Forming Thoughts

After a month of back and forth I’ve finally got the K-Mix working.  Kudos to Evan from K.M.I. for his technical support.  Go buy his awesome Max For Live device.

So now the box looks like this:

Axoloti driven synth box

I’m still using the Macbook to run the Axoloti editor for now but hoping I won’t need it during gigs.
The Pad Kontrol is a great cheap Gumtree pickup that is perfect as a controller for the Axoloti as I can:

  • run it directly from the Axoloti USB port – no additional power supply or MIDI leads necessary;
  • edit MIDI CC and Note values on the fly for encoders and pads;
  • setup an X/Y controller for unique parameter morphing (X/Y also has an interesting roll function);
  • send program change values which curiously not many new MIDI controllers do (K-Mix included).

The fact that it sends PGM values means I can ditch the Macbook (or use it for visuals) once I work out a reliable way of creating patch-banks in the Axoloti (it’s there – just not 100% trustworthy yet).

At the moment the routing goes like this:

Inputs to K-Mix

  • 1 = SM58
  • 2 = System-1m
  • 3/4 = Nord Modular
  • 5/6 = Axoloti
  • 7/8 = Aira FX

Outputs from K-Mix

  • 1/2 = Main Outs to Desk
  • 3/4 = to Aira FX
  • 5/6 = to Nord Modular
  • 7/8 = to Axoloti

So plenty of scope for interesting routing – and then there is the modulation routing with the Quad LFO and Sys-1m.

My current direction is towards a series of improvisations with the Axoloti environment as a reloadable patching frame-work sending MIDI to the other synths.  These will be things I can setup and perform – producing multiple versions from the same template.

The first of these improvisations is at the start of this post.

Below is an improvisation with Joe using the setup (sans the K-Mix).


One Last Gasp is out just in time for W.W.III (v5.15beta)

On hearing that Trumpy Mc Trump-face shot his load (of rockets) at a barren Syrian airfield I couldn’t help but feel that the world deserved another hour of comforting experimental music… so here it is… pay what you feel.

Using up all my CloudBounce credits I plopped this algorithmic monster out.  I figured I’d rather rely on robots to master the sounds herein for reasons perhaps obvious when you listen to it.  Analog warmth was certainly not a criteria.  I’m moving away from a “hands-on” approach to one more akin to tweaking the machine and the end result is some very odd moments that at times sound like contact-mic or field recordings, yet all is synthesised.

Tracks were generated real time and subsequently processed with Melodyne and sundry granular manipulators.  People expecting my usual chilled ambient drones may find some of it baffling but I haven’t gone full Hecker.  Learn to Fight in particular sound like robot versions of Joel Stern and I making free improvisational outdoor skronk.

I’m pretty happy with it: it’s a kind of angsty fist shake at a world I spend less and less time with given my responsibilities caring for Griffin.  My dad would have been 89 today.  I don’t imagine he’d like this much but I’m pretty sure he’d prefer it to watching shit go downhill as fast and far as it has since he’s been gone.

Hopefully someone will find this album enjoyable or therapeutic as I do.

It’s coming to the usual online streamers and sales places soon.