something in the air

I just fired it up a little while ago, so there’s about 7 hours of listening to go before I’ve heard the whole thing — but Ambient Online Themed Compilation 08: Air is now available.

As has been the case for most of them, I have two tracks on it. Here’s what I wrote on the AO forum:

“January March”, very much about bitterly cold winter air, is mostly the Make Noise Mimeophon in self-oscillation, with heavy processing.

“Troposphere” is an improvisation on the Lyra-8 processed two ways in parallel:

  • through a Doepfer A-196 PLL which tracks its pitch, an envelope follower and VCA for dynamics, a filter to roll off the square waves the PLL generates, into Mutable Instruments Clouds for pitch-shifting and granular reverb. I was going for a variation of “shimmer reverb” but it’s more like a sort of steam whistle lead voice.
  • more simply, through Catalinbread Adineko and Mosky Spring Reverb pedals and EQ.

The “piano loop” in it is actually the SynthTech E352 captured in a loop by Mimeophon, whcih I manipulate a little in the module, but also timestretch a bit in the DAW. I also used the loop to train a noise reduction plugin, which I then applied to the full mix to quiet and disrupt the loop somewhat, making it a bit more ghostly. This is a technique I’m going to have to explore more in the future I think.


I guess this is the coronavirus post. I hope there don’t have to be too many of them in the future…

Being almost 50 and diabetic and apparently susceptible to every bug that goes around, I’m trying to be cautious but not worried. My spouse has had pretty serious pneumonia in the past and is on meds that suppress her immune system and works with the public, and again, I’m trying not to be worried about this. My mom has postponed a regular checkup for her heart condition, not wanting to sit in a waiting room with sick older people. (Every checkup so far has given the exact same lack of any bad news, so she’s not too concerned about postponing by a few weeks.) A family friend is an IT consultant who has worked at a location where someone has had a confirmed case of COVID-19 — it’s not like he can just stop taking jobs for the next few months. One of my coworkers is going on a Disney World vacation at the end of this week.

I have made soap and hand sanitizer very frequent visitors in my life, and gone through catalogs of songs to figure out what takes about 20 seconds. (One verse of “Particle Man” is pretty close.)

News reports aside, in regular shopping I haven’t personally seen evidence of shortages, but I haven’t specifically gone to drugstores looking for hand sanitizer or isopropyl alcohol, etc. We did just have our first case reported in the state today.

If it weren’t for actual people dying, and some governments getting heavy-handed with restrictions while others fumble around pretending there’s no real new story, I would kind of be amused at the repeated “don’t worries” from our company’s financial advisor, a clear sign that they are worried. Just a minor setback, just the market closing to prevent a total wipeout, here I’ll send your office a gift basket of snacks. If only we could find a way to reduce oil consumption, greatly reduce pollutants in the atmosphere, kick Wall Street in the teeth, and stop Trump from taking credit for “success” that he has nothing to do with, that didn’t involve people dying first, and impacting the livelihoods of workers and the poor more than the rich. If only there was some way to take care of everyones’ health…

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