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Elektron Analog Four Sound Pack: The Richard Devine Collection

Download for free at: Elektron

128 experimental, haunting and outright bizarre Analog Four Sounds. Created by sound designer Richard Devine.

“I wanted to create a collection of abstract sounds that took advantage of the Analog Four’s extensive modulation capabilities. I hope these sounds inspire new ideas and offer some interesting starting points for a song.” — Richard Devine

Halfanese – Venom

If you’d rather not look at a pretty girl, here is just the audio.

Video: Halfanese
Model: VenomSuicideGirls
Audio: Surachai

Previous Halfanese videos:
Michelle
Bazaaria
Shanti

Surachai – Embraced

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My latest album, Embraced, was released digitally April 23rd and on 180 gram gatefold vinyl mid-May. This is the first time I’ve worked with a band and the result is pleasantly extreme. Embraced will be independently released through Bandcamp.

Embraced – The Absolute Process
Because of my hostile nature towards interviews, I decided that a way to avoid them would be to talk about the important aspects of the album: the process. In all, Embraced took about a year and a half of studios, other humans, and countless hours staring at the screen. If you have questions and/or comments, leave them below. Thanks for your continued support.

Writing
The writing portion of Embraced was the most time consuming. It took the longest because it was written in a four-part choral style: bass, tenor, alto, soprano – also not having a deadline didn’t help speed this process up. Having the necessary instruments to write for a large range of voices was helpful and an 8 string guitar played a key role. In all, it took about 7 months of noncommittal writing, experimentation, and arranging to be satisfied with a skeleton ready to be recorded. 

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In this writing period I was fortunate enough to have a friend lend synths including the Fenix II/III, a massive Serge system, and a Buchla 200e. These illusive synths were used in addition to the ever expanding Eurorack system I possess. The sessions with these systems helped shape the way the album was arranged by basing the structure around certain patches. A rundown of the Eurorack manufacturers that I used extensively: 4ms, Cwejman, Doepfer, Harvestman, Intellijel, Make Noise, Malekko, Schippman, Tip Top Audio, WMD.

Recording
After deciding I was ready to record, I transcribed all the audio into MIDI as reference for the musicians. There are a couple reasons I did this: the first being versatility, I wanted us to be able to ajdust the tempo while keeping all the harmonic content aligned. The second reason I transcribed audio to MIDI was that my scratch guitars were horrible. I often played without tuning or a metronome – if I had an idea, I recorded a scratch and left it at that. This scratch track method created a problem when showing the work to other musicians, so transcribing it seemed like the most logical, albeit time consuming, task in order to work with different musicians. In case you were wondering, I used the harp patch in Logic’s Sculpture as a stand-in sound. As annoying as it was, everyone grew fond of it and eventually missed it as it was being replaced by real instruments.

After a couple months of Charlie sending in recordings of his drumming to the tracks, I decided it was time to hit the studio. Greg ran the studio while I was concentrated on trying to translate the music to Charlie. Recording the drums into ProTools took about 3 days.

I didn’t do shit except make sure you could hear what Charlie was playing. Surachai made the lines fuzzier by steering me away from the over-the-top definition of modern metal, so I didn’t get too crazy about clarity. But at the end of the day, the guy is playing some cool shit and I wanted to be able to hear it. Gear-wise, I mic’d closer than I typically would, including some spot mics on cymbals that weren’t cutting through the overheads clearly enough. I used mostly API pres on the drums, for their definition and punch, and I added a bit more top than I typically would, again mostly with API eqs. I also fed a wildcard spare room mic to Surachai’s modular so he could improvise aka wank-off on it, while Charlie was tracking. Sometimes I like to run that through different pedals but Surachai had plenty of bullshit of his own to add, so I stayed away. It was a fun project. I just listened to Surachai’s final mixes and they sufficiently beat me into submission. Which I think was the goal.” – Greg Panciera

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With the notation written out for the four different voices, guitar tracking was basically playing a game of Guitar Hero. Listen to the metronome or drumming and play the notes on the screen while adding your own flare if you were so inclined. Shane recorded the Alto and Soprano voiced guitars over several late nights, and Drew recorded the Tenor voiced guitars on one of the tracks in a night. Aside from the sheer talent Shane and Drew possess, their input and unique style on the parts where invaluable and brought the stagnant MIDI notes to life. Tom Kelly’s standup bass sections were recorded in a night and added a depth I didn’t know the album needed. My guitars were recorded over a few nights after everyone was finished. The main bass track was recorded using a Tip Top Audio Z3000 MKII going through a couple of Malekko Fuzz pedals as well as a Sonny & Sanford Blue Beard Fuzz.

While staying in a lake house in Georgia and with a few minutes to spare before new years, Richard and I recorded burning embers underwater with his hydrophones. He pieced together the files for his own use and I just plopped it at the end of Ancestral alongside what I already had. Alessandro let me use a file that was recorded when he was giving a tutorial of the Buchla Easel to Richard and I when we all were in my studio in Chicago.

Mixing
When working on an album that has sonic consistency throughout all the songs (like a traditional rock setup), I work in one giant Logic session. The advantage to this method is that it forces me to treat the arrangements of audio as a cohesive album rather a bunch of collected songs. Global changes like adding dynamic processors are easy to implement as well as auditioning patches throughout the entire album. Most of the mixing was performed on JH Audio’s JH16 in ear monitors and there is a reason for this: between work and my different workspaces I have 5 audio workstations. What most of these stations lack is consistent monitoring between them. Of course hearing mixes on different monitors in different rooms is helpful but with the JH16’s – it remained consistent. Adams A7X’s were very useful for an overall ‘pleasure’ mix while the Avantone’s were showed you how horrible your mix actually is. Some of the most used plug-ins that were essential to the mix were Universal Audio, Sound Toys, Valhalla. INA GRM, Native Instruments, U-he, and factory Logic plugs.

Mastering
The only person I’ve used with mastering for vinyl is Shawn Hatfield of Audible Oddities. He’s accommodated all of my personal and label related releases. Shawn’s work has consistently been incredible, helpful, and in this particular case he elevated the mix to a level I couldn’t be happier with.

For this particular project, I combined several pieces of analog processors that when combined, give a gentle lift in the highs, and add some additional low-end harmonics. Despite each piece of gear having its own unique sound, when combined together, gear interacts with each other in unique ways that can create new flavors. So the first order of business was choosing the right processors for the project, with the help of a Dangerous Liaison. For EQ, we went with the smoothness of the Dangerous BAX EQ to help pull some air out of the music without adding harshness to the cymbals and guitars, and we used a Buzz REQ 2.2 to get a little surgical with the guitars to help balance them as a whole with the mix. The REQ 2.2 is pretty incredible in its ability to tuck components of a mix neatly into place. We employed two gentle stages of compression, starting with a Foote Control Systems P3S ME VCA compressor which fed into a Manley Vari-Mu. I really liked the combo of VCA and tube compression for these songs, but it was used very sparingly as to not alter too much of the natural dynamics. Everything was captured with a HEDD192, utilizing its pentode section for a slight increase in overall harmonics and then sent directly to the final brick-wall limiter.” – Shawn Hatfield

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Lacquering
Ideally the vinyl process would be a one-stop shop where you would send in your master tape/digital files/what-have-you to be lacquered, plated, and then duplicated. From my experience, the one-stop shop method is not the way to go. For the past few releases I extended the signal path by including Roger Seibel of SAE mastering. Making lacquers and metal parts are specialized skills and while some places want to perform it all in house, or outsource it – I prefer to use people I trust and know have skills backed by years of experience. Also, pressing plants generally subtract lacquering costs if you decide to outsource it. So, Roger Seibel handled the lacquering and sent it to Mastercraft to be metal plated, they in turn send it to GottaGroov to be printed.

Artwork
Caspar Newbolt of Version Industries was in charge of the visuals of Embraced. Ever since I saw his work with Big Black Delta, I was instantly captivated. I asked him early on, before I recorded anything and always thought he would lose interest but as the months went by, we kept in touch and he continued to ask about the progress. When artwork finally comes in, you can instantly tell if the visual artist understands what you’re doing – Caspar does. He understands that his artwork will forever represent every ounce of energy you put into the project and places a visual stamp on it. He has achieved a level of understanding on the content where I won’t include lyrics on the album.

Public Relations
When releasing anything, whether it being a pile of shit or diamonds, you must let the world know it exists or the worst thing will happen: it will be ignored. Kim Kelly is someone I admire for many reasons but mainly I choose her as PR because of our differences. Many of our opinions and interests align but our personalities don’t. Kim is social, easily approachable, friendly, smart, and open – I am not. She proofreads my answers to interviews and I receive brutally honest feedback, “You are SUCH a dick. I really, really love it! I would get so mad to get those kinds of answers back”. She’s one of the best people to have on your side, and you are lucky if she likes your music.

Independence 
Embraced is independently funded and released. It would be nice having a label front the studio, mastering, vinyl production, and PR costs but depending on the terms, it could end up biting you in the ass. I’d rather go into debt than ask for money on Kickstarter. I’ve always put myself in a position to be as involved as possible, admiring but not always following the DIY or DIE philosophy. Regardless if I trust or employ people, if my product “fails”, it is still on me. Blaming someone else is not something I’m interested in – I’ll take full responsibility of my failures and successes.

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The Crew
Drums – Charlie Werber (Guzzlemug, Murmur, Lovely Little Girls)
Guitars – Shane Prendiville (Guzzlemug, Murmur)
Guitars – Andrew Markuszewski (Nachtmystium, Avichi, Lord Mantis)
Acoustic Bass – Tom Kelly (Guzzlemug)
Sound Design – Richard Devine (Warp, Schematic)
Buchla Easel – Alessandro Cortini (Sonoio, NIN, How to Destroy Angels)
Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Synths, DSP – Surachai

Drums Recorded with – Greg Panciera
Mastering – Shawn Hatfield
Lacquering – Roger Seibel
Artwork – Caspar Newbolt
PR – Kim Kelly

Grendel Formant Filter – Voltage Language

Demonstrating synthesis of vowel sounds using the Grendel Formant Filter Eurorack module. This 100% analog filter allows voltage-controlled selection of English vowels from a 2-dimensional map. The map corresponds to the International Phonetic Alphabet vowel chart, a.k.a. the vowel trapezium.

