PDA

View Full Version : Actress / Nail the cross



PLMSTRY
30-11-2010, 04:48 PM
Hi everyone!

I saw actress Dj at the the recent no pain in pop event Peckham, I asked him that awkward question of what equipment he uses/d for live and producing and of course he wasn't gonna give the game the away.

I was just wondering if you guys had any ideas? No plugins :rolleyes: obviously and im guessing some analog compressors!

But would love to know if any you guys have any ideas! His post eternal sonics for me is the one of the most unique sounds i've come across.

What were your thoughts of no pain in pops Nail the cross for those of you that went! On the whole I was pretty disappointed! Was looking forward to for ages but the reality was just a bit shambolics! I couldn't enjoy becoming reals set as the soundman couldn't get the levels right. Moscas set was enough to put one to sleep!

anyway any insights much appreciated

continuum
30-11-2010, 06:57 PM
I want to know more about Actress too. Please post any info if you have it.

connect_icut
30-11-2010, 09:41 PM
That's pretty interesting. I have no idea what Actress uses but - from the sound of it - I'd always assumed he was 100% digital and probably 100% computer based. Interested to find out otherwise. Would like to know more.

Aww Nein
30-11-2010, 09:53 PM
this was a year ago, and i didnt go unfortunatly, but it probably would have answered all of your questions... it was a series at the ica where artists recorded a track in a day, and people could watch everything they did

http://www.ica.org.uk/Recording%20Studio+22282.twl

there's a link there to a podcast with actress and lukid which might be pretty insightful.

shame i missed nail the cross, but if it wasnt so great then nevermind.

connect_icut
01-12-2010, 05:31 AM
I must say that I find this thread slightly perturbing. My whole theory about the greatness of Actress was based on the idea of him making a positive thing of all detritus and artefacts thrown up by the ubiquity of low-quality digital audio of entry-level music software. Now I'm reading phrases like "obviously no plug-ins" and "analogue compressors" and thinking I must have been way off.

grizzleb
01-12-2010, 06:15 AM
I must say that I find this thread slightly perturbing. My whole theory about the greatness of Actress was based on the idea of him making a positive thing of all detritus and artefacts thrown up by the ubiquity of low-quality digital audio of entry-level music software. Now I'm reading phrases like "obviously no plug-ins" and "analogue compressors" and thinking I must have been way off.

Nah he's definitely using computers... (IMO) I can't imagine how anyone could think otherwise. Good digital compression and digital distortion etc will give you sounds like this. Doesn't sound all that different from some stuff I know people have made on fruityloops.

routes
01-12-2010, 07:28 AM
yeah to my ears it's lowbitrate samples, chilly vsts and lots of skunk. hazyville is brilliant, point and gaze is a total drugthug anthem maaan!

Big Nose
01-12-2010, 10:00 AM
ďI record on really minimal gear, but at the same time Iím always focused on trying to remove the music from the computer. I donít want it to have a computer type sound, so people who listen to the album should be a bit bemused as to what it was made on; how it was made. ĎCause itís not really sequenced, I donít sequence in the traditional form. Thereís mistakes in there that I didnít bother to take out."

I always thought it sounded like it was made on hardware.

PLMSTRY
01-12-2010, 02:37 PM
I must say that I find this thread slightly perturbing. My whole theory about the greatness of Actress was based on the idea of him making a positive thing of all detritus and artefacts thrown up by the ubiquity of low-quality digital audio of entry-level music software. Now I'm reading phrases like "obviously no plug-ins" and "analogue compressors" and thinking I must have been way off.

that obviously no plug ins remark was naive of me, I don't actually know, regardless of what he uses he just takes his music in a different direction. He probably would prefer people to focus applying that method some i'm probably asking the wrong questions. Is interesting to know though. He mentioned ableton and max/msp.

PLMSTRY
01-12-2010, 02:42 PM
yeah to my ears it's lowbitrate samples, chilly vsts and lots of skunk. hazyville is brilliant, point and gaze is a total drugthug anthem maaan!

Haven't heard this until now!

Really sick !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHXGwFZQL5w

daddek
01-12-2010, 04:02 PM
if your process and head is in the right place, there's no reason why using only software will inevitabley sound computer-y. 'Computery' meaning, what, grid-ed, un-textured, stiff, un-saturated. the whole idea that digital = cold/lacking will probably be outmoded eventually.. hopefully. the digital tools are becoming more human every year.

i dont know what actress uses, ive been told its all software, but that was second / third hand info.

connect_icut
01-12-2010, 04:15 PM
I should point out that I know a thing or two about making computer music sound non-sterile. I make lots of hopefully non-sterile music (http://csaf-records.com/) on my computer. As someone who started out on Reason and graduated to Max/MSP, I find it interesting that people are guessing everything from Fruityloops to Max for what Actress uses. To me, his stuff is very redolent of creative software abuse. Non-sterile in a distinctly computer-y way. Cyberpunk, almost.

grizzleb
01-12-2010, 07:52 PM
I should point out that I know a thing or two about making computer music sound non-sterile. I make lots of hopefully non-sterile music (http://csaf-records.com/) on my computer. As someone who started out on Reason and graduated to Max/MSP, I find it interesting that people are guessing everything from Fruityloops to Max for what Actress uses. To me, his stuff is very redolent of creative software abuse. Non-sterile in a distinctly computer-y way. Cyberpunk, almost.Yeah exactly. Part of Actress's charm for me is that he to my mind is one of the first person to do the digital thing but really using it to its best. Warm but still clearly cheap (possibley free) vsts (with some nice mixdown software).

daddek
01-12-2010, 08:11 PM
amazing how can you so assuredly differentiate between the sound of the vsts and the 'sound' of the mixing software.. :) and be so sure the vsts are cheap/free. to say he was the first to do the digital thing well is quite an extraordinary claim also.. negating burial, fly lo, zomby, etcetc. But ok.

Aww Nein
02-12-2010, 02:03 PM
surely with these producers the only thing you can be sure of is what it DOESNT sound like, ie with a lot of producers they stick to the presets and as such you can recognise certain sounds cropping up again, but as soon as someones using samples then they really could be using anything.

i also think a lot of people immediatly equate good/weird/noisy/deep=analogue, digital can be just as lofi.

also actress was around before burial, flying lotus and zomby... just saying.

PLMSTRY
07-12-2010, 01:56 PM
i also think a lot of people immediatly equate good/weird/noisy/deep=analogue, digital can be just as lofi.

haha love that, very true.

I find with digital pitching, warping , stretching has that annoying glitchy scrape and therefore I imagine doing the same in analogue to be without this side effects and warmer somewhat naively perhaps.

Id still like to discover analogue techniques all the same as years of working in purely ableton and logic is getting a bit dull.

connect_icut
07-12-2010, 09:20 PM
From experience I'd say that analogue lo-fi tends to sound warm and pleasing, whereas digital lo-fi tends to be abrasive and purely unpleasant. The thing that I think is genius about Actress is that he's built and compelling aesthetic around digital lo-fi. It's not the same as glitch, where digital errors form the building blocks of the music. Actress deals more in artefacts than errors and he seems to leave them as they are, yet he sets them in a context which gives them some kind of musical logic, if that makes any sense.

hopper
07-12-2010, 11:59 PM
I think in the right hands though digital can sound just as satisfying as analogue - if you look at what flying lotus, burial, shackleton, levon vincent actress all manage to do. it's all about channelling the right frequencies until things sound right really. obviously there are issues of colouration and so forth with software but I really think it's just a matter of having a sensitive understanding about eqing and influences of certain frequencies/getting the right samples and so forth. It's quite nice to bring in some analogue textures into a digital framework as well to kind of get this properly.

Aww Nein
08-12-2010, 01:08 AM
i guess with low fidelidy digital audio, youve got low bitrate (bit crushing, chip tune) which can be used creatively quite satisfyingly, or you have low samplerate, which is more like youtube quality audio or poor mp3s. glitch i think is different as its more of a fault in the performing technology and draws attention to that, akin perhaps to a tape being chewed up and pitch warping, or record scratching. then theres the sort of lofi aesthetic that comes from the way in which the DAW software kinda encourages the artist to work, like ableton smoothing everything out into perfect quantised loops or fruity loops having this rough sequenced sample thing (maybe thats just my approach to these objects).

with the digital scrape of timestretching, its not really somthing analogue equipment can do, its more a form of synthesis in itself (granular), but you can do crazy things with melodyne or somthing that dont sound at all harsh.

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/brekOtE03Ic?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/brekOtE03Ic?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

i think this sounds pretty satisfying ^

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vRvbg62zX3w?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vRvbg62zX3w?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

this also

skull kid
08-12-2010, 05:21 AM
"whereas digital lo-fi tends to be abrasive and purely unpleasant."

this isn't always true though, people love to talk about the "warmth" of classic 90s ny rap for instance and attribute it to the low sample rate of old samplers, even going further to celebrate certain DACs and dithering rates and so on. why do you think sp-12s and mpc 60s and the like still command decent rates on the used market?

this whole analogue = warm, superior, digital = cold, inferior thing is a dichotomy that began in the used synth market to promote an agenda, and has unfortunately become second-hand knowledge in the critical realm. i doubt very much that anyone on this thread could blindfold identify an analogue synth from its software counterpart, or a digital recording from 1/4 inch tape, especially if you consider the great lengths software designers have gone to emulate analog recording techniques (this isn't a sleight on anybody, not many can!)

whatever actress uses, i reckon the perceived warmth of his recordings comes as much from his use of classic deep house tropes, soulful 7th and 9th chords and suspensions, and more "human" feeling unquantized drum patterns, than any particular gear. i did read somewhere that he samples youtube a lot, which may explain the low bitrate people are hearing

daddek
08-12-2010, 08:56 AM
i think we're using outmoded definitions of digital and analog.

It's really saturated vs unsaturated. The human ear likes harmonic saturation, it's a pleasing 'warm' kind of complex distortion, like the warm inprecision of old photographic film. This is an inherent factor in analog realm, in valve & tape technology. When digital recording first appeared, it lacked all harmonic distortion, and it sounded cold in comparison- it's not a myth. So did the first digital synths, the programming was so simplistic, the waveforms very static.

But nowadays computers can recreate analog saturation & synth oscillator instability damn near perfectly. All the digital artists mentioned in this thread use plug in simulations of tape/tube distortion all over their tracks. The digital / analog dichotomy is becoming redundant with cpu power & plug in design

However, given a A/B between a real mini moog recorded into heavily distorted analog tape, and an unprocessed bounce of a Reason Subtractor synth, anyone on this thread could tell the difference. Use the arturia moog emulation and a top notch tape emulation though, and it would be a lot harder to hear.

daddek
08-12-2010, 09:06 AM
"whereas digital lo-fi tends to be abrasive and purely unpleasant."

this isn't always true though, people love to talk about the "warmth" of classic 90s ny rap for instance and attribute it to the low sample rate of old samplers, even going further to celebrate certain DACs and dithering rates and so on. why do you think sp-12s and mpc 60s and the like still command decent rates on the used market?

well they're also great instruments, lovely to use, aesthetically and physically. They also have amazing filters & tough DACs. In 90s rap, the source material was vinyl, and the recording medium was tape, so there's still a strong analog element in those records. Also, amazingly, the pitch interpolation algorithms in most old samplers are superior to modern soft samplers.
These samplers outputted quite complex, rich waveforms, not in spite of but because of the sample rate. Bit depth / sample rate artifacts sound nothing like mp3 / you tube compression, it's a completely different process. It's arbitrary to put them under the same umbrella, just because they're not analog.

Sorry im being a fucking geek.

skull kid
08-12-2010, 09:30 AM
nah i agree with you 100%, except for this:

"So did the first digital synths, the programming was so simplistic"

tell that to the dx7, dude

daddek
08-12-2010, 09:54 AM
nah i agree with you 100%, except for this:

"So did the first digital synths, the programming was so simplistic"

tell that to the dx7, dude

oh i meant 1st gen plug in synths, the shitty direct x ones that came with cubase 4 or whatever.
Those 80s digital hardware synths were beautiful, crafted things.. DX7, D50, SQ80 etc. Some ways I prefer the sound of those wavetable synths to the grizzly 70s analog beasts.

skull kid
08-12-2010, 10:13 AM
yeah, especially those early ensoniq hybrid synths. analog vcf/vca with gritty 8 bit waves, so sick

grizzleb
08-12-2010, 12:04 PM
Yes to this thread etc.

hopper
08-12-2010, 02:06 PM
as a bit of an outsider to hardware synths - especially vintage synths, how do people go about discovering for themselves what these different types of models are like to actually use? I've read untold amounts of stuff on the internet (gearslutz is somewhere I don't want to look at again altogether much), but find that pretty much everything I read amounts to nothing cos I have no actual hands on experience or knowledge - so its all just empty words if you get me.

what are everyone's thoughts on the emulation vsts? I was having a chat with someone recently who was saying although decent enough plugs, they're not as good as native instruments (especially massive) which are actually exploring the potential of getting the best interface and so forth... I don't really love looking and reading up on synths cos it causes me a fair amount of angst cos it's knowledge far beyond my comprehension at the moment. Been umming and aahing for years about whether to get a hardware synth - looking at moog/dsi especially - but don't know how much it would really help me in the creative process because of the unflexibility of it and routing complications and so forth.

always been of the belief that it's best to just understand your tools inside/out and just get the best out of them - got ableton suite at the moment and the possibilities of collision/operator/analog/sampler/racks etc. go far beyond my current use of them. think it might be 1 step forward, 2 steps back complicating my set up with a synth. you guys don't need me to tell you that most of these synth 'experts' on gearslutz/internet tend to make extremely shite music.

