprised to find the Black Light Machine "Big banana" section slotted in to the piece where it did...just felt right.

Anyway, it can be played or downloaded from

Enjoy! :o)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Is collaborating really a team game?

So, the notion of a Frost*ie collaboration (that went cold 3 years ago) has de-frost*ed again.
When Milliontown shook me from my musical slumbers in 2006 and as part of the euphoric period in which many remixes of The Other Me were made, I figured it might be cool to pick-up on the little piano outro at the amend of the album and see if it a further song could be made using it.
A few of the Frost*ies declared an interest in having a go at playing some parts so I figured I try to pull it together.
I made a little demo of it and apart from some cheesy arrangement (and shonky playing) it seemed to work. The mighty Sawtooth was the only other person to hear it back then and we figured the next step was for me to make a framework for people to use to record their own parts....and now, three years on, that's still the next step!
An independent question to Jem about that same outro made me realise the ball was still in my court so I posted a link to the original demo and there's a new, small, wave of interest again.
It's an idea fraught with logistical problems but I hope we can get it to go somewhere this time...unless I get distrac-...ooh, is that a cup of tea?
Getting the framework right is the hard part, it's not easy to compose an interesting, coherent piece without hearing it all.
Already, some of the feedback suggests that it could easily turn into something like one of the 300 collaborative limericks we have on the forum; i.e. You think you know where it might go and in single step it's something different.
The other problem is getting people to hear ideas and not think it's a finished thought - hard enough when everyone is in the same room.
Could be interesting. Could be troublesome.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Oooh...this looks very interesting...

It seems that MediaMolecule, them geniuses wot made Little Big Planet are at it again...

...and, it seems that pretty much everything I asked them to add to LBP (and waaay more) is going to be there (I'm not saying it's anything to do with my request but I'm chuffed anyway) so that is going to be one absolutely essential pre-order and a whole sink full of time lost to having some fun pushing the boundaries with that. Now if only there was a piece of music that I already have an idea for...oh, yes, so there is... :o)