This week was all about 1 Eurorack module, the MakeNoise Morphagene. A module based around samples (reels) which you can manipulate and have lots of fun experiments. It was an impuls buy in a way, I had been eyeing the Morphagene for some time and watched numerous YouTube videos, but managed to postpone purchasing it.
Until a moment of weakness arrived and I pushed the buy button. And found a world of sound design possibilities. I started learning this module a number of times, reading the manual & watching tutorials. But never really made a focussed project around it. Which led to me forgetting half or more of what I was learning.
It’s still fun just patching it, and using it and turning the knobs and finding interesting sounds. But I got the feeling I was stuck at the surface of what it can do. Time for taking a project approach. It will be the same as the Album project and the ideas I have for that. Just in a smaller scale and thus more manageable.
The Morphagene project
Goals in the project are, first of all learning to use the morphagene in depth, second goal is developing a Max MSP patch which modulates & sequences the Morphagene, This should result in a 3 track EP. This smaller specific project is an exact replica of my big Album project. But allows me too learn and get results. Without having the big picture in mind, and getting on in that workflow. Adapting and changing the workflow for the Album project as I go along.
Mostly my time was spent reading the manual, and sketching the functionalities of the Max patch. And finding a workable way documenting the project.
There was also some time left for simply patching and having fun with the Morphagene. Make Noise has a great ready to go system based around the Morphagene the Tape & Microsound Music Machine which is also a great way to get into Eurorack. Might be a bit more specific and complicated than your standard 1 oscillator , envelope generator and filter starting point. It has all that functions , but it goes a bit deeper and geared towards working with samples.
The system in itself has the promise of a lifetime of experimentation and sounds design. As soon as I am done with the EP, I will make some of my work available as an Open source project on a GIT. To see what other people do with it.
This was a very productive week, hopefully next week will be as good as this one.
Doing a fast forward like in a cassette deck like in the old days isn’t part of this journey. How frustrating it might be, my learning curve is what it is. I can’t speed it up or make my brain any faster. However there is a remedie to it, of sorts. Just carry on and persevere.
This week has seen it’s fait share of music activity. Mostly working with the modular & done some reading as well. My workflow is getting more and more of a final shape and proces. And thanks to limiting my setup I get more results out of my sessions. Simply because I know my way around it better.
I did however notice that I can’t always bring myself to not grabbing something else, another machine or more modules. Just because it gives me that extra bit of energy, or push my levels of fun. I love discovering new things and for me that’s a large part of the fun in making music. Discovering new and uncharted waters.
So I am having a bit of trouble committing myself fully to my new and smaller setup. I get lost in my Eurorack, or when patching in MAX MSP, despite the limitations I set before starting my sessions. Just because it’s easy to get distracted and it’s just loads of fun.
So it’s hard for me to maintain a balance in having fun and doing exactly as planned. It doesn’t matter how well I plan things, I am too easily distracted.
Bit late with this post as I closing in on the end of week 18. Well sums up the delays in my music making journey I suppose. But week 17 has been a good week of the music front. I’ve been playing around with my Eurorack synth and recording most of it. Also spent some time working on making samples out of the results.
All in all I got to spend time making sounds, which was great. On the inspiration side of things its been a good week as well. Got some design books & magazines and had a nice chat with a designer on how to set intentions for your creative path.
It’s about setting the parameters of a project, or a session to set the tone or the direction of the desired result. Which can be as random as just sitting down and making sounds, or drawing random things, and hyper detailed and focussed tasks like sculpting the perfect kick drum from scratch.
It all has it’s function. And it can be utilized to break habits, periods of creative drought or simply to regain the fun in a project. Very interesting stuff.
This week has seen the absence of making music. Lot’s of other things happened and I didn’t make my planned hours on music things. Up until now I mostly was able to fill my planned hours, if not with making music it would be with reading, thinking about ideas or studying music related topics.
This week has seen an hour worth of fiddling around with my Moog. Which is ok, it also solidified the importance of creating a habit. I missed it this week. Not only missed it as a fun thing but it starts to feel as an integral part of who I am.
It’s just like anything important to you in life, you need to form habits. Creativity doesn’t come on it’s own. It’s a process, learning the equipment, learning how to implement ideas and how to manage your projects is just like any other craft. It needs hours invested.
And while I was grossly over estimating my speed of working at the beginning of this adventure and my album making project will last far beyond my initial timeline the most important thing has happend. It’s becoming a habit.
Just like my running is a habit, meditation and yoga are a habit. That didn’t happen overnight, it took time. And if it’s falling to the sideline it’s easier to get going again. Because life happens, things don’t work out as planned. That’s ok, the important bit is that you get back into the groove.