Beat 62: There’s a time and a place


The new music software I ordered arrived, and I’m excited to level up. I started this beat by fooling around with a synth version of an 808 (a popular drum machine- try playing with something similar here). Then I added some fake cello, which, after having some of the parameters (things like vibrato) change over the course of the phrase, didn’t sound too bad. I ended up nixing the cello in favor of other more electronic sounds, but I eventually went back and put it back in as an intro. “Welcome to this downlifting little ditty.” I’m pleased that this is closer than usual to being a whole song, though if I come back and work on this some more, I would want to make the part that it builds up to around 35 seconds come out grander.

I’ve been thinking a lot about synth sounds. Here are some questions on my mind: What is it that makes some synthetic sounds be terrible to hear? Is it that they are too simple, or is it more to do with what gets played on them? Are synth sounds forever limited by the fact that they are imitations? There’s a vegetarian restaurant near me which serves very impressive fake sweet and sour pork, and though some disagree, I think it is worthy of having its own place in many-dimensional foodspace. Is some of this stuff starting to sound good to me because I’m finding better sounds, because I’m doing better things with the sounds, or because my brain is being warped into liking tofu/synth? It’s probably all three, but hopefully not too much of the last one. Just to check, mom, can you get down with this beat? What about this?


3 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. dong julio cortez

    My good friend J. Fierce has told me a story about a pianist he studied under. The teacher was a fabulous player, and could really rip it up. The teacher had a number of recordings of older work, and played things like actual grand pianos, B3s, etc. However, in his older age, the teacher had acquired a big keyboard thing, and was very happy with a sound he had made called “heaven”, which was an overly chimey acoustic piano sound with too much reverb that also was combined with synthetic “ahhhhs” as the piano attach faded. The teacher thought this sound was just the cat’s meow.

    At the time, we were horrified, but as the years have passed I realize that we’re all moving towards heaven.

    December 2nd, 2008

  2. Aged Parent

    Not sure about synth/tofu or the beat. You know me, I like to be able to sing to music or dance to it. I love that you do all this experimenting even if I don’t always understand it.

    December 2nd, 2008

  3. DK

    Been listening to all the beats on repeat, and this one is top five, maybe number one. This is really beautifully melancholy stuff, MP. Thank you.

    March 4th, 2010

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