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fitness for musics
 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-10 23:35 [#02627425]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



i think being in shape, working out regularly leads to
better music. that, just, subjectively, i've noticed i've
done much better stuff when i've been spending time dancing,
recently

but my foot is mostly better, to the point where i'm
starting to be able to -- ohhh, thank heck -- start to
exercise a little more normally again; not feel like a tense
bundle of miswireds.

then, though, this matters even more to hardware music,
where, like... i've the gear arranged in a very dense little
U-shape based around, like, where it's easy to reach the
maximum amount of stuff without having to really strain the
abs too much. that i would cite the ideal shape as a
hemisphere of gear kind of floating around in front of you,
and slightly up above. i remember sitting in either a mock
or retired apollo capsule at a museum, once

but really, the prompt for this topic is: i was dancing
about a bit, not even in the studio, and i'm like: my arms
are not in good enough shape for that yet. i won't be fast
enough. i'll be too fumbly and full of sandbag

and i wonder if anyone ever thinks about this? like, how
your physical conditioning impacts your musical abilities


 

offline Wolfslice from Bay Area, CA (United States) on 2023-05-10 23:59 [#02627426]
Points: 4310 Status: Regular



Definitely.

It's well documented that exercise is one of the better
deterrents for depression-- though some people probably make
better music when they're depressed (Trent Reznor certainly
comes to mind). Your stuff in particular seems rather hyper
and energetic and you probably get a massive boost to clean
energy levels that you can put right in the track, on the
fly.

Also probably overlooked is that, if you exercise there's a
good chance you're listening to music while you do it.
There's a good Stephen King quote from On Writing. Slightly
paraphrasing: "If you don't have the time to read, you have
neither the time or tools to write." I think the same goes
for making music, need to listen to loads of it to stay in
proper shape.


 

offline Wolfslice from Bay Area, CA (United States) on 2023-05-11 00:03 [#02627427]
Points: 4310 Status: Regular



I say all that while my personal impulse is to pour half a
glass of vodka and chain smoke while hammering out musical
details/cleaning up a track.


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 00:23 [#02627430]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



It's well documented that exercise is one of the better
deterrents for depression-- though some people probably make
better music when they're depressed (Trent Reznor certainly
comes to mind).


that, really, no... not really. that, oh, here, i
wrote this just after my dad died, while living with my mum
and we're not getting along, then the rest, it's in the
songs quite clearly. and it's some of the best, most, i
dunno, drukqs-y stuff i've done, and it's in fucking
milkytracker, which... yeah. and it was because: every time
i stopped working on these tracks i would just start, like,
seriously sobbing.

and that was a lot at once and i'm not usually that bad
without that much help (anymore). but in retrospect: that
was very focusing. every time i stopped concentrating
furiously i was punished for it. and it gave me some subject
matter

but the whole "misery = art" thing is horseshit. it's just
that misery is very focusing. there are more pleasant ways
to be focused

Your stuff in particular seems rather hyper and energetic
and you probably get a massive boost to clean energy levels
that you can put right in the track, on the fly.


this is more on the mark. my posting flood here, recently...
sorry. i haven't been able to exercise, or write music, and
so it's gradually built up into a dfjhgkdfg manic streak,
which will gradually subside as i get back into shape.


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 00:28 [#02627431]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



i was thinking of ansel adams. his stages for, like,
breathing while taking a photo, just habit for me now. but i
forgot: he did, like, hand exercises to hold the camera more
steady too, didn't he? that i could probably get deliberate
about this

hardware music ~ it's about being able to get to one of
literally 200 knobs fast, and turn it precisely in a
quantized manner, push a button exactly at the right time,
nudge a fader precisely the right amount

and then it's somewhat to do with dance music, and so
dancing... training your arms to move to music... both
conditions them to move faster, more in rhythm... but the
body has a memory of sorts, and the rhythms are just, like,
in you as you do the track

and that's more what i mean. though the ansel adams thing is
a nice thot -- any ideas? -- i more mean, dance every day if
you do hardware music


