Categories
(Mark Mosher Music News) Multimedia Short Film

New Short Film: ENVIRONS 001 – Searching for Creatures That Fly

I’ve just published a new short film called “ENVIRONS 001 – Searching for Creatures That Fly“.

I composed the music first. It was an improvisation recorded in one pass. Then I shot the footage over a series of a few days. Then a half-day tranquil video editing session letting music inspire the edits and visual effects in 5 or 6 editing passes. A narrative and vibe emerged.

If you enjoyed this piece and have a moment please leave a comment :^)

Mark

Categories
(Modulate This) Announcements

Modulate This! Turns 11

modulatethisturns11

Modulate This! turns 11 today – WOOT!

In celebration of a decade of blogging and to position the site for the future, I’ve changed the look and moved to new platform and host. If you want to follow along in email opt-in using the form below and/or use this RSS feed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

RSS Feed RSS – Posts

Divergence

Modulate This! has always had a synth tech and technique slant with industry trends sprinkled in. The earlier articles reflected the emergence of laptops for live performance, the divergence of buying a shit ton of VSTs and gear, and the rise of “controllerism”.

Note – When trying to decide what photo create for this post I started thinking back about all the gear I’ve used over the past decade. Then it struck me that the only two instruments that survive in my rig that I had when I started of the blog in 2005 are Ableton Live (which I started using in 2003) and Absynth (which I started using in 2002 and it is still my go to virtual synth). Something old, something new… Push 2.

Along the way I made quite a few “how-to” video tutorials on my companion YouTube channel (which has just over a million views) and also documented a lot of my research on my public Mindmeister mindmap channel (featuring the “Elektron Octatrack Video Tutorial Index” with over 30K views; and the “What’s New in Ableton Live 9” and “U-HE DIVA Synthesizer: OSC & Filter Anatomy” maps each with over 15K Views).

Convergence

In the last few years, the blog has reflected my convergence down to a smaller set of instruments with a focus on mastery. This often resulted in longer deeper reads.

What’s Next for Modulate This!

A renewed focus on Synth Tech & Technique and Demystifying Synths and Inspiring Your Inner Sound Designer

This means a continued focus on articles and videos on synth tech & technique. So more articles to help you on your sound design journey whether you are and up and coming sound designer, a seasoned expert, or an artist who wants to boost your sound design chops to help you create more unique sound and music.

Covering the Denver / Boulder Scene

I’m also fortunate to be on the ground in the Denver & Boulder area where the electronic and experimental music scene has experienced incredible growth – so watch for posts on this. In a related note, the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup which I founded 4 years ago just crossed 530+ members! If you are ever in the Denver area 2nd Wednesdays on even numbered months – come on by.

Drawing Inspiration from Lateral Art & Artists

Speaking of Denver & Boulder, there are some amazing museums here. Consuming these lateral forms of art and learning about artist process has informed and transformed me – so I’d like to share some ideas on this as well in the future.

Nature, Travel, & Being in the Field

In the last few years I’ve stepped up my field audio/video recording work both in natural settings and when I’ve had the good fortune to travel. I’ll pass on some thoughts on gear and process.

Sharing Inspiring Work from Sci Fi and Horror

So many Sci Fi and Horror films depend on electronic and experimental music for sound effects and score. I’m a geek about this and want to talk about this more.

Sharing Inspiring Work from My Synth Friends

One of the best parts about publishing Modulate This! is it has allowed me to meet amazing artists all around the world – many of whom I’ve gotten to meet face-to-face – many of whom have become good friends. I draw so much inspiration from my synth friends and will continue to spread the word about releases and shows.

Thanks for Reading!!!

I’ll close by saying thanks to all of you for reading and supporting Modulate This!

Your synth geek friend,

Mark Mosher
ModulateThis.com

Categories
Podcast

Sonic Encounters Podcast 009 – Take a Trip on the Train from Devil’s Gate Depot

Listen to Podcast on Soundcloud

subscribe-podcast

Story

Ready to take a “trip” on the The Georgetown Loop Railroad? Your journey starts at Devil’s Gate Depot as you stand between the cars and hear the sounds of this historic narrow gauge train as it rounds a tight bend. Things morph from there… enjoy the psychedelic ride.

