I haven’t been dazzled by a product in quite some time and usually on this blog we don’t care about new products but rather how people use them. For a while now I’ve known that a few of my friends have been Melodyne users because mainly, they can’t seem to shut up about how dope it is. But tonight, a friend sent a youtube video (he’s one of the few people I actually click links from) that has finally proven to me that this product innovative, clearly exceptional and groundbreaking. Ok, so these three adjectives are really mundane but I swear Melodyne is more impressive than my vocabulary. Celemony Product Comparison Sheet
It’s hard to comprehend that audio is now easily manageable as MIDI notes. Direct Note Access, or as the clever marketing team over at celemony call it: DNA, is opening a door I’ve always regarded as closed. I thought Logic’s audio to MIDI function was impressive, but ate serious ass when it came to translating any audio file with more than one note. Melodyne’s ability to decipher how many parts are playing, what frequency they’re at and ability to edit them clearly blows my mind and defies everything I’m used to. I can’t really see myself trying to fix guitar or vocal harmonies, rather trying DNA on really complex audio sources and see how it responds. Or testing it’s limits, finding glitches and exploiting whatever characteristics this program has. I do have questions on how it reacts to effected sound sources, like distorted guitars, complex synth patches and the sound of Justin’s voice.
It’s nice to know that Justin and I don’t have to do the dozens of takes on our barber shop project (mainly from my crying). Finally we can play our modular synths without tuning them (did I ever before?). And finally people who play Rock Band/Guitar Hero may actually sound good after using Melodyne (with alcohol…… and roofies). Although it is slated to be released in Fall 2008, if you buy the plug-in version 1 for $299 now, you’ll get the upgrade to version 2, which includes DNA, free. Normally version 2 will be $399.
In other ‘news’, the tour starts up again in a couple of weeks. It has truly been a rollercoaster and I’m exhausted. I have a few gigs left, the next one is in Paris on the 29th of April, a few other random places, finishing up in Amsterdam then it’s back to Chicago in May. I want to thank everyone involved and everyone that came out so far.
“After receiving a couple of Harvestman modules today and a CD ready for my European tour, I decided to incorporate the two. A Video of the assembly of the modular for my live setup and a track from the CD. Artwork credit goes to Byonic.
I must say receiving Modules reminds me of my younger days in middle school where I used to buy RAM, install it into my PC and through trial and error THINK I learned something. Well the trial and error is not an option anymore as these bastards cost a hell of a lot more money and I’m not using these modules to help me destroy people in Quake. First impressions: I have to mention that the packaging the units come in are impressive and they arrive in their own Harvestman boxes and static bags. Oh the small touches! At first glance I’m slightly confused as to why the Malgorithm is smaller than the Polivoks Filter depth wise. I was assuming since the Malgorithm has digital components, space would be consolidated into chips while the analog circuitry in the Polivoks simply took up more space. I’m sure I’m right in some cases but in this one I’m not. Both are relatively shallow compared to Livewire and Doepfer Modules. When at NAMM I noticed Scott Jaeger/Harvestman held all of his modules with the similarly shallow Cwejman modules in a small briefcase. It definitely gives new options for cases and not having to lug around a Doepfer portable which is somewhat of a strain for my 3 muscles. I just spilled cranberry juice nearly on everything in Justin’s studio. Shh… he doesn’t even read this.
Both modules are aesthetically beautiful front and back and well constructed. I’m not sure how I feel about Buchla Style wiggle on the knobs. The knobs definitely makes me feel more rich, almost as if I could afford a Buchla. It’s almost like picturing your girlfriend is Shannyn Sossamon while you’re…… *ahem*. Anyways this is almost like cheating… so aside from the wiggle causing hallucinations, I’m going to assume that they’re a welcome change because I treat my gear like crap and a little give on the knobs will keep them from getting bent.
I’m not going to talk too much about the sounds of the modules until I’ve gotten more than 20 minutes to play with them, but from first impressions the sounds are much higher quality than I anticipated (cause of examples on youtube). The reason I chose Harvestman modules is the focus on the options of destruction and aggression. The Malgorithm has, from what I’ve gathered, no bypass and whatever signal is going in will get hurt (in a great masochistic way). The filter on the other hand is surprisingly smooth and has extreme coloration/character that I find completely agreeable. It seems like most of the filter action happens between off to 12 o’clock. The resonance is the most unstable and aggressive I’ve heard. Also if you turn everything up, the sound warbles a bit, which may be a wanted or unwanted effect.
So to sum it up: If you want chaos, aggression and a bit of finesse, you can’t overlook these modules.
Some things are better never than late. This one is a general overview of our NAMM invasion.
This video is of Dieter Doepfer explaining some new and old modules. Some nice little tips and his favorites are mentioned.
Thanks go out to: Shawn Cleary of AnalogHaven, Mike Brown of Livewire, Richard Devine, Scott Jaeger of Harvestman, Dieter Doepfer, James at felixinferious.blogspot.com, the guys from Elektron that came to party, and your mom. A few pictures from our time in California can be found on this previous post: Selected Stills
As promised, our NAMM coverage is not going to be about the latest gear that is out or photos of every product on the floor. Rather, we thought we would find some very interesting people and talk to them about who they are as a person and what drives them to do what they do. I present a candid interview with Dieter Doepfer……
You can find my youtube profile here. I can’t promise a reliable schedule of updates. For instance I uploaded 4 videos a few days ago and before that, there was no activity for 2 months. But I can say that the NAMM videos we will be there. You can find a few shorts I made here. Most of them are timelapse pieces, like this one from work in the summer with music by radicalfashion who will be featured really soon on our blog:
Here is a ‘normal’ one from today. Bridget gives Justin an oceanharp. It’s killer!!
Initially trash_audio was going to be a source where Justin and I talk about how we use our gear and maybe give brief demos on how we apply it to our music. It has definitely morphed into something beyond ourselves and into another level. So, try to excuse me while I break the chain of Workspaces with a quick demo I did with the Moog moogerfooger Analog Delay MF-104Z. I really love delays of all kinds but preferably tape and analogs. I haven’t been able to find any videos that showcase the delay’s power and intensity, so I figured I’d show how I will be using it. The source of sound is coming from a Roland Juno 106 that has a busted voice chip. But I think it works out well.
I have a higher quality 24mb clip that you can download: here. I recorded straight into logic at 48k using my Mackie Onyx 1220 which should explain the lack of room tone.
And if you care about the backstory on how/ where I got it:
I’m in D.C. visiting family and friends for the weekend, usually I live/work in Chicago. While living here, I used to work at Atomic Music which is in Beltsville, MD and I always stop by whenever I am in town because they buy and sell so much used equipment you never know what you’ll find. An analog ebay if you will. Most of the people that work there are huge guitar buffs and I was the sole keyboard/production geek with almost no clue about guitars. My paycheck more or less went back into the store. Anyways, I stopped by to see some friends and to get rid of a bass guitar and one of the owners sees me eyeing the display moogerfoogers. He knows I have a hunger for delays and he says “I know what you want, I’ll be back.” He runs upstairs, steals a box from the guy who sells things on ebay and hands me the moogerfooger! Some guy returned it thinking it was broken but they gathered it was something else in his signal chain that was causing the problems. That means I ended up with a near mint moogerfooger at almost half price. We work out a trade between the bass and some cash and next thing I know I made this video. It’s an amazing store who’s owners are right there on the floor and everyone there are some of the nicest people I’ve met. If you live in the D.C. Metro area, you probably know it by now, but if not check it out: Here.