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 00:30 [#02627432]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular | Followup to Wolfslice: #02627427



I say all that while my personal impulse is to pour half
a glass of vodka and chain smoke while hammering out musical
details/cleaning up a track.


stereo to disk, no backsies has been my religion for a few
years now, tangents into milkytracker aside. if you are
literally unable to clean up a track, you're more likely to
get it right in the first place, and it sounds like it'd
also bypass your vodka/smoking stage


 

offline Wolfslice from Bay Area, CA (United States) on 2023-05-11 00:40 [#02627433]
Points: 4310 Status: Regular | Followup to EpicMegatrax: #02627432



That's a neat track you posted. Computer vocals in the 2nd
half are smokin.

Yeah both methods (lots of editing vs going on the fly) both
have their pros and cons. To reference Stephen King again-
the man writes hot, off the cuff and then shelves a book and
edits a bit. Compare it to like Patrick Rothfuss (name of
the wind)-- constantly tinkering, moving whole bits around
etc. I'm more the latter. But both ways produce something
cool.

re: ansel adams-- never got into his work, mainly cause my
house is an hour from Yosemite and I can just see the shit
for myself.


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 01:45 [#02627434]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular | Followup to Wolfslice: #02627433



Yeah both methods (lots of editing vs going on the fly)
bothhave their pros and cons. To reference Stephen King
again-the man writes hot, off the cuff and then shelves a
book and edits a bit. Compare it to like Patrick Rothfuss
(name of the wind)-- constantly tinkering, moving whole bits
around etc. I'm more the latter. But both ways produce
something cool.


you want henry david thoreau vs ralph waldo emerson. that i
was tasked with reading both 20 years ago, and thoreau was
utterly so much more fun to read. emerson was like being
force-fed very boring cotton. but since this was school and
i had to, i wound up thing thoreau was a polite moron and
that emerson was vastly better but he couldn't be arsed to
clean up his output. both have their pros and cons

stephen king blasting out cujo on a cocaine binge, i'd
argue, is a third, entirely different approach.


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 01:57 [#02627435]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



the piece you're missing -- just to understand why i've gone
with that lane; trust your own process

...is how much time i spend doing take after take. it's not
tedious like you'd think, that i'm basically jamming for a
bit and resetting, changing some things, and that's half of
my composition process: oh, where do i go when i get to this
part? i'm going to replace that sound with... then... now
that i've replaced that, i'm replacing this other one too

that i'm probably through a few dozen takes that may have
been alright, that i haven't even recorded, because i'm
still messing with it all. that it'd sound like i was doing
it over and over in the short term, but if you dropped in a
half hour apart, you'd hear it was like... it was going one
way, then that part collapsed, now it's something else

then the worst is, i have to record this before i get too
tired to do a good run. because i've been taking breaks to
exercise in between all of this, or go have lunch, or
whatever. if i go to sleep, i have to start over and build
up for a few hours again tomorrow. so i start doing takes a
bit early, and then i'm most of the way there and dfgjkdfg
not quite, so now i need to go on a walk and actually after
i've been dfgjkdf for a bit and i go on a walk, just sit
back down and nail it, that's not guaranteed but common


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 01:59 [#02627436]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



e.g. i have put the time one might spend editing, into: live
takes, used to write the track, the live takes practice the
song, and overall you're just after that 10,000 hours etc.
and you won't get it editing


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 02:47 [#02627437]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



i guess it's also: exactly what you said, editing just being
this bad-binge kind of gurn sometimes. that i got into
hardware stuff, and it can be just so impossible to edit
that, and so shortly after: alright, no editing

it took about ten years for me to be sure it was the right
move.


