RPM Challenge 2014

OK so i’ve decided I will do the RPM Challenge again this year.

Last time I produced a draft version of The Drowned City

At the time the idea was to make it entirely on the iPad but I ended up feeling too limited.

This time I don’t have a devastating flood to inspire me.  I also have a 2 yr old, bills to pay and subjects to prep for so i’m scoping it for simplicity.

For a while now i’ve been using Numerology and the Nord Modular  to make abstract rhythmical music.  I’m not sure this narrow focus is a place I want to stay but I figured here is the opportunity to explore it.  

This year my goal is an album for Makrotulpa with the working title “Exorcise the Need”.  I like that the title has a late ’80s industrial dance vibe – in fact I was sure someone like Nitzer Ebb or Clock DVA had a track titled similarly however a discogs.com search came up empty.

It will be primarily rhythmical in focus.

It will consist of  sound made exclusively with the SKONLab setup (Nord Modular / Numerology / Launchpad  / MPX8).  Obviously there will be some percussive samples on the MPX8 that will be outsourced but aside from that it will be entirely hermetic.  I will also be running some sounds through the NM Vocoder as this is an area I need to explore.

Tracks will be primarily live takes with minimal post production editing and mixing in Reaper.

I’ll try to make at least weekly progress reports on this blog.


Keep moving forward!!

Below is a new track with the Nord Modular / Numerology / Launchpad setup that I think will be my “jam” patch for new Makrotulpa material.

It’s basically 4 monophonic NM1 slots + the Akai MPX8 sampler – each with a Turnado attached.  It’s rhythmical and textural and very fun to use.

I’m applying reverb and extra bus effects after the fact to keep the CPU down.  Will probably also multitrack some Waldorf Nave / PPG Wavegenerator goodness. Mucho Grooviness Possibilitus!

OK enough of that… back to marking :/


Mark Vail’s The Synthesizer is out on Amazon and alongside I Dream of Wires is an enjoyable exploration of synthesis today.

Pushing away from the void

Here is another work in progress demo of the Cosmic Amanuensis project.

So we are working towards a performance at the Createworld though ultimately we hope to do more performances with this setup.  I’m going to be making the drones and Scott Baker will be working the visuals.  This will be quite different to my previous audio-visual collaboration, N4rgh1l3, as we have a direct-causal relationship established between sound and image via a Syncronator box.  The Syncronator adds video sync pulses to the audio I send it, disguising it as a composite video signal which Scott will further process through camera feedback and video processing software.
Continue reading “Pushing away from the void”

A quick post of historic importance.

A couple of quick things to comment on.

Joe Musgrove, Michael Norris, Andrew Kettle and SKONLab
Joe Musgrove, Michael Norris, Andrew Kettle and SKONLab

Last weekend I had a wonderful jam session with some old Small Black Box alumni including Michael Norris from Canberra and Andrew Kettle who has been out of the Brisbane experimental scene for a while having kids, doing biological PhD research and translating alchemical texts.  Here is the jam… more stuff… after…

Continue reading “A quick post of historic importance.”