I tend to appeal towards shackleton/flying lotus model about good examples for making music, I know shackleton has a very modest set up - primarily consisting of ableton, sometimes running moog sounds into sampler and using saturator/external mixer where things need warming up, and yknow his stuff sounds amazing. And flying lotus says he produces everything itb, and if he has creative problems - he needs to refresh his mind rather than yknow go and buy equipment. But then sometimes I read someone like omar-s who's stuff sounds incredible completely rejecting software etc.

I guess above and beyond, reading and believing everyone else's thoughts leads to anxiety, and the only way forward is to really become intimately connected with your tools for creating what you wanna do...

pattycakes
08-12-2010, 02:34 PM
*Nerd alert* Not sure there are any native plugins out there that have managed to nail tape or tube emulation 'near perfectly' just yet. It's too complex a thing, it practically being organised chaos. One day it will be possible though, i'm sure. There are enough coder nerds obsessed with it and enough money to be made that it should just be a matter of waiting for the required processing power. Maybe in the RTAS/DSP card world it's a a lot closer already? I've not heard much of that stuff. I've tried a shitload of native distortion and saturation plugs tho, and none of them get close to the sound of a driven mackie vlz or boss pedal which were pretty standard back in the 90s for people on a budget.

It just isn't as rich, because no matter how deep your code is, one of the hardest things for a computer to be is truly chaotic/random and that's pretty much the crux of the biscuit here. Being random in a pleasing way. As for softsynth emulations of classic analogs, it's probably even further away. At least with tube or tape you've only got a relatively basic circuit to model. A whole synth is like a city of circuitry compared to the small village of a tube processor. Each part of the circuit of the synth acting as a tiny filter. Slightly altering the sound as it passes through and never in quite the same way twice. So many variables and not particularly uniform in their reactions. Crazy shit. Thing is though that it doesn't really matter if the current plugs get it with pinpoint accuracy or not because they can still make your shit sound
dope with some creative programming.

As has already been said in the thread, eq plays a big part in that. Less is definitely more and try to cut more than boost. Sounds counter intuitive but thats what the pros have been doing for decades. Outside of dsp there's impulse responses which I think was a concept originally designed for reverb use, where they would 'sample' a space by recording the response of a given room or w/e by playing a short sound into it and then by analysing the room's acoustic response. They could then load the resulting file into an IR plugin which would then impart the sound of that room onto whatever you play through the plug with fairly convincing effects. Afaik it was quite a while after this was fully developed that people thought why stop at acoustics, why not try different sounds? Eventually people were sampling old gear like tape machines n shit. The results can be quite interesting, but with it just being one sample of a one sound you've only got one of the infinite possibilities of reactions from that machine.

I don't know if this is already in the works, but a plug that managed some kind of hybrid mix of the sonic accuracy of an impulse response combined with the dynamic reactions of some mega dsp fuelled by some 32 core mammoth cpu from the future could possibly be the answer. Some plugs I dig - psp vintage warmer and it's knee knob, izotope ozone's harmonic exciter section, nick crow's free shit, spl's harmonic saturator thing and any IR plug with the hundreds of free impulse responses available for dl on the net. Anyone else got any favorites of thier own?

hint
08-12-2010, 02:57 PM
These days people often tend to assume they want the valve / tape sound without really knowing why. They've become an imagined shortcut for people - slap on tape emu and get "glue", rather than think too much about gain staging, EQing, arrangement...

90's Hip Hop records sounded the way they sounded primarily because they were mixed in studios by engineers who knew what they were doing. It kinda represented a peak where Hip Hop had been around long enough that engineers knew how to get the sound artists wanted and even low level artists sold enough records that the budget was there to pay for it all. Sure, half decent desks and tape were still in use in commercial studios, but reading gear lists and looking at pictures tells a tiny part of the story.

Software synths are definitely held back by the market for vintage / emulations. Fabfilter's Twin2 is a good example of how much nicer a synth can be to use when the designer looks beyond copying the controls / layout of 35 year old hardware.

daddek
08-12-2010, 04:05 PM
These days people often tend to assume they want the valve / tape sound without really knowing why. They've become an imagined shortcut for people - slap on tape emu and get "glue", rather than think too much about gain staging, EQing, arrangement....
Personally i like the fact that kids can get a rough n ready warm mixdown using cracked plug ins and not knowing shit about proper gain staging. People who genuinely engineer their tracks will always sound better, and will always be there. Nothing wrong with slapping something on and liking what it does without knowing why.


Software synths are definitely held back by the market for vintage / emulations.
True - esp re GUI. But they often try to cover all bases, and end up lacking any individual character or unique strengths. There are still v few soft synths with really distinct, lovable personalities.. in the way you could love a Juno 60 or MPC2k. Eventually they'll come.
Would still love a decent CS80 emu though.

hint
08-12-2010, 04:14 PM
Personally i like the fact that kids can get a rough n ready warm mixdown using cracked plug ins and not knowing shit about proper gain staging. People who genuinely engineer their tracks will always sound better, and will always be there. Nothing wrong with slapping something on and liking what it does without knowing why. .

Sure - my point was more that that's not necessarily got anything to do with tape or valves. It's just labelling. You could call such a plug a "Mix Nice-A-Tron 2000", with an interface like something out of Star Trek, doing the same thing (but it probably wouldn't sell as well).


True - esp re GUI. But they often try to cover all bases, and end up lacking any individual character or unique strengths. There are still v few soft synths with really distinct, lovable personalities.. in the way you could love a Juno 60 or MPC2k. Eventually they'll come.

I think it's currently a growth area for sure. Off the top of my head - Sonic Charge Synplant / Schwa Olga / Madrona Labs Aalto

pattycakes
08-12-2010, 06:15 PM
These days people often tend to assume they want the valve / tape sound without really knowing why. They've become an imagined shortcut for people - slap on tape emu and get "glue", rather than think too much about gain staging, EQing, arrangement...

don't forget plain ol' dirt, too. getting things nice and gritty.


as a bit of an outsider to hardware synths - especially vintage synths, how do people go about discovering for themselves what these different types of models are like to actually use?

with great difficulty, closest you're going to get without knowing someone with one or being able to try before you buy is watch people demo on youtube or listen to demos on vintage synth or wherever else you can find something. i tend to prefer youtube because you can actually see them doing it.


what are everyone's thoughts on the emulation vsts? I was having a chat with someone recently who was saying although decent enough plugs, they're not as good as native instruments (especially massive) which are actually exploring the potential of getting the best interface and so forth...

imo it doesn't matter about emulation so much because for the time being no plug has nailed it's attempted emulation. i agree with your friend that usability is key because for the most part, there's a pretty good sound quality standard amongst most softsynths out there. so yeah, massive is good because it's quite intuitive but it's by no means the best. it's really down to what you find pleasing to your eyes. the gui of a plug plays a big role in whether i choose to use it or not a lot of the time. some things are cool because they're ugly, some plugins don't even have a gui and i use ableton's generic gui thingy because they do shit that i can't find elsewhere. But generally, a nice, uncluttered and easy to understand gui is where it's at. especially for synth programming. admiral quality's poly-ana is one of the most frustrating guis for me because the sound of the synth is so nice and rich. but it's a complete eye-fuck. top tip for nice analog-ish sounds tho ;)


I don't really love looking and reading up on synths cos it causes me a fair amount of angst cos it's knowledge far beyond my comprehension at the moment. Been umming and aahing for years about whether to get a hardware synth - looking at moog/dsi especially - but don't know how much it would really help me in the creative process because of the unflexibility of it and routing complications and so forth.

obviously if you go for something proper old school then you're looking at extra learning curvature, first thing is that they don't sync up with your host, so you're going to either have to play in the part or sample bits and then sequence them with your sampler. it's hard to do this at first but definitely a good thing. it's going to give your shit more mojo than some guy clicking a mouse with all his shit aligned to a grid (possibly with some swing quantise afterwards which again is a grid of it's own) there are midi to cv converters which let you do some basic sequencing but they add to the cost (worth it if you can afford it tho) if you get something not quite as old then you might have midi implemented but a lot of synths with midi aren't fully analog, so you may or may not be defeating the point. one of the few active companies who do fully analog w. midi are studio electronics. i just got an atc-1 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/atc1.php) not so long ago and it's really really great. i've tried to avoid sequencing it and just playing it in but because i've been itb for like 10 years it's hard to move otb. oh, and i got a knob box to control the cc shit.


My main incentive for getting hardware would be to get me away from a computer screen when I make music. (The sound too, of course, but that goes without saying.)

i really would prefer to move away from the screen as much as poss too. i mean, that's one of the main problems i'm finding is that i'm relying on my eyes almost as much as my ears when making.... -music- !! aside from the obvious difference in sound between hard and software, the main thing for me is the hands on aspect. i'd go as far to say that having a bank of knobs outweighs having a real moog filter. if you can afford both then great! but yeah, having a knob that has cutoff written under it and one that says resonance next to it and being able to tweak them both in real time and having an organic response to that is way more satisfying than any other configuration. this is what makes you inspired and therefore more creative. of course you can get a knob box for your software too, but just like those blocks of midi, the resolution of that software cutoff filter is still aligned to a finite grid.


But then sometimes I read someone like omar-s who's stuff sounds incredible completely rejecting software etc.

omar s is funny because his shit sounds so nasty. he's totally analog but he mixes down to mini disc! he definitely sounds like he knows his shit inside out tho... a lot of the detroit cats are very purist when it comes to a lot of things. i find it a bit silly to be so fixated on it. plus i know theo and moodyman play shit out by people who didn't make their shit with all analog equipment.

but i do believe that part of the magic of detroit music comes from the fact that they are very musically open minded people who like to play their shit in live. osunlade is another guy who i read in a recent interview doesn't quantise. again, his shit is very very compelling and i believe with him it's also down to the organic human-ness.


always been of the belief that it's best to just understand your tools inside/out and just get the best out of them...

...I've read untold amounts of stuff on the internet (gearslutz is somewhere I don't want to look at again altogether much)...

...I guess above and beyond, reading and believing everyone else's thoughts leads to anxiety, and the only way forward is to really become intimately connected with your tools for creating what you wanna do...

yeah, this. i've stopped reading gearslutz too. also trying to stop reading shit like machine love on resident advisor etc. in fact the less i read about other people's music the better because it's so hard not to be influenced in some way by them. software or hardware. doesn't matter as long as you know it well enough. happy mistakes are cool too but i think the main guys out there who's music is still relevant 20 years later knew their instruments intimately. of course you need to explore and you can definitely come up with some crazy sounds using things like paulstretch and weird sounds in IR plugins and whatever else esoteric type shit you have lying around, but when it comes down to it, you need to know what you're doing and what you're trying to say.

:slanted:

i think?

pattycakes
08-12-2010, 06:25 PM
this is well worth a peep tho

http://www.cyndustries.com/synapse/intro.cfm

meatstixx
09-12-2010, 08:10 AM
you know Zomby uses Reason and nothing else right? pretty mad. He manages to get such an un-reason-y sound.

as some have said, the best way is to combine different things, digital, analog, cracked plugins and outboard hardware. i'd reckon that actress uses a mix of different tools.

daddek
09-12-2010, 01:02 PM
you know Zomby uses Reason and nothing else right? pretty mad. He manages to get such an un-reason-y sound.

well an mpc2000 too. there's a youtube vid of him writing on a gameboy, so that also

more generally, people who use a lot of sampling (and resampling), tend to sound less reason-y/fruity loops-y/ableton-y.

Benny B
09-12-2010, 07:51 PM
you know Zomby uses Reason and nothing else right? pretty mad. He manages to get such an un-reason-y sound.

.

Nah, pretty sure thats not true. i remember reading an interview with him saying he used just about anything he gets his hands on including logic, cubase, gameboys, FL Studio, various synths etc. Where were you in 92 was apparently made on an Atari!

pattycakes
13-12-2010, 09:33 PM
just been reading about acustica audio's nebula plugin. apparently it uses some kind of dynamic convolution technology (convolution was the word i was looking for when i wrote about impulse responses) and a lot of people are really into what it's doing with regard to simulating analog style effects, like saturation. sounds interesting but it's pretty expensive. anyone here tried it?

BareBones
14-12-2010, 11:54 AM
Where were you in 92 was apparently made on an Atari!

i thought he was using Octamed on an old amiga... me and my mate used to make tunes that way. well fun loading up floppy discs of samples!

rivet90210
15-12-2010, 06:09 AM
i thought he was using Octamed on an old amiga... me and my mate used to make tunes that way. well fun loading up floppy discs of samples!

Saw Paradox about this time last year, and he played live off of Octamed and a synth through a desk. Nuts/.

