tHE eneMY wIThin

Cleaning out my hard-drive the other day I found a lost Makrotulpa album.

I polished it up a bit and present it to you here.

Listening back i’m not entirely surprised I forgot about it. Not that it’s bad so much as it being profoundly negative.  Perhaps it’s my Pornography?

The title originally came from something I was reading about US anti-terrorism laws but it applies equally to the bouts of depression i’ve been battling on and off over the last few years.  If you need a soundtrack for pondering your insignificance while capitalism is slowly replaced by desperate feudalism…

Chronologically it follows Radio Atlantis, there are a few “bangers”, but mostly it mutters and sulks in the corner.  Some tracks have already appeared on SoundCloud in slightly different guises.

This is most likely the last Makrotulpa release (though there is a track on the latest Ambient Online compilation) as it is much easier to manage, distribute (and owe tax) on stuff using my own name.

Listen for free – pay if you want.

The perfect setup?

I’m continually posting here about how i’m working on one or maybe two releases.

Then a little while later I’ll post about some amazing new piece of gear acquired, maybe even share an experiment, a live track or jam session.

The reality is that, while my preferred setup has stabilised to a large degree, any degree of change forces a rethink of any material that is work in progress.  The reason for this:  how am I to know that what i’ve been working on won’t be improved by the new element to the setup?

It’s possible that this may always be an issue however I’ve just added a piece of gear to the home studio that manages to tie a lot of threads together very neatly.

Say hello to the Rig (R16)!

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As some of you may know i’ve had a Zoom R8 kicking around for a while.  It is an eight track recorder with a stereo input, and it has been a very useful layering tool for Joe and I on our recent recordings.  In fact i’d just recently been discussing with him my need for either a USB mixer or some kind of multi input audio interface and how all the option seemed to be redundant.  This need stems from…

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…the setup being now clearly delineated between producing / performing setup (shown) and mixing / mastering table.  I wanted the MOTU back in the production / performance chain as it makes it much easier to manage the separate I/Os but that removed it from my desktop Mac Mini where the other 50% of polishing occurs.

The R16 fits my requirements so perfectly:

  • I use it to record all four outputs from the rack (Sys1m, Aira FX, Nord Modular and Ableton/Push Samples) at the same time.
  • Then I switch on the the USB, set the R16 to “Storage Device” and transfer the recorded 44/24 wave files across to the desktop for mixing in Tracktion.
  • Then when the files are loaded into the edit I can use the R16 as both an audio interface and a Mackie Universal Control device to assist in mixer automation.

The original owner couldn’t work it out and has therefore barely used it.  I’ve read that the R24 has more features but it doesn’t matter to me as the Rig has the features I’m looking for.

By the way you can see Virta on the Macbook Air image above.  It’s a great addition to the setup – working as a modular vocoder / format filter for whatever samples i’m playing through it.  As far as my workflow goes I love the fact that the Ableton/Push2 axis allows some flexibility while also providing a coherent set of sounds to mix.