Sunday 19 November 2023

Remember, remember, um, something, and then it's November. Scootland!

Monday it is and a pleasant afternoon was spent noodling waiting for the Arp which only left Bristol today. Also leaving Bristol is my beautiful Super 6, its panel replaced - which is very much appreciated. Finally smooth sliding is gonna be mine. Very excited. The Penguin Cafe CD I ordered from Amazon supposedly coming Sunday hasn't arrived yet, can be up to 10pm they say. Maybe the Prime membership isn't worth keeping up any more. 
Foot day tomorrow. 

We're here

OK, in one of those I went mad on saturation and levels. 

Oh yeah, went face first into a bog yesterday - totally soaked including phone and camera. Camera seems OK, phone has recovered after a rice bath but some bits not working (e.g. audio through earpiece when used as a phone). What an eejit. Think Tony upset as we turned round and missed out on his summit experience. 

Well, Friday was a day of two halves - morning I spent waiting around for Tony then decided to go out and wander around locally. Wish I'd gone first thing as it was lovely - and got some stream recordings too. Afternoon was too late for the lovely woods trip around Loch Maree so we did an abbreviated version. I was left with the usual impression that much of our time there is spent with me pining for the woods, but short of taking two cars we both compromise I suppose. Drank more whisky and smoked more weed in a week than I usually do in a month. Listened to Radio 6, which seemed considerably shitter than previous trips as they seem to have faffed around with the schedule, filling it with young airheads with zero personality and a list of records so naff I actually welcomed the Archers. Oh well. 

Next week I plan to start the Arp review, even though there's new firmware still on the way. Can cover basic functionality at least. 

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Farewell October

 It's getting rainy now as we approach the end of the month. This week's walk has been marred by various appointments - discovered the secret to getting one at the doc's is to stand at the door at 8am rather than try and get through on the phone. Nurse read podiatrist's letter and booked x-ray, took bloods and gave me antibiotics - all without looking at the toe. She didn't know how to wrap it up again afterwards, apparently. Tuesday and I'm going to see someone else who does and there's an appointment tomorrow too, but I don't know if today's means that isn't necessary. Dentist too tomorrow then William coming until Friday, at which point I'm taking mum for a covid jab.

All in all, not a week I'm going to get much studio time in, which is frustrating. Saturday also limited by the need to drive to Kendal in the evening for Penguin Cafe - Tony taking Pat's ticket and John gonna get up here himself so I needn't leave Broc alone too long while fireworks going off (!). Yeah, Pat's off to some do.

Next week currently looking clear, last before Scotland so I hope to get time for play as really itching to use the studio at the moment now it's all tidy again. May order that MIDICake Arp thing, just awaiting answers to a few more questions. Seems like it would be a good fit for the JD-XA in its new position or possibly even Setup 2 - but am I buying it for no really good reason? Emailed Udo to see how they're getting on with my Soup, hope that isn't away too long. 

That was the cover I made for David Law's hastily-assembled collection of tracks, can't actually remember which ones. Don't think I'll make available on bandcamp, plenty on there already. 

My ModFactor pedal was playing up the other day - flickering like the TimeFactor and ModFactor did. Flaky buggers, may swap power supply around and see if that helps. Have yet to find a power supply for John's fx, will see if the one for the 1202 turns up as he can have that. 

Oh, and as our American friends (and now us, inevitably) would say, happy fucking halloween!

Friday 27 October 2023

Viral Reminiscence

 Whenever I return to the Virus it's like an old friend. I know I overused it back in the day but even now, especially with the Blackbox able to capture complete performances, it sits in a mix better than any synth I know. It sounds mixed already, whatever you do, which not many instruments can say. 

Listening through, I have some good stuff of late. Edits in each, and I probably have an album of interesting stuff. Let's see if it seems that way tomorrow morning. 

Well now. It's Friday evening and we just returned from the tapas thing, which wasn't great, it has to be said. I'd forgotten about it and got drunk as usual, but seem to have gotten away with that.

My corn has gone deep and podiatrist reckons doc should look at it. Oh, we didn't walk this week and I sorted upstairs and library and tip runs instead. Bought Behringer Wasp for pocket money. Sounds OK too, filter especially good and nice for processing the RD-9 which is working well in setup 4. 
Today I started something kinda fun, might progress tomorrow. I'd intended Anustian to be along the lines of Wunderbar but it went in a completely different direction, which was nice. 