Actress... Haven't quite understood the hype, I like the album, but it's not doing that much for me as of yet. I'd be interested to read The Wire's justification for it being #1, if there's a link(?).

hopper
19-01-2011, 02:57 PM
via twitter http://twitter.com/ctress_a

Ok enuff. This Panda Bear remix is done. Next Tom Trago, then something for Nmbrs, then album no 2 for Honest Jons, and Album No 2 for Werk

The album on Werk is called Ghettoville and will be released alongside Hazyville on multiple twelves.

hopper
19-01-2011, 09:53 PM
yeah, I'm delighted with the news - hazyville is easily one of my favourite albums, everything is spot on - and would love to have the artwork on a vinyl sleeve.

really hope that the quality stays high as it sounds like he's producing a hell of a lot of material. I thought splazsh sounded a little bit thin at points - and I much prefer hazyville for its coherence and consistency, there's this amazing vibe to it that makes a really good album. Splazsh felt more like a collection of songs... All though I did really love moments on splazsh thought a fair amount of the songs were overstretched and one or two bits were quite irritating really which took away from it.

he played a new bit at the end of his brainfeeder set which was pretty incredible. sounded like all the exciting elements of that grindcore double hit kick drum kind of thing consolidated into some kind of electronic beast, it was an absolute monster - so hope that sees light of day.

hopper
20-01-2011, 01:46 AM
just been reading about acustica audio's nebula plugin. apparently it uses some kind of dynamic convolution technology (convolution was the word i was looking for when i wrote about impulse responses) and a lot of people are really into what it's doing with regard to simulating analog style effects, like saturation. sounds interesting but it's pretty expensive. anyone here tried it?

has anybody got any experience with nebula? still pretty confused about the whole thing - downloaded the free version and don't really know how to function it - I'm kind of just clicking around arbitrarily and its lack of gui make it a bit confusing as well. For example - on the internet lots of people laud the EQ on it - but it's very hard to know the function of each of the settings based from the title etc

pattycakes
20-01-2011, 04:03 PM
has anybody got any experience with nebula? still pretty confused about the whole thing - downloaded the free version and don't really know how to function it - I'm kind of just clicking around arbitrarily and its lack of gui make it a bit confusing as well. For example - on the internet lots of people laud the EQ on it - but it's very hard to know the function of each of the settings based from the title etc

i've been messing about with it a bit. really terrible gui. you have 3 rows of text, the one on the right being the type of effect. you select for example '2 equ' which is obviously EQs, select one of the presets, eg 'angels' and then the sliders to the right will change to freq, level and q which is all pretty self explanatory. then a few sliders along you've got makeup and liquid. makeup is obv. again and i think liquid does some kind of smoothing effect, but i haven't read the manual yet so don't quote me.

basically just choose what effect you want in the browser and then the sliders will change to the relevant controls. the shit that comes with the free stuff seems to be a very small taste of what it can do. there's a load of extra freebies to grab on the nebula forum. some of them being demos of the commercial 3rd party stuff. not all of those work with the free nebula.

consensus is that the library that comes packaged with the commercial nebula is ok but it's really all about the 3rd party stuff. i really wish there was a free way to demo those. but still the free one does some cool stuff. the TMV section is probably the easiest one to hear what the presets are doing. the flangers and phasers are really great. if you can be bothered it's worth A/Bing a nebula phaser or flanger with a vst one so you can hear the diff. in a way it's subtle, but in another it's not. shit is creamy. i really want to check out the guy who sampled the thermionic culture vulture distortion box's shit but i would need the commercial plug. it's supposed to sound sick and would be prefect for roughing things up in a pleasing way.

this might be the first plug i ever buy. (apart from psp nitro which was going for $10 last year)

p.s. in the diff fx types you have preamps, microphones, eqs, reverbs, filters, tmv which possibly stands for time variant? or something, but basically means modulated stuff like flangers. can't remember the rest right now but i'm sure if you poke around on the forum you'll find out.

hopper
20-01-2011, 10:07 PM
thanks for the response - kind of what I thought based on the free version. It is an impressive plug, think I'm gonna pick up nebula 2 maybe? Don't want to spend €80 right now - or should I just bite the bullet?

Curious that the 3rd party stuff is better - would just mean spending more money. I tried using a pre amp plugin and then a tape emulation as the first plug on all the stems of tracks and before plugins on sends in a project I've been doing with my band to try and get that glueing effect of a mixing console that some people are using for. Quite liked the results but its just going to be so awkward testing all the options out as you can't gauge the character of the settings from one part alone if you get me. I'm using ableton and I set a key command to turn all the plugins on/off so that when working on the set I don't suffer the CPU problem and then just switch them on before a render.

Some of the reverbs sounded decent - does seem to be a pretty interesting development in the digital production though. Can see this becoming quite a big part of my production set up if I can figure out a good quick workflow for it - does seem to add a nice saturation and unpredictability you don't normally find

pattycakes
20-01-2011, 10:43 PM
i'd say go for it.

most of the 3rd party stuff does mean extra $$ but a lot of them are like $20 which by the sounds of the things people are saying make it reasonable.

theres a lot to read on on the acustica forum (http://www.acusticaudio.net/modules.php?name=Forums&file=index&sid=949c4603483605f655ffe7a05c8a803e) and also gearslutz has a lot of threads on it. just do an advanced search, titles only for "nebula"

go for the multi page threads and you will probably find all you need to know about it.

this thread (http://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-product-alert-software/538405-new-nebula-library-vcult.html) is about the culture vulture thing i mentioned and has a demo which works in the free version. the demo is at quite a subtle setting, but apparently you can really crank the full version. which btw, costs 20 buxx.

soon as i get some xtra cash i think im gonna get this thing.

skull kid
21-01-2011, 12:45 AM
i find with every tape saturation plug-in i've used that after a while it just starts sounding like distortion (which is what they are essentially), but nebula does sound interesting i guess. at this point i think i'd rather spend 80 euros on a used yamaha multi track or something

a lot of people are talking about Airwindows' Desk as being a step forward in ITB analog saturation plugs

http://www.airwindows.com/desk.html

not exactly sure how it works, but it seems like some kind of glue that you drop on every track and buss in your daw to turn it into a virtual analog mixing console. it's not an extreme effect like some of the tape plugs out there, it's meant to just subtly gel everything together

hopper
22-01-2011, 12:33 AM
i find with every tape saturation plug-in i've used that after a while it just starts sounding like distortion (which is what they are essentially), but nebula does sound interesting i guess. at this point i think i'd rather spend 80 euros on a used yamaha multi track or something

a lot of people are talking about Airwindows' Desk as being a step forward in ITB analog saturation plugs

http://www.airwindows.com/desk.html

not exactly sure how it works, but it seems like some kind of glue that you drop on every track and buss in your daw to turn it into a virtual analog mixing console. it's not an extreme effect like some of the tape plugs out there, it's meant to just subtly gel everything together

yeah - that's what I've been doing with nebula, apparently this above thing is less cpu intensive but it doesn't have flexibility of options really does it?

continuum
10-02-2011, 07:56 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQkbsauFZq4

stephenk
25-02-2011, 06:00 AM
^^^^^^SWAG

looks like he's stepped up his live show immensely from when i saw him last june.

Slothrop
25-02-2011, 12:54 PM
so yeah,whatever, you obviously dont have to have analogue equipment to make `good` music in case thats the impression im giving,EVERYTHING has its uses .

This is the key thing, really, though, isn't it?

The worst thing about the analogue emulation thing has been that it gives the impression that a good instrument is one that replicates a real analogue synth as accurately as possible and then opens the door for people dismissing all software because none of it really replicates analogue synths perfectly.

I mean, the question is not "if I listen very carefully, can I distinguish a slight variation in character between this plugin synth and this vintage hardware synth" but "does not having this hardware synth render me incapable of expressing the ideas that I want to express." To which the answer is almost certainly 'no' - people have been expressing themselves for a very long time using equipment which is significantly less capable than what you can get for free with Computer Music magazine, and they've done it by having something that they want to get across musically and then doing it with whatever they've got rather than complaining that if only they had the slightly unstable oscillators of an analogue synth they'd sound like Model 500 or if only they had the really special magic dithering algorithms of an 80's sampler they'd sound like DJ Premier.

There's always a tendancy to go ascribe magic qualities to the gear that was used in the 'classic' period of any given genre - techno people obsessing over analogue synths, junglists and hip hop heads obsessing over cranky old samplers - despite the fact that at the time, the reason that people were using that kit was often because it was the shit that noone else wanted. If you went back in time to 1992 and tried to explain to a jungle producer that they're really lucky to be using a second hand 8 bit sampler with five seconds of sample memory and no user interface rather than an almost infinitely extensible virtual studio with whatever array of synths, effects and samplers you want they'd think you were insane.

I find it particularly weird that this attitude persists after we've had grime and dubstep, where a lot of the classic early tunes were done using essentially the same (software) kit that we had today, and still people feel that you need to get some hardware to start producing 'seriously'. Like, classic Skream, DMZ, Wiley, Benga beats are just a bit flat and lifeless because they haven't got any outboard on. To my ears there's more 'aliveness' and 'humanity' in beats that Wiley put together on a Playstation than some navel gazing purist techno tune, because the humanity comes from trying to express something real and not from the manufacturing imperfections in a japanese component factory in the 70s.

FairiesWearBoots
25-02-2011, 01:19 PM
Amen to that post Slothrop,

I've been thinking about making music recently, just messing about to see what comes and I find myself fantasy online shopping . . . "I'll need this + this + this + this etc etc"

then I have to remind myself that some of my favourite tunes were made on far shitter equipment than I'll ever be happy with

"All the gear and no idea" is one of my favourite quotes and does help keep things in perspective

Slothrop
25-02-2011, 01:45 PM
FWIW, I still see a lot of value in using hardware, real instruments, analogue, whatever - experimenting with new tools and new ways of working is a good thing and can produce good results.

I think the crux of what winds me up is the jump from the micro-level stuff - the imperfections, uniqueness and instability of the sounds from analogue kit - to very macro level ideas of the warmth, expressiveness and humanity of the piece of music as a whole.

skull kid
25-02-2011, 01:47 PM
yeah but analogue is so phat doe

continuum
23-03-2011, 08:45 PM
Panda Bear - Surfers Hymn (Actress Primitive Pattern Remix)

http://soundcloud.com/kompakt/panda-bear-surfers-hymn-actress-remix

wise
14-04-2011, 08:05 AM
Amen to that post Slothrop,

I've been thinking about making music recently, just messing about to see what comes and I find myself fantasy online shopping . . . "I'll need this + this + this + this etc etc"

then I have to remind myself that some of my favourite tunes were made on far shitter equipment than I'll ever be happy with

"All the gear and no idea" is one of my favourite quotes and does help keep things in perspective

Yeah it's easy to get caught up, when ever I start sweatily browsing expensive analogue synths I play myself some amazing Fruity Loops created Grime to snap myself out of it :D

HE VALENCIA
23-04-2011, 11:53 PM
dude uses 2 macbook pros, iPad, Elektron Machinedrum, Monomachine, and an akai mpk. Well atleast thats what I saw on twitpic.

you make anything with anything. basically.

Sectionfive
28-06-2011, 10:09 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXfw3TSk6og

Slothrop
28-06-2011, 11:30 PM
Ha, I'd forgotten my extended rant from this thread, but I think that this is a point that isn't made often enough:


I think the crux of what winds me up is the jump from the micro-level stuff - the imperfections, uniqueness and instability of the sounds from analogue kit - to very macro level ideas of the warmth, expressiveness and humanity of the piece of music as a whole.
And I didn't notice at the time, but it echoes something that skull kid said earlier in the thread, which to my mind hits the nail on the head:


whatever actress uses, i reckon the perceived warmth of his recordings comes as much from his use of classic deep house tropes, soulful 7th and 9th chords and suspensions, and more "human" feeling unquantized drum patterns, than any particular gear.

pattycakes
28-06-2011, 11:46 PM
really wish i had more chord n harmony knowledge. definitely makes even the shittiest synths sound good

Slothrop
29-06-2011, 11:03 AM
Case in point:

T
also you have overlooked A LOT of other points because its not all about the overall frequency response of the recording system its how the sound gets there in the first place.
here are some things which you can`t get from a plugin,they are often emulated but due to their hugely complex nature are always pretty crass aproximations..

the sound of analogue equpiment including EQ, changes very noticably over even a few hours due to temperature changes within a circuit.
Anyone who has tried to make tracs on a few analogue synths and make them stay in tune can tell you this,you leave a trac running for a few hours come back and think Im sure I didnt fucking write that,I must be going mental!

this affects all the components in a synth/EQ in an almost infinte amount of tiny ways.
and the amount differs from circuit to circuit depending on the design.

the interaction of different channels and their respective signals with an analogue mixer are very complex,EQ,dynamics....
any fx, analogue or digital that are plugged into it all have their own special complex characteristics and all interact with each other differently and change depending on their routing.
Nobody that ive heard of has even begun to start emulating analogue mixer circuitry in software,just the aesthetics,it will come but im sure it will be a crap half hearted effort like most pretend synth plugins are.
they should be called PST synths, P for pretend not virtual.

Every piece of outboard gear has its own sound ,reverbs,modulation effects etc
real room reverb, this in itself companies have spent decades trying to emulate and not even got close in my opinion, even the best attempts like Quantec and EMT only scratch the surface.

analogue EQ is currently impossible in theory to be emulated digitally,quite intense maths shit involed in this if youre really that interested,you could look it up...good luck.

your soundcard will always make things sound like its come from THAT soundcard..they ALL impose their different sound characteristics onto whatever comes out of them they are far from being totally neutral devices.

all the components of a circuit like resistors and capacitors subtley differ from each other depending on their quality but even the most high quality milatary spec ones are never EXACTLY the same.

no two analogue synths can ever be built exactly the same,there are tiny human/automated errors in building the circuits,tweaking the trimpots for example which is usually done manually in a lot of analogue shit.
just compare the sound of 2 808 drum machines next to each other and you will see what I mean,you always thought an 808 was an 808 right?
same goes for 303`s they all sound subltey different,different voltage scaling of the oscillator is usually quite noticable.

VST plugins are restricted by a finite number of calculations per second these factors are WAY beyond their CURRENT capability.
The thing is, pretty much all of this is engineering, not music. Maybe a given 808 is unique and doesn't sound exactly like any other 808. That'd noticeable if you're doing a blind test between two bass drum sounds, but how does it make any difference to the music over using a samped 808 kick? I mean, it's one thing to think a tune sounds good because of some specific sonic characteristics of the sounds that are there, but surely no-one thinks a tune sounds good because the kick drum sounds slightly different from the kick drum on a different drum machine that wasn't used on the track, or because the synth sounds slightly different from how it sounded an hour before the track was recorded.

