Electronic Music other: Blofeld Demo Track
Written January 05 2009 , Tags: blofeld.demo, dodgy, mastering
So I put together this track to see what I could do just with the Waldorf Blofeld and nowt else. I learnt two important lessons from this. Firstly, the summing inside the Blofeld is terrrrrible - really flat and lifeless. This wasn't a problem of polyphony or note stealing, as I'm pretty sure I didn't hit the 25 voice limit. Anyway, when I recorded it track by track into ableton it sounded much better. The second thing I learnt was that I really I enjoy making tracks with hardware (I used my MPC to sequence this out). No squinting at the screen and trackballing around, and no background hum from my computer either.
All the sounds in the track apart from the kicks are my own, and the only VSTs i used on it after recording were reverb, compression and dab of eq and distortion.
It's not the usual kind of track I make, it's very simple and repitative, but it was a lot of fun. And I haven't had that much fun making a track in a long time. I know this should be posted in the release ssection, but it's not really a release, I just wanted to make a tune that would give people and example of what the Blofeld can do and how it sounds.
It's called "speak and spoil" by the way.
a long time ago when i was a young graphic designer all the old guys who were from the pasteboard/camera days used to razz me because i was fresh from design school equipped with all the latest digital gadgetry. we still had the darkroom and all the equipment so one night when it was slow i decided to try building a piece using just the mechanical devices of old... no computer. it took forever but i finally had a solid piece. to this day, it's the piece that i'm most proud of.
something about working with your hands and getting away from this clicki-ness gives you more intimate knowledge and FEELING of what's going on.
having said that, every song i've ever tried to make with hardware turned out shit.
I totally agree fakeblooper - using a computer takes too much energy. I think I'm going to try and get away from it - for a few months at least, try to enjoy making music again
nice track ivan.. i'm wondering if the blofeld due to it's characteristic sounds will end up getting tired quick or possibly infringe on your creative style..
I once owned a monomachine and it felt like a one trick pony, albeit a good one at that but the sonic characteristics of that machine was too strong and every track that I worked on sounded like it came from it, like you, I also wanted to go down the hardware route, so even when the monomachine was coupled with an emu xl-7 or v-station I felt I was unconsciously following a particular musical path that the monomachine or emu was leading me down.. I just couldn't get away from electro or detroit techno with those machines, it's weird but it was like the sounds, programming or sequencing styles of those machines were recalling past musical influences from deep within my psyche which would materialize later onto my tracks.
but saying that, i didn't have a sampler to help maintain my musical style intact.. perhaps if i had one, i'm sure the machines i once owned would of served instead of dominating sonically.
I enjoyed this track, and sounds, thanks! It occurred to me that i've never put a track together without using a computer.
cool, some good sounds in there for sure. maybe i should see if i could so a song with a singe synth? most of the synths i use now are mono. wonder how hard it would be...
i agree, i've made alot of music sitting behind the computer, but the best stuff is the stuff where i do the most "playing". i was just thinking about this last night, that music is meant to be PLAYED
the track is the amazingness...
re: fakeblooper's point - i think a tool is a tool is a tool is a tool... do u know what i mean? simply that expression and feeling is not somewhere embedded within the tool or instrument or device u may or may not choose to use. it's somewhere else. and it matters little what tool you use as long as you are capable of using it. BOOM!
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did ul get the mpc rectangle thing in your vision? kinda like a purple twinky. that used to happen to me when i had an mpc. thats when i knew it was time for a break.
jaime - glad you liked the tune.
as for the blofeld getrting tired - i don't know . i mean it is just a 3 osc subtractrive synth at its heart so it is capable of a very wide range of sounds. most of the sounds in that track i programmed to sound quite rugged coz that's the sort of vibe i had for the tune. i like gear thats got a bit of character, rather than sounding transparent. with regards to the monomachine - i was recently lucky enough to meet one of my musical hereos in person, and he had lots of glowing things to say about the monomachine, but as a sequencer, like you he thought the sounds from it were too obvious.
yeah i agree that your choice of tools will shape the tracks you make, but only up to a point. 8 found that the real fun i had with working on the blofekld and mpc only came from having ideas again. sitting in front of a computer to make music, has been for the last year or so rather like walking into a convenience store the size of alaska.i don't want start a hardware/software deathmatch, but i found that when i made that track i was making decisions rather than just constantly think 'i wonder how this sounds?'click. 'oh it sounds shit.'
i'm not sure if a sampler does make all that much difference to me. i personally get more satisfaction from programming a syntrh than i do out of screwing with a sample.
cbit - glad you liked it. i made tracks yearsk agol using a roland mc50 which was a lovely little sequencer. everytime i hear one of your tunes i'm amazed by the focus that you must have to work in all those details. i'd go nuts trrying to do that.
seanh - sounds like a bit of multitracking, but it could be fun.post it up if you do decide to do it. i'd be keen to hear it.
kidgamma - i know what you mean. there was something really satisfying about making the whole tune on the pads of the mpc.
ev- that's very true. but for me, i really needed to get away from the computer - it was just too distracting.
cc - i got the purple twinky. bigtime.
i guess this isn't a proper release but i really dig the track. nice subterranean vibe. also enjoyed reading about the process...thanx
ivan - suppose u have a point about the sampler, looking back, i think the thing i missed the most was having a flexible hardware seq, while the emu command stations are great, they do lack the ability to explore polyrhythms without dabbling into LFO trickery. of course, I could've of looked into more sophisticated ways of sequencing, like the yamaha qy700 but they are a pain to program and to use in a live setting.
don't take me wrong, I love hardware but I grew up using computers to make music as i couldn't afford hardware as a kid, i started programming melodies on 8bit computers like the Dragon 32 and Spectrums which then lead me more seriously into exploring Amiga audio trackers as a basis to produce music with.. so I'm a product of the software tracker era.. hardcore, jungle & drum & bass.. so software came first, hardware came later when i could afford it.
but i've come to the realization that I need the best of both worlds to express my inner musical vision, imagine the blofeld sequenced via numerology!.. that would be cool.
Glad you're liking the blofeld tho, which is a good indicator in my books, so i might look into getting one for myself as i've been curious about those things for awhile now.
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