Thursday, 13 February 2020

More delays

Yeah, although the Hydrasynth finally made it to the UK (shortly after Mars got its second shipment), it will still be next week before the review model gets here. Next week is the week I'm on grandpa duties too, frustratingly, so all I can do is read the manual over and over and prepare a space. I guess I can get the next scene of my novel sorted.

Still haven't turned on the modular for a LONG time and have no desire to do so. At this rate I'll give it to the end of the year then flog the lot. Except it's such a ball ache selling individual modules. Maybe I need a bonding session but I've turned down reviews of cool modules because I can't really write about things unless I'm engaged.

A different selection of photos from yesterday. Thursday now, gonna go get some beer and settle in for an afternoon of indulgence. Got all my walking gear sorted now except possibly a larger rucksack. Tony being retired is going to keep me fit!

Still no sign of the fecking JD-XA wheel. Can't be bothered keep chasing it.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Bogged down in geography

Alright, I should have done it sooner: draw a map. I've done one now, loosely based on the area surrounding Sellafield, although I've moved a few places around, erased most of the rest and added ghost towns and no-go areas to suit my narrative. I suspect I'll need to refined it later and make sure I haven't contradicted anything too badly.

The need came about when I was about to kill my first character and up the tempo generally. I realised it wouldn't make sense without some planning. Should be back on track soon but I might need to let it all stew for a day or so before I find the correct approach.

Recorded a track yesterday that Don might be able to turn into something.
Today I started another in the other room. Might blend together in some way as a catchy kind of thing. It's forming in my mind anyway.

A tale of two days. The nice shadows were followed today with a named storm, although I refuse to give it one. We just escaped but I've ordered more sandbags so we aren't caught out in future. Course one day the rain will just continue until it's in the house :(

I think I cracked my difficult scene. It didn't take major surgery either, just some gentle pushing and maneuvering, which is how I like it. In the next read-through I might add a tiny amount of detail and description but keep the main section to the fast and hopefully dramatic way it is now.

Tuesday, off to buy some outdoors clothes for the Scotland trek. I didn't go to the gym, just pottered with a few parts of the novel in preparation for the next section. May need to suspend though because I got the heads up that the Hydrasynth is coming. Rather looking forward to digging in to that.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020


Well, it feels like Spring and the birds in the garden seem to agree. I saw a little egret today, which was cool, while out with Jasper. He's full of life again, the wonder of antibiotics!

Tomorrow I'm out walking with Tony, Wednesday Dentist, Thursday John, Friday will be studio indulgence or novel. What larks!

Great walk, going to try and make it a regular thing.

Wednesday the dentist did his thing and charged me £86 for hurting and insulting me. Came home and moved Cirklon around a bit to make it better suited to my standing up vibe, putting it where the 101 used to be, the 101 where the Ody used to be, the Ody where the ER1 used to be, the ER1 where the YC used to be and the YC where the TT-78 used to be, meaning the TT went where the Eventide Timefactor used to be, allowing me to move the Blofeld to a better position where Cirklon used to be and joined by the TimeFactor which I like to tweak, putting the Space where the Blofeld used to be.
That possibly sounds more complicated than it was. It gave me chance to do some lead rationalisation, always good. Heh.

Tally ho! Onwards into the thing that doesn't exist, which we call the future!

Monday, 3 February 2020

Gig offer and indolence

For Ideation, so I needn't say no right away but wait for Pete. Sounds like a decent gig too but still not sure my heart's in it. Of course the longer I leave it the less likely it will be that I do anything much again. Really, I'd like to go to Ozora but it's depressing doing these things alone, like Billy No-Mates.

Occurred to me you can do a complete ambient set on something like a 1010Music Blackbox, if you're content to put most (or all) on a backing track. Streaming high quality audio direct from card in sync with loops and other samples seems better realised for simplicity than the Octatrack. Almost makes me wish I'd bothered to learn those modules that came that time, one of which was essentially the same thing. I think I dismissed it at the time as an iPhone in your Eurorack case. Must try and get over my dislike of touchscreens. ;)

This week was my last chance to get something together for Tim to film but it looks like I'll fail at that too. My mind is still full of novel stuff and I suspect that's where it will stay for a while. One day we're talking to the money man, so I'll watch out for phrases like 'recession soon', 'you're doomed' and 'we're spending the final remnants of your cash on our lovely new office and extra staff'.

Fecking sleeting this morning. Aqua aerobics tonight. We leave the EU on Friday and all the angry victors seem suspiciously quiet. I wonder if the next stage in their futile quest for happiness is to murder anyone who doesn't have their own flag pole?

Hmmm, Pete is keen on doing the gig. So it's miserable, dithering old me that has to decide. Maybe I should make myself. Update: phew but he can't cos it's Ade's wedding. Off the hook!

I reached the end of Mr Robot and much was familiar. It's about created identities taking over the host but I guess it isn't set in Preston so not a Future Art Factory ripoff! I do sometimes wonder though about intellectual property and whether any of my ideas, repackaged by someone more talented, could appear in some really successful series or film. Hey ho.

Good Wednesday. Jams with Tim, mid-week beers, some novel work and general lazing. All good.

Time has passed. It's Monday again, another month apparently. Novel still going well - coming up with some good solutions to things and it does suggest that having a plot, even if you don't stick rigidly to it, helps. I also listened back to my Synth Bathing album and think it might be rather good. I therefore updated it from free to £3. Not bad for something that's slightly longer than a double album.