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 02:49 [#02627438]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



"YEAHH let's mess with synths ALL DAY" vs. "let's play with
synths for a few hours and then edit the recording until
we're a destroyed crab with a permanent slouch"


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 04:13 [#02627439]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



i mean, this is just if you're thinking about you, however.
the real rubicon for me was... oh, 2004 i think. i'd been
writing tracks with a mouse in cubase sx entirely with VST
plugins and they'd become these massive 12-part MIDI
tapestries and i had to go four hours before i felt like i
wasn't repeating myself. then i got an MPC1000 and an MS2000
and a Prophet VS and some other bits and i'm just like...
this is even more fun than cubase used to be

that someone literally then came out of the woodwork and
yelled at me after a few months: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OLD
NEVENEN THIS IS CRAP

and i was kind of, like: "oh, yes, it's just getting going,
hang on a moment"

that by 2012 that guy was back on board again and i think at
this point it'd be like "oh god fuck no don't go back" but i
haven't heard from him in a bit


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 05:10 [#02627440]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular | Followup to Wolfslice: #02627433



That's a neat track you posted. Computer vocals in the
2nd half are smokin.


i realized there's actually a damn good continuation of my
previous point, which is this subsequent EP, and
the first track, q qq qqq. that the letter q, long-running
joke between a few friends and i, and i was thinking it sort
of like the shulgin scale. +, ++, etc. and i start off with
q and build it up, then i take a sliver of q and build it up
into qq, and then qq into qqq, and you get a taste of qqqq
but i end the track there because qqqq is too much for the
human mind to handle.

that track nearly destroyed me, and i loved every minute of
it. i was not in a terribly good place in life, i was
literally driving for uber -- and i liked the ones that just
disappeared into their fones because i could just go off in
my hed and keep working on this track, in my hed (can't
you?).

i was -- to steal another rdj word -- chuffed with how it
turned out. but then i looked at what had gone into this,
that perhaps i could have gotten my life back together much
faster. that milkytracker has me wandering around the house
mumbling about hex codes, i'm literally pacing around the
carpet and arguing with myself about 0x0A vs B and my eyes
are shot so i'm just lying on the bed listening to it and
getting up every few minutes to stop and change a few hex
codes

i kept it up a bit after that track. but it was kind of
like: this will put me in a mental hospital if i keep going

and, after all that tldr, here is my point: it kicks the
piss out of that other EP i linked, that i made when i was
defcon-1 grade miserable, as opposed to just mildly fucked.
it's focus that makes it good. and, like: i should quit
milkytracker because it makes me so focused it will suck the
rest of my life down into it like a singularity


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 05:12 [#02627441]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



but if you want "this kind of does what drukqs does" the
defcon-1 miserable EP is more what you want.


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 05:21 [#02627442]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular | Followup to EpicMegatrax: #02627441



LAZY_TITLE ~ as indicated in the video description.
vsnares is far worse. the man needs help


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 06:17 [#02627443]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular | Followup to Wolfslice: #02627433



Yeah both methods (lots of editing vs going on the fly)
both have their pros and cons. To reference Stephen King
again-the man writes hot, off the cuff and then shelves a
book and edits a bit. Compare it to like Patrick Rothfuss
(name of the wind)-- constantly tinkering, moving whole bits
around etc. I'm more the latter. But both ways produce
something cool.


that, actually, there's some deeply interesting stuff in
here. i realized: we're comparing novels to doing tracks.
these are entirely different mediums. sure, it's not like a
painting and it's all there at once; there's still a
time-domain aspect to it... but these don't exactly fit
together perfect, right?

that i was talking about how thoreau revised to death and
thus is a great read, while emerson was ultimately far more
interesting and a nightmare to read because he blasted it
out worse than i did.

then my next tldr: instead of spending a few hours on synths
and the rest driving yourself insane editing, do repeated
takes as the songwriting process and tinker it into
existence. this way, you also put in the 10k hours on your
synths much more quickly, and...

the written word is always, always an off in the corner
thing. despite "livecoding" inexplicably being something
people care about, "live novel writing" is really, utterly
NOT a thing

and, oh, yeah: being better at playing instruments is not
like getting better at writing is it?

