coming back

I have been poking at Akemie’s Castle a bit, patching it up and mostly just chilling and enjoying the sounds, but I don’t feel like I have a lot to write about.

As far as I’m concerned there are no “tricks” to using Akemie’s Castle, except:

  • to me, it sounds best when osc A and osc B are working together as mid/side channels, for big thick unison, chords or clusters. (But it’s not bad to pretend it’s two separate VCOs, either — nor to compromise in the middle with different rhythmic pulses, call/response, etc.)
  • Izotope RX Declick works wonders on the inevitably steppy transitions in operator level when you modulate them.
  • Modulate a lot of stuff. LFOs, envelopes, sequences, whatever. It sounds best in motion IMHO.

I was patching it last night and found I had to go ahead and record it to layer in with something else later. Which I guess breaks me out of the “study” thing and puts me back into music-making mode.

And I think I need it. I’ve noticed some depression creeping in — not super crushing stuff but I’ve been feeling unmotivated and generally down. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by stuff but plodding through it. Wanting to eat more, not from actual hunger. Being disappointed that caffeine and energy drinks and lots of hydration aren’t perking me up more. Wanting to try new, or re-enjoy old video games and not quite finding what I want from it. Not sleeping all that well, and wanting to blame the cat’s antics but knowing I could sleep through / not be bothered by some of his usual bullshit if it weren’t some other factor. Weird-ass dreams, maybe related? It’s all quite possibly seasonal, with longer days and more sun and sometimes warmer weather (temperature has been all over the place). But I know music can bring me to a happier place.

This morning I’ve already listened to two Cocteau Twins albums and have started in on my own Float. I may have to put Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concerto in the rotation too. It’s time for comforting the disturbed, not disturbing the comfortable. I expect that’s the direction I will be taking my next album.

Maybe I’ll sneak some mini-studies in there as I go? We’ll see. My thoughts about gear right now are that I have a lot of it, it’s awesome and a little overwhelming. I could very easily make an album with just Shapeshifter and a few support modules and FX, likewise with Castle, or Kult, or Aalto, or the BrutePest setup. But I feel oddly like that would be betraying my other gear, which probably isn’t a great way to think of things.

I no longer care about Serge GTO or Klavis Grainity or Rossum Morpheus, or any oscillators that I don’t already have. But Blukac Endless Processor is intriguing again. Too bad the “modules in reserve” thing I tried before didn’t work well for me. I still do have some space to spare in the Pod 60 if I can work out some kind of arrangement that makes sense. The cycle never ends…

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