I have these two MP3 files online for a few weeks, but haven’t had the chance to explain what these tracks are all about. Cirobiq is something that took me months to work on. I started working on it while writing back in July 2005. I had the idea of coming up with a strange melodic track that I would mangle using an Oval-ish CD skipping technique. First I tried destroying the CD-R with a magic marker, but the results would cause the error correction to shut the cd player down. I found an old CD player that I was experimenting with and located a few contact points that would induce skipping. I also tweaked with the tracking fine tune controls which led to some interesting results, but nothing was consistent. In the end it was a fun distraction, but led nowhere. Eventually i rendered the clean version and processed it with some analog stuff, but it was not what i had in mind.
Right after I finished writing the Discovering Reason article (on the props site), I started toying with a method of fading between a dry mix of the track and a processed signal. I incorporated an old combi effect patch (that I contributed to Factory Soundbank 3.0) called “Freeze Stutter”, and customized the settings to match the tempo. This added a some but not all of the effect ornaments that I originally had in mind. Then I added yet another effect layer which was also blended using the equal power crossfade technique using a sample and hold combinator patch i devised. The effect is nothing new or spectacular. If one were working in Pro Tools, you would simply copy and paste the audio for several adjacent beats, but with the fader and combi effect, this beat repeating effect is applied in real-time.
Random Reasons also uses the beat repeating effect, but the entire track, including the effect is driven by a series of random LFO curves. For even more tweakhead results, I bumped up the tempo to 480 BPM so the repetitive artifacts shaped into new timbres themselves. This experiment only took a few hours to finish
Both tracks also use special self-modulating equalizer effects that change the frequency response of passing signals to boost the low frequencies and add some warmth and character. These patches are based around the MClass equalizer, and work in a manner similar to the Vintage RDK with input signal levels inducing subtle changes to the eq center frequencies for an inconsistent/unpredictable “analogish” sound.
I’m going to work on these patches a bit more and eventually post them.