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Old 4th December 2017, 03:36 AM   #1041
calebprime
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Hip-hop, country, and WERS doing show tunes.

Some impressions from a few weeks of radio listening:

Two powerful forces -- a sort of corporate country music, all shiny and armored, and what you young people call hip hop, I think.

The corporate country* is intended to hypnotize like Chevy car ads. There must be much internal rhyming and assonance in the lyrics to make them more like semiconscious magic incantations: apple pie and mary sue and summer days and barb -b - Q and got some iron and got some fun and what she do she gonna run and and watch that light and watch that flag and summer night we're gonna drag and....

(I can't quite channel it.)

When Paul Simon talks about the werewolf coming, it's this, and Trump, obviously.

The hip-hop is positively operatic, it's so ambitious in some ways. It's also extremely close to Arabic music with its autotuned melismas in high plaintive adenoidal whine.


*Humvee Country.
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Old 5th December 2017, 03:43 AM   #1042
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The problem with just setting up the zoom recorder like a lobster trap and leaving it is that you don't know what you're going to find when you return.

Stations drift, or something. What sounded crisp an hour ago doesn't now. Sure, you can clean up the audio endlessly, fussily, fanatically even. But it's always better if you don't have to.

The Grundig has a slightly annoying design feature: Two identical buttons, right next to each other. One is antenna attenuation -- you need this all the time. The other one that you always hit by mistake in the dimness is the useless "sleep" button that seems to cause the Grundig to turn itself off at some random future time, just by hitting it accidentally. I don't know how to unprogram the "sleep" feature once I've hit the wrong button, and I don't want to take the time to find out. The key thing is to remember to cringe when using the Grundig: the engineers have built in a number of features like this that make this necessary. Consumer features. So, if you've hit the sleep button, expect your lobster trap to be filled with silence: the radio shut off.

Files with body parts are growing.

Here you have to maintain mad hopes: They never believed in you in the Academy! But soon these parts will be...ALIVE!

And sure, the idea is precisely a piece that sounds a little Abbie Normal.
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Old 6th December 2017, 02:44 AM   #1043
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recording the (WZBC) Newton station: Every piece begins with some found sound, has weirdly recorded vocals (shower stall, etc.) weird phase, weird imaging, suggestions of lesbian sensibilities, wistful winsome personas, drums and bass that never quite lock in, and mad DIY strumming.

These musicians are the younger cousins of the NEC students I taught. Completely computer-savvy. But the music fails to stay in the magic headphone-listening zone when it starts to rock. Then it gets boring. Or so the graying audio warrior feels. He aches in places he used to play.
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Old 7th December 2017, 04:33 AM   #1044
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made my first sampler instrument from a radio sound in this cycle -- the one note of unison string beginning Barber's Adagio.

Took out some hum with EQ, stretched with SoundHack, divided into separate channels, looped with freeware Loop Editor (which only produces good loops with mono samples, so you have to break stereo samples apart and put them back together later.)

Added some lo-pass filters on the sampler instrument, controlled by modwheel, and, as they say, Robert is the closest immediate relative of your father.

Take a step back. That was one note. That took an hour. You have approximately 8,543 notes. Figure out how dead you'd have to be to finish this project at this rate.

Still, it doesn't sound quite like anything you've heard before.
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Old 8th December 2017, 05:02 AM   #1045
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There is a point where you start to hear garbage as you open up the low-pass filter on the string sample off FM radio. You start to hear some high-frequency RF interference, or something, despite having cleaned the sound up.

Why exactly am I sampling off radio?

I might as well be a mellow pragmatist about this. Once a sound has been suggested by the process, it's ok to go to your CD collection and substitute something cleaner. Or wherever you can find it.

The process of sampling provides material that you are free to use or not.

RF interference isn't "character".

As we hear the plaintive note, we think of mournful keening for a young soldier, dying christlike in a hail of bullets in sacrifice for his companions. He's rugged, and he's dying in slow motion in a clearing. And then we become aware of a strange high-frequency whine. No, it's not choppers, it's a crappy FM sample!

