Pink Noise Can Stick It


Pink Noise Can Stick It

So, for the last couple of days (see yesterday’s entry) I’ve been using my MeldaProduction “MAutoDynamicEQ” plugin to compare tons of music from my collection to Pink Noise to get a meaningful impression of where my Skullfinger project stands in terms of frequency content. I’ve been finding that most commercially-produced has a very flat curve (flat compared to Pink Noise, I mean… which is not really flat but has a 3db/octave weighting to account for human perception). When I look at my work-in-progress Skullfinger masters (and my recent Crushing Complex master as well), I’m finding that I tend towards dark masters. When I apply the compensation EQ to make it sound more “pink,” it suddenly sounds much more sparkly and I start pooing my pants out of fear that my masters sound dull compared to all the big kids.

And then I remember: I decided many months ago to go this route on purpose; a lot of popular music sounds too “bright” to me – overwhelming and symptomatic of a sensory-overload society . Now, instead of being a stubborn and prideful rebel-without-a-cause/clue (?) and doing things my own way to my own detriment, I decided to find some of my favourite “dark” sounding albums, and to use them as my frequency-comparison standard. Some of my choices include the Aphex Twin album “Syro,” Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” and “Reflektor” by Arcade Fire. (Yes, I like Arcade Fire, so what?)

Without measuring these albums technologically, I had already determined from pure listening enjoyment that each of them could stay on repeat without making my ears bleed – a worthwhile goal for my Skullfinger album, no doubt!

So now today, with the Skullfinger deadline ominously looming, I am comparing “Syro,” “Pure Heroine” and “Reflektor” to Pink Noise and finding that they all have curves significantly darker than Pink Noise – just like my own recent mastering efforts!

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^ frequency analysis of Lorde’s “Royals” ^

What does this mean? I’m on the right track after all. * phew – what a relief * …Kudos to me for trusting my ears and confirming my judgments with measurement (and shame on me for bragging?).

 

Some would say my tendency towards mellower sound is a symptom of old age, but… did I mention that “Syro,” “Pure Heroine” and “Reflektor” have all won big fancy music awards? Grammys, Junos…

So, yeah –  Pink Noise – thanks for your help (and I will doubtlessly continue to utilize thy counsel), but I think the record industry has given you too much reign. I am here to reclaim the darkness.


End of report.

SL

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Pink Noise Takes No Guff


Pink Noise Takes No Guff…

Mastering technique observation: Comparing frequency plots of various recordings to each other is informative and helpful, but do you know what’s way more informative? Comparing various recordings to Pink Noise.

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^ Pink Noise, the master comparator ^

Q.E.D., beeyotches.


End of report.

SL

Scaled Space, Vaults, Misc.


Scaled Space…

A couple of friends of mine had an art show coming up and I really wanted to go see it… and so I did! Tangie Genshorek and Cam MacQuarrie (who plays drums with me in a band called Jagged, I’m the guitarist) showed their post-apocalyptic vision of Kamloops at the KAC Courthouse Gallery in their “Utopia” exhibit earlier this Spring. Collectively they are known as Scaled Space Studio and you can check out their website at scaledspace.ca. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. I knew they would come up with something cool, I just had no idea what.

When I walked into the gallery, Cam was in the midst of explaining some sort of very trippy and futuristic Zoning Map of the North Shore, complete with zip-lines, camping areas and a UFO, all colour-coded and hexagonally compartmentalized. I stared at that one for awhile before moving on to all the rest of the images. Did I mention there was a UFO shown floating above the city? Epic. All of the buildings shown in the other images featured mirrored surfaces which show representational photographic textures of sky, river and sand. These textures overlaid onto some very creative geometry made for a rather pleasant and uncommon vision.

Well, then a month later I received a pleasant surprise: my name was drawn, and now I am the proud owner of the Scaled Space Utopia Zoning Map! Here it is, shown sitting on my Korg Wavestation keyboard to pose for this portrait:

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^ Scaled Space “Utopia” Zoning Map ^

Thanks, you guys! Frickin’ cool UFO.


Vaults Explored…

I’m having a super-inspired Sunday today… Not only did I do some dishes, but I spent most of the afternoon digging through the old Rubbermaid container full of data storage CDRs, looking for a song called “Life Is Good” that Sadistic Humor half-made when we reunited in 2002 and eventually became Electric Humour. I never did find that track I was looking for, but I sure did find a whole bunch of other treasures. One of my favourites is this collection of alternate-versions of old Lex Plexus tunes from the turn of the millennium, around the time of Izmaha and Category Zero albums.

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^ alternate mixes of old Lex Plexus tunes ^

I think these will become part of an upcoming Lex Plexus retro album (there are a TON of unreleased tracks in the old vaults). It’s been bringing back a lot of memories for which I am grateful. It’s fun to look backwards sometimes.

