Sunday, 18 January 2015

Analogue vs digital

Yes, that old chestnut...  Well, its kind of a new chestnut but only because digital tech isn't that old.  But anyway.  I have been giving myself angst over plugging my beloved bass, aka Miss Fifi La Bass, into little boxes that make her do things. 

I have a bunch of boxes, most of which are cheap, and most of which run off transistors, but one particular one runs off microchips.  This would be my elderly Zoom 505, mk1, bought in 1999, and did me sterling service, making my guitar make so many sounds i never thought it could