Textures, Gestures on IGTV – Outtakes and Explorations from the Studio

Hi everyone,Textures, Gestures a series of outtakes and explorations from what might become an Ambient album. I use the videos as a first step to open up about my process and try out new formats. It has been a good exercise to create these minimal textures as they give me a sense for how much density I want in my Ambient work. Also studio time has been scarce during the pandemic, so it feels good to document intermediate results in some way.

Textures, Gestures #1

Currently I am finding joy in asynchronous loops, employing both tape and crude digital sampling. For the first loop I used the Yamaha VSS-30, downsampled via a mod. The second one was a cassette tape loop on the Marantz PMD222. As the only sound source I used one of my favorite little modular patches, Cwejman Res-4 through Toppobrillo TWF. There is a touch of FM from the Intellijel Dixie. To create depth and add more texture I am using a number effects with nested feedback, including a Korg Stage Echo, Boss DD-5 through Touellskouarn Ar Merc’het Brao, an Eventide Space, and a Yamaha REX50.

Textures, Gestures #2

Building from a simple sequence and deriving other layers and elements from it by playing with different effects helps me reduce complexity in my process. In this case, I am sequencing a basic patch on a Yamaha TX7 from the Fugue Machine app on the iPad, which I also use to run Patch Base for programming the TX7. The sound is used directly, but also processed using a Haible Tau Phaser and Serge VCFQ controlled by a Make Noise 0-CTRL, producing the first, textural layer. The other layers are created using several effect chains consisting of tape echo, digital delay, reverb, and pitch shifting.

Textures, Gestures #3

I love (re-)sampling for its surprises, especially when done spontaneously. It can add disturbances and interesting twists to plain sounds, or bring out textural qualities. In this recording, I am creating an atmosphere based on a tape loop, dubbed out using the Korg Stage Echo and a couple of filtered delay and reverb effects. The tape loop consists of a chord played with the FRMS granular synth, which uses a reverberated stock sound from the Yamaha VSS-30 as source material. Additionally, I am bringing in ever-evolving sounds from a patch on the modular synth, using a Music Thing Spring reverb module and the Cwejman Res-4 in a feedback configuration. From time to time, I subtly sample and slice these sounds with the Phonogene, which also serves as a safety measure against uncontrolled feedback.

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I’ve been thoroughly enjoying these on Instagram, so thank you for taking the time to write more about the process, ideas, and gear behind the sounds.

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Cheers! I’ll share more soon. :slight_smile: