Thursday, November 15, 2007

Totally out of my box on this one

Click the play button below to listen:

Well, I finally broke down and bought the quad-core computer of my dreams for Studio A. My old box, a Dell Pentium 4 3.2 HT, was really showing it's age and crimping my creative workflow. I like to use lots of VST instrument plug-ins simultaneously, and the old box just couldn't handle it. There were even some synths I had spent good money on that I flat-out could not use. One instance would put the CPU in overload!

Well, the new box does everything I imagined it would (and perhaps a bit more). For those who like specs, I had ADK Pro Audio build me a HUGE honker of a server-class machine with an Intel Q6600 (Conroe) processor...that's four processors on a single unit. Though it normally runs at 2.4gHz (per core), this one is over-clocked to 3.0. It has 4GB of RAM and 1.3 TB of disk (on three drives).

It took me a few days to re-install and re-authorize all of my software and then I was in absolute heaven. I threw every stress test in the book at it and it just performs like a dream.

Music? Oh, right...this IS the Hybernation Music blog after all, isn't it? Well two nights ago I was playing with a wonderful CPU-eating synth I've never been able to use until now...the Ultra Analog VA-1 from Applied Acoustic Systems (see screen shot below). It's got one of the smoothest pure-analog sounds you'll ever hear, and it used to send the CPU on my old box into never-never land with just one or two instances. I started messing around with a couple of arpeggio patches and before I knew it I had come up with a "Dance" tune!

Dance you say? Well, heck, I don't know what else to call it. It's definitely not Prog or Ambient, or any style that I normally do.

It's totally and completely outside of my usual set of genres...I was "totally out of my box" on this one.

More statistics: 7 instances of Ultra Analog VA-1. One instance of Native Instruments Battery 3 for drums. Then for flavor, I doubled some of the VA-1 parts with one instance each of Native Instruments Massive, Rob Palpen's Albino3, Arturia's CS-80V and Moog Modular-V and GMedia's Minimonsta. A total of 13 tracks of Virtual Synthesizer bliss. My new box? CPU never went above 35%!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Reasonable Persons

Click on the play button below to listen:

I've been in San Francisco all week for the JavaOne conference. What a total geek-fest! To keep myself from totally geeking out every night afterward, I brought "studio B" with me. It didn't totally work, for instance, last night I was up late making JRuby on Rails and Prototype/Scriptaculous and Oracle do amazing things together (like present a list of data on my screen and make the list "grow" and "shake") with only a few lines of code. There are an awful lot of "hyper-enthusiasts" that are promoting Ruby on Rails in a very unreasonable manner, let me add. Yes, it can do a lot with fewer lines of code, no argument there, but time will tell how big of a dent in Java this language/framework makes over the long haul.

Anyway, I did manage to crank out this little ditty over the last few nights. For some reason, I was really in the mood to listen to the Alan Parson's Project the first few days I was here. Since I did at least an hour of walking every day, I listened to most of those CD's on my MP3 player...some more than once.

As I tried to compose, I found myself drawn toward "that sound". It usually starts with Electric Piano, bass and drums. It's usually in the key of A minor. His stuff is predictable, yet tasteful...and it holds up well to multiple listenings (heck, I've been listening to some of those albums since high school, such as "Pyramid" for instance).

Anyway, I did this track completely in Reason, and I didn't want to use Alan's last name, so I changed one letter....hence the title "Reasonable Persons".


Edit (July 17, 2008): Refills used:
1) Sonic Reality - Mello-T (choir)
2) Sonic Reality - Triple Guitars (12-string acoustic and electric gtr solo)
3) Sonic Reality - 60's & 70's (rhodes)
4) Sonic Reality - Film Orchestra (solo flute and wind section)
5) Sonic Reality - Triple Bass (bass guitar)
6) Sonic Reality - Pianos and Organz (B3 organ)
7) Sonic Reality - retro keys (minimoog solo)
8) Reason Factory Refill - drums
9) Sonic Flavors - Mystic Dream Pads #4 - synthesized strings

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spacemusic Swish

Long time, no blog huh? Well, I'd like to say that I've been busy in the studio working on multiple new works, but I'd be a liar. In reality, I've been busy with the family and a new job. I hoping to work on some new ideas in the upcoming months, though, so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, take a look at Tom Derry's new "Swish". He took a piece of "spacemusic" I did a while back and put some very thought-provoking words and out-of-this-world images (literally) to it. The result is called "Mostly Space in Between" and I hope you enjoy it...I know I did.

>>> click here to experience "Mostly Space in Between" by Tom Derry <<<<