Back in those days Lex Plexus used to sometimes perform live at local rave parties, using a keyboard and an EMU ESI-4000 sampler to trigger homemade original loops and layer them on-the-fly. Apparently the term back then was “Live P.A.” …I’ll always suck at the cool lingo and knowing the proper genre names, etc. My techno friends at the time said Lex Plexus is “mutant techno,” which I liked. Anyways, that was a fun way to deliver my electronica to a live audience, but I eventually decided to call it quits due to tempo-matching technical issues with the method. Then I heard about Ableton Live and I knew that would be the solution, but just never got around to implementation (so many projects on the go, creativity is endless). Many times through the years I’ve contemplated how cool it would be to resurrect those old loops and bring them into Ableton. Well, today is the day that plan begins moving forward again! I found all those old loops, and I’ve been on the Ableton train for almost a year now, so now it’s just a matter of moving forward.

Did I already mention I found the master .wav files of Electric Humor? Those may end up on bandcamp soon.


Misc…

I put a new Barnacle Records sticker on my acoustic today:

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^ new Barnacle Records sticker on my guitar ^

In my previous blog entry I offered some exclusive photos. Afterwards I realized that the water droplet was not showing clearly enough through the flower petals, so here’s another version of that photo:

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^ the water droplet peering through the petals caught my eye ^

 


End of report.

SL

 

Sleepcaster EP, DJ Don Rugs, Exclusive Photos


Sleepcaster EP…

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^ Sleepcaster EP by lex Plexus and Nix Nihil ^

As you may know, I make music of many varieties including techno/industrial/drum-and-bass. Six years ago, I wrote an instrumental track called “Sleep, Cerberus” and then four year later my lyrics singer friend Nix Nihil became inspired to add some very interesting lyrics. I re-constructed the music to suit the vocals and the remix was born. Fast Forward another year and Nix comes to me with another idea, this time a fresh story-lyric with need for drum-and-bass backing. And so now I humbly present to you these two creations for your listening pleasure… “Sleep, Cerberus (Nix vox remix)” and “Path of the Lightning Caster” on the Sleepcaster EP by Lex Plexus and Nix Nihil. I like the results, and I hope you do too. Available now at bandcamp.


DJ Don Rugs Setlist…

One of my alter egos had a pretty good time behind the decks the other night at Barnacle. Yeah  real vinyl… booyah! Partly, I choose the best songs from my worst records. Here’s a photo of all the records I played:

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^ vinyl selection by DJ Don Rugs ^

Maybe you noticed this kickass Crumbsuckers record, the latest addition to my collection:

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^ Look what I got – Crumbsuckers on vinyl! ^

It was a favourite of mine about 23 years ago, when I had the cassette. A welcome addition.

Here’s a nice tidy list of all the songs I played that night:

  1. Andy Summers and Robert Fripp – What Kind of Man Reads Playboy?
  2. Del Woods – Goofus
  3. Jorgen Ingmann – Apache
  4. Crumbsuckers – Prelude Intro
  5. Roy Buchanan – Judy
  6. The Kilima Hawaiians – Hawaiian Surfriding
  7. Roger Eggermont’s Trio – Five Foot Four
  8. Cygnus X – The Orange Theme
  9. A Flock Of Seagulls – Man Made
  10. Crumbsuckers – A Moment Of Silence / Mr. Hyde

Have you heard The Orange Theme? Interesting chord progression.

Good times!


Exclusive Photos…

Most of my artsy Hipstamatic photos go up on my Instagram but I’ve decided to spruce up the WordPress universe by dedicating some of today’s photo-adventure fruits to an exclusive appearance right here and now:

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^ the washer was an alien element ^
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^ started as a logo (mystery) ^
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^ pretty flower ^

End of report.

SL

 

Osmosis Unbeknownst


Osmosis Unbeknownst…

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^ screenshot from Osmosis Unbeknownst ^

A few months back Gary Faustman (remember Promiscuous Pete from Euphoria Emporium?) and I had an inspired meeting where we decided “why not make a short film?” And so, being driven as all creators are, we wrote the entire story and filmed it all in one day! Film is such an enjoyable process, especially when you get the chance to wear the hats of actor, director, cameraman and writer. The resulting short film is called “Osmosis Unbeknownst” and we entered it into the 2016 Kamloops Interior Short Short Film Fest (as mentioned in a recent post). There were a lot of great entries in this year’s festival, as usual. If you haven’t seen it yet, follow this YouTube link to watch “Osmosis Unbeknownst,” a Salted Slug Films production. It’s a story of music, poetry, and synchronicity.

As a side note, I’ve watched “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” 4 times since last week.

 


End of report.

SL

 

Crushing Complex EP, Star Wars DVD


 

Crushing Complex EP…

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^ Crushing Complex EP ^

The 3 songs on this “Cloaking Fog” EP (free download at bandcamp) are the fruition of an accidental reunion of Crushing Complex in 2015, who previously released the 5-song “nth degree” EP in 2007. This time around, more heavyness and more grooviness!

Matt Mclaughlin – vocals
Sean Luciw – 8-string guitar, vocals
Justin Perfilow – 7-string guitar, vocals
Justin Bentley – 5-string bass
Craig McKay – drums

Recorded, mixed & mastered by Sean Luciw at ulusulu music. Official release date yesterday (April 4, 2016).

 


 

Star Wars DVD

Two big days in a row for this guy! Yesterday is the Crushing Complex recording released, and now today is the DVD release date for “The Force Awakens.” Booyah!

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^ Look what I got! The Force Awakens DVD. ^

 


 

End of report.

SL