The fact that something's hard to model (and tbh, I'm not even sure how up to date RDJ is on modern circuit modelling software) is only relevant if it's desirable in the first place. Surely the fact that a synth drifts out of tune depending on the effect of temperature on the components rather than according to a pseudorandom algorithm is only relevant if I'm planning to do pitch bends with a hairdryer?

(And why does this uniqueness suddenly become a bad thing when it's applied to soundcards?)


Then there is the question of the physicallity of the instrument this affects the way a human will emotionally interact with it and therfore affect what they will actually do with it! often overlooked from the maths heads,this is probably the biggest factor I think.
for example the smell of analogue stuff as well as the look of it puts you in a certain mental state which is very different from looking at a computer screen.

This seems to be the key, tbh. (And it's also why I'm kind of sceptical about 'real analogue synth modules' that need a PC to run the patch editor...)

Slothrop
29-06-2011, 02:20 PM
To clarify. Those aren't my words. That's RDJ talking on a forum a few years ago. I pasted it in because I thought it was pertinent to this topic.
Yeah, I know, but it's a great example of the sort of irrelevant bollocks that winds me up...

That and the atmosphere of sanctity with which people talk about 'all analogue' sets or whatever, as if using exclusively analogue synths makes you the last outpost of moral rectitude in a corrupt world, rather than just someone with spare cash who likes to have a few toys to play with.

pattycakes
29-06-2011, 02:24 PM
edit: started typing this before bandshell had replied, so...


I mean, it's one thing to think a tune sounds good because of some specific sonic characteristics of the sounds that are there, but surely no-one thinks a tune sounds good because the kick drum sounds slightly different from the kick drum on a different drum machine that wasn't used on the track, or because the synth sounds slightly different from how it sounded an hour before the track was recorded.

no, i don't think anyone does, i'm not sure but maybe the point about the circuitry was just that the idiosyncrasies make things a little less sterile. the length of the post seems to make it sound more important/relevant than it actually is. it's an interesting thing but certainly doesn't make that much of a difference in the end. certainly not to the consumer. a skilful/patient person can make any gear sound good.


The fact that something's hard to model (and tbh, I'm not even sure how up to date RDJ is on modern circuit modelling software) is only relevant if it's desirable in the first place. Surely the fact that a synth drifts out of tune depending on the effect of temperature on the components rather than according to a pseudorandom algorithm is only relevant if I'm planning to do pitch bends with a hairdryer?

shit going out of tune is not desirable for the majority imo. maybe on a barely perceivable level, which may give it a slightly fatter sound, but nah.. it's always going to sound off once you're past so many cents. obviously with a multi oscillator synth it pays to detune your oscillators if you want things to sound fatter, but for the most part, if your instruments are out of tune with each other it's going to sound jarring. on the other hand people like RDJ use this to good effect when they want to sound spooky.


(And why does this uniqueness suddenly become a bad thing when it's applied to soundcards?)

not sure if this matters either.


This seems to be the key, tbh. (And it's also why I'm kind of sceptical about 'real analogue synth modules' that need a PC to run the patch editor...)

not sure if there are many analog synths that "need" a pc editor out there. there are many digital ones and a decent amount of digitally controlled analogs that benefit from having one, though. because unlike the majority of analog synths, a lot of them have very limited interfaces in terms of buttons and knobs to grab hold of. so if you get something like soundquest/max4live running, then you can assign your own tactile midi controller to their functions and suddenly you have the best of both worlds.

there are a lot of people out there that believe the sound of hardware, digi or analog has something richer, more 3D to give. part of it is the idiosyncrasies, part of it is the depth of sound etc etc. i know for sure that no software out there at this point can reach the thickness of my ATC 1 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/atc1.php) when it comes to bass. There are some good software synths out there that can sound amazing, but for the kind of bass that you feel as much as hear, i dunno. maybe when you have the money to send your purely software made track to a great engineer/mastering company, or even have the skills to mix it yourself, then you could maybe get it sounding just as good. but that's where one of the main differences lies between the two for me. it's the instant response, having that sound in your bedroom from the get go. it's inspiring.

the same with tweaking knobs as opposed to a mouse. just getting away from the computer is a big thing imo.

Slothrop
29-06-2011, 05:56 PM
no, i don't think anyone does, i'm not sure but maybe the point about the circuitry was just that the idiosyncrasies make things a little less sterile.
How, though? All that's saying is that the idiosyncrasies mean that two apparently identical synths don't actually sound identical. It's not really saying anything about what either of those synths actually sounds like...



shit going out of tune is not desirable for the majority imo. maybe on a barely perceivable level, which may give it a slightly fatter sound, but nah.. it's always going to sound off once you're past so many cents. obviously with a multi oscillator synth it pays to detune your oscillators if you want things to sound fatter, but for the most part, if your instruments are out of tune with each other it's going to sound jarring. on the other hand people like RDJ use this to good effect when they want to sound spooky.
Yeah, again what's weird is that people talk about it as if oscillator detune coming from analogue drift gives the sound 'character' but just detuning your oscillators or using a bit of digital randomness doesn't...

It's kind of different in an experimental setting, I suppose, where you're really working with subtle variations in the sound of one synth over an extended period...


not sure if there are many analog synths that "need" a pc editor out there. there are many digital ones and a decent amount of digitally controlled analogs that benefit from having one, though. because unlike the majority of analog synths, a lot of them have very limited interfaces in terms of buttons and knobs to grab hold of. so if you get something like soundquest/max4live running, then you can assign your own tactile midi controller to their functions and suddenly you have the best of both worlds.
I'm really talking about the recent Dave Smith boxes and things like that rather than vintage stuff. Things that have a very limited number of knobs and a software patch editor. If I spent money on an analogue synth (often thought about it, never quite been able to justify) I'd really want to get away from the computer entirely....


there are a lot of people out there that believe the sound of hardware, digi or analog has something richer, more 3D to give
Yeah, but a lot of people believe you can cure cancer with crystals.


part of it is the depth of sound etc etc.
This is kind of the interesting bit isn't it...

i know for sure that no software out there at this point can reach the thickness of my ATC 1 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/atc1.php) when it comes to bass. There are some good software synths out there that can sound amazing, but for the kind of bass that you feel as much as hear,
That's kind of interesting - I'd like to hear examples of what you mean by that. Normally what you 'feel as much as hear' is the very bottom end, which is one of the things that's trivial to get in software (ie a low pitch sine wave).

I dunno, maybe it's the mastering but I'd say that a lot of classic dubstep is all software and is fairly solid in the bass department...


the same with tweaking knobs as opposed to a mouse. just getting away from the computer is a big thing imo.
Yeah totally. In some cases even changing your whole approach to making sounds - losing the patch recall of software seems like it'd have a fairly fundamental impact on how you work...

pattycakes
29-06-2011, 11:17 PM
How, though? All that's saying is that the idiosyncrasies mean that two apparently identical synths don't actually sound identical. It's not really saying anything about what either of those synths actually sounds like...

actually what i mean about idiosyncrasies is definitely about the sound of an individual synth. talking about analogs for a moment, the fact that 2 of the same model sound different proves that the idiosyncrasies exist. but the fact that the 2 are different is not why you should care, if you should at all. why it's interesting to me is that intangible fuzziness, for want of better word. when a software synth calculates a sound, it's pretty much linear. even when you add randomising algos in there. compared to a physical piece of machinery which is susceptible to the elements and often just how it's feeling that particular day. this doesn't make for better music or a better musician, it just feels different. have you ever played a hardware synth? there's something quite magic about tweaking a knob that says cutoff on it and feeling the sound precisely react to your movements. feeling = inspiration imo.

there's a disconnection when you are using a mouse to control a virtual knob on a screen. if you have a midi controller box then at least you're part way there. but still, you're missing the actual sound of real circuitry that feels juicier. i know this sounds like bollocks, but there is definitely a reason so many people still care about this shit. obviously it gets blown way out of proportion with the forums, ebay and general bullshitters. but there is something there for sure. i guess it's on a psychosubliminal level, but it's there. sorry i can't be more specific.


Yeah, again what's weird is that people talk about it as if oscillator detune coming from analogue drift gives the sound 'character' but just detuning your oscillators or using a bit of digital randomness doesn't...

well it's one thing to detune two oscillators intentionally and another to have an oscillator continuously changing of it's own accord on a minute level. as i've progressed in my patching, i've realised that movement is an extremely important part of keeping sounds compelling and non sterile sounding. you can achieve this with by adding modulation to filters and such. in a way this is where softsynths excel. there are so many more modulation possibilities with software than with 90% of hardware because of the base fact that the more complex a hardware synth becomes, the more parts required and the more expensive it is to produce. it basically just costs extra coding hours to implement a mod matrix that would put even most of the top end synths to shame.

anyway, i don't want to overstate the significance of drift because again, it's too subtle to make that much of a difference. but the drift and general chaos that within the boards of older synths make for some pretty cool movement within a sound. most of the time it is barely perceivable. some people call it fattness, some mojo. i dunno if it justifies 2k+ for a minimoog but its definitely funkier than sylenth or w/e.


It's kind of different in an experimental setting, I suppose, where you're really working with subtle variations in the sound of one synth over an extended period...

like with drones n stuff? yeah.


I'm really talking about the recent Dave Smith boxes and things like that rather than vintage stuff. Things that have a very limited number of knobs and a software patch editor. If I spent money on an analogue synth (often thought about it, never quite been able to justify) I'd really want to get away from the computer entirely....

yeah, away from the computer for sure. using ears over eyes n stuff. my aim at the moment is to get a full on hardware setup and move away from computer screens all together. my hardware synths are rack based with barely anything to tweak on them so i've got a nice midi controller with knobs n sliders on it to deal with those. i like rack stuff because it's more compact and easier to move about. one day if i ever have enough money and space i'll definitely get one crazy main synth full of knobs to twiddle. maybe a JD800 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jd800.php), to drive my JD990 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jd990.php) or i dunno, something big and tweakable.


Yeah, but a lot of people believe you can cure cancer with crystals.

This is kind of the interesting bit isn't it...

yeah, no amount of words can really explain it though, you really have to try patching a nice synth to get it.


Normally what you 'feel as much as hear' is the very bottom end, which is one of the things that's trivial to get in software (ie a low pitch sine wave).

i think there's a lot to be felt in all the frequencies. the low ones are where it's most obvious, but i don't think it takes anything special to create a rib cage rattling bass. the soundsystem has a lot to do with that anyway. the feel as much as hear thing is in the juice of the sound. ah fuck, i'm not even convincing myself with this shit. you'll have to try a proper synth out for yourself if you haven't already. preferably one with knobs on to start off with to get a feel for that analoggy reaction to your movements. if i get a chance i'll up something from the atc.


I dunno, maybe it's the mastering but I'd say that a lot of classic dubstep is all software and is fairly solid in the bass department...

yeah i have no idea about what goes on in the dubstep world with post production. obviously before putting anything on vinyl you really want to get mastered. not sure if that goes on much if everything is software? do dubstep records sound as well produced as dnb?


Yeah totally. In some cases even changing your whole approach to making sounds - losing the patch recall of software seems like it'd have a fairly fundamental impact on how you work...

i like patch recall. i like midi too for all it's inherent wackness. this is what's kept me from going completely vintage. all 3 of my synths can store patches. this makes things a hell of a lot easier. i don't like faffing around looking for the right sound or patching when i want to make a tune, it's distracting. right now i'm on this mad mission going through a ton of sysex banks to get a few core banks for each synth that will give me all the bread and butter sounds i need to build off of, maybe i'll tweak things here n there to get them to sit in the mix, but generally they'll be ready to go. that way i can dump all those into the internal memory and just hook up to my hardware sequencers and forget the computer screen all together.

Slothrop
30-06-2011, 05:33 PM
actually what i mean about idiosyncrasies is definitely about the sound of an individual synth. talking about analogs for a moment, the fact that 2 of the same model sound different proves that the idiosyncrasies exist. but the fact that the 2 are different is not why you should care, if you should at all. why it's interesting to me is that intangible fuzziness, for want of better word. when a software synth calculates a sound, it's pretty much linear. even when you add randomising algos in there. compared to a physical piece of machinery which is susceptible to the elements and often just how it's feeling that particular day.
This is a circular argument, isn't it? It's just saying that the unpredictability and variation is important because it means that the synth is unpredictable and varies... why is this different from sticking an arbitrary randomizer into a piece of software?


have you ever played a hardware synth? there's something quite magic about tweaking a knob that says cutoff on it and feeling the sound precisely react to your movements. feeling = inspiration imo.
Yeah, totally, I'm not saying that all hardware could and should be replaced by software, just that people talk a lot of bollocks about things that make no difference when it comes to the cult of True Analogue.



i think there's a lot to be felt in all the frequencies. the low ones are where it's most obvious, but i don't think it takes anything special to create a rib cage rattling bass. the soundsystem has a lot to do with that anyway. the feel as much as hear thing is in the juice of the sound. ah fuck, i'm not even convincing myself with this shit. you'll have to try a proper synth out for yourself if you haven't already. preferably one with knobs on to start off with to get a feel for that analoggy reaction to your movements. if i get a chance i'll up something from the atc.
I've played with a couple, still have one, am thinking of getting another and would love to get even more! I'm not generically anti-hardware, it's just that as a scientist I get wound up by the pseudo-mystic pseudo-scientific drivel that gets bandied around...

I'd love to hear samples, mostly because I don't think you can really get what people are talking with sounds until you hear them.


yeah i have no idea about what goes on in the dubstep world with post production. obviously before putting anything on vinyl you really want to get mastered. not sure if that goes on much if everything is software? do dubstep records sound as well produced as dnb?
I generally find that most dnb for the past 15 years has sounded incredibly sterile, even (or perhaps particularly) the ones with massive studios full of vintage hardware, mostly because I find the music extremely dull.

