Modular ambient album – The Lyres in Trees


#1

Really happy with how this came out. Might add some patch notes here later that I’m typing up for my videos.

Bandcamp is probably the quickest way to hear it https://andrewhuang.bandcamp.com/album/the-lyres-in-trees but all the platforms it’s on are linked from here http://fanlink.to/lyres

Hope you enjoy it!

Edit to add patch notes! There’s definitely a bunch of Rings into Clouds happening, but I did switch it up and also do Rings into Rainmaker. :smile:

1. Rain I

Generative sequence coming from Eloquencer - about half the notes are set to skip or slightly vary in pitch about half the time. The sequence plucks nRings (4-note polyphony, modulated/inharmonic string mode) which runs through Rainmaker for delay, Jellysquasher for compression, and Morgasmatron for a bit of low pass filtering in the outro. Towards the end I also fade Rainmaker gradually to full wet.

CV coming from Noise Tools’ slew output (attenuated by Quad VCA), Pamela’s New Workout, and Dual S&H, to modulate the delay time and nRings’ “brite” and “damp”. In hindsight I should have attenuated further because the delay signal’s pitch gets a little too warbly at times.

Final output brought into Ableton to pass through a FabFilter Pro-R reverb and to add a recording of rain outside my studio captured with a Zoom H6.

2. Fireworks

I was invited to compose this piece for an installation my friend Derin Emre was putting on at Arta Gallery in Toronto. The concept was to have a few artists score different videos of the lights around their city. Of all the clips Derin had I felt the most compelled by this one of fireworks going off by the lake.

My friend Jan Willem put together an application called Mideo (link below) which allows you to select colors to track in a video and converts their position on screen into MIDI note data. Loading the fireworks video into this, I sent the MIDI from my computer to two channels of Hermod, creating two streams of notes out of the one (splitting MIDI between multiple Hermod channels makes it cycle through them for each new note it receives).

The first note stream is quantized by Ornament & Crime to a scale of B C# D# F# G# A# and sent to nRings. nRings’ Brightness is modulated by the original sound from the fireworks video, which is sent to the modular and converted to more usable CV via a Pittsburgh Detect envelope follower.

The second note stream is quantized to a different scale of B C# E F# A# to sequence the bass voice, a sound I created with Plonk. With the two-scale set up we thus have a bass that anchors our harmony on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th degrees of a major scale, while the melodic flourishes from the other voice play pretty stuff that works on top of that (ie. a major scale with no 4th, which is the note I find the clash-iest).

Plonk goes through Z-DSP with the Valhalla card and nRings is given a bit of delay and reverb via uBurst.

Mideo: https://github.com/jwktje/mideo?fbclid=IwAR21vNYv-MyWaXTY3Yri6KTxi1Q0-BMuf7DFLHJMhq_GW-WwRaokSNq4ZK4

3. Triad Flux

There are two voices in this patch: nRings plucking through a Pittsburgh Analog Delay, and a self-oscillating Tràigh whistling above it.

This was my first time experimenting with the Harrington 1200 mode in Ornament & Crime. It’s a special kind of multi-channel quantizer that operates by transforming chords into other closely related chords without regard for an overall key. Essentially they tend to be chords that share one or two notes in common - but of course, a few transformations away and you can land on a chord that doesn’t share any notes from the one you started on.

Stages is triggering O&C via three unsynced LFOs of different speeds. I stumbled upon a timing pattern that triggered the right succession of transformations, and modes of transformation, to cause my note sequence to gradually work its way up and down through a huge range of chords in different registers.

All three notes of each chord are sent to nRings, while only one is sent to Tràigh to act as a lead. I used some additional self-patched LFOs from Stages to FM Tràigh and give it some vibrato (with some attenuation by hand) and to modulate the delay time on the Pittsburgh (effectively giving the nRings voice some vibrato as well).

4. Heliotropes

This is a simple piece based around a loop I played into a Brandnewnoise Zoots kalimba, radio static from the Field Kit, and some plinky noises I play into the OP-1’s tombola sequencer. Everything is processed by uBurst, modulated by Chance. The radio static is also envelope followed to provide additional modulation.

5. Rain II

A variation on the patch from “Rain I”. I randomized Eloquencer’s sequence, randomized Rainmaker’s settings, changed nRings’ to sympathetic strings mode and fine tuned some of its other parameters, and this whole other piece arrived in a matter of minutes.


