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Rambling thoughts and a new track

Hi everyone,

Over the last year I've lurked more than I've posted so I'm writing to share some philosophical, musical, and technical thoughts.

As musicians we get many of, what I call, "15 minute of fame" moments. We all decide what to do with them. In a sense, an internet post is also such a moment and I am aware that for some people my post will lack resonance, some will find it entertaining, and perhaps someone will take some piece of fresh knowledge or inspiration from it. The same with a performance or really with any interaction. I try to avoid posting when I'm in a bad mood because the transient negativity will find its way onto the page and achieve permanance.

Anyway, I've spent a good deal of time with DIY electronics -- furiously adding new modules to my modular synth. My synth has a MIDI-to-CV converter and, among other functions, converts MIDI Clock messages to clock signals.

The LP1 is a rock-solid MIDI clock source. The way it works is that when one records and ends the master track (by default, the first track) the LP1 -- based on the length of the track and the Beats-per-Measure setting, outputs perfectly aligned MIDI clock events.

This opens up possibilities to do tightly synced work with the synthesizer. One of the first issues that arise is that the result of these repeated triggers is repitition -- that is, percussive envelopes restart on every trigger producing a marimba or mandolin effect.

I modded some hardware logic circuits such that it would combine the triggers (from the MIDI CLOCK) with gates (from my keyboards) such that a Logical "AND" drives the output 'high' and remains high until a logical NOT OR condition occurs. This allows long envelopes to start precisely on a clock without repeating on subsequent clocks.

This allows me to build very long loops that start with seemingly random events with big gaps of silence between them and to slowly add events that eventually coalesce into a groove. The clock assures that each event will happen "on the beat" so to speak.

This track, entitled "Mysterious Bells" demonstrates this idea:


I created this track in 2010 -- and if I already shared this with you, please forgive me -- I honestly can't remember if I wrote about this here.

There was a recent thread here about the use of the LP1 when slaved to a clock -- however I like to use it as a master.

Off topic:

I haven't really done much music in 2011. Last August my (grown up) kids, on a whim, decided to visit a nearby dropzone to do a "first jump" course. They asked if I wanted to join them and I apprehensively agreed. I was in a state of shear terror as I sat in the door of the airplane but as soon as I jumped out I was hooked and decided to keep jumping. I'm up to 35 jumps and around 10 minutes of freefall time and will have my license in just one or two more jumps. This has become pretty consuming -- much harder and more time-consuming that I ever imagined -- and I look forward to getting back into the studio once I get the skydiving license and with the onset of winter in a few months.

All the best to one and all!

-- Kevin