In other news I'm still really liking using twin Odysseys. Its so much nicer than multitracking the same one. I'd like an RC-505 in setup 3 though. Was looking at the Eventide H90 the other day after convincing myself I don't want a Syntrx II. Actually, still hoping for a crack at Tony's Synth prototype - it'll be simpler than the Erica - that etch-a-sketch matrix doesn't appeal but maybe I need to use one before ruling it out. William next week. 

Editing novel going slowish due to other work but making progress. Udo have my Super 6 and say they'll look at this week. We shall see. Library stripped. 

Monday 16 October 2023

Barp vs Karp

 Or B-Ody vs Ody, I dunno. I bought Tony's Behringer Odyssey with a view to selling my Korg but there was a problem at first - I wasn't sure it sounded as good. I'd done a few days of just playing the two, playing identical Cirklon patterns in both and comparing. While the Behringer won on features, the Korg's oscillators sounded, to me, fatter and bigger and most distinctive. To cut a long story short, I solved it when I fired up the app and disabled soft thru. Bizarre but true. Also found an option to keep my sequencer sync but not have it start every time I send a MIDI start. 

Quick summary: Behringer has a nice keyboard and a MIDI Output - something Korg neglected on their MS20 keyboard version too. And it sends velocity - tweak the app and you can even play accents or do it via MIDI. The Body has a stereo effects unit but Behringer stupidly summed it to mono - Tony has fixed mine but I need a lead for the XLR output to try it (the one lead I had didn't work). Anyway, just having the knob to bring in some reverb is actually quite nice so a plus there. The Body's sequencer is a bit naff - over-complicated - but the arpeggiator is darn handy. 
In general I really like the feel of it, the sliders are longer and smoother than Korg's and have variable strength LEDs on the tips. It's smaller and neater than a real Ody and I guess the next thing is to try Tim's against the two. Oh and the Drive switch on the Barp is a larger leap in gain than the Korg's, a bit unsubtle actually. 
Having both might not be all that crazy after all...

Friday was a good sesh, used the Wolfman samples a bit. Saturday we did Yessey, on good form, sorta abstract and Tim not drinking as heavily as I was.Sunday I began the destruction of the library (the only room downstairs with any personality), moving the books I want to read again (or just keep) upstairs. 
Monday I selected some pix for next year's calendar, will go through with Pat tonight. This afternoon will continue moving stuff upstairs, do photo of telescope for ads and to sent to Janet/Lisa. Nowt back from George yet so I suspect his backtracking was his last word on the subject - he ain't great at dialogue, as I know from testing. May visit Matt this week, lend him the Prodigy. Contemplating a Microcosm again but not decent demos appear to show what I want....

Thursday 5 October 2023

Hah, Ody number 4!

 I know, mad right? I suppose the Creamware one probably doesn't count but it was pretty good. My old black and gold butchered module sounded great but was pretty ropey. The Korg whiteface was beautiful and I was pretty happy with it - but Tony offered up his (Behringer) keyboard version - and that really is the way the Ody should be, so I bought it. Will probably sell the Korg but will compare first. The Behringer has sequencer/arpeggiator and effects as well as keyboard - beating Korg by having a MIDI out as well as in. Anyway, Tony has done the LFO reset mod, improved the FX mix and outputs and sorted something with the filter I didn't quite catch. It'll do me! And, of course, Tim's is still here!
I guess I've had as many Odysseys as MS20s now. 

I must sell some stuff!

(A pic from the Erland Cooper gig at Lancaster)

It's been a hell of a week - won't try and record it all here, suffice it to say that mum was back in Preston but as she was covid positive they put her in a small airless room with non-functional aircond and no windows and promptly began to forget about her. After two days and no prospect of any treatment we took her home. She's still got covid and is weak and poorly but what can you do? 
Pat and I have had colds - seem to be getting over mine at last so hope to walk tomorrow and pick up the Ody keyboard from Tony as well as my Perfourmer. Have put Minimoog in its flightcase and got the Prodigy out - for a change. Compiling a list of stuff to sell but will I do anything about it?
Synthfest Saturday...

Friday tomorrow, the Ody looks lovely so that's my plan - mess with that!