This week I have things on the calendar. To an unwitting observer it might appear I have a life.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Home Alone

Pat heading north with auntie Margaret leaving me to my own devices for a few days. I pottered with the JD this morning for an hour or so and fancy moving into the Dark Studio later on. Feels quite cold and it's always warmer in there. May try and do that catchy one as a short track for ANT as I don't think the last one I submitted was all that great (although Don has done a decent song over it). If I turn the Mac on I'll try and make it worthwhile - but I realise I could test out recording on the H4n too.

I'll crack on with the novel too as that's been neglected for a few days. It's weird knowing where it's going and what's going to happen, kinda takes the buzz out of getting stoned, opening the laptop and find out by writing it. Hope to still incorporate that kind of experience into the process because it's enjoyable.

Recorded a couple of things.Wrote some novel stuff but started to get side-tracked in the whole dream angle of it. Must either keep those sections really short or gather them all together at the end. Another of my many gimmicks. I could just have Herbal Jeff remember stuff randomly but that feels like a cop-out .

Watched some Mr Robot and even a Witcher, despite it being crap. Too Much Input. Does not help the writing or anything. The first track I recorded today needs a loose dubby bassline, which I'll do tomorrow on Cirklon so I can record unquantized. Good day even if house is currently a tip. Jasper alright but not good with pink pills. Slipping into cheese tomorrow morning, that used to work and I have mild squishy cheese now.

Hah! It's Saturday and I've done quite a lot of writing, all good fun too. Still in pink pill trials with dog.
Am deviating a LOT from my original pace in terms of what happens in each chapter, which is probably fine. Flowing well.

Monday, Pat home, I have four chapters and I feel the pace is cranking up faster than I planned. Indeed, the plan is rapidly going out of the window although it's really the fine detail stuff now, which is normal. Did nothing worthwhile musically, indeed I left the studio off on Sat/Sun. Going to take Jasper for a walk now and hopefully boost his appetite.
Withdrew my ad for the Mono Circuit though. I should keep it as a reminder not to buy things without thinking. The RK-005 too as it came in useful the other day.

It's Mozart's birthday today. I fancy cake.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

JD-XA bedding in

Well, seems that the mod wheel is buggered. Which is a shame because it's the wheel I most want to use. Hopefully it can be replaced and not cost a lot.

Slight pain is that Roland won't let regular humans order spare parts directly - only authorised dealers. I'm trying to persuade Oliver, a guy I've dealt with before, to help or at least tell me what to do.

In other news I programmed my first patches on it - some layered and split stuff using the analogue voices in 4-voice mode. Great stuff so far - made patches I can built on. I have also moved it into the studio of light so I can see the panel. Was thinking that it could pair up with the RC-505 as a complete stand-alone thing. The more I limit myself the better, as we know.

The H4n Pro turned up and my buyer's remorse has gone as it's a lovely, chunky thing that could be really good for location work and multitrack too.

Pat's off for the weekend, leaving me all that lovely contiguous studio time. If inspired I might try and finish the piano album. It really needs one more good coherent track plus a nebulous, warm bath kind of a track to make a worthwhile.

Jasper seems to have having arse problems again. Tail down, back legs trembling. Vet time and probably more antibiotics I guess.

Not too sure why I found this street light fascinating.

Thursday was a good day for the JD-XA. Well, apart from Roland being awkward about sending spare parts unless I'm a store. Matt will sort for me. I worked on a bunch of sounds in Bank C using the sequencer to add a drone over which other digital parts can play or the analogue parts solo.Works really well starting and stopping the sequencer manually moving between patches and playing along to an unsynced groove. That could well be what I get up to tomorrow afternoon. Very meditational. Using the banks as keys, like the Octatrack, making everything effortless. And I really like effortless.

Struggled to get pill into Jasper despite wrapping in cheese then chicken. He was not happy I forced it in. A few days of arse-rubbing and pill forcing ahead. Am determined though. Vet says he has two hermias and lots of fibrous tissue making shitting tough. May need op but really hope not. He's too old.

I bought a moderate amount of beer so Pat won't worry when she's away. :)

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

OP-1 gone, JD-XA arrived

I swapped a neat little thing for a big ugly thing. Means a bit of a swap around, the Virus Polar once again being removed. It'll probably go back into its box soon but I am now very aware that the Osmose, when it arrives, will need a space too.
UPS say the JD will arrive by the end of day. I hope they don't mean end of days, because that won't leave me much time to play it.
I advertised the Mono Circuit, just because. And the RK-005 too. I *think* the metronome out of the JD-XA sequencer might be sufficient to drive the Juno 6 arpeggiator; we'll see.

In other news, I have started the new novel. I wrote the prologue and chapter 1 then immediately realised I'd forgotten something. I expect this will happen a lot. However, it is much easier to write when you already know what should happen in each chapter. It's like playing a known tune is easier than improvising because you can put more into how you play.

It's grey and miserable and rainy. Such events now have names and this one is called Brendan, or Brandon, or Bramley or something.

The JD-XA arrived and I could find no way of wiping all its patches, so have started at A01 with something very basic I'll build on. Weird, and I should maybe have pointed this out in the review, but you can't turn parts 'off' - just set to a different MIDI channel or wonky key range I guess. I think I will probably not use its sequencer much and just have it as a thing to play. If I keep it, one of those overlays would be good - one with the text printed legibly.

Hilarious, the day after my JD arrived one appears in the SOS ads in Cumbria for £600. Sigh...

It's a beautiful Wednesday and I can't help thinking I should not spend it gazing at a synth. In other news, Tony the invisible lizard became Gary the dream lizard.