You can use the process to give you ideas and material when it works to have dirtier material for some reason.

If you have to find a CD for every sample, that also will take you years.
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Old 8th December 2017, 08:46 AM   #1046
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
There is a point where you start to hear garbage as you open up the low-pass filter on the string sample off FM radio. You start to hear some high-frequency RF interference, or something, despite having cleaned the sound up.

Why exactly am I sampling off radio?

I might as well be a mellow pragmatist about this. Once a sound has been suggested by the process, it's ok to go to your CD collection and substitute something cleaner. Or wherever you can find it.

...
RF interference isn't "character".

As we hear the plaintive note, we think of mournful keening for a young soldier, dying christlike in a hail of bullets in sacrifice for his companions. He's rugged, and he's dying in slow motion in a clearing. And then we become aware of a strange high-frequency whine. No, it's not choppers, it's a crappy FM sample!

You can use the process to give you ideas and material when it works to have dirtier material for some reason.
The miracles just keep coming.

The Forefathers have written this in prophecy.
Kama5/2:30


Quote:
I dream about a laughing angel
Then the laugh becomes a furious whine

It is not FM, no static at all. Turn that M upside doWn.
It is FW. Furious Whine.
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Old 10th December 2017, 03:51 AM   #1047
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There are exactly 3 and a half people who really care about me, including yours and mine and one more chip* who isn't here.

The half is my mother, who still knows it's me when I visit.

So when a major portion of this population of 3 1/2 evinces ... a certain disgruntlement, a pall is cast o'er the whole project. The aud. w. takes note.

This large portion -- the wife -- feels that the recycling has been piling up and smelling bad. The hair is long. The laundry has been stuffed harder and harder into the baskets, then left for months, and smelling bad. The trousers and robe have been worn too long, and they, also, are smelling bad. The foul den of the a.w. reeks of, um, whatever. The wife feels, perhaps justly, that she shoulders more than her share of the burden.

The a.w. is painfully aware of the fine line between calm & crisp purpose on the one hand, and Brian Wilson-like magical thinking on the other. The a. w. forces himself into a state of more openness to new influences, via the radio. In his imagination, all things radio assume a magical aura.

Until they don't.

Until they too reek of indulgence. Floundering, even. Christ, kid, you knew that about samples 25 years ago.

Brian Wilson must have woken up one day and found crap in his sandbox.

Quote:
When Life seems like easy street there is danger at your door
Quote:
When the demon is at your door, in the morning he won't be there no more

A little despair, a little cold slap in the face even, is good for the a. w.

Take a step back. This is all part of a larger project. There were other parts to this.

For instance, your work on taking that amazing recording of your son babbling, fluently, astonishingly, and putting it through Alchemy I (better than later versions) to give it more musicality?

I'm hearing it right now! Fluent verbal nonsense turned into cascades of overtone-series riffs!

The problem isn't enough tools, sounds, ideas. It's focusing and working on one thing for a long time, with enough faith that it will eventually result in something worth hearing. There is overcoming of doubt in the process.

Maybe I'm old enough to be at the stage where I've temporarily forgotten things I've already learned and need to be reminded.

Reminded, that clean trousers feel good.





* [sic] misheard lyric -- actual word is chimp
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Old 11th December 2017, 10:41 AM   #1048
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Beginning to get good effects with toddler babble through Alchemy I (pre-Apple)

https://app.box.com/s/org156c60lbiqd9xzijljo7e5okggbsc


Alchemy I can read a Scala microtuning file, so I can play my son's voice in a 43-note per octave tuning, as I do here. Not that I'm doing much with the tuning here.

This is deliberately hacked up to hear transitions abruptly, it's around 2 min.

My son has broken my poor shriveled little heart by not going into my line of work. And his tuition at his so-called college is exorbitant.

But I'm going to get the last laugh by turning all that babbling into pure gold. Solid gold.
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Last edited by calebprime; 11th December 2017 at 10:44 AM.
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