Sunday, September 23, 2012


Lately, I have been thinking a lot about reverb. Much of my music has two effects, delay and reverb. I often find flange and even chorus a bit to heavy for my tastes. Even with delay and reverb I tend to back the mix down. I see it more like a soft filter on a photograph. Enhancing but not so much so that it draws attention from the picture.

For a long while now I have been using Guitar Rig's Reflector for reverb. It's a decent impulse response modeler and I can just drag it into a rack. I also use Spirit Canyon Audio's impulse responses because I am always looking for more exotic sounds.

Ok, that's the background. Now I come to the dilemma. When I use these they are either to little or to much. I have Waves IR-1 but it's a CPU crusher. Perhaps it would work better. When I get to much reverb, it becomes it's own sound. It sounds disconnected from the sound I am applying it to.

Now this appears to me to be a problem with impulse response. Your kind of stuck with the space. You can back the level down but what I want is more like backing diffusion down.

Here is where I see an advantage to algorithmic reverbs. You get control over parameters like diffusion and, on the EQ side high and sometimes low frequency damping with crossover frequencies. Also other parameters that control the acoustic space they emulate.

So my hope is that by doing some tweaking and using algorithmic reverb I can get closer to wear I want to be. I can also mix in the exotic reverb but I am thinking of doing that with post production automation if the mix so that it can fill some quiet passages with more exotic tails. I think EQ and compression are also useful tools here.

So I am just throwing this out there in the hopes I get some comments. Do you use reverb? Which reverb do you use? What techniques do you use? Why?

Hope to hear from some readers. I really would love the feedback.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lightening Strikes - 9/5/12 Notes

Lightening Strikes


Shelley's story of Frankenstein pits two philosophies of knowledge, one against the other. One is the old world of the alchemists represented by Shelley by Cornelius, Agrippa and Albertus Magnus. The irony is that it is really Galvani, a modern scientist, who gives Frankenstein the idea to re-animate dead body parts. That and the witness of the destruction caused by a lightening strike.

I extend the analogy to that of Nicolai Tesla, who is not mentioned by Shelley, but who has the vision to see positive uses for electricity. I represent this with the Tesla coil. The idea of the steam engine (found in "The persistence of Time" and electricity transform England. The British romantic literary movement is critical of this progress and asks the question if all progress is positive. I represent this and extend it into modern times by the nuclear explosion.

Here we realize the meaning of "Fire Giver" a reference to Shelley's title "The New Promethius". Prometheus gives fire to man and as punishment by the Gods is pursued relentlessly by a monster which is what happens in Frankenstien.

Reaktor Prism - SlowMotion
Cello -Solo
Novachord - 1939 - Pad - Unseen

Live Clips
3 clips - assigned to lowest notes on keyboard
Tesla Coil
Nuclear Blast


Slider 1 - Volume Reaktor (Prism)
Slider 2 - Volume Kontakt (Cello and Hammond Novachord)
Slider 3 - Clip Volume
Slider 4 - Cello Level
Sider 5 - Prism feedback

Audio Cubes

Audio Cubes will be used to trigger clips - preset "Lightening Strikes"

The Persistence of Time - 9/5/12 notes

Prelude - The Persistence of Time

Philosophical Notes

I have always loved the Van Gough painting "The Persistence of Memory". Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was written to question if there are limits to science and technology that should not be breached. Shelley also saw the impact of technology and the advent of mass production and factories on England. Time became mechanized be it the clock like moments of planets or the time clock in the factories.

This piece begins with a clock and then distorts that regularity of the ticking clock much like the melting clocks in Van Gough's painting. The clock changes to steam engine which revolutionized global industry and then brought electricity which I represent by a Tesla coil. While Frankenstein only mentions the lesser know Galvani it was an interest in the joining of human flesh with electricity that brought about the means to create Frankenstein's unholy creature.

The theme of electricity appears again in lightening strikes that morphs into the next step in technology, the nuclear bomb. Here, as Prometheus gives fire the same is true of electrify and then nuclear weapons so I am merely extending the analogy.


Sound Effects - Slider 1
Clock Ticking
Steam Engine
Tesla Coil
Live Resonator - Pedal 3
Live Grain Delay - Pedal 4
Guitar Rig
Reflector - Spirit Canyon - Spectral Relativity "Zone of Twilight"

Moog Voyager - Slider 2 - Dark Electricity 44
Guitar Rig
Moog MP 104M
Spring Reverb

Razor - Slider 3
Live Suite - Corpus
Guitar Rig
Space Echo
Reflector - Spirit Canyon Audio - Spectral Relativity "All Black"

Alchemy - Slider 4
Live Resonator - Pedal 1
Live Grain Delay - Pedal 2
Guitar Rig
Reflector - Spirit Canyon Audio - Spectral Relativity "At the core"

Zebra - Slider 5

Performance Controls

Alchemy 1-4 corresponding to the "Stretch" parameters for various clock samples

Performance Notes

Alchemy - Clocks ticking & Chimes - stretch time with performance controls 1-4
Use Live's "Grain Delay" to slow and speed up time and change frequency
Steam Engine (clip 2)
Tesla coil (clip 3)
Turn on resonator
Razor and Zebra drones

Into the Mist - Notes 9/5/12

Into The Mist

At the end of the book we start were we began which in romantic literature is called framing. We find ourself again with captain Walton as he seeks passage across the North Pole. but now with full knowledge of Victor Frankenstein's tale and the monster. Both Victor and the monster come to a terrible end. Victor heartbroken from knowing that his own creation has destroyed everything in his life that he loved dies. The monster pursues victor but it's to late. The monster realizing that he can't live in civil society continues his journey on the frozen ice of the North Pole into the mist, the ice and oblivion.

I wanted to convey a metallic and cold feeling here to reflect the state of the monsters heart and Victor's before his death. The Orchestration is place for this reason.


Ice - Idaho Recordist "ultimate Ice" Clips
With Guitar Rig (Vintage EQ, Impulse Response - Reflector - Spirit Canyon)
Tbe Clips
The Deep Blue Sea - Switch 1
Thin Ice - Switch 2
Into the Mist - Switch 3

The Mist
Ableton Effect Rack - Keymapped
Operator - high
Absynth - Low
Guitar Rig
Space Echo
Reflector Impulse Response - Spirit Canyon Audio "Chlorazapime"

Drone - Moog Voyager - Soundscape shifter (patch 15) with 104 M
Effects - Guitar Rig - Psychedelic Delay - Reflector
Impulse Response - Spirit Canyon Audio

Slider 1 - Absynth Volume
Slider 2 - Ice Volume
Slider 3 - Pitch Envelope (Level)
Slider 4 - Spread
Slider 5 - Tape Feedback
Slider 6 - Tape Speed
Pedal 1 - Oscillator A - Pitch (fine)
Switch 1 - deep ice cracking and deep water sounds
Switch 2 - Sharper Ice cracking
Switch 3 - footsteps on Ice

Begin with Operator, use Pedal 1 for pitch shift
Slowly bring in Absynth (Slider 1) and Voyager
Bring in ice clips in consecutive order ending in footsteps