If this doesn’t mean anything to you then don’t worry. I have to admit it’s a very obscure niche. Sonifying the bio data from plants might seem odd, esoteric even, but to me it’s something really interesting.
I remember seeing MIDI Sprout on Kickstarter, but felt that the price point was prohibitive. However, I always felt that it was something that I wanted to try out. So I watched for one on eBay, and finally one came up at a reasonable price. So I bought it and it worked beautifully.
The little video is with a coffee plant. My plan is to try the MIDI Sprout with a range of different plants to see if there are noticeable differences in each plant’s musical output. As and when I do I’ll post the results. Probably with video too.
However, this isn’t the only kind of sonification project I have on the go, but more of that another time.
Just a quick post following an email I got today. Ableton have put up a very handy page with a bunch of useful things for Ableton users and also non users too. You can find the page here.
In particular you should check out the excellent book Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers, which is available in multiple formats. I’ve read this more than once and it is very handy indeed.
Given the current situation I think that now is the time for me to start this off. I’ve had it for a while, and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to get it out and give it a try. That moment is now.
I was glad to get along to this. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan. In fact, it was really only 2018 when a friend asked me if I wanted to come along and see them live. I went. I was really impressed. It was an amazing night.
Since then I’ve listened to bits and pieces, including, very recently, the entire “In Search of Hades” box set. Which was quite a big thing to listen to. So I thought it would be worth checking this out.
To say that this was a small exhibition would be something of an understatement. It was to be honest, tiny. It is tucked away in the Barbican library music section. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but I do think that a band of this stature really deserves better. Perhaps something thoughtfully curated. Something that provides a deeper understanding to the music, the ideas behind it, the process itself?
Personally I’d like that. This, at the Barbican, was fine as a taster, but essentially it wasn’t enough. I understand why it was small, but I do think that someone like the Barbican could have done more to make this something to celebrate and show what an enormous contribution this band has made to electronic music specifically, but also to music making and musicians in general.
I’ve been playing with Roli Blocks again, and this time, I’m actually getting into it. I’m starting to find it quite useful and creatively inspiring. It is early days as yet, but I’m getting some results.
So I thought I’d share some very small videos of what I’ve been doing.
I thought I’d post a little more about the set up for the gig I played at Cafe Oto earlier in the week. I thought it might be useful or interesting to see the devices I used.
Originally, when Robyn asked me to do this, I thought I would use these plus an Olegtron 4060 (MK I). In the end the Olegtron was too complex and difficult to change patches with any speed.
So ended up with the 2 Kastle synths, a 1.0 and a 1.5. Actually the mix of the two is really good and works very well. Patching across the two devices makes for some very interesting possibilities.
What I’ve realised is that I really need a simpler way to load patches. Not physically of course, but a way to record patches. I thought that taking pictures would help, and it did, but it wasn’t the easiest way to recreate a patch. My next thoughts were to write down the patched information. That was my solution for the Cafe Oto gig, and it worked ok. But only ok.
So now I think I’m going to have to create my own patch sheets for the Kastle 1.0/1.5, and, when I do, I will post some templates here.
You might remember that I posted about this a week or so ago as I’ve made a bot that tweets stuff about the VL-1 including ADSR settings every hour. It’s a little bit of fun and nothing more, but you might want to follow it if you’d like to think of the old days of the VL-1, or if you have a VL-1 and want some sound suggestions for it.
I have to say that I’ve been waiting for this for a long time now and I’ve excited to see what it’s finally like in the flesh or so to speak. It’s been a long time coming, but they’ve been good at keeping in touch with what they’ve been doing and how they’re getting on, and I’ve appreciated that a lot.
You can certainly expect some posting and thoughts from me when it finally does arrive.