#2

Confirming that the Apple Music link works…

Congrats!


#3

I had the best Andrew Huang moment last year. I don’t get to hang out with my little brother very much - he’s much younger and still lives with my mum and is at school - and I’ve got a whole other life. Anyway, we’d managed to find a day to spend together and we hung out - he’s getting older and I discovered we had some common interests. We got to talking about synths, the OP-1, etc, I had no idea he was into this stuff, and he was like “There’s this guy on YouTube who does these great videos making music from all sorts of things and he has this four producers one sample video” and I was like “Andrew Huang!” and he was like “Andrew Huang!” and as we said it we both did the thing with the high-five. I remember it like it was yesterday, on a busy high street in England - our common interests bringing us a little closer. Anyway, thanks for that! It’s a fond memory I have of my brother. I’m looking forward to listening to the album!


#4

Really enjoying this, lovely and peaceful.


#5

Edited the original post to add patch notes on each track.

@louis thanks for sharing that story, laughed out loud about the high five bit!


#6

Loving this and the fireworks track especially great work as always!!


#7

Including extensive notes on how these tracks are made is really thoughtful; thank you.


#8

Bought! I’m going to listen on the plane from Phoenix to Denver.


#9

I reckon it’d be useful to name the topic more specifically - there’s two topics with almost exactly the same name right now and the forum software doesn’t show who started the topic when you’re browsing.


#10

This music isnt really my kinda thing…
BUT while doing something else on the computer i accidentally had fireworks and rain ii going at the same time and it captivated me and was like daym this dude has some mysterious vibes down!
On their own their own its all a bit too straight edged for me but mixed together its got the right imbalance of harmony that makes things interesting to me is the only way i can describe it.
You should defo try it out just start fireworks and fade rain ii in.


#11

Mate, love it!

From your videos you obviously know how to add a lot of harmony and complexity to tracks, and it’s lovely to hear you using a lot of restraint! Defo one that’s going on my phone for night-time drives and lonely hotel rooms.

S


#12

Is this post purely promotional or do you want an honest critique of your music? I’m not really sure what the intention is here.


#13

This is categorized under releases which is described as such:

release announcements. please help facilitate discussion by providing context for the release.

What’s confusing about the intention? People share the music they’re putting out and encourage discussion around it.


#14

A lot of time people only want positive feedback and praise. If that’s the culture in this category, then I don’t want buck the trend.


#15

You can mute the category if it really bothers you.


#16

Gotcha. I just wanted to understand the score here.


#17

In general, people here are polite and respectful. Andrew posted his album and gave a mess of patch notes, which is pretty kind. No request for critique was given, so there’s no need to give one unless you have something you feel is critical knowledge to share or a critical question to ask. For example mystasea’s post above expressed how he was able to appreciate the album despite not being into the album as such. If it’s not for you, there’s no need to comment.

And since I’m posting, I’ll mirror some of Simeon’s comment above. While I definitely don’t prefer it to his other work, it is interesting hearing him approach modular in more restrained fashion. I honestly wish it was pop-ier, but I appreciate his craft and his willingness to take a chance here.


#18

@kesserich

If you had an honest critique but werent sure if sharing publicly would make the OP (or others) uncomfortable…you could just send via dm expressing your uncertainty

Ask or say what you want privately and then perhaps, share in the thread if they are ok with it

But really, if the tunes are in a dedicated release thread, the artist demontrated willingness to have a dialogue with us (the audience). They cant expect all feedback to be 100% positive…

No need for hesitation next time


#19

i’m always open to constructive criticism

this is a little bit of promo for me but mainly i’m on lines because it’s my favorite place to talk about experimenting with electronic music and particularly modular. hence the patch notes. also why for example i didn’t post my previous release here which was relatively straight ahead instrumental hiphop


#20

Its funny , though , because you have ppl clamoring for “more pop”. You’ve set a certain expectation of yourself, which is nice to see thwarted in lieu of something more ‘challenging’ and cerebral.

I haven’t heard it yet, but am looking forward to digging in. It sounds like it would be morning music…

As for the contribution of playing more than one track at a time: I don’t see this as critical, but as an experimental suggestion. Whatever works ! I’ll probably try both ways :slight_smile: