The music journey – Making an album (week 27)

Still going, this was a hard week. Most of the time showing up is not that hard. This week however it was. My cognitive state didn’t allow for much activity at all. Most of the time I am good enough to be able to switch between activities.

If reading is a problem, I switch to editing samples, making a patch or just messing about with loops. This week was different. I could not perform any of the tasks I normally do. I did however give it a go a few times. So I managed to read a chapter in this phenomenal book on ~gen in MAX MSP. It’s called Generating Sound & Organizing Time by Graham Wakefield & Gregory Taylor

I probably mentioned it in another post, but it’s recommenced reading. Even if you are not into Max , it’s just good getting an understanding of what this does in terms of musical ideas and seeing things in a different perspective.

It’s about working with the ~gen functionality within MAX and what you can achieve with, and it’s a lot. For me a bit difficult to get my head around but it’s really intriguing. And I will probably have to read it a few times and work with it to fully get to grips with it.

So it was a bit of a frustrating week and not what I had in mind. Eventually that is life as well.

The music journey – Making an album (week 26)

This week it was a week mostly spend on reading about music instead of making any music. I did however work on my Max MSP patch. And it slowly starts to click in my mind. It’s a really great environment to start some sonic exploration and go beyond the beaten path. The way of thinking about music and how you approach ideas also slowly changes. It’s an ever evolving way of building your own musical tools, without having to buy new equipment.

Just the thing which is such fun with modular synths. Building your own instrument which you can change over and over. Max doesn’t replace my need for physical interaction with instruments but its a great way for me too stay active with music and not producing any sound.

The physical part of twisting and turning knobs and sliders and patching cables is what fascinated me about synthesizers from the beginning, so don’t sell all your hardware just jet. But Max MSP is something I can recommend for anyone in music too really take a good look at. Just chancing your perception on how too approach music, the concept of sound design and controlling (or not) the outcome is fascinating.

It has a steep learning curve, which is undeniable. But the help function is outstanding. Also lot’s of very good video’s can be found online.
If you dive in it will reward you especially in combination with a modular , in my case Eurorack, synthesizer. With all available interfaces out there the connection between a computer and the Eurorack world is such you solve a need for a certain function most likely with a Max patch without the need to go out and buy another module. And just that is reason enough to learn Max.

Het blijft geweldig om de interactie met de knoppen te hebben en dat is wat mij ooit fascineerde aan synthesizers, maar Max MSP is iets wat ik iedereen kan aanraden om eens echt goed naar te kijken. Al was het alleen maar om je perspectief te veranderen en de manier van denken over geluid, het ontwerpen ervan en het controleren (of juist niet) ervan onder de loep te nemen.

If you are looking for an interface between your computer and Eurorack be sure to check out Expert Sleepers, very good modules which you can expand as your needs grow.

The possibilities with MAX MSP and a small Eurorack setup are endless. So is the fun to be had.

The music journey – Making an album (week 25)

This week I made a good start in building the sequencer for my Eurorack in Max Msp, for now it’s aimed specifically at the Morphagene and what functionality I need for that. Already done a few tests and still have a lot of work to do.

That’s basically it as far as progress goes. while designing the Max patch I got to think about how music touches all of my interests. It satisfies my technological curiosity, I can think about design concepts and I can dive into musical history.

From reading manuals, via biographies and watching documentaries. Without even making any music. So when I have a good day cognitively speaking I can read and think about music, and if I have a really good day I can make music. It’s an integral part of my life, and weekly activities. There is always something to do which drives me forward in the direction of my goals.

As I touched upon last week, getting those goals in to fruition isn’t always easy and sometimes an activity doesn’t seem to contribute anything towards the goals. But if you look at it from another and wider perspective there is always something in the things you do which moves you forward, inching closer to your goals.

The music journey – Making an album (week 24)

Another week done. Time sure goes pretty fast. Especially when working on fun things. So this week has been all about MAX MSP. Partly due to having problems this week with listening too sound over a longer period of time, and partly because I had it planned.

Besides learning the workings of MAX I got into learning short cuts, basic workflow stuff that’s all over this software. I am more and more seeing the use of memorizing all this in order to gain some speed in my workflow. With my limited  cognitive energy it’s vital for me when I able too handle sound I can can get ideas out quickly. And finish them fast as well.

Muscle memory is key in that it skips thinking about were I can find a certain function, it becomes like riding a bike. It’s not the most exciting bit of this journey but a very essential one. Getting to know your equipment and making sure using it becomes second nature.

However learning these things is very straining, which I didn’t really expect. I know I have too get trough this phase of the learning curve in order too speed up the music making proces. To be continued. Onto next week.