JD working well as a main keyboard for Cirklon. May set up Ody to play Korg Ody, which is probably gratuitous and therefore a good reason to do it. Tally ho!

Monday 18 September 2023

The Ongoing Draft

 Well, I feel quite gobsmacked this morning and all the more determined to make this novel better than ever. Cara sent me the first half of her novel edits and I've had a quick look through this morning. It's really everything I dared hope it might be - important questions showing she totally gets the plot, suggestions that are going to really boost the quality and lots of useful observations and corrections. Quite a lot of it concerns parts I've already reworked, which will be interesting if I go through and compare her ideas with my revisions. I'm looking forward to it. Was very chuffed that she points out some of my favourite bits as hers too. Weird though, I always thought my ideal reader was an older gentleman. 

Friday, have managed four Musical Dice Game tracks in last few days, feels like a collection but maybe needing a hit single. 

Pat sneezes more than any other human being. Did MD12, which I think gives me quite a lot - actually 1 hour 40 mins of music to sift through. I started putting some ideas together in terms of running order - more thought required but the first version sounding good this morning (Sunday). Tim came round and we recorded that utterly fab Vesly, so that's a pleasant result - must've been ready for a good creative sesh. 

This morning I had a very trippy experience listening to playback of a musical dice piece on the laptop while listening to another (or maybe the same one at a different point) on speakers. Some very cool potential there, may try and import all 12 into the 404 and try playing them against each other from there. Upset Pat by suggesting two nights would be a good maximum for Will at half term. 

Cara has scored a blinder in some of the edit comments lately. For example, there was the mystery of the blank chapter (46) and then a couple of questions showed where I'd really not given readers a genuine chance to follow some threads. All it then took was to move  and expand a short paragraph, making it into chapter 46 which occurred at exactly the right point and seemed like I'd planned it. Maybe I did but didn't know it. Anyway, I am now working through a difficulty at the end of chapter 50 that I'd deliberately dismissed so I could do a surprise later but now realise it needs more work. Makes me think the older books all needed this degree of outside help to get them over that final threshold. 


Pat's suposed to be going south at the weekend,not sure if Friday but saturday for sure. Erland Cooper on Sunday so all in all a weekend to look forward to.

Saturday 9 September 2023

Summer's back!

 Seems that way and in September too, by golly! Yesterday's recordings seem OK this morning; there was even some capture of the Casio piano into the Cosmos for a nice change. Tim coming today and I expect we'll sit in the sun and drink beer for a bit. Pat was off early with Benji so a curry beckons this evening. 

Sunday was very sunny and I spent much of it lolling. Was gonna get a new froggy tie for wedding but all the ones I liked can't be delivered in time, so it's back to the old faithful one. Seem to have misplaced the alien tie, reducing my choices somewhat. Did some work on the start/end parts of WSGL and sent to Cara (Kitten Bakery) as this will be my base document for draft 3. I plan to start that sometime in this next month as I feel the time is right. Pat still not back so it's a very chilled day. Hope she not late as driving in the dark not good with her dicky eye.

Today I hacked a number of trees in the garden and ripped out the dry, dead mass of honeysuckle. Are those things related to honey badgers, I wonder? I also seem to be back in writing mode, which is nice. 

Wednesday, novel updates going well - making those little changes that explain some of the things in my head that aren't otherwise obvious. Went to pub with Tim and it were grand. Pat had a go later cos I hadn't asked whether the wedding food would be vegetarian. Not entirely sure why I'd ask that since neither of us are veggie but she may have been miffed about something else, can never tell. 

Thursday and Pat suffering with cystisis again overnight. No walk as was meant to be another heatwave but, of course, that didn't happen. Tony wanting to book Oct 21st but something about end October rings a bell - William coming maybe. I'll check if Pat has forgotten to put it on calendar. May get into studio this afternoon, hope so as tomorrow is wedding day and I'll have to stay straight. 

Wedding went well although mum struggled badly. She'd sourced an oxygen supply but then refused to use it (or hadn't brought it). Janet somewhat drunk and insisting I dance, swore at mum, felt Pat wasn't taking part. Tried explaining she had cystisis but nothing was registering. Lisa looked lovely and very happy for them both.
Saturday was stupidly hot. Sat in the cool and did novel stuff - up to chapter 20 now of draft 3, making small but necessary revisions and clarifications. Started doing chapter titles too, will see if I keep that  up.