Sunday, November 30, 2008
While trying to establish a working process for sequencing tracks for my latest collection, I spent a lot of time looking at theway I work when writing & recording music. The current format seems to be a kind of musical anarchy as I mix & match different sounds to see what is thrown up.
When I record normally I use Cakewalk’s Studio Pro software as it allows an incredible degree of editing power & is very easy to use, musicians are wary of manuals & I hate anything that makes me spend time doing what music is not about i.e. working at a computer keyboard or with a mouse.
However over the last month I have restricted myself to writing using soundforge’s Acid Pro, which is like a sketch pad allowing you to loop & move around sounds quickly, without worrying about wkat key they were recorded in or the time signature of the sample. Acid automatically places everything in the correct key & stretches or shrinks the sound used to fit the tempo. The rules I used were simple enough to adhere to:
1. Everything to be recorded using Acid & mixed directly from there to my hard drive.
2. No track to take longer than one day, working quickly, trying to utilise inspiration & feel.
3. No outside effects processing, attempting to keep the sound pallette as simple as possible.
4. Where ever possible using existing samples, previously unused on other tracks.
Simple, direct & very basic. The results have been mixed, some pieces which seemed great at the time on later hearing could be termed as “ filler “ but some have really stood out & captured the atmosphere I was aiming for. So at the end of November I have a collection of some 21 tracks that I am currently considering. It has been an interesting experiment & a working process that I will return to. It was refreshing to not be faced with hundreds of choices regarding sounds & effects as is usual when I am writing or mixing. By restricting myself to a few instrument choices & a very fast working process with the minimum number of “whistles & bells “ I found myself spending more time on the creative process which for me is the essence of what I do.