I thought it might be of interest to detail how the album was made. Anyone who follows my blog will know that I occasionally put up videos of synth jams, using hardware sequencers (the Sequentix P3 and lately, the Cirklon), samplers, synths, eurorack modular, drum machines etc. all running through an old analog mixing desk. I like making music this way. It seems to inspire creation and experimentation in a way that purely in-the-box composition does not (for me at least). The most important thing about making music is that it’s enjoyable, and I love this setup.
For all the gear heads, here’s a list of stuff I used whilst making the album:
Sequentix P3/Cirklon (sequencing duties)
Moog Little Phatty / Macbeth M3X / Yamaha CS5 (mostly for baselines)
DSI Prophet 12 / Suzuki SX-500 / Yamaha TX81Z (poly synth duties)
DSI Evolver Keyboard (lead sounds)
Eurorack modular (for allsorts!)
Akai MPC60 / MPC1000 / Korg ER-1 (drums)
Akai S5000 / Yamaha A5000 / Roland VP9000 (sampler duties)
Sountracs Topaz 8 (mixing desk)
Eventide Space / Timefactor (reverb / delay)
UA 1176 clone / Kurzweil Mangler / Lexicon PCM70 Dynacord VRS23 (other outboard effects)
RME Fireface 800 + 2x Behringer ADA8000 (24 tracks recording from direct mixer outputs)
Presonus Studio One (DAW)
FXpansion / SoundToys / iZotope (plugins for mixing)
It’s quite a list now that I look at it. Some things have moved on, and some things never will (I love that sequencer). When I started the “Analogue electronica” jams, I wasn’t sure if the results could be polished up into an album. The idea was to have fun with hardware and more importantly to inject some live feeling into a music genre which often suffers from copy/paste syndrome. In some of the videos you’ll hear mistakes, things that weren’t meant to happen but became part of the song nonetheless. For example, at 2:49 in “Waiting for a Storm” you’ll hear an almighty strange sound that was the result of me tweaking the wrong Auxiliary Send pot on the mixer, sending the signal to entirely the wrong effects unit (one which I hadn’t planned on using in that song, it was dialled into a random preset). The result however, has become one my favourite bits in the album.
In summary, I wanted to experiment more, embrace the results whether I meant them to happen or not. Too much music is overly perfect these days, polished and shined until it gleams like chrome. That’s fine, but sometimes you can’t beat a naturally weathered texture.