In this video, an analog joystick with X and Y CV outputs is used to control the filter module. Two channels of MIDI-CV converter may also be used. The module is designed to accept CV sources with 5 volt range. Either -2.5 .. +2.5 volts or 0.. +5 volts can be used for optimum control. Wider CV ranges (up to +/- 10V) will not cause damage, but should be attenuated for best articulation.

Visualizations were made with a Tektronix TDS 350 digital oscilloscope in XY display mode, 1 volt per division.

The Grendel Formant Filter is made by Rare Waves (Austin TX)

Eric Archer

Glitchmachines – Fragment

Glitchmachines FRAGMENT – Promo Video from Glitchmachines on Vimeo.

Another beautifully crafted sample bank from Glitchmachines for only $9!

Fragment features 300 sound effects by Ivo Ivanov, an exclusive plugin from Inear Display and a custom Lemur template from Antonio Blanca.

The lo-fi character of this sample pack is suitable for projects in need of aggressive, provocative, and mind-bending material. Sourced from a private collection of circuit bent hardware, these samples were skillfully layered and processed to offer a fresh perspective on the sonic range typically associated with bent sounds.

Inear Display’s Fragment plugin is a collaborative effort between Thomas Hennebert, Ivo Ivanov, and Antonio Blanca. It features a granulizer/stutter effect, a multimode filter, and an LFO, and is designed to achieve a wide range of sonic artifacts. Fragment includes a custom Lemur template for iPad, crafted by sound designer and Lemur expert Antonio Blanca, giving you multi-touch control over every parameter.

Glitchmachines – Fragment

I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition

“I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition” 2013 official trailer from I Dream Of Wires on Vimeo.

IDOW-HE is a strictly limited-edition item, available to order exclusively through idreamofwires.org from 2/11 – 5/31, 2013. It’s bound to sell out in pre-orders, so don’t sleep…
IDOW-HE BluRay / 2xDVD is available to pre-order now:
idreamofwires.org/order

Hydrophones + Embers / Georgia

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Stereo underwater recording of burning embers of wood using two Aquarian Audio H2a-XLR hydrophones. Recorded at Anglers Point Blairsville GA on Lake Nottely on New Years Eve with Surachai. Captured with the Sound Devices 744T at 192khz – 24bit. Download the 44.1khz-24bit version here. – Richard Devine

NAMM

We didn’t go to NAMM this year but a bunch of other people did and this is what we’re excited about.

4MS
Quad Clock Distributor (QCD)
Quad Pingable LFO (QPLFO)
Shifting Inverting Signal Mingler (SISM)
Pingable Animation Generator (PAG)
PEG Parameters (PEGP)

Make Noise
“MMG filter based on the QMMG. Single channel. Vactrols based. Voltage controlled mode fades continuously from LP to HP. Has Strike and Accent inputs. Voltage Controlled Resonance with automatic gain compensation. Input has compress and clamp circuit for overload.”
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RXMX Routing Mixing Module
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WMD
Compressor
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Synchrodyne Expander
NAMM-WMD
Compressor

Tip Top Audio
Trigger Riot – More Information

Buchla Easel

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Korg MS-20 Mini

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12

Harvestman – English Tear / NAMM Notes

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Many good things were displayed at NAMM. To me, one of the most important was the new Korg MS-20 Mini. I played with it for a long time and enjoyed it very much. It is very close to my full-size model. The MS-20 itself is an electronic instrument of extreme cultural importance, being the tool that motivated the development of several significant electronic music styles. This new version, available to all at a very low price, can only mean good things for the further development of these styles, and modular synthesis technique in general.

Because of this impending instrument release, I announce with great satisfaction ENGLISH TEAR, the first in a line of small utility modules. This module features the expected “voltage processor” attenuverter and big offset knobs, but also includes a full set of functions for interfacing to an MS-20. Easy conversion from exponential volt-per-octave to linear hertz-per-volt and back, as well as V-trigger to S-trigger conversion. Jack normalling fixes the voltage processors to these converter circuits, so you may scale the input voltages as desired. The log/expo converter ciruits also have many other uses in your modular system beyond the conversion of pitched voltages.

Price? Cheaper than anything else I’ve done. It will be released when the MS-20 comes out. I was thinking of dropping it into the Zorlon/Donut production run scheduled for April, but if the MS is somehow released before that I can expedite the build.

– Scott Jaeger of Harvestman

Los Angeles – January 2013

TRASH_AUDIO went to Los Angeles to aid DROID BEHAVIOR with throwing BL_K NOISE all the while avoiding NAMM. BL_K NOISE was incredibly well received, one of the best shows I’ve been to, and lucky to be involved with.