divide my time between sculpting stately drones*[www.myspace.com/stephenmclaughlin], droppin micro disco/tech beats[www.myspace.com/noodlearm909], animating lofi porn visuals and ch ch chillin
*try playing the wire drinkin game. do a shot every time a drone is described as 'stately', chug the bottle for every spraypainted 3''cdr
casio mt400 circuit bent screaming machine
tascam 6 channel mixer from noahs ark
speaker heads in the wrong socket covered in tinfoil
yamaha electone organ
Packard bell 17inch headache
mercury moog [the closest i'll ever get to one]
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Electronic Music other: how much of a slave to your tools are you ?
Store Written March 21 2007
after a conversation with a friend on saturday recently ive been thinking this. he was trying to get me into reaktor and we were chatting about whether it was worth learning max properly instead on cobbling other peoples patches together in lloopp. it made me think of a load of recordings i made when computer free last year with nothing but a guitar and a couple of borrowed mates loop pedals that, when i played them to friends, people assumed it was some radical signal process i was using instead of simply feedback, bowing unusual parts of the guitar and some string prepartation (for reference, check out my release 'spun gold' on this site). it was quite a boost to me that i seem to have developed my working style into a state of mind almost (im aware how wanky that sounds but i cant think of another way to put it) where i can focus on producing sounds and reacting upon them no matter what medium i am using and that the end result seems to be recognisably 'me'. Does anyone else feel like this? or is youre work completely caught up in the medium? especially with reference to the salivation and gearlust that goes on here (with me involved).
03/21/07 + astroid
interesting question. don't know if i could answer it honestly.
various media feel like investments, in a way. it's easy enough to ignore the dividends of those media and just focus upon the ideas that are "you," but then i think you lose some of the intimacy of being affected by the tools you've taken the time to learn. i try to stay in the middle, where i'm putting in my hard fought ideas, but always adapting the ideas (which are kind of meta-musical anyway) to the tools at hand. in learning what is possible in a media, in another light, you are pushing your ideas into concrete form, and so you are always inescapably caught within those tools. however, in learning your tools as best as possible, you are better able to express your ideas. paradox of slavery/freedom.
03/21/07 + bsr
for me the process is as important as the end result and it's taken years to get to a point where the way i work gives sounds and emotions i want to convey rather than being forced into a sound as a by-product of the tools. like astroid says though it's important to be able to bring in new methods to your core techniques.
for some reason i'm reminded of the sky tv idents here in the uk that are just presets from reaktor - where's the art in that? and again as i've mentioned before, i remember several gigs in manchester where i've heard the unmistakable audiomulch rissetfilter - it annoys me but i don't know why.
03/21/07 + jogn
I tend to be really annoyed as well when i can name a preset, name a plug in's audio processing, or just lazy technique, lack of arrangement, though i forgive all that if the mood/ x factor of the entire piece/track is just spot on, but I guess i just like to know that there is more work involved in the process than just running things through a plugin and spitting the entire crap out. Having said that i find myself to be somewhat of a slave to the sequencer when it comes to beat making. No matter how much you try for rhythmic complexity on a sequencer, it all sounds shite compared to being able to bang out a complex beat yourself. Speaking from a process oriented view of course.
03/21/07 + straight
<3 audiomulch rissets .
When I only had a 4-track, a couple of toy Casio's, a guitar, and bass I was way more productive it seemed. With a setup like that it's virtually impossible to get distracted by a learning curve (assuming one already knows how to play guitar and bass w/a little theory under the belt). Now I'm always in a learning curve it seems. So what I've done about it is to use this arsenal of software that I have in the simplest way I can, i.e, I am not trying to learn the tools through and through, instead I use them for the things that I can immediately and intuitively achieve with them. If I like the results then that's all that matters. I know there's a lot of untapped power, but I want to be in control as much as possible as soon as possible. That means I cannot get into every little detail of every tool that I use––especially if I'm achieving acceptable results with sounds and music. The bottom line is that it's okay to remain in a learning curve, just as it's okay to have more power at disposal than is likely to be used. What is not okay is to be overwhelmed to the point of little or no productivity.
I recently dumped gigabytes and gigabytes of of software and accompanying sound libraries because I realized that I work from basic sounds and that the sounds that I can record on my own are infinitely more interesting to use and manipulate––very few small capable tools are needed for that kind of ambition. Speed is of utmost importance in commerce, and a ton of choice is required. As an artist, though, only what's necessary is necessary.
lol. I'm sure you've spent time checking out active pickups, tone controls, and the circuitry of effects pedals.
03/21/07 + soft
ssssshhhhh. dont feed the troll!!!
he makes ridiculous statements like that because he WANTS to piss people off/get under their skins.
then you pick him up on why his idiotic statements are bullshit ..... he comes back calling you something highly original like "fagot".
pretend he doesnt exist .... or install the greasemonkey blacklist then it becomes reality.
03/21/07 + lematt
i'm starting to think that PAWEL is an automated 'bot.
I know. I was just having some fun. Maybe this thread can get back on topic. Apologies.
03/21/07 + bla
i think my music is almost entirely defined by the equipment used
i dont want to have to have my own ideas- i want the machines to tell me what to do
use the full range of every parameter in every combination distributed evenly throughout- no need for emotions or other human weaknesses
03/21/07 + phundamental
I am currently trying to write a piece using linux gnumeric spreadsheet software and csound, it feels like swimming in tar after ableton live, but i'm interested in overcomming this obstacle
03/21/07 + straight
but have you got a full on vision of the pieces outcome? what im wrestling with is that is there a point to doing all this low level programming if you can achieve the outcome through other less head melting means? is the process the outcome? the reason i havent delved into max/reaktor programming is that i know how to create the sounds i want at the moment, maybe i should try and think more about what sound can be
03/21/07 + phundamental
well the process is important too, as usually the process has alot of impact to musical outcome doesnt it? and no i dont have any idea what the piece will be like, if i manage to at least complete any 3minute piece in pure csound i'll be happy
03/21/07 + Roshi
I worry if the process is too easy. Is it because I'm a masochist?
I think it's also that I'm committed to going where I'm uncomfortable musically. If a song comes together too easily, I think that my process has become too concrete, too cookie cutter.
I record lots of bare song ideas...and while I've toyed with releasing them as is, it doesn't feel right unless I "discover" the underlying structure of a song through arranging and rearranging. The end product has to feel organic to me.
03/21/07 + electrodan
The tools and medium used to craft any piece of work will inherently define, to some extent, its character.
Its like the difference between using charcoals or watercolors, the character of the whole thing is determined by the process which is determined by the medium used.
So you aren't so much slaving to the gear as you are adapting your creative process to it, which leads to more opportunities and avenues of expression.
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