Most classic dubstep tunes were produced in Fruityloops or Reason or (at a pinch) Cubase, and then mastered at Transition.


i like patch recall. i like midi too for all it's inherent wackness. this is what's kept me from going completely vintage. all 3 of my synths can store patches. this makes things a hell of a lot easier. i don't like faffing around looking for the right sound or patching when i want to make a tune, it's distracting.
Yeah, I don't know, it just seems like an interesting way of approaching things. Simultaneously forcing yourself to become better at sound design as you have to come up with stuff on the fly, and losing the obsession with getting everything perfect and tweaking everything to the nth degree.

connect_icut
30-06-2011, 05:51 PM
Must say I feel slightly guilty for my hand in turning this thread into a mammoth analogue/digital debate - particularly as I've started to find the whole subject a bit tedious (seems like every other review in The Wire mentions it in one misinformed way or another). From my point of view:

1. Actress still sounds very particularly and specifically digital to me but perhaps the way he makes digital lo-fi sound so warm and listenable is by running his stuff through some analogue outboard gear.

2. For me, it has to be digital. My stuff relies on custom-built generative sequencers and modulators, as well as a lot of real-time granular synthesis. These things are effectively impossible to achieve with analogue gear. Still, I do find it hard to get a "nice" overall sound with digital, so if I really like something I've done, my ideal is to have it analogue mastered and/or cut to vinyl.

Aww Nein
01-07-2011, 12:18 AM
just record it all onto tape once your done innit. if that still doesnt work, slow the tape down.

connect_icut
01-07-2011, 03:06 AM
just record it all onto tape once your done innit. if that still doesnt work, slow the tape down.

Yeah, I've thought about that. What I'd really like would be to have a nice four-track reel-to-reel set-up. It would be really easy to send four outputs from my soundcard to the tape machine. I really like the idea of mixing computery-sounding music on tape and imagine the results would be pleasingly uncanny.

pattycakes
06-07-2011, 12:00 AM
This is a circular argument, isn't it? It's just saying that the unpredictability and variation is important because it means that the synth is unpredictable and varies... why is this different from sticking an arbitrary randomizer into a piece of software?

as i said further down in the post i don't want to overstate the importance of this stuff, it probably doesn't matter to anyone but the person using the gear. it's barely audible.

but in answer to your question (:P) because of the linearity of the randomiser which has been designed to be random, rather than something that is unintentionally chaotic because it's made out of funky bits of electronics. imo you can detect false randomness and it doesn't feel anywhere near as good.

also, the word unpredictability makes it sound way more drastic than it really is. like if you hit the same note twice then you'd have 2 audibly different sounds. or if you were to put all the dials in the same positions on two different days you'd have 2 different sounds. that's not what i was trying to say. it's on a much more subtle level. and yeah, i dunno, i guess it is a bit of a nerdy thing. probably not worth wasting much more time on it here. anyone who wants to find out more could check out gearslutz or summat.


Yeah, totally, I'm not saying that all hardware could and should be replaced by software, just that people talk a lot of bollocks about things that make no difference when it comes to the cult of True Analogue.

I've played with a couple, still have one, am thinking of getting another and would love to get even more! I'm not generically anti-hardware, it's just that as a scientist I get wound up by the pseudo-mystic pseudo-scientific drivel that gets bandied around..

I'd love to hear samples, mostly because I don't think you can really get what people are talking with sounds until you hear them.

i didn't think you were taking any particular stance on which is better... and i'm against the bollocks as much as you. i realised half way through writing that post that it was going nowhere because as you say, it's really down to hearing (and i'd add feeling) it.


I generally find that most dnb for the past 15 years has sounded incredibly sterile, even (or perhaps particularly) the ones with massive studios full of vintage hardware, mostly because I find the music extremely dull.

oh yeah, no doubt. the lack of ideas sucks a lot more than the production tho, imo. if photek or whoever had access to a studio full of vintage shit back in the day im sure he would have still made some great music.


Most classic dubstep tunes were produced in Fruityloops or Reason or (at a pinch) Cubase, and then mastered at Transition.

i feel like i can hear its software a lot of the time. due to the lack of depth of field. the productions sound less labour intensive. wouldn't mind being proved wrong, though.


Yeah, I don't know, it just seems like an interesting way of approaching things. Simultaneously forcing yourself to become better at sound design as you have to come up with stuff on the fly, and losing the obsession with getting everything perfect and tweaking everything to the nth degree.

yeah but have you ever found that while trying to flesh out an arrangement you get side tracked by some pointless little detail and by the time you're done with whatever that was you've lost the flow? i know i have plenty of times and it frustrates the shit out of me. making arrangements is probably the trickiest thing for me. really wish i had a collab partner for this reason.

as for things being perfect, if that's a reference to what i said about getting my banks together? in each bank there's 60 slots, so if i have one bank for bass, thats 60 bass sounds to go through. quite a lot, but nowhere near as many as i go through usually. and this will be 60 sounds that i have picked and already suit the stuff i do, rather than random shit of which 80% will be totally useless to me. I'm just trying to streamline my workflow and have less reasons to get distracted and waste time.



Must say I feel slightly guilty for my hand in turning this thread into a mammoth analogue/digital debate - particularly as I've started to find the whole subject a bit tedious (seems like every other review in The Wire mentions it in one misinformed way or another)

well maybe it should get transplanted over to the production thread where it's more relevant? if there was more discussion about techniques for sounding analog and or grittier then i'd say it would be pretty worthwhile?


1. Actress still sounds very particularly and specifically digital to me but perhaps the way he makes digital lo-fi sound so warm and listenable is by running his stuff through some analogue outboard gear.

yeah, i've listened to a fair bit of his stuff since this thread started and i'd say it's his evocation of nostalgia rather than production skills that give the feeling of warmth. it doesn't sound particularly analog to me.

pattycakes
06-07-2011, 02:08 AM
found a few decent examples of the ATC-1 online.

this one (http://www.b3ta.cr3ation.co.uk/data/mp3/aee7ba565a7755417638298e3b642fc6_atcxarpfilter.mp3 ) is with the arp filter which is my fave

and this one (http://www.fivelsdal.no/Gear/Studio%20Electronics%20ATC1/ATC-1%20Original%20demo.mp3) is the moog filter

pretty greasy sounding if you ask me. not aware of any software that quite gets that just yet...

connect_icut
10-07-2011, 04:16 AM
but in answer to your question (:P) because of the linearity of the randomiser which has been designed to be random, rather than something that is unintentionally chaotic because it's made out of funky bits of electronics. imo you can detect false randomness and it doesn't feel anywhere near as good.


I think we're talking about a different type of randomness, though. You seem to be talking about getting interesting results by encouraging gear to do stuff it's not really supposed to. I'm talking about randomly modulating certain musical parameters - a kind of very deliberate and controlled chaos. As far as I know, there's no gear or off-the-peg software that can achieve this but it's a piece of piss to build random number generators in Max/MSP. I've been told that - because of the way they work - computers do randomness particularly well.

Slothrop
10-07-2011, 11:21 AM
but in answer to your question (:P) because of the linearity of the randomiser which has been designed to be random, rather than something that is unintentionally chaotic because it's made out of funky bits of electronics. imo you can detect false randomness and it doesn't feel anywhere near as good.
This does sound a lot like superstition to me. I mean, we're basically talking about the pitch of the oscillator changing gradually over time. I can see why an oscillator that doesn't stay perfectly in tune is interesting, but the idea that your ear can detect the gradual pattern of pitch drift - not just the presence of drift, but the shape of it - that comes from a resistor getting warm and finds it more pleasing than the pattern of change that comes from a reasonably sensible drift algorithm is something I'd like to see done in a blind test before I'll believe it...


oh yeah, no doubt. the lack of ideas sucks a lot more than the production tho, imo. if photek or whoever had access to a studio full of vintage shit back in the day im sure he would have still made some great music.
Well yeah. What I mean is that so much modern dnb seems to be about the engineering more than anything else - you look on the production forums on DOA and they're all talking about how to resample their basslines fifteen times and run the drums through 200 layers of processing in order to get them to sound exactly the same as anyone elses, and squashing any sort of space or dynamics out of the sound in the interests of getting 'bare phat'.


i feel like i can hear its software a lot of the time. due to the lack of depth of field. the productions sound less labour intensive. wouldn't mind being proved wrong, though.
Really? Hum. It's a different production style - it IS less labour intensive. I mean, to me it sounds a lot more interesting than modern dnb, and modern dnb produced with vintage hardware and modern dnb produced with plugins sound much more similar (and similarly boring) to each other than either one does to early dubstep, because the way people approach production has a lot more impact than the choice of equipment...

But I guess what I'm really arguing with isn't "I feel like I can hear it's software". It's the micro to macro level stuff that people spout - "this music has no warmth / feel / humanity because the synths don't have certain engineering level imperfections". The equation of engineering level imperfection with human-level expressiveness, or of 'warmth' as a subtle quality of a filter sound that you seem to have to spend quite a lot of time comparing filters to be able to identify with 'warmth' as in the capacity to express emotion...

And hence it seems mental when people in dubstep start saying this, given that, one assumes, they can find expressiveness and warmth (of a sort) in at least some of the classic tunes that the scene was built on...

pattycakes
10-07-2011, 08:34 PM
I think we're talking about a different type of randomness, though. You seem to be talking about getting interesting results by encouraging gear to do stuff it's not really supposed to.

well that is an in interesting thing for sure, but it's not really what i'm talking about. i'm starting to realise that i really just don't have the words to explain it properly. the clearest i can be is: i believe that hardware has a different sound, and to my ears i prefer that sound. but obviously, depending on the quality and execution if the idea, computer generated music can be just as 'good'. also, when i have a more hands on setup to work with i tend to feel more inspired.


I've been told that - because of the way they work - computers do randomness particularly well.

i have heard the contrary, to me it makes sense that computers would stuggle to generate truly random sequences because they are logical and algorhythmically deterministic.


...is something I'd like to see done in a blind test before I'll believe it...

do the examples of the atc i posted sound in any way different to software to you? if not then it's probably not worth thinking about this any further. to me those examples sound different. something in the richness of the texture.


Well yeah. What I mean is that so much modern dnb seems to be about the engineering more than anything else - you look on the production forums on DOA and they're all talking about how to resample their basslines fifteen times and run the drums through 200 layers of processing in order to get them to sound exactly the same as anyone elses, and squashing any sort of space or dynamics out of the sound in the interests of getting 'bare phat'.

yeah, it's truly awful. i can't believe people are still pushing that.


Really? Hum. It's a different production style - it IS less labour intensive. I mean, to me it sounds a lot more interesting than modern dnb, and modern dnb produced with vintage hardware and modern dnb produced with plugins sound much more similar (and similarly boring) to each other than either one does to early dubstep, because the way people approach production has a lot more impact than the choice of equipment...

yes, i'm sure most things vs. modern dnb would end up looking prtty good.


But I guess what I'm really arguing with isn't "I feel like I can hear it's software". It's the micro to macro level stuff that people spout - "this music has no warmth / feel / humanity because the synths don't have certain engineering level imperfections". The equation of engineering level imperfection with human-level expressiveness, or of 'warmth' as a subtle quality of a filter sound that you seem to have to spend quite a lot of time comparing filters to be able to identify with 'warmth' as in the capacity to express emotion...

i don't believe that warmth/soul/expression come from hardware. i believe they come from the composer and there is no reason you cannot achieve these things in the software domain. personally i find more inspiration using things i am more physically connected to. the mouse/screen is one of the least inspiring interfaces i can think of.


And hence it seems mental when people in dubstep start saying this, given that, one assumes, they can find expressiveness and warmth (of a sort) in at least some of the classic tunes that the scene was built on...

more than likely though that the warmth they are talking about comes from many things, from the chords and intervals used, to the texture of the sounds. even just where they were at in their own head or the vibe in the club when it was dropped for the first time. i mean, its such a subjective thing to talk about. no particular gear is going to give you a shortcut to attaining warmth. but when i think of the music that i consider to be warm, i think of things that for the most part were made with hardware.

gumdrops
11-07-2011, 10:06 AM
ive just got round to hearing this. i like it. but the filters/fuzziness/general 'worn' sound he seems to go for, it doesnt sound 'authentic' enough. just sounds like a cheap digital plug in or effect.

Slothrop
11-07-2011, 01:31 PM
well that is an in interesting thing for sure, but it's not really what i'm talking about. i'm starting to realise that i really just don't have the words to explain it properly. the clearest i can be is: i believe that hardware has a different sound, and to my ears i prefer that sound.
Out of interest (I'm not going to go further on this), are you talking about hardware in general or carefully picked bits of hardware? I mean, the Yamaha Portasound keyboards are hardware but for sound I'd rather have software....


also, when i have a more hands on setup to work with i tend to feel more inspired.
Yeah, totally. Which is what makes the comparison a bit moot - I mean, for a lot of stuff the difference in the experience is so big that it's almost impossible to identify what's down to the actual sonic properties of the machine and what's down to the whole hands-on hardware experience.


i have heard the contrary, to me it makes sense that computers would stuggle to generate truly random sequences because they are logical and algorhythmically deterministic.
Interesting question, actually. Computers are very good at generating pseudo-random numbers efficiently, and quite bad at generating a lot of genuinely random numbers. On the other hand, the weakness of 'pseudo-random numbers' is that they aren't cryptographically secure - ie if someone decides to bring a lot of high powered statistics to bear on them they'll be able to unpick them and figure out the mathematical pattern behind them. Whereas I'd bet any money that by just looking at a list of pseudo-random numbers you wouldn't be able to pick them out from similar lists of genuinely random numbers.



do the examples of the atc i posted sound in any way different to software to you? if not then it's probably not worth thinking about this any further. to me those examples sound different. something in the richness of the texture.
Well, it sounds different to anything I've managed to do with software! Although I haven't spent time playing with the state of the art virtual analogue stuff (D-CAM Synth Squad and u-He ACE last time I checked...)

