Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Junk percussion.

Junk percussion sample set is side product of Psychodrumma II development. At one point I needed more percussion sounds, I quickly collected some junk around the house and I took a long evening session of banging on stuff. Some of these sounds were incorporated into Psychodrumma soundbanks, but still there were plenty of leftovers. I finally had time to edit them, so today I'm offering household junk percussion set. With a little of reverb on, it sound like this:

List of object used for this sample set: broken 8 mm camera, empty beer cans, bicycle horn, bowed metal plate, broken heater, carton boxes, the remains of an old clothes airer, dirty lid, duct tape, dusty box, hollow plate, iron plate, metal tube, moldy books, motor oil can, oily plate, self propelled plastic toy mouse, plastic bowl, plastic rainpipe, fat chunk of rubber band, rusty lid, rusty saw, shiny lid, shiny pot, some other pot, yet another pot, stapler and woodblocks.

There are 200 wav files, 44 kHz, 16 bit, trimmed and maximized, royalty free to use in your music. Recording equipment: AT3035 microphone, Focusrite ISA One preamp, Echo Audio Audiofire card.

Download here. 13MB zip file, fresh, free and fragrant. Have fun.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Psychodrumma mk.II, chaos management workstation

Psychodrumma mark II is reworked and expanded version of Psychodrumma, fantasy, neo-retro drum machine/music generator for Kontakt 4 sampler. It can act as a drum machine and generate random rhythmic, ambient or melody patterns. It is based on matrix of nine synchronized step sequencers, and a meta-sequecer. Most of settings can be programmed automatically by randomizers, creating strange machine music. It has plenty of knobs and a lot of flashing lights. The device comes with three banks of 100 one shot samples each, these eclectic sets were made from synthesized sounds (digital and analog), field recordings, animal sounds, unusual percussion, bass and guitar tones and noises, voice fragments, objects (metal plates, pots, radiators, machine parts, bicycle horn, plastic tubes, firecrackers), radio noise, vinyl crackles, car engine and icy snow squeaking under heavy boots.

You can get mark I version for free two posts below.
Some of new features of mark II version:
  • algorithmic mode, makes it possible to playback or loop sequences of random events,
  • music box, tunes melodic samples to defined pattern, to create melody sequences,
  • reworked and expanded sound banks, including third tonal bank to use for generating melodies,
  • saving and loading presets, presets can then be sequenced in meta-sequencer, to create tracks inside the machine, preset-set can be then saved to file,
  • automated effects rack.
And are example tracks, sequenced entirely in machine's meta-sequencer:

Rhythm patterns were partly programmed by hand and party shuffled by the machine. Melody lines were applied entirely by machine's looped randomizers.

You can find detailed description in the manual.
To see how it works look at videos in previous post.

Psychodrumma mark II is available with the album of 16 tracks created and sequenced with the machine. Besides audio files, those tracks are included as machine tape programs, you can load any of them and playback it with metasequencer, reprogram, change tempo, effects or scale. It is available on Bandcamp at outrageous price of... well... I'm not good businessman, you name it.

Note, you need full version of Native Instruments Kontakt 4 or newer to make it work. It won't work properly in Kontakt Player. Also, as it's written in KSP script, it is quite impossible to import it to any other sampler.

Psychodrumma mk.II, videos

Here's set of videos for Psychodrumma mark II.

Browsing pre-programmed sequence tapes:

Programming a sequence, a possible way to play with the machine, first I create some steady rhythm manually, then I add random patterns:

Playing piano. In this example Psychodrumma midi out is being re-routed from midi channel 1 to channel 2 and then send back to the same instance of Kontakt, where it is propelling a piano.

Metasequencer functionality and application.

Just for fun. Controlling Alchemy by Psychodrumma randomizers. First send melody, then cast drifting controllers.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Psychodrumma, machine for blinking lights and making noise.

Psychodrumma is nonsensical drum machine for NI Kontakt 4, focused on creating random and randomly evolving rhythmic patterns. It is experimental sound device and although it could be used as a regular drum machine, it would be probably impractical. It is build of nine modules, called pads, each can playback a sound from one of two banks of 100 samples each, each has separate sound control rack and its own simple sequencer. All sequencers are synchronized with host tempo, but can run at different relative speeds and their start points can be de-synchronized, so to say. The fun feature of Psychodrumma is, that it can play by itself, all of pad's settings can be randomized on user input, gradually or periodically. You can just tune settings, let it play and observe evolving waves of randomness.

This device comes with its own sample set. It is eclectic selection from variety of sounds I have recorded over the years: synthesized sounds, field recordings, animal sounds, unusual percussion, bass and guitar noises, voice fragments, household objects, radio noise, vinyl crackles, car engine, fireworks, icy snow squeaking under heavy boots or all the above mixed an layered in one sample. However, it can be used with any set of samples, you would just need to rename them and replace 'factory' files. Files are named by numbers, so it will be fairly easy, if you are familiar with any batch renaming software.

There's no point in getting further into details here.
If you like, see the PDF manual.

Now, some sound examples. First a set of nine randomly generated patterns, they change every 4 bars across 100BPM 4/4 track, at the end the track tempo is automated to slow down.

Second example is made with the same template, but 'factory' banks has been replaced by randomly selected group of acoustic drums samples, mainly from Kontakt's library, orchestral and world percussion. Note that these sounds are obviously not a part of the download, this is just an example of how the device can sound with alternative sample set.

And here's an example of Psychodrumma being used as a part of a composition, along with fingered and e-bowed bass improvisations.

Finally, here's a video, showing how operating it looks like. First, I construct a simple rhythm, using factory preset sequence patterns and then wash it out with randomizer functions.

Psychodrumma is free to download and use in your music. You will need full version of Kontakt 4 or newer to make it work. The download is 19MB, it contains 200 wav files, 24/44, manual in PDF and sampler program. Get it here. Have fun.

Psychodrumma is followed by Psychodrumma mark II, read about it here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Drum by mouth.

This is another unusual percussion sample set I made. This time, it is made from sounds of mouth. I took a session of myself making strange noises in front of microphone and then cut the sounds to make them drum alike. I used slower playback for some of the sounds to lower the pitch, which is something I enjoy doing with all kinds of sample recordings. Lowering the pitch was helpful in making some samples sound closer to bass drum, as I think my mouth is not big enough to emit a proper kick sound. Original recording was 88.2 kHz, some sounds has been then set to playback at 44.1 kHz and some at 22 kHz. In the end, all sounds have been re-sampled to 44.1 kHz. I used no effects, besides mentioned manipulation of playback speed. Hardware I used is Audio Technica AT3035 microphone, Focusrite ISO One preamp and Echo Audiofire card. Samples were edited in Wavosaur and re-sampled with SOX. It sounds like this:

Download - 8MB. The archive contains 222 samples, wav format, mono 44.1 kHz / 24 bit. It's free to get and use in your music. I included Battery 2 kit I assembled for demo track, made from selection of 40+ samples. I suggest you to make your own  mapping for your sampler, one included is just a hint.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The wineglass drone.

It is one of my oldest sampling projects and one I consider the must successful, sonically. I guess everyone interested in music (or not) has been trying playing glasses as a kid. I have. When I started to play with samplers, I thought of that and I wanted to try to capture that sound. I picked a wineglass, some brown water (which due to some plumbing problem was the only color available at the moment) and a spoon. I tuned the glass carefully adding drops of dirty water with a spoon and took 12 recordings, about 40 seconds each. It sounds rich and organic and it downtunes in a pleasant way, doing well with a lot of reverb. I have been using it for a couple of years, but just recently I took it a step further, creating loop points, so the drone can go on indefinitely. I also created mappings for sfz and Kontakt adding some extra functionality in Kontakt's patch. Here's a little example of solo wineglass:

And another one, solo too, which was the first improvised take on the drone, (there is a little noise when downtuned, which can be heard here):

And here's an example of butchery on Beehtoven's work, which proves the wineglass as fine tool for murdering a classic:

Wineglass drone is available on Bandcamp for what you think it's worth. You will get the instruments as a bonus in album download.

The instrument itself is 130MB in 12 wav files, mappings for sfz and Kontakt. You will need full version of Native Instruments Kontakt 4 or newer to open Kontakt mapping. Sfz version is missing GUI and some controllers, it can be opened by various samplers. Loop points are in the files, so it should be easy to load it to any sampler.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Arctic Rooster - organic synthesizer for Kontakt

Today I serve Arctic Rooster. It's a sort of neo-retro organic synthesizer for Kontakt. It is based on very short waveforms, serving as 'oscillators', that has been cut from recording of an authentic Icelandic rooster that I took this summer. Also there is the oscillator bank made of waveforms that I took from recording of my own voice.

Features in an egg shell:
- 15 waveforms in 3 oscillator banks,
- wood finishing enclosure,
- 3 memory banks,
- lcd display,
- 3 LFOs and lots of knobs.

And this is how it sounds, first the rooster recording, then synthesizer sounds, one instance at a time, no external effects:

Finally the download link - 710KB. Requires full version of Kontakt 4.2.4 or newer. Free to download and use in your music. If you find is useful or amusing, I encourage you to show your support, pick one of my albums that you can find hovering somewhere on the right side of these pages. Have fun.