Tweak

Still more downtime, but a definite improvement today – headache diminished, and while I’m still having patches of being dizzy & confused, overall I’m coping better and have only needed one nap today! Woohoo!

Again, real notes were beyond me, but I’ve nearly finished laying out 2×4 for harpsichordist Christopher D. Lewis – hoping I can finish and send that off over the weekend. And I did a couple of tweaks to the brutal soundscape I’m preparing for the slide guitar piece. I discovered that Logic will let me automate not just the usual volume and pan controls, but allow me to automate turning filters on and off. And not just on and off – I can automate all sorts of parameters too! So I’ve been fiddling about with multiple levels of automation for this and experimenting with texture. I’m thinking that there need to be spaces in the soundscape to really let the sound of the slide guitar come through. It’s got such a beautiful tone, and the point of the piece is about extreme contrast. Might have to make the whole thing more like 2 minutes than 1 just to let the two sides of it really have time to speak.

I also need to get on to some field recording of noises for it. I’ve used one of the Cylinder Preservation & Digitisation Project’s sound files again which I think is adding a good level of interest. It’s a recording from 1902 of someone reading an American preacher’s sermon. I’m distorting it quite heavily, but I like the rhythm of it. There’s something about the rhythm of a good sermon. It’s not like a normal speech.

But back to the field recording. I pottered down to the radio shop today to try to get an adaptor so that I can start using my Rode M3 mic with my iPod Touch – only to be told that it can’t be done. Which turned out to be poppycock because I found one on Amazon. Alas, the adaptor is £30 + £8 or so postage! OUCH! Other alternatives include a £47 Tascam interface module which is getting varied reviews or buying a whole Zoom H1 (£79) which would negate the whole using what I’ve got thing. Or I could sit down with a soldering iron and attempt to make my own. Which scares me beyond belief but may yet be the cheapest and least traumatic solution.

In the interim, I guess I’m back to my tiny Sony stereo mic plugged into my MiniDisc, which is fine in every respect except the one where the MD makes the most horrendous noises at random, which the mic then picks up and faithfully records over the top of whatever lovely sound one was trying to capture. Still, I guess it’s better than nothing. And possibly, for the purposes of this piece, the disc noise might actually work OK. Given that the tape part I’m creating is very much about capturing and tweaking randomness (given my lack of capacity for rational thought ATM) maybe that’s appropriate. Either way, I need to finish it off and move on to the other pieces fairly quickly or I’ll miss my own deadline!

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