warts and all

Knobs has a thing to say: “all music is full of wrongs.”

This is a video about technology, but also human performance isn’t perfect. We don’t play perfectly on a temporal grid with perfect intonation and identical tone, but ebb and flow and miss a little bit, partially out of expressiveness, partially out of human limitations (the nervous system and muscles take time to process things and our sense of time is subjective), and partially just error.

I feel like a lot of processing I do in software is either partially correcting flaws, or carefully introducing them.

In order to introduce a few more, I think I’m going to pick up TAL-Sampler. It’s a plugin that somewhat imitates old-school samplers; maybe slightly less simply than I would like since I’m aiming more at the Casio SK-1 / Yamaha VSS-200 line, and it doesn’t directly sample audio but plays it back. But it sounds pretty gorgeous in that flawed way, and comes with an FX plugin that can also imitate a bad old DAC (digital-analog converter). I think picking it up might ease the desire I feel for taking a chance on an old sampler, without taking up space, in the same way that Wavesfactory Cassette and other plugins have cooled my interest in messing with actual tape, while giving me more flavors to work with.

Speaking of flaws, I’ve sent my 16n Faderbank back to the builder to have the faders replaced with linear ones. While I could muddle along by slewing the noisy outputs, I’m excited that I will like it even more with the right taper. It’s just I don’t have it at hand to work with right now, and it’s like a hull breach in the spaceship of my studio, all the precious air blown out into the vacuum. I’ve recorded one simple piece without it, but I think I would rather hold off before I attempt anything more involved. It’s a testament to how central this one controller has become to my workflow.

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