cruft for the world.

February 26, 2007

Keep On Truckin'.

There hasn't been much from us this year except tracks. But they've all been good tracks, so I'm cool with that.

As I may have plugged before, there's a Tachikoma remix CD coming out on a Spanish label in a month or so, and a compilation which features tracks from [710W3] and Tachikoma coming out in England, although it might be a bit later on. Both of these will be available for sale in Canada, among other places. We'll keep you posted.

February 23, 2007

Superflat Single #57 / Tachikoma

It's been a long week here, a week off --- because of Chinese New Year. I've spent most of the time cranking out a ton of tracks like this one. This one's weird, even for me... for some reason I became obsessed w/ Casio "orchestral hit" samples but I just couldn't find a song of mine that they worked well in. So I ended up building a whole track around the orchestral hits. When I listen to it now, they don't even sound so prominent but they're there.
This has been a good week for me and this track feels like a kind of celebration, letting me strip back those pretentious 14th and 15th bits and getting down to the real raw sounds in the 6- or 7-bit range. The aw shit, quick draw mcgraw shit.

February 15, 2007

Superflat Single #56 / Self Oscillate

3D Mandelbrot imagery is as awesome as it sounds.Selfoscillate punches it up a notch this week.

His track here is mostly based on algorithmic sound generation, and the sound sources have been driven by fractal equations. So rather than playing synths by hand himself, he sent equations to trigger oscillators --- and if he'd sent those same equations to trigger random graphic generators, they'd've turned out looking like fractals.

We're extremely glad to have Selfosc trigger another single for us here, and the result, no matter what the math behind it, is intense: sprinkly little arcs of confetti and spectrum analysis flitter across your eardrums in this track. It's kinda like smoking a calculator.

Listen to blipsandifs056.mp3 - 5.1 MB

February 9, 2007

Superflat Single #55 / Dub Bear

It's a long drive when you have no licence. See you later Al.This one goes on for a while. Most of my Tachikoma singles are short and digitally sweet. Dub Bear, unlike me, seems to enjoy getting his money's worth out of his Alesis Midiverb. I mean, why is he still using that thing?

Only he knows the answer. When I listen to this track, I try to pay attention, i really do. But then the track just keeps on looping over and over and you get lost in it. Dub Bear is obsessed with the filter amplifier and tweaks it incessantly, meaning that every time that analog skank comes back, it always decays differently.

I don't know why this guy can't compress his tracks down to a manageable length. Hell, I don't even know why he named it "crocodiles." Maybe you should just listen to it and figure it out for yourself.

Listen to blipsandifs055.mp3 - 9.2 MB

February 4, 2007

Audiotoy Field Test #8

Technology is awesome. It can be also be frustrating and for some, like myself, it's a little tedious to learn. Seems that the reward is greater (if your interested in computers anyway.)

The image to the right I made in the late 90's with a program called 3D Studio Max. It's the same program I created imagery for Gronk with. Back then I never thought that I would be programming computer games and toys. I only imagined myself making graphics and interfaces, not actually coding anything. Today, the Drunken Boats sent me a link to a perfect little road map on how to integrate SQL server databases, html, php, xml and flash and it made sense to me. I immediately logged into the server and made my own SQL database. It doesn't query or echo anything. It just is. It's existence is enough for me right now, a major development for these field tests.

Now I understand this reads as a bunch of useless acronyms and jargon to most of us, just like it would have for me when I created that mechanical robot picture. I think that's what I'm saying, a decade later and I was programming computers. That I never really tried either. Learning how to make websites lead to one thing and the next and then it became enthralling and addictive soon after. The more I learn, the more clarity I have in one arena, the more I want to climb the next useful plateau.

Blips and Ifs and Audiotoys are pushing my skills towards new levels of programming and webdesign I never imaging I'd reach. I am greatful for these learning experiences and hope you enjoy the toys and technologies.

February 2, 2007

Superflat Single #54 / Tachikoma

If you compare the earliest Tachikoma tracks (from 2003 --- I consider the first album to be "transients and artifacts") to the ones from now, there's one key difference, that I've noticed, anyway. The drums.

The original drum programming uses many sounds like clicks and errors, which loop in a sort of minimalistic way, and sound quite thin since they're so short. Also, there're a lot of high-pitched microsound-like tones. I was cutting my own clicks at the time and building my own drum libraries. I'd also incorporate samples from old, silly-sounding drum machines like the Korg MiniPops.

But now I've found that my drums sound far more like gameboy tones. For most of them, they don't actually come from my gameboy, but from Casio drum machines or Commodore64 samples, and are bit-reduced by distortion modules to give them an early NES-like flavor. A key element to the Tachikoma sound is a tempo-synched, random LFO modulating the sample rate (or sometimes the bit rate) of that distortion model.

Classic example: this track. Actually, I guess by noticing it and naming it as something I do, I should really change it. And anyway, this track's about more than just sampling a gameboy; it's about living inside a gameboy made of clear amber. And that's where I do live.

Listen to blipsandifs054.mp3 - 5 MB