But the difference there is down to the actual sound of the oscillators and (more importantly) the characteristics of the filter, no? Wouldn't it'd still sound as good if you rebuilt it using very very low tolerance (but otherwise identical) components so that that unit sounded the same as any other units built to the same spec, or if you digitally regulated the oscillator pitch and then reintroduced the oscillator drift by using a pseudo-random algorithm to simulate it?


i don't believe that warmth/soul/expression come from hardware. i believe they come from the composer and there is no reason you cannot achieve these things in the software domain. personally i find more inspiration using things i am more physically connected to. the mouse/screen is one of the least inspiring interfaces i can think of.

more than likely though that the warmth they are talking about comes from many things, from the chords and intervals used, to the texture of the sounds. even just where they were at in their own head or the vibe in the club when it was dropped for the first time. i mean, its such a subjective thing to talk about. no particular gear is going to give you a shortcut to attaining warmth.
Totally agree with all of the above.


but when i think of the music that i consider to be warm, i think of things that for the most part were made with hardware.
How much of that is just due to it being classic (or just old) stuff, though? Not to mention the social / cultural elements of who can actually get hold of significant amounts of hardware and who actually wants to get hold of significant amounts of hardware, and what sort of music they want to make...

Phaedo
11-07-2011, 01:40 PM
I heard a interview with Loefah recently where he was saying how VST's/digital synths are good enough now that you don't need hardware. But he did say that getting a nice outboard compressor/pre-amp can get things sounding much nicer. Processing is key really. People slate them but Vintage Warmers can do a great job too.

To contradict myself though I bought Skudge's new LP which is all analogue and pre-mastered on a reel to reel and it sounds better than most records I have bought.

Slothrop
11-07-2011, 02:07 PM
UAD's stuff is meant to be very very good for digital models of old mixing and mastering hardware.

But there's a bit of a cause and effect thing in any case - it's quite hard to disentangle by listening to the music whether the production sounds good because it's done with hardware or whether there's it's just that the people who are willing to spend large amounts of money on hardware are also the sort of people who give enough of a shit about production values to work on making stuff sound good anyway...

And my standard moan here is that the wonderful sounding old hardware that everyone goes on about often seems to have developed its cachet at about the time when a bunch of people with more ideas than money started using it because it was generally unwanted and cheap.

pattycakes
11-07-2011, 03:52 PM
Out of interest (I'm not going to go further on this), are you talking about hardware in general or carefully picked bits of hardware? I mean, the Yamaha Portasound keyboards are hardware but for sound I'd rather have software....

ha, tricky bugger. yeah of course if it's a shitty piece of gear then it's going to sound like shit. that may be just what your track needs though? but no, 85% of what i'm on about is stuff that was usually considered good when it was out. not necessarily the top of the range stuff, though. more whatever was popular. the other 15% counts for the less popular but still surprisingly good stuff.



Yeah, totally. Which is what makes the comparison a bit moot - I mean, for a lot of stuff the difference in the experience is so big that it's almost impossible to identify what's down to the actual sonic properties of the machine and what's down to the whole hands-on hardware experience.

i dunno about that, really. i feel like my ears can detect the difference.



...Whereas I'd bet any money that by just looking at a list of pseudo-random numbers you wouldn't be able to pick them out from similar lists of genuinely random numbers.

true, but i think that requires right brain thinking to figure out whereas the randomness i'm talking about, i would wager, is felt in the left brain.



Well, it sounds different to anything I've managed to do with software! Although I haven't spent time playing with the state of the art virtual analogue stuff (D-CAM Synth Squad and u-He ACE last time I checked...)

yeah, dcam and ace are both very good at what they do. admiralquality's polyana is also great and a mate of mine recommended the xils stuff the other day but i haven't properly checked it. i think if you were a very advanced synth programmer you'd probably be able to make some great and very thick sounding patches with software. the level of detail you can go into with dcam is really incredible. dcam stands for "Discrete Component Analogue Modeling" by the way. fxpansion went to the trouble of modelling each component of the circuit board and it's all getting processed in realtime. this partly explains the huge amount of cpu needed to run them. i'm sure they've employed a fair amount of 'random' to each component to give it some looseness. but still, i've spent quite a lot of time with dcam and as pleasing as the patches are, i feel like i can still hear the 2Dness of them.



But the difference there is down to the actual sound of the oscillators and (more importantly) the characteristics of the filter, no? Wouldn't it'd still sound as good if you rebuilt it using very very low tolerance (but otherwise identical) components so that that unit sounded the same as any other units built to the same spec, or if you digitally regulated the oscillator pitch and then reintroduced the oscillator drift by using a pseudo-random algorithm to simulate it?

i have no idea, i don't know anything about electronics. but i would guess that pseudo random dco/dcf wouldn't sound as fat as actual analog. but it may still sound more pleasing than software. lots of ifs and maybes there though.



How much of that is just due to it being classic (or just old) stuff, though? Not to mention the social / cultural elements of who can actually get hold of significant amounts of hardware and who actually wants to get hold of significant amounts of hardware, and what sort of music they want to make...

of course it's partly to do with it being classic, but there is still a depth of field there that makes the listening experience richer.

...imo.



I heard a interview with Loefah recently where he was saying how VST's/digital synths are good enough now that you don't need hardware. But he did say that getting a nice outboard compressor/pre-amp can get things sounding much nicer. Processing is key really. People slate them but Vintage Warmers can do a great job too.

quite a few big name producers (eg dennis ferrer, osunlade) have said recently that they are going mostly itb now and running their vsts through outboard. i think this is probably an interesting avenue to look at considering you can find some very nice colored pres and compressors for less than a lot of overpriced hardware synths.

but... part of me thinks this is them not having the patience anymore, with the industry being so unrewarding atm.

Slothrop
11-07-2011, 09:50 PM
true, but i think that requires right brain thinking to figure out whereas the randomness i'm talking about, i would wager, is felt in the left brain.
Hum. I'm very very dubious about that even if you're talking about (sensibly generated) pseudorandom digits played back at audio frequency rather than the sort of low frequency that you'd use to simulate drift. The idea that you can play back a series of numbers that are mathematically pretty much indistinguishable from truly random numbers and get a sort of mysterious unsatisfied feeling from them that you don't get from truly random numbers is a fairly bizarre claim and one that I can't find any research to back up...

i have no idea, i don't know anything about electronics. but i would guess that pseudo random dco/dcf wouldn't sound as fat as actual analog. but it may still sound more pleasing than software. lots of ifs and maybes there though.
Sorry, you're going off into magic here. VCO drift doesn't make a given oscillator sound fat. It doesn't alter the timbre of the oscillator at all. It just means that the pitch varies gradually over time, and hence that two or more oscillators will always tend to be slightly out of tune. There's no magic about out-of-tuneness that comes from VCO drift rather than the out-of-tuneness that comes from slightly detuning stuff except that the VCO drift varies slowly over time, and while you might spot it if you simulated the drift with a periodic LFO with a shortish period, if you use a slightly randomized algorithm it'd be basically identical.

And this applies even more so to the differences between apparently identical synths due to the component tolerances... to put it the other way round, if they used calibration grade components for everything, it'd still sound as good even though the 'uniqueness' had been drastically reduced.


of course it's partly to do with it being classic, but there is still a depth of field there that makes the listening experience richer.

...imo.
I suspect that you're using it to mean something else, but the phrase 'depth of field' is interesting given that analogue recording gear generally has a significantly smaller dynamic range than digital...

pattycakes
12-07-2011, 12:30 AM
Hum. I'm very very dubious about that even if you're talking about (sensibly generated) pseudorandom digits played back at audio frequency rather than the sort of low frequency that you'd use to simulate drift. The idea that you can play back a series of numbers that are mathematically pretty much indistinguishable from truly random numbers and get a sort of mysterious unsatisfied feeling from them that you don't get from truly random numbers is a fairly bizarre claim and one that I can't find any research to back up...

Sorry, you're going off into magic here. VCO drift doesn't make a given oscillator sound fat. It doesn't alter the timbre of the oscillator at all. It just means that the pitch varies gradually over time, and hence that two or more oscillators will always tend to be slightly out of tune. There's no magic about out-of-tuneness that comes from VCO drift rather than the out-of-tuneness that comes from slightly detuning stuff except that the VCO drift varies slowly over time, and while you might spot it if you simulated the drift with a periodic LFO with a shortish period, if you use a slightly randomized algorithm it'd be basically identical.

And this applies even more so to the differences between apparently identical synths due to the component tolerances... to put it the other way round, if they used calibration grade components for everything, it'd still sound as good even though the 'uniqueness' had been drastically reduced.

Don Solaris is a mod on the electronic music forum on gearslutz and a synth wiz of note. I'll quote some of the things he has to say on the matter as he is much better at explaining these things than i ever will be:


VCO can be designed with minimal drift, almost zero, i.e. Andromeda, MOTM, etc.

Only true difference between VCO and a DCO is that VCO shifts in frequency through indefinite resolution depth. This is what gives "fat" sound when you have two VCOs detuned as opposed to DCO's that go in "stairs" up and down in pitch (both fundamental and harmonics). With one oscillator system - difference isn't much noticeable, but with two slightly detuned VCO's vs DCO's, difference is: night/day.

Same rule applies for phase and amplitude. Watching a raw VCO on a scope shows an ever evolving dancing waveform in: frequency, phase and amplitude. DCO on the other hand is rock solid.

Regarding oscillator drift - these vary from synth to synth. Korg MonoPoly has ultra stable VCO's, but sounds thin compared to CS-15 that has horrible VCO stability, yet produces some of the fattest bass sounds on planet (though it doesn't have a big bottom like Moog or SH-2). Two oscs on CS-15 are fatter than all four on MonoPoly.


Except classic stuff like unison, or playing the same key on Polysix and observing different pitch and resonance point per each note I can't find any other situation where i could point my finger and say, "yeah my Juno 60 sounds different here because it is a DCO".

However, there is one thing i can't explain. But i feel it all the time. When i sit in front of Polysix i can spend 8 hours there, enjoying, having fun with additional analog efects and stuff. All cool. But with Juno 60 it gets "boring" after a while. Somehow, it sounds "the same", even with constantly applied modulations. Second, i can never sit next to Polysix and make the same sounding patch twice. On Juno 60 it is a matter of second.

couple of threads worth reading

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?1800645-DCO-vs.-VCO (there are links to more threads in this one)
http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=30531&sid=fc9addfa466523d9b3408bbce3282e92


I suspect that you're using it to mean something else, but the phrase 'depth of field' is interesting given that analogue recording gear generally has a significantly smaller dynamic range than digital...

i'm talking about 3D depth. also, i dunno if it was clear in my posts but i like some digital synths. i'm not saying digital sounds bad.

connect_icut
12-07-2011, 02:58 AM
I should point out that I don't use randomization to simulate the sound of analogue gear, I use it as a controlled compositional/improvisational element in a specifically computer music context. I swear the results aren't as dry as that makes it sound.

I really do like the way analogue stuff sounds and I'm sure playing with gear is fun but to realise the sounds I hear in my head requires a computer and a programming environment along the lines of Max/MSP. Of course, it would be pretty easy to use Max to send controlled, randomized modulations to hardware instruments via MIDI. In fact, Max was originally designed for use with a MIDI hardware set up (because high-level, real-time DSP simply wasn't possible at the time).

skull kid
12-07-2011, 04:12 AM
the one benefit of these lame analogue noobs and their tape saturation plugins saturating the market is that the really well produced digital music sounds even more startling than ever, see the latest hecker (florian) record, and the latest releases on raster noton, particularly the kangding ray and alva noto/sakamoto albums -- now that's what i call 'depth of sound'

connect_icut
12-07-2011, 06:07 AM
the one benefit of these lame analogue noobs and their tape saturation plugins saturating the market is that the really well produced digital music sounds even more startling than ever, see the latest hecker (florian) record, and the latest releases on raster noton, particularly the kangding ray and alva noto/sakamoto albums -- now that's what i call 'depth of sound'

I love you and I want to bear your children.

pattycakes
12-07-2011, 04:41 PM
succinctness is a virtue

pattycakes
12-07-2011, 04:48 PM
the one benefit of these lame analogue noobs and their tape saturation plugins saturating the market is that the really well produced digital music sounds even more startling than ever, see the latest hecker (florian) record, and the latest releases on raster noton, particularly the kangding ray and alva noto/sakamoto albums -- now that's what i call 'depth of sound'

just heard some demos from these and wow

labrat
15-07-2011, 12:11 PM
http://www.factmag.com/2011/07/15/actress-is-giving-away-tracks-on-his-twitter-again/

Phaedo
15-07-2011, 12:34 PM
Some great bits here, shame no 320's but oh well. "Murder Plaza" and "My Weed's Strong Blud" (you get the impression thats true with the second title haha) are my favorites so far.

Sectionfive
31-07-2011, 08:35 PM
Has this been posted? http://work-ethic.net/features/actress-0

Good Dem Hunger interview there too.

pattycakes
12-08-2011, 03:00 PM
this is a decent read for the nerds

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb10/articles/analoguewarmth.htm

me being one of them

Ulala
04-09-2011, 01:49 AM
Just got back from seeing Actress and Lukid at the Shacklewell Arms, and I think the right word is 'nonplussed'. It was alright, like, but that's as far as I'd go. I tend to think it's more headphones music than dancefloor, based solely on drunken empirical evidence tonight. It never seemed to really get going, lots of build-up but no money shot, as it were.

