The music journey – Making an album (week 10)

This week has seen the continuation towards the slow return into making sound. In order to keep things simple and easy, I focussed my attention on one instrument. The Elektron Machinedrum. Which I have had for many years but never really dove into. It’s one of those machines that is a bit underrated in my opinion. Lot’s of people seem to get a bit overwhelmed with the workflow. And I must admit I had the same years ago when I bought it.

In light of my new way of doing things it felt right simply starting over with the Machinedrum from scratch. So I spent most of my time with the manual and YouTube learning the machine again. Which I must admit will stretch out in the weeks to come.

At first it’s still a bit daunting but once I got over the initial hurdle I got more into it (again). For me it’s a classic. But I need too point out I can’t use it as I did before, just going to it in periods. I need to really get stuck into this machine a little longer.

I am sure a lot will come out of the effort I am putting into the Machinedrum. If by any change you can get your hands on one, do it. It maybe a bit of a learning curve but it will pay off. It’s a very cool drummachine.

I have decided to stick it into my album setup. So it will be the main source of my drums in the project.

Learning the Machinedrum

I have a few starting points if you want to start learning the Machinedrum, first of all I need too point out the excellent Youtube series produced by Elektron when it came out, with MrDataline. Mr Dataline Machinedrum Tutorial part 1.

Just follow the whole series. Another great video on the Machinedrum is by Blush Response. Blush Response Elekron Machinedrum. Which is more on the industrial side sound wise in the video. But it gives a very good overview on the capabilities.

And just reading the manual with a nice cup of tea will get you there as well. There is also an alternative firmware which you can find here. I have not yet checked it out. But I might do that in the future.

Autechre has used the Machinedrum & Monomachine in their music and and some point shared the syses files. Information in this thread on the Elektronauts forum.

Recapping the week

All in all a nice week spent learning the Machinedrum, a bit of a mixed week in ways of progress on the album, but simply sitting with one machine and diving in has been really good. It opens up thinking creatively in another way and once you get more in-depth the ideas go further as well. Which is good for the overall project. It’s been a good week. On to the next.

The music journey – Making an album (week 2)

Week 2 in the house, time flies when you’re having fun. And fun it is. Week 1 resulted in my project framework for what I want to achieve. For this week my goal was to start building my sample library for my tracks.

Firstly, I want to talk about time management. I don’t have a lot of quality time due to my brain damage , so I can’t be at it for hours on end or listen to a lot of sound for a long period of time. So my schedule is an hour of intense activity at a time.

Which means making actual sounds for sampling , listening to loops etc. Working with sound basically. Learning and reading is easier on my brain so I can do that more often. So it’s preparation , and then making the noise.

Things like building my Max MSP patches, Eurorack ideas and learning both Max MSP and Ableton are at the forefront at the moment. And about 2 hours of sound design and sampling.

Another thing I got to do, is make a moodboard of my influences for the album. Which is fun to do, it has also brought some new angles to the project in ways of getting it all together.

One thing I have noticed is that it’s way more fun to have a goal. I enjoy simply sitting with my gear and making sounds, this really gives it an edge. Being not solely a tool to escape but to really create is something I have never done.

Not all the planned stuff got finished this week, and maybe my initial goal is something I need more time to accomplice , but for now I just keep at it.

Audion – Alpha

Last week I started listening to the new Audion album, Audion is the Techno alter ego of Matthew Dear. With his new album Alpha he has produced a good Techno album for home listening. Sounds a bit strange , but it’s true. It’s very well produced and has all sorts of cool twists in the tracks, yet maintaining a nice groove.
Even if your not into Techno as much this album can be very enjoyable.

Top tracks are Bob the builder, Sucker, Traanc and Suppa. Give this album a try or 2 , you’ll love it.

Roots Manuva – Bleeds

British hip hop legend Roots Manuva has a new album, Bleeds. I always liked his music a lot. Found out about his new album after reading Future music.

Today I listened to it on Spotify, which is great for checking out new stuff. But I prefer the psychical product.

The album starts with Hard bastards, excellent start with slow beats and cool feel. Crying is a haunting track which I really liked.

Other favourites are Stepping hard , Me up and One thing. Listen to this, and don’t forget his older work, which is very good as well.