and how do you view music composition? are you very
intricately composing this to unfold like a novel? in which
case, you want to go on about words like motif and very
tactically pick your synth sounds. and i have done this; i
still sometimes. it's lovely. but live hardware music like
i've been chasing, you have to be able to dance the machines
with your fingers, and there's no comparison for that in
writing


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 06:21 [#02627444]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



heh. maybe it's like how charles dickens always sold out his
book tours with rabid fervor because he was really good at
respinning them aloud.

fascinating how flexible it all is


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 07:03 [#02627445]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



here, working on brevity. four-word summary of livecoding

livecoding, keywords: bushwick, cocaine

watching someone write computer code live to generate music,
or whatever. that, like, can we count the number of
obstacles in between you and the audience, impediments to
this actually being a moving form of art? that, like, i am a
software engineer, and this will actually ruin it for me
simply because they use a lot of functional programming
language shit i usually don't and i'm going to be standing
there in space and trying to adjust to the code i'm not used
to reading. then this is a live thing and you're expecting
people who are not even as bad as i am to follow along and
feel some sort of personal communication from it -- no, this
is just "hey mom, look at me" in front of your friends. i'm
open to other interpretations

much more interesting that... charles dickens wrote good
books to read, but no small part of the reason you know the
name is he'd show up and retell the book aloud in a shorter
way, dialed in for the house, and just blow the doors off of
the place. that we can split apart being a good storyteller
and having a good story to tell and you need both.


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 07:55 [#02627448]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



i suspect i know how livecoding happened

1) start with the videogame concept of a speedrun. most
people know this. that, back when a speedrun was something
you had a) watch someone do in person, or b) download a
200mb video of quake on your 56k modem

2) apply the speedrun concept to writing software -- a
distinct one i remember, at computer camp when i was 11, was
"i can write a paint app in java in under a minute" and this
is fun. like, alright, do it. and that's a good 56 seconds;
guy barely made it. and this is a small group of nerds in
person and everyone knows at least some java and can follow

3) something something you're 36 and on stimulants as a
bunch of people pretend they deeply appreciate what they're
seeing on the projector because no one wants to be the dolt
asking what the fuck is any of this, some loft, bushwick

but let's just stick with my thing about needing both from
the previous post. i think that was probably one of the
better insights i've wandered into here, but i'll need some
distance to be sure.


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 10:17 [#02627449]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



reznor, right. let's call him exhibit A for: both a good
storyteller and a good story to tell

that he addressed this in interviews, with, effectively: i
was quite going places with sound design but i wasn't
terribly sure what to write about, so i just started doing
up my diary entries because it seemed honest -- and, poor
bastard, now people get mad if he doesn't song up his diary
entries every few years


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 10:29 [#02627450]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



that reminds me, there's a very strong giggle that keeps me
going somedays: i can sample anything i want simply because
no one will notice. you can blam me for some individual
sample, but, grand scheme of things, i am. free. and you can
either put up with this or make me someone


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-11 10:44 [#02627451]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



ahaha. oh, i sampled quite well with...

the "what happened to the old nevenen" gentlemen, he was the
first one. really the only one to catch me: "Nevenen, NVN,
you wanted it to be like NIN didn't you"

guilty as charged

i read his advice on "if you still like it a week later,
it's a contender" and nevenen is a middle english word
meaning ~ to say, tell, express, esp. the truth, to give a
name to


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-12 06:59 [#02627497]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular



oh, while i'm just throwing out free advice

LAZY_TITLE


 

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-05-13 03:47 [#02627570]
Points: 21939 Status: Regular | Followup to EpicMegatrax: #02627439



i botched this. it was 2007. because it was definitely
almost on the nose around when i recorded this

hardcore squarepusher shadow puppets

[tldr ~ all the thought that went into it was that i was
doing hand motions with no real intent other than sheer
enjoyment and i noticed the light was hitting the floor
particularly well because of where the sun was at that time
of day and the hardest part was, as always: "i need a camera
here, at this point, in 3D space, angled precisely like
this" and my memory is not good enough to remember precisely
what i improvised with to get it to the proper spot]


 


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