It was dead busy, mind, but there was a lot of standing about and not a lot of dancing.

routes
04-09-2011, 08:42 AM
i was at this and yeah it wasn't great. fair play tho he played a Being Boiled/No Scrubs bootleg which was amusing.

hopper
05-09-2011, 01:58 PM
yeah I was there too, really wasn't feeling the set - so spent most of it outside. Seems like he hasn't quite figured out a good live set up for his stuff yet. It was all over the place at times and you kinda just felt he was stoned off his nut thinking that phaser knob sounded amazing. And I couldn't be any bigger a fan of his music, the sound at the venue didn't really help either. Was a slightly strange night, nobody was really looking at him playing, but standing around talking to each other over the music, can't blame them entirely as it was pretty impossible to dance to most of it

mistersloane
05-09-2011, 06:21 PM
i was at this and yeah it wasn't great. fair play tho he played a Being Boiled/No Scrubs bootleg which was amusing.

That's Richard X's Being Scrubbed

<iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cjE9nwzCHVY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

meatstixx
07-09-2011, 12:14 PM
he smashed it at field day. proper techno for the first 20 minutes to a packed dancefloor.

baboon2004
07-09-2011, 01:11 PM
really wish i had more chord n harmony knowledge. definitely makes even the shittiest synths sound good

check out ravenspiral - best theory e-book ever. the guy even references acid house.

wise
08-09-2011, 08:19 AM
Loving the Laurel Halo remix, shades of MBV in the groaning synths :D

hopper
11-09-2011, 11:16 PM
the one benefit of these lame analogue noobs and their tape saturation plugins saturating the market is that the really well produced digital music sounds even more startling than ever, see the latest hecker (florian) record, and the latest releases on raster noton, particularly the kangding ray and alva noto/sakamoto albums -- now that's what i call 'depth of sound'

which hecker record do you mean? the sun pandemonium reissue or acid in the style of david tudor?

the sun pandemonium one sounds brilliant on clips

e/y
12-09-2011, 02:02 AM
Speculative Solution (http://www.discogs.com/Florian-Hecker-Speculative-Solution/release/2875394)?

connect_icut
13-09-2011, 04:12 PM
I just got the vinyl of Sun Pandemonium. Lush. I'm actually surprised Hecker's stuff can be transferred to vinyl on account of all the extreme frequencies but this sounds great. I find the mixture of analogue and digital extremes quite potent, actually. Which might explain the appeal of Actress, to an extent.

Dorsey
24-09-2011, 05:13 AM
Actress / Nail the cross grabs a lyric before the military. Does a slang trip the child? Actress / Nail the cross crosses my prose. Actress / Nail the cross moves the percent below the injured average. An arm tailors the flood backlog under the lit worry.

-------------------------------------------------------
nakedgirls (http://www.nomanarea4u.info)

computer_rock
24-09-2011, 08:48 AM
lol spammer^


Loving the Laurel Halo remix, shades of MBV in the groaning synths :D

my bloody valentine?

The laurel halo remix is my favourite tune of the year - it sounds so broken and pulled out of shape it's brilliant.


http://www.honestjons.com/label.php?pid=39147&LabelID=14815&g=1

damn. need audio for this.

Slothrop
26-09-2011, 08:58 AM
Nominate Dorsey for music forum post of the month.

muser
26-09-2011, 09:23 AM
^Plus 1 on that. :D

baboon2004
26-09-2011, 09:49 AM
Loving the Laurel Halo remix, shades of MBV in the groaning synths :D

listening to this now. more than just shades tbh - i thought it was a bloody sample of (forgets tune off Loveless - number three possibly?)! Fecking great tune. Anyone going to see hiim with Ill BLu on Friday (Ldn)?

Edit: She (Laurel Halo) is bloody gorgeous too.... (not heard of her before)

e/y
26-09-2011, 10:23 AM
Laurel Halo is AMAZING.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5scYXIvAr7w


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqvbB-Tnl58


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnRKb_KS3as

this is nice, too:

http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2011/03/let-me-know-aphrodite-jungle-edi

FairiesWearBoots
28-09-2011, 08:52 AM
http://www.adultswim.com/promos/201109_unclassified/

clickety click his boat for a clip

wise
28-09-2011, 02:38 PM
Yeah after I posted that I kept listening to the track and it's obv a sample, first time i've heard My Bloody Valentine sampled.
I tried to sample them on one of my really early tunes, it sounded bloody awful :o

wise
28-09-2011, 02:40 PM
Slightly higher quality version (256kbps) of Murder Plaza on this freebie album

http://www.adultswim.com/promos/201109_unclassified/index.html

pat
28-09-2011, 07:31 PM
^ !

actress tho http://images.boardhost.com/emoticons/love.gif http://images.boardhost.com/emoticons/love.gif http://images.boardhost.com/emoticons/love.gif http://images.boardhost.com/emoticons/love.gif

paolo
14-04-2012, 02:59 PM
He's in the Guardian today - http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/apr/14/actress-darren-cunningham-rip

yyaldrin
18-04-2012, 05:23 PM
Man R.I.P is just perfect, loving it from start to end.

Local Authority
25-04-2012, 05:39 PM
Do you ever have a period where you find it hard to emotionally connect with music, either through personal listening habits at the time or an inability to find music that you like?

I've had that for the past 6/7 months now, mostly going to clubs and listening to music that reminded me of that. I think this album will reverse that trend.

paolo
25-04-2012, 07:47 PM
I've not heard any of the tracks off this album in a club but I would really like to

FairiesWearBoots
14-06-2012, 03:33 AM
new actress mix - http://www.mixcloud.com/dazed/dazed-x-sonos-mixtape-competition-actress/

any nerds out there know how to make this DL'able?

wise
14-06-2012, 11:17 AM
new actress mix - http://www.mixcloud.com/dazed/dazed-x-sonos-mixtape-competition-actress/

any nerds out there know how to make this DL'able?

http://www.mediafire.com/?mhkcd4z8x0f14a4

wise
16-06-2012, 04:46 PM
that's the only way I could rip it, you'll have to sort it out for yourself

Gombreak
16-06-2012, 05:00 PM
Here, straight rip to mp3
http://www.mediafire.com/?m653tgto35n9w2c

FairiesWearBoots
16-06-2012, 09:00 PM
http://www.mediafire.com/?mhkcd4z8x0f14a4

Cheers Wise!

baboon2004
18-06-2012, 09:32 AM
Did anyone go to this Black Atlantic night last Weds in London?
http://www.koko.uk.com/listings/hidden-depths-hyperdub-ft-kode-9-dj-set-13-06-2012

Superb line-up, disappointed I couldn't make it and wondered how it was...

Local Authority
19-06-2012, 08:19 PM
Did anyone go to this Black Atlantic night last Weds in London?
http://www.koko.uk.com/listings/hidden-depths-hyperdub-ft-kode-9-dj-set-13-06-2012

Superb line-up, disappointed I couldn't make it and wondered how it was...

It was a great night, Cooly G was astounding. Before the night I never gave her a chance but what she played off the new album was amazing. Hyperdub are returning to form this year.

Laurel Halo was a mild disappointment, although I suspect that was down to the Koko system. Scratcha DVA always divides my opinion, I didn't stick around to hear him live but his set was decent. Kode9 and Rashad & Spinn absolutely killed it. Rashad & Spinn even bought on a friend who danced on stage. Overall a really good night.

Only upset was Actress going AWOL and no one actually mentioning it until after he was meant to play. Which left us confused as to why Kode9 carried on playing old Burial songs for an extended 45 minutes or so.

Gombreak
19-06-2012, 08:27 PM
I've been a few mentions of Actress pulling a 'Zomby', is it a known thing?

Local Authority
19-06-2012, 08:31 PM
I've heard he tends to be pretty reliable. He did apologise on twitter but I don't know what that means.

Something must of happened for him not to show though, it was a full live show which would of cost a lot. All of the equipment was on stage for a good 2 hours, until Laurel Halo came on. I don't think Actress is dick enough to pull a stunt like that.

baboon2004
20-06-2012, 10:37 AM
He certainly doesn't come across as a dick in interviews.

Ach, glad it was a good night, gutted I missed it. Pity Laurel Halo didn't come across so well. She had a concert with Kuedo recently that I was sad to miss too (by virtue of it being in Manchester)


It was a great night, Cooly G was astounding. Before the night I never gave her a chance but what she played off the new album was amazing. Hyperdub are returning to form this year.

Laurel Halo was a mild disappointment, although I suspect that was down to the Koko system. Scratcha DVA always divides my opinion, I didn't stick around to hear him live but his set was decent. Kode9 and Rashad & Spinn absolutely killed it. Rashad & Spinn even bought on a friend who danced on stage. Overall a really good night.

Only upset was Actress going AWOL and no one actually mentioning it until after he was meant to play. Which left us confused as to why Kode9 carried on playing old Burial songs for an extended 45 minutes or so.

m99188868
28-09-2012, 10:49 AM
Anyone knows which track this is?

<object width="640" height="360"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4Fl2RrFlGK4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4Fl2RrFlGK4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

connect_icut
01-10-2012, 01:10 AM
I've heard he tends to be pretty reliable. He did apologise on twitter but I don't know what that means.
Something must of happened for him not to show though, it was a full live show which would of cost a lot. All of the equipment was on stage for a good 2 hours, until Laurel Halo came on. I don't think Actress is dick enough to pull a stunt like that.

He was supposed to play at the Decibel Festival in Seattle this weekend but he was dropped from the bill at the last minute because he didn't have a visa! Glad I got to see him in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago (it was great!)

blacktulip
01-10-2012, 01:56 AM
Do you ever have a period where you find it hard to emotionally connect with music, either through personal listening habits at the time or an inability to find music that you like?

I've had that for the past 6/7 months now, mostly going to clubs and listening to music that reminded me of that. I think this album will reverse that trend.

And did it?

paolo
26-01-2014, 09:19 AM
Thoughts on the new album anyone?

I'm still getting to grips with it but to me it almost sounds like RIP part two. It's got the same hazy fuzzy vibe and a mix of ambient/soundtrack style bits and weirdo club music. I really like it

Also, did anyone splash out on the box set?

rubberdingyrapids
26-01-2014, 10:15 AM
tempted by the box set but nah. read a review of the album in the wire and it seemed like this one is his 'dark' and 'difficult' album (ie not easy to like, maybe a bit boring, and very grey). but i hope thats not really true cos i fucking loved RIP. if its amazing i might splash out.

jimitheexploder
26-01-2014, 10:44 AM
I'm still getting to grips with it, first impressions are pretty good but I don't feel like I've got a handle on it yet. Really love Corner, Rims, Don't, Rap so far. Sounds more like Hazeyville than RIP to me, maybe sits in the middle of those too in sound but slightly closer to Hazyville even if its a little more bleached out.

you
26-01-2014, 04:21 PM
I love it, "contagious" sounds like dread leaden witch house from 2011. "Rims" has a lovely, 90s warp hip hop vibe.. as does Birdcage but with added funk.

I adore this LP.

paolo
26-01-2014, 05:12 PM
tempted by the box set but nah. read a review of the album in the wire and it seemed like this one is his 'dark' and 'difficult' album (ie not easy to like, maybe a bit boring, and very grey). but i hope thats not really true cos i fucking loved RIP. if its amazing i might splash out.

I think that review was a bit wide of the mark. The album is fairly moody (it is Actress after all) but I'd say it's no more dark and difficult than Splazsh or RIP

griftert
26-01-2014, 06:32 PM
Not really feeling the new Actress, but then I wasn't really into RIP either. Whoever said on here that the album sounds like one of those flash games where you just get a grid that plays a sequence that's always in tune, this sounds like an extension of that again.


Something a bit unsatisfyingly amateurish about this supposed master.
He suits colourful music compared to greyscale I think, and all his recent work has been thus.

griftert
26-01-2014, 06:33 PM
I love it, "contagious" sounds like dread leaden witch house from 2011. "Rims" has a lovely, 90s warp hip hop vibe.. as does Birdcage but with added funk.

I adore this LP.

It's nothing to do with the album, but it's funny how something can have a retro vibe evocative of three years ago nowadays :D

Leo
26-01-2014, 08:13 PM
i respect actress but find i hardly ever actually listen to his albums. i have them all but couldn't name a tune, not sure what it is with him. i convince myself i should like it, and on a certain level i do, but i very rarely have a desire to hear it.

rubberdingyrapids
26-01-2014, 09:42 PM
i think theres something lacking/wanting about RIP, but it also lets me think of it as kind of just a blank space - most of the tracks sound unfurnished/unfinished, like hes not telling you to react to them, which is something i like, that blankness (without being cold). but i can see how that could sound amateur. i dont mind that too much though, except when it seems like he has a great starting idea (eg the first song on RIP) that just goes no further than that initial starting idea. thinking of him as a 'master' is wrong i think, hes more of a rough draft kind of artist. he makes music thats often pretty under developed. its just that a lot of it is more 'delicate' so people seem to elevate him to a higher platform. doesnt hurt that hes excellent at conceptualising his music too.

im still yet to hear hazville tbh, and i liked RIP before i liked splazsh. are his 'thriller' alias songs like purple splazsh? (one of my favourite things of his)

jimitheexploder
27-01-2014, 09:10 AM
The Thriller tracks are on more of a funky sample tip yeah. They sound like tracks for Splazsh on the whole or at least ideas that ended up becoming Splazsh, maybe with less obscured samples, Hubble which was on one of the 12"s ended up being the first track on Splazsh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK8-gVS5RnE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHXGwFZQL5w#t=101
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adm-m_eXGNE#t=74

griftert
27-01-2014, 11:00 AM
Thriller and Purple Splazsh are similar and his best things yeah. Think one of the Thriller 12s might be Lukid as well.

mistersloane
28-01-2014, 12:27 PM
I liked all of his work for the initial five seconds and then I decided it was really fucking lazy, and really fucking boring.