Production Notes

Field Recording Notes

I recorded these field recordings on The Georgetown Loop Railroad which is about 45 miles West of Denver.
  • Date & Time: December 7th, 2014
  • Location: Georgetown Loop Railroad, Georgetown, CO | Departing from Georgetown Devil’s Gate Depot
  • Recorder: Zoom H2N
  • Format:  44.1kHz/24bit 120 degree stereo

“one of Colorado’s first visitor attractions. Completed in 1884, this spectacular stretch of three-foot narrow gauge railroad was considered an engineering marvel for its time. In 1973, the Colorado Historical Society began restoring the railroad as part of its 978-acre Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park.” More here… http://georgetownlooprr.com/.”

I’ve lived in Colorado since I was 7 and had never been on this train! They have all sorts of themed runs (Octoberfest, Dinner trains, Big Horn Sheep Festival…) and I highly recommend you try it you come out Colorado way. We took the “Santa’s North Pole” adventure 12:40pm run.

While I was not allowed to travel between cars (because it’s a narrow gauge  and runs along mountain drop offs and on high bridges), they allowed me to stand outside the closed door of the car between cars. This being the case I got some AWESOME recordings isolated from other passengers for the most parts. Lots of great wheels squeaking, flexing of the old cars, coupler noise, and sometimes engine noise.

 Instrumentation & Performance Notes

Octatrack

I used only the Elektron Octatrack. I configured the machine to use 4 tracks made up of 3 field recordings from the session mentioned above each with their own insert effects. One track was used twice with a different set of effects. I also had the Octatrack configured to use track 8 for two master effects.
After setting up the patch for the Octatrack, I rehearsed the piece a few times experimenting with different effects, expressive morphs, and notes. I then recorded the piece in one real-time pass without edits.

The piece begins with the raw field recording of the train as it goes around a tight turn. It’s just such an amazing set of sounds I wanted to offer the listener context and a taste of the harmonic content of the original source material before I took things to another place. I then manually play and improvise from there performing the notes in chromatic mode and heavily manipulating the field recordings as the piece progresses.

Near the end of the piece I’m using effects like comb filters to create what sound almost like long tremolo strings. Another fun thing for me was manipulating rail noise through a comb filter and delay and then changing the delay time (which changes pitch) to create what almost sounds like an arpeggio of pizzicato strings notes.

It was a super fun piece to create and perform as the train field recordings offered some amazing harmonic content! I’ll most likely revisit these source samples in a future episode.

Listen to Podcast on Soundcloud

subscribe-podcast

Categories
(Modulate This) Found Sound/Field Recording Sound Design Synth: Absynth

Absynth 5 Soundscape Using Field Recordings, Wavemorphing, and Audio Mod for Envelope Following

SNAGHTMLcc83999

I few days back I posted a soundscape to soundcloud called “Which One is Mine”.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F7436500&secret_url=false
Which One Is Mine by MarkMosher

Absynth 5 has a feature called Audio Mod which lets you take audio input from a DAW and use it as control voltage of sorts.  Sort of like the digital equivalent of what was shown in yesterday’s post from Marc (DJ Not So Much) “Using Ableton to Provide Control Voltage for a Moog Slim Phatty”.

I used Absynth and Ableton Live to create this sound scape which made up of synthesis, and real-time processing of audio from field recordings. The first recording is a Morse code key I recorded at a train museum in Cape Cod. The second is a recording I made of crowd noise at a University of Colorado basketball game.

I wanted to mention that Absynth 1 was the first virtual synth I bought back in the day. I’ve kept up with it all these years and upgraded to 5 right away when it came out (see this vid showing off some Absynth 5 features). It’s still one of my most used synths so I’m happy to see that it’s winning in the readers poll.

Note: You can get Absynth on sale for $99 for one more day till Nov 29th as part of Native Instruments holiday sale.

PRODUCTION NOTES
I created a custom patch in Absynth 5. I'm sending MIDI notes from an Ableton Live clip to Absynth. This causes Oscillator A to play a fractalized waveform that is morphed by a stepping envelope.

image 

Oscillator B is set to "Audio In" and I'm routing field recording samples playing in Live audio clips to this Oscillator.

image

Oscillator C is a single hybrid waveform. This oscillator's Amp, Pitch and Morph params are modulated live audio signals routing through Oscillator B using "Audio Mod". The first audio clip is the field recording of the Morse code key. The second clip is the crowd sound. The pulsing nature of the sound during the crowd section is a result of AMP envelope on Oscillator B.

Enjoy,

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder CO
www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com