̶m̶y̶ our winter storm

I’ve submitted my set for Live & Indirect, and in the next few days will write up a page of notes about it (before it’s even heard by anyone). I’m really happy with how it turned out!

We had severe, below 0F cold here a couple of weekends ago and then nasty, traffic-stopping freezing rain this Monday. The result caused a couple of things:

  • The furnace ran continuously, which dried out the indoor humidity really badly. Our portable humidifier in the living room just wasn’t cutting it. Our skin and nasal passages dried out and static electricity got to be a lot more prevalent. We just had a whole-home humidifier installed today and hopefully that will make a huge difference.
  • Delayed mail. The two modules I ordered on Reverb got delayed at both ends, the Alia just at this end. I did get the Alia and Cluster yesterday, while the Wave Packets is still “Moving Through Network” after arriving in St. Louis 3 days ago.

Cluster is just as I’d hoped, easy to work with, unexciting, does the job… perfect.

Alia is nice. I bought the Manis version (to help protect pangolins for the third time!) but after a quick “yep, that’s Manis” I switched to Cursus. And OH MY YES do I like the module version of Cursus more than the plugin. I did a couple of quick jams with it and was very satisfied. Thumbs up. I could honestly probably leave it on this firmware and be happy. Cursus is supposed to be the gentle one in Noise Engineering’s lineup, but it can get really gnarly with lo-fi formant-ish sounds in ways the plugin does not.

Today while waiting for things to happen at work, I tried Debel and Incus. Debel is FM percussion/plucks, and… strangely did not thrill me all that much. Don’t get me wrong, it’s solidly decent, it just has a lot of competition.

Incus though is more immediately interesting to me — a cousin to Basimilus Iteritas, there is a wild variety of sounds it generates with a combination of additive, FM and noise. It can get raspy, just plain dirty, or even phasey. Like some of their others, I could certainly wish for a drone mode – but triggering it at audio rates can get into some interesting rough textures and sync-ish sounds. Inverting and offsetting the envelope output and patching it back to Trig so it self-cycles is also fun and particularly well suited to Incus, so I’m just not going to complain at all at the lack of a drone mode.

I’ve been going through my effects plugins. Some of them got removed from the active list, because in direct comparison to others in their class, they just didn’t stand out much. For others, I’ve dug in, made an attempt to fully understand the controls and their effects, and/or found some fun techniques/tricks with them. I’ll write up a page of notes on effects, and separately dig into the synth plugins.

I have to say I understand some of the more complex or difficult-to-tame delay-based effects much better now… which both makes them more valuable tools, and increases my resistance to buying yet more effects 🙂