I just released “xixtx,” a longform dark ambient piece of lovingly curated soundscapes.
You can pay what you want - and today, 6/19/20, 100% of the profits (bandcamp’s cut and mine) go to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
This album came about as my contribution to International Drone Day. This particular set was just testing my set-up and seeing how far I could go using MIDI instruments (seeing as how my samples HD crashed), but after a while I got into the groove and started recording it.
The first section, with the pitched synths, is a series of single-note MIDI loops of different lengths. I was trying to quickly crib something from Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, but didn’t quite nail it. Still, the attempt created something interesting! Later I added some pitch-changing plug-ins, modulated by Max4Live LFO’s.
The next section, the low tremolo’d synth, is just a techno lead synth played very low (this always generates interesting sounds, imo!). The “motif” here is a descending half-step. Periodically, it will stay on the higher tone twice as long. There’s also an instance of Ableton’s Beat Repeat plug-in randomly kicking in and “morphing” the higher tone down a half-step for a little variety.
The “robo purr” in this section is an Ableton saw-wave synth played very low, then a low-pass filter (with a lot of resonance) modulated rhythmically by a square wave, and the square wave is modulated by a sine wav. Finally, everything below 90 hZ is in mono and higher freq’s are panned around the stereo field!
The white noise “swoop” is an Ableton synth with some fairly slow-moving automation on the filter frequency. Making a high-pass filter slowly move up until the sound is almost nothing (or making a low-pass filter slowly move) down is a really great way to slowly change the sound of a section and subtly move into a new sonic “place.”
The second to last section is a collection of pitches (I think the intervals are a half step down, a major third down, and a major second down?) panned left to right with slightly different tremolo rates. I wanted this to sound all-encompassing and wooly.
In the very last section, the pitches emerge again, in a new key, and with a low of the high and low frequencies rolled off so they sounded like a memory and not a grand re-entrance.
In this track, I tried to emulate how Éliane Radigue moves the listener to different places slowly and incredibly subtly. I also tried to get some Hainbach-esque tape sounds.
I’ve included stems of all these sounds and sections, too, for re-mixing and re-use!
I hope you check it out and enjoy it: