Category Archives: Songs Without

Crazy Demos

Sometimes, when I’m testing out a synth and trying to learn it, I just hook up my keyboard and start playing around with them live, tweaking every knob I can get my hands on and seeing what happens.  Sometimes, if something interesting happens, I record it.  The following are some of the results.  Warning: some of these amp up unpredictably – make sure your speakers are set at a safe volume before continuing.

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This is actually a visual pattern exercise rendered into musical form. Each of the notes start out playing in sequence, then slowly move, one by one, into different phases in relation to each other’s positions. The first iteration of this track was rendered using a bunch of loud bells, but it didn’t seem quite… interesting enough. This version switches over to Logic’s venerable EFM1 synth, and adds slowly varying modulation amounts to the mix. The result is a track that I find both intriguing, and at times almost unbearable to listen to all the way. If you are able to listen to this track all the way through, you have my full permission to remove the letter F from the title should you so desire.

Alchemist/Dark Alchemist

A short while ago, Camel Audio was offering one of those nifty “pay what you want” deals for one of their sound sets, which came with a fairly versatile software player for them, along with some default sounds. I was playing around with some of the arpeggiation presets that were included, and found that one of them made for some very interesting sequences, and I just started playing with it live. I happened to record one of the takes, and this is the result. Not a very interesting story to be sure, but sometimes you just start playing around with various instruments, and suddenly you find inspiration.

Dark Alchemist is a continuation of the series started with Alchemist, and is another, somewhat more random/dissonant take on the sequence.

3 Arp Experiment/Insanity

Essentially, this piece started off as three seperately played live arpeggiations – one focusing on a sort of standard synth sound, one “playing” a preset not unlike a military ship’s warning klaxon, and one of a glistening crescendo loaded with piercingly high frequencies. The first piece contains all the sequences, one after the other. The second piece, Insanity, mixed all 3 of them together… simultaneously. The result is an absolute sonic cacophony of insane noise – which, surprisingly enough, I actually like listening to (at least until it makes my ears start bleeding and I have to reach for the volume off control in desperation). Be forewarned – not for the faint of heart.