Leo
28-01-2014, 01:37 PM
I liked all of his work for the initial five seconds and then I decided it was really fucking lazy, and really fucking boring.

LOL...a slightly more direct way of saying what i posted above!

Corpsey
28-01-2014, 04:53 PM
I liked all of his work for the initial five seconds and then I decided it was really fucking lazy, and really fucking boring.

I do like some of his tracks a lot but I was listening to ''Spalzsh'' at work today in an attempt to reconnect with him as a producer and I do find it a bit middling. Perhaps its the hype vs. the music that ruins it a bit for me. I felt/feel the same way about Burial. And Zomby, for that matter.

mistersloane
28-01-2014, 09:45 PM
I do like some of his tracks a lot but I was listening to ''Spalzsh'' at work today in an attempt to reconnect with him as a producer and I do find it a bit middling. Perhaps its the hype vs. the music that ruins it a bit for me. I felt/feel the same way about Burial. And Zomby, for that matter.

Burial I never liked (shoot me) but I can appreciate what he's doing.

Zomby yeah I'd definitely put in the same category - the "how much weed did it cost to make you think that was worthwhile releasing?" category.

Fucking lazy arseholes, sniff my socks.

mistersloane
29-01-2014, 04:36 AM
And to be fair, I'm being lazy too.

What fucks me off about Actress is the negation. It's like, I shouldn't do this now, I shouldn't do that now, so I'll leave it for an extra 12 beats and then cut. It's cerebrality as artistry. No heart.

It's not even deconstruction, it's just negation and there's nothing, nothing at the heart, no heart, there's nothing there of it.

And not in the punk way. ~ It's not reductionism, it's just boring.

It bores me, it annoys me, to listen to it.

There. Meander all you want for your artistic life, but don't include me in.

Corpsey
29-01-2014, 09:39 AM
That's an interesting take on his music, I'm looking forward to his numerous fans arguing against it.

I sort of know what you mean about negation, personally I've always felt a little like this with regard to Burial - I guess I think of his quote about disguising his drums in crackle because they weren't good enough (in his opinion). The thing is his methods led him to creating something completely unique, whatever your opinion of it. Actress I don't find as distinctive necessarily. Sometimes I do hear an Actress tune and it just sounds like a fairly interesting loop, for about three minutes.

I suppose Burial Zomby and Actress are quite similar producers in that they openly display their working methods in their music - which is tied to the crackles and rough textures they use. They release tracks that sound somehow incomplete, truncated and unpolished. I remember the hilarious thing luka said re: blawan's Brandy remix about how the drums were (in his opinion) rubbish but the "classic indie judo move" was to posit loose, rhyhtmically feeble drums as a STRENGTH.

Having said all this I think all three of those producers have produced BRILLIANT tunes and I'm not against their experimentation at all. I do sometimes feel like they get overpraised for being cerebral, though, and I do think that Mistersloane hits on something I feel about actress's music by accusing them of having no heart, of being brain music above all.

Local Authority
29-01-2014, 02:04 PM
actresses music has a sense of being disconnected, but wanting of interaction. it literally sounds like its been made by a robot. that it sounds like its trying to reach out gives it emotion to me.

zomby on the other hand is just fucking lazy

CrowleyHead
29-01-2014, 07:00 PM
actresses music has a sense of being disconnected, but wanting of interaction. it literally sounds like its been made by a robot. that it sounds like its trying to reach out gives it emotion to me.

zomby on the other hand is just fucking lazy

I'd actually argue Actress is a bit lazy. Zomby's just obsessed with keeping it tracky maybe. You know, you start changing it up too much, you lose something and gain something.

How many versions of the Rumors "Flute Bassline" track are there, like, 4 or 5 right? He could've easily took all the variations and thrust them together into one tune, and it would've been 'shifting' or w/e. Actress tunes tend to seem like something was thrown there a little later on as it came to him, like it's being built as you speak/hear/whatever the fuck. Kind of nice, but never quiiiiiite satisfying.

rubberdingyrapids
29-01-2014, 07:14 PM
skimmed through the new album today. when he gets a groove going (and this album is much more like that than RIP) i think his music is best (theres one song on ghettoville with a great fat 90s house bassline, which was nice), when its falling apart and not really going anywhere, im on the fence between enjoying the tentativeness (i think this is diff to indie-dance with weak drums as actress doesnt even do much in the way of rhythm most of the time) and thinking its just a bit feeble.

did find it weird that the first track on the album is quite industrial/trip hoppy but like most of his music, im always a bit underwhelmed by certain filters and fx he uses to treat his sounds as they sound like digitally weak. im sure some people think that adds to the fragility (or whatever) of his music, but it just sounds a bit poor to me.

anyway, yes he is overrated (im still annoyed about the awful dancers he got at that gig he did for st johns church), but he is also very original. does anyone else sound like him?

mistersloane
29-01-2014, 10:31 PM
Actually, what I wanted to say about Actress was this :

http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/18667/1/the-codes-of-ghettoville

K-punk on the new album sums it all up.


NOT. What a wanker.

mistersloane
29-01-2014, 10:33 PM
and yeah, everyone with Ableton, Logic or Frooty Loops sound like him when they've had a loop on their DAW with a bit of tape distortion and listened to it for an hour and then gone to bed and then woken up and thought "D'you know what? I'd be embarrassed to charge money for this".

rubberdingyrapids
30-01-2014, 08:07 AM
the wire review was very misleading btw.

actress' taste in films is surprising (though not that a lot of it is from the 80s - i think i would like him to do whole albums of 'thriller' tracks and slowed down R&B loops). i expected weirder stuff in there.

blacktulip
30-01-2014, 09:43 AM
Some of his favourite music: http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/18661/1/the-tunes-of-ghettoville-fm

blacktulip
30-01-2014, 09:44 AM
and yeah, everyone with Ableton, Logic or Frooty Loops sound like him when they've had a loop on their DAW with a bit of tape distortion and listened to it for an hour and then gone to bed and then woken up and thought "D'you know what? I'd be embarrassed to charge money for this".

THANK YOU.

FUCKING *FINALLY*.

mistersloane
30-01-2014, 10:06 AM
THANK YOU.

FUCKING *FINALLY*.

:)

Slothrop
30-01-2014, 10:14 AM
Woohoo, Dissensus backlash time.

So I quite like Actress, but the thing that I find a bit weird is that his music seems to fit pretty squarely in with the early 2000s techy / housey IDM thing - y'know, Splazsh wouldn't have been massively surprising if it had come out on Ghostly International or Plug Research or ~scape or something about ten years ago - but seems to get love from people who'd rather stick screwdrivers in their ears than be associated with that scene.

See also the "would you have been that surprised to hear Flying Lotus' stuff had come out on Ninja Tune in 2000?" issue...

griftert
30-01-2014, 04:39 PM
It's just the same old shit...style over substance...hype over reality. If folk listened with their ears the music scene would be much different.
Glad Dissensus has clocked it 8)

blacktulip
30-01-2014, 07:43 PM
Sorry to be all negative but even the words Ninja Tune are the mark of something way dodgy. Only thing I ever liked that had anything to with them was Tried By 12.

paolo
30-01-2014, 08:30 PM
Well I think Actress is great and I don't care who knows it

blacktulip
30-01-2014, 08:59 PM
Love and respect your (and everyone else's) fandom of Actress (and everything else). Not having a dig so please don't take it that way. Just a bit baffled by the worship is the more reasonable way of putting it, I guess...

rubberdingyrapids
31-01-2014, 05:36 AM
Sorry to be all negative but even the words Ninja Tune are the mark of something way dodgy. Only thing I ever liked that had anything to with them was Tried By 12.

i wonder if the trip hoppier moments on the album are BECAUSE he signed to ninja tune or that it was already like that which is why they signed it. .

crackerjack
31-01-2014, 10:16 AM
It's just the same old shit...style over substance...hype over reality. If folk listened with their ears the music scene would be much different.
Glad Dissensus has clocked it 8)

Can someone wheel out the 'electronic music for people who don't like electronic music' line please? Then I can shout house on my snob bingo card.

Slothrop
31-01-2014, 11:00 AM
What about "IDM it's okay to like"? Have you got that one?

paolo
31-01-2014, 12:10 PM
'Coffee table dance music'

:)

Corpsey
31-01-2014, 12:45 PM
It's the opposite isn't it? It's electronic music for electronic music nerds.

Slothrop
31-01-2014, 12:50 PM
Again, though, the thing that seems unusual about Actress isn't so much that he's "dance music for people who don't like dance music", he's "dance music for people who don't like dance music for people who do like dance music." He's detached, auteurish and abstract, but seems to have cachet with people who wouldn't normally touch that sort of thing with a barge pole.

griftert
31-01-2014, 04:45 PM
I just think that his stuff isn't even particularly accomplished in terms of what it is - which is basically kind of distorted IDM. Listen to say, Lusine from 15 years ago, it sounds pretty damn similar...and probably better. So the hype is doubly galling in that it both misrecognises what Actress's stuff actually is and then inflates its value.
Like to me, that auteurism and total laziness apparently seen not to be in conflict here seems to show how poor the concept is when applied to music. Also, shows how lazy and shiftless music journalism is.
The older I get the less I understand why anyone would really take a keen interest in music journalism. So irrelevant.

crackerjack
31-01-2014, 05:02 PM
Like to me, that auteurism and total laziness apparently seen not to be in conflict here seems to show how poor the concept is when applied to music. Also, shows how lazy and shiftless music journalism is.
The older I get the less I understand why anyone would really take a keen interest in music journalism. So irrelevant.

Hey, as long as you keep writing into the letters page it's all good ;)

griftert
31-01-2014, 05:59 PM
Ha-ha, indeed... :confused:

rubberdingyrapids
31-01-2014, 07:51 PM
looking at it purely musically is missing the point - actress is a great muso darling because he knows how to present himself so well. he already brings writers (eg - that dazed k punk piece) with the concepts they can write about, so its no wonder they can get so much mileage out of his music. he gives them things they can work with. hes a brilliantly presented and visualised/conceptualised package. the fact he does come or less with the total package is why journalists are so fascinated by him. its kind of brilliant really - hes cerebral for those who need to feel intellectually sated, amateur for those who like dilettante-ism etc etc - people like artists to sound a bit amateur these days so he does that, but not so much that you think he doesnt have any talent. the main feeling i get from his music is that its just deficient and empty and lacking but i like that vacancy as it can function on different levels - it doesnt demand my attention but if i want to give it my attention, it has enough in there to hold me there. hes kind of shit, but kind of brilliant too.

my main issue with his music is the weedy fidelity of a lot of it.

HMGovt
31-01-2014, 08:14 PM
tidy analysis. I've noticed this when driving with Actress widgeting away in the background, but every now and then there's a splash of light and colour to grab your attention. Bit like Shackleton, but with at least one idea per tune rather than half an idea and twice as many spliffs.

griftert
31-01-2014, 08:34 PM
Well yeah that is pretty on the money

mistersloane
31-01-2014, 10:40 PM
looking at it purely musically is missing the point - actress is a great muso darling because he knows how to present himself so well. he already brings writers (eg - that dazed k punk piece) with the concepts they can write about, so its no wonder they can get so much mileage out of his music. he gives them things they can work with. hes a brilliantly presented and visualised/conceptualised package. the fact he does come or less with the total package is why journalists are so fascinated by him. its kind of brilliant really - hes cerebral for those who need to feel intellectually sated, amateur for those who like dilettante-ism etc etc - people like artists to sound a bit amateur these days so he does that, but not so much that you think he doesnt have any talent. the main feeling i get from his music is that its just deficient and empty and lacking but i like that vacancy as it can function on different levels - it doesnt demand my attention but if i want to give it my attention, it has enough in there to hold me there. hes kind of shit, but kind of brilliant too.

my main issue with his music is the weedy fidelity of a lot of it.

yeah all this is really good and well put gumdrops, I'd agree with all that.

mistersloane
31-01-2014, 10:41 PM
tidy analysis. I've noticed this when driving with Actress widgeting away in the background, but every now and then there's a splash of light and colour to grab your attention. Bit like Shackleton, but with at least one idea per tune rather than half an idea and twice as many spliffs.

However, having agreed with dinghy...I'll then agree with HM, and add...

ONE IDEA PER SONG! FUCKING HELL. SO IMPRESSED I COULD SHIT.

jimitheexploder
01-02-2014, 07:29 AM
Has anyone heard the Levantis 12" on TTT, it sounds so much like Actress that it has to be really. If not its someone that sounds like him right now which doesn't happen much.

https://soundcloud.com/the-trilogy-tapes/sets/levantis-music-hall/

Track two really sounds massive when the big old kick comes in.

The more I listen to the new album the more I really dig it and find another track thats just brilliant. I can see why a load of people wouldn't be into Actress though, its a sound that can easily annoy people or get them none plused, I'm not even sure why it hits me so much but it does, he's wicked.

paolo
07-02-2014, 08:36 AM
I got myself Hazyville and it's dead good. It's more of a straight-up techno album than his other ones. A lot of it is quite dub technoy which I don't normally go for

griftert
13-02-2014, 04:52 PM
Having troubling understand that tbh. Ghettoville is worse because it's thematically unified?