That was a weird 48 hours creatively, Wednesday night coming back from work I was noodling around with seekbeats then CubeSynth. Just messing about with no agenda, getting to know the apps better. Nothing was really working for me but I had recorded the output from each experiment as I often do.
Thursday morning I was playing about with SoundScaper and stumpled upon a repeating pattern that I thought was quite cool so I recorded that, and then for an experiment I trimmed out a section and dumped it into Loopy so I could timestretch it to a tempo (111 bpm) which had been my experimental BPM of choice the previous evening. The result was so-so, so I dumped it and then stumbled upon my stems from the previous evening. I combined them in Loopy and liked the result, put my Soundscaper snippet in and thought I had struck gold. “THIS IS AWESOME” thought I, nodding my head like a halfwit and messing about with the levels. Then I arrived at my destination.
Fast forward to the commute home yesterday. I was keen to get back to this nascent masterpiece. I put in my earbuds, opened Loopy, hit play and…. what the fuck?? Apparently I had been completely tone deaf earlier in the day, not only did the SoundScaper stem not ‘go’ rhythmically but was completely off key, by something like two and a quarter tones, not even by a recognizable interval. It was horrible. I muted the soundscaper part and the drum part and the CubeSynth sequence were …. OK together, but also rhythmically questionable in some parts and really not working well.
I was gutted.
This has happened a few times recently. I think it is because of the background noise, or ear fatigue, but there are definitely times when my ears completely fail to tell between cacophony and harmony.
This also happens with beats too – but is more understandable then. I tend to build up blocks of overlapping rhythms, this is like boiling a frog – because I build things up gradually your brain can get with each part as they build up, you get with the groove, a new rhythm is added, you get with that too, a new part is added. This is how I create stuff and how I like my music. That is all well and good but if you fire up loopy with ALL the parts playing, from ‘cold’, without getting into each part first, the effect can be a “Jesus christ what is this noise” moment, some of my grooves require a bit of foreplay before you go for the whole thing!
It does freak me out a bit that I can be completely tone deaf for periods of time though…
Anyway – after the “tone-deaf bastard” incident I had a very unproductive journey home, but later in the 20 minutes before I went to sleep I wrote a groovy little Synth Pop song, but I don’t really do synth pop, and neither do any of my … er… collaborators, so I shelved that. This morning I did a darkish moody downtempo thing on the train ride in that I think is excellent. I am dreading what it will sound like when I listen to it tonight…