Archive by Author

Surachai – Instinct and Memory

Instinct and Memory is released on April 29th, 2016 on vinyl and digital through BL_K Noise. All purchases come with additional photos by Emilie Elizabeth and Briana Gonzales. I understand my music is unpredictable and demanding and want to thank you for all your support through the years! Interviews, reviews, and articles don’t do it for me, the most humbling part of releasing a record is shipping the records out across the world – to you!

Instinct and Memory 
A great amount of effort was put into the physical release of the vinyl and it has always been the intended format for Instinct and Memory to be released and experienced on. It includes embroidered patch and logo pin, you can hold Emilie’s incredible artwork on heavy tip-on gatefold jackets and listen to Instinct and Memory as it tries to turn your sound system into dust. It definitely will test the limits of your sound system.

Recording
The centerpiece to Instinct and Memory is compression and the L-1 Microcompressor is the primary weapon of choice. This small, often looked over, dynamic processor served as the main aural centerpiece to the album. The past few albums has had the same focus, just on different tools. Every sound on Instinct and Memory was run through the L-1 as well as the Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15. While the microcompressor is relatively cheap and accessible, it is immensely powerful, aggressive and stereo. It also features envelopes out so you can control a VCA with a similar effect.

Most of the straight forward drum programming was done with the Tip Top Audio Circadian Rhythms using Tip Top Audio 808/909 modules, Noise Engineering Basimilus Iteritas, Steady State Fate Quantum Rainbow, Synthrotek Dirt/Dly, and Make Noise Optomix/QMMG. The tracks that veer off a BPM grid or followable structure were either controlled by instruments that have random or patterned tempos, like the Harvestman Zorlon Cannon MKII, or the Cylonic TT303 gate outputs as a master clock source – this really messes with the timing and creates unstable tracks that play out differently on every take.

The Sequential Circuits Prophet-6 has its hand in several tracks as well – its been a few years since I’ve used a synthesizer with those white and black things so its been an interesting experience returning to them. Processing included 4MS Spectral Multiband Resonant Filter, Doepfer 12 Stage Vactrol Phase, L-1 Microcompressr, Serge Resonant EQ and Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15 which everything was run through then recorded into Logic, and moved into Pro Tools for editing.

0007272213_10

Arrangement & Mixing
All audio sources began on the modular and then arranged in Pro Tools, which I recently migrated to for work. Live served as a stand-in at times whenever I forgot my iLok somewhere. Logic has been used solely for recording in the studio.

The usual suspects of my plug-in arsenal are UAD, Valhalla DSP, Soundtoys, INA-GRM, Soundhack, and Izotope. The tracks that feature Annie Hall were created with the modern call and response structure. Annie Hall provided samples that served as a foundation for Wolves and Stars as well as Lust Designed. Annie put her trust in me and communication was limited, I kept her updated with new versions and she responded by sending additional samples to include. This process continued until they were completed.

After a general mix was established, all tracks were pre-mastered through the Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15 to cut out some of the bass and reassign the energy to the mids but Shawn somehow managed to put back into the tracks with his mastering. The average of harmonic processing these tracks went through is an average of 4 or 5 times between Shawn and I.

Mastering
Shawn Hatfield of Audible Oddities, “For each record I work on, I first experiment with which gear to insert into the signal path and in which order, as each piece of gear can change slightly in tonality depending on what piece of gear it’s feeding, and which piece of gear is feeding it. For Surachai’s ‘Instinct and Memory’ I came up with a signal path that sounded complimentary to the material, and after running an analyzer on the system, I could see there was a small bump in the highs from an interaction between some Carnhill output transformers on one of my compressors and the input of a Class A tube pre-amp. I really liked this little bit of air it was adding to the material in a way that I couldn’t achieve with EQ alone. I drove the inputs of the tube pre-amp to do some saturation and analog rounding of the transients which helped take away some of the edginess as well as adding triode tube harmonics to add weight and detail. This was followed by some subtle EQ and compression to help balance and add cohesion to the overall sound. A small amount of ‘tape’ harmonics was applied as it was captured with the Cranesong A/D convertors and then final limiting in the DAW.”

The masters were then sent to Roger Seibel of SAE Mastering to make lacquers which were then sent to Gottagroov to be plated and pressed. This has been the signal flow for the past few records and the results sound extraordinary.

0007272214_10

Artwork
The talent these women possess is not subtle – its something you see and feel immediately in all their work. The artwork process of Instinct and Memory was beautiful to watch unfold and was excited to be involved. I believe we created something beautiful and memorable from the culmination of a few artistic visions and its weight feels incredible in my hands. You can read an extended Instinct and Memory artist statement: HERE

Photography and Art Direction
Emilie Elizabeth and Briana Gonzales. I reached out to Emilie again because her work has elegance and sensitivity that I thought this project required. The imagery and narrative of sex magick and the occult was the main reference and Emilie understood immediately and got to work. Emilie enlisted Brianna Gonzales to help with art direction and together they created something that I couldn’t be happier with. The original idea revolved around a single model but somewhere along the conversation and Briana’s contacts, six more joined. Publications, websites, and reviewers are distancing themselves from the album and its artwork. Win/win.

Jewelry
Hvnter/Gvtherer. After seeing Laura’s jewelry and metalwork through social media, I discovered she was in Chicago. I reached out to see if she would be interested in accessorizing the shoot. She invited me to her studio where we talked about creating a centerpiece that would summarize the project into a single piece, quite an ask! This centerpiece served as the aesthetic reference for all of the artwork. Laura is incredibly talented, driven, and speaks through her artwork, I feel very fortunate to have worked with her.

Wardrobe
Wulfka. The idea of finding a customized cloak seemed like a nightmare so I reached out to Kate to see if she would be interested in creating a 12 foot long cloak specifically for this project. Creating a cloak for a photoshoot required it to be able to be flexible but at the same time, retain a shape for photos – something I still don’t understand how it is achieved. After Emilie and I approved a design, she sent some photos of the actual cloak and I was speechless. Unfortunately, I still haven’t seen it in person – though we have plans to burn it soon.

Video
Simona Noreik. Watching Simona navigate her way into video work while keeping her voice and style has been inspiring. I pestered her into doing some visuals for some upcoming shows and already I feel like her skill set has surpassed the assignment. Her visuals were used for the Instinct and Memory teaser. Nothing like holding back an artist from growing! 

Type and Layout
Francis Kmiecik. I tapped Francis because of his undeniable artistry and stylistic eye. We’ve known each other long enough where I handed off the assets and he filled in the blanks. He calligraphed the font and stitched together the artwork for the vinyl and digital releases.

Vinyl
180 gram, full color tip-on gatefold! This album is sonically heavy and the physical representation of it was intended to reflect that. The total shipping weight is around 2 pounds. There are very special limited editions that Wax Mage Records created, we tried to create a look of old metal being unearthed – flawed, used, but still functional. They were sold out after a few days of being announced! I ship every single order out myself and it humbles me to think of the places this music will be experienced. Thank you so much for the support, truly.

Label
As with everything on BL_K NOISE, Moe and I will do whatever we want. We talk about it briefly in this interview.

Links
Emilie Elizabeth
Briana Gonzales
Hvnter Gvtherer
Wulfka
Simona 
Francis Kmiecik

Annie Hall
Audible Oddities

Gottagroov Records
Wax Mage Records

0006953283_10

Madrona Labs – Virta

We’re all fans of Madrona Labs’ softsynths and why wouldn’t an effect unit be any different?

In Virta, sound input is analyzed in real time to generate pitch, noisiness, and brightness signals.
These signals are sent through an easy-to-use patcher module to control other sound modules
including:
• an LFO, synchronizable to host tempo
• two oscillators, operable in either classic waveshaping or vosim (vocal synthesis) modes
• a formants module with four different types of vocoder
• a pitch-shifter / delay with analog-modelled saturation
• an envelope, gate, and two pannable outputs with limiter
Virta is a MIDI or OSC-controllable effect that runs in the effects chain of any digital audio workstation
(DAW) on Mac OS or Windows. Virta is designed around vocal analysis, but the input doesn’t have to
be vocals. Other instrument sounds can work well, and even putting drums in can result in strange
new melodic loops.

– $89, available March 28th, 2016

Madrona Labs

Surachai – Instinct and Memory Teaser / BL_K Noise

You’ll hear and see a lot of things in the press. Believe what you want, but you know the source. Proper Instinct and Memory process article that includes information about recording, mixing, mastering, and artwork creation will be posted soon. Keep your eyes peeled at Bl_K Noise


Video: Simona Noreik: https://www.instagram.com/sio_heartless/


Filmed by: Francisco García Nava, Raul Pena, BL_K Noise.

Surachai-Instinct-and-Memory

Venetian Snares – Can’t Vote For Yourself

Hello! Here is a live recording of Can't Vote For Yourself! This is the version that's on the bonus album which may still be obtained for the next 2 days by pre ordering either the vinyl or the CD of Traditional Synthesizer Music from https://venetiansnares.bandcamp.com/album/traditional-synthesizer-musicorhttp://www.planet.mu/discography/TIMESIG005

Posted by venetian snares on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

From Aaron/Snaresman
“Hello! Here is a live recording of Can’t Vote For Yourself! This is the version that’s on the bonus album which may still be obtained for the next 2 days by pre ordering either the vinyl or the CD of Traditional Synthesizer Music from https://venetiansnares.bandcamp.com/album/traditional-synthesizer-music

Kyteman – Root Canal Therapy

Kyteman – Root Canal Therapy from Kytopia on Vimeo.

This video is a one-take performance, music is performed live without edits or external sequencers other than what’s in the rack.

Welcome Moe Espinosa / Drumcell to TRASH_AUDIO!

3

A new member for the new year: welcome Moe to our crew. Moe has been involved with the TRASH_AUDIO collective, in many various forms, since very early on. He’s been like family to us and its only natural, and long overdue, that we let him carry the burden of being part of TRASH_AUDIO.

11112800_10101186203166627_8792142242199568046_o

Best known as Drumcell, Moe Espinosa is based out of Los Angeles and is a key player in the LA’s electronic music scene by co-founding Droid Behavior, a record label and event organizer. Moe is an accomplished producer having remixed Puscifer, Alessandro Cortini, Richard Devine, Gary Numan, Motor, Chris Liebing, Jessy Somfay, and many more. Moe is on constantly on the road DJing, up to 8 months out of the year. Moe co-founded BL_K Noise with Surachai and releases under the alias Hypoxia, an outlet for melodic synth material.

We’re excited to have him part of the TRASH_AUDIO team and have him spam you with his facebook events.

You can stalk him on his Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages.

In fact, follow us all on Instagram since we’re all active on it.
Surachai
Justin
Richard
Alessandro

BL_K NOISE – January 22. Complex, LA.

blknoise-nomod

The 8th annual convention inspired event brings together forward thinking production groups Droid Behavior, Trash_Audio, and Celebrate Everything to present a night of analog and digital hardware performances. Expect a variety of modular synthesizers, drum machines, and video projection. Everyone is welcome!

DJM/REX [Douglas McCarthy and Cyrusrex]
Richard Devine [Modular Set]
Mark Verbos [Hardware Set]
Hypoxia [Modular Set]
Surachai [Hardware / Visual Set]
Polyfuse [Hardware Set]
Baseck [Hardware Set]
Oliver Dodd [Hardware Set]
+ Special Guest – Venetian Snares’ Drum Machine

Complex
806 E Colorado St
Glendale, California 91205
9pm – 2am
$10 Presale / $15 Door

Presale Tickets
Facebook Event Page

Tip Top Audio Records – Various Artists 002

Another incredible release from TTA Rec!

The second issue of Tiptop Audio Records attests to the label’s attitude towards developing a nuanced sound set to become a standard for production.

The line-up for Tiptop Records includes MATT LANGE, ANGLE, JOAO CESER, MARKUS FIX, BLACK SHAPE, DRUMCELL & LUIS FLORES, HUBOT, FLORIAN MEINDL, JOHN TEJADA, SCANNER, M.O.T., RIEMANN; the names of a scene now described as ‘Modular Techno’, which consists of a fast growing group of artists interested in expanding their compositional techniques through modular synthesizer systems.
The vinyl format is a testimony to the label’s dedication to produce music in a physical form.
It is an invitation to a territory of oscillations, and a trip of 10 (+ 2 extra digital) tracks that reconsiders the concept of sound design applied to electronic club music.

Tiptop Audio Records – Various Artists 002 – Official Teaser from Tiptop Film on Vimeo.

Tip Top Audio Records

Venetian Snares – Magnificent Stumble V2

Now I understand why he waited over a year to release this video, new modular album! Expect more…

Venetian Snares Bandcamp

Datach’i – Grain de Folie

Datach'i – Grain de Folie from Joseph Fraioli on Vimeo.

No external computers or hardware were used in this performance.
A patch built around the new “Grain de Folie” ZDSP card by TipTop Audio.
tiptopaudio.com/zdspcart.php?cart=gdf
The melody starting at :40 seconds is the TipTop Audio ZDSP running the “Grain de Folie” card which is processing Mutable Instruments Elements thats being sequenced by the Circadian Rhythms and z8000 with voltage quantization by the Intellijel µscale. The program used is #6 “Six Grains Stereo”. Modulation to grain sizes 1 and 2 coming from the Modcan Quad LFO.
///// from the manual /////
Granular Synthesis uses small slices of sounds (‘grains’) to compose new sounds from existing material. By combining multiple grains of differing lengths, amplitude, pitch and speed creates very characteristic sounds of modern music.
Xenakis claims to have invented the technique and indeed his ‘Analogique A-B’, composed of tiny tape splices of pure tones, is credited as the first piece of granular music in 1959. Tape editing proved extremely time consuming, but by the 1970s digital processing could take the place of tape splicing. Curtis Roads dove into the early computer based granular synthesis and made some of the classic techniques known through his recordings, teaching and texts like ‘Microsound’. Today, most computer audio programs have some sort of granular synthesis engine or plugin. Dr. Richard Boulanger has used granular synthesis in CSound to great effect and he is also a beta tester for this card.
The French phrase for the cartridge is “Grain de Folie” which could be translated as “seeds of madness”, but in French “grain” also translates to “grain”, and “madness” evokes the strange disassembling/reassembling granular process. Also, “avoir un grain de folie” is a typically French expression to describe people behaving in a non conventional way, thus a fitting play on words.
How it works:
Granular processing requires a block of memory to hold digital samples for playback, and the Z-DSP has one second of memory for the audio used in processing. From this audio buffer the grains will sample smaller sections for playback.
The number of grains in the process determine how dense the overall output sounds. These programs have 3, 4 or 6 grains for playback. Each grain plays from a random point in the audio buffer and have an independent envelope controlling their duration. The envelope time is the ‘grain size’ parameter in many of the programs.
In the context of the Z-DSP, the FV1 (the DSP brain) is really not designed for grain synthesis (due to technical choices like a “circulating” delay memory, and the lack of indirect memory access), but the chip also has other design niceties that help overcome its limitations…
This cartridge implements a simple and customised granular synthesis with a limited number of grains, and parameters that mainly control the size of grains and their positions in the sample. One nice aspect of the Z-DSP is that it uses live inputs (granular synthesis is usually based on a pre-recorded sample), so it can disassemble live input and reassemble it in real-time into a different order resulting in a (usually !) nice sonic transformation of both texture and the rhythm.

Six Grains Stereo
Six independent grains have a random playback position with control over the size of each grain. The two size controls each set the size for half the grains so two different textures or rhythms can happen at the same time. Three grains are sent to Left output and the other three to the Right creating a spatial spread.
VC-DSP1 – Live / Freeze / Feedback. See the Control section above
VC-DSP2 – Grain size 1. Sets the maximum size of half the grains
VC-DSP3- Grain size 2. Sets the maximum size of half the grains
Datach’i Facebook
Datachi.com
Tip Top Audio

Page 1 of 8612345»102030...Last »