Friday, October 22, 2010

Disco Nihilist - "Leaving Bull Creek"

I found out about Disco Nihilist through the new Love What You Feel label - here is one of the tracks on the debut LWYF release, great circular trippy stuff.

For some reason last week, I was wandering about searching for Disco Nihilist to see what other stuff they had released, and stumbled on this track on Construction Paper records.

This is right up my street for dark playing-out club material. The kick seems a bit thuddy at first, but just try that through a big system and watch it go. Then there's the 2-beat synthy groove, which starts off almost inaudible and then growls and grows around the kick as it prowls on. Strident, moody, thudding walking-pace dark house, which just about suits a week full of strident, moody news - more on that later.

For now, happy Friday!

P.s. - another track from the 12" is here, and it's pretty nice too...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Live Music Project - Studio Rebuild

I finally sold the beautiful mixing desk I had available for a few months. Baby on board, it was never really going to work out spacewise.

I'm going to miss the masses of inputs, and the incredible lightshow from the meterbridge when it was all running in the dark. I'm especially going to miss that warm 60Hz bass EQ.

With changes come opportunity though, and so in light of the fact that a change of mixing desk is on the cards, I'm now reassessing the entire music setup to try and squeeze more musical output out of less space. This is going to be a bit of an ongoing project, and I'm not quite sure what shape the final setup is going to be, but I'm going to cherry-pick the most crucial pieces of the studio, and rebuild a new setup from scratch.

The remit is - it must be physically small, it must be very fast to work with, it must produce great quality results, and - it needs to be robust enough that I can take it out live. To look at it from the opposite direciton - I'm going to build a 'live' setup, and then use that setup to be the writing studio as well. The old setup was amazing for in-house, but Logic Pro on a massive rack PC running through a big recording desk, was never going to be any way to go and perform the tracks live. And if you were performing from Logic, you might as well play a CD, right?

So first things first - mixing desk replacement. Flexible, small, good-quality, and gig-proof. I've pretty much decided on the solution for that problem - more news soon.

The second conundrum, which is the big one, is - how to sequence electronic tracks live? It needs to be a totally flexible solution, but it also needs to be a totally robust solution.

I'm wobbling between Ableton Live, and a hardware solution of some sort - options include the MPC3000 (expensive, rare, old, big), the RS-7000 (pricey, looks nasty, bit of an unknown quantity) and the ASQ-10 (floppy disks, old, rare as hens teeth, not cheap for what you get). I did even consider the Orbital Alesis MMT-8 solution, but you have to play everything in live when sequencing, which is a bit of a turn-off for certain experimental tune-writing in the studio.

I had thought about a Machinedrum, but it turns out it doesn't do polyphonic sequencing for external MIDI devices. I haven't written it off as part of the setup, as it does look pretty unrivalled as a modern drum machine if you don't want preset samples - but for sequencing everything, it's not going to work.

So what it's coming down to is - will Ableton be flexible enough, intuitive enough, and (crucially) robust enough to take out live, or do I need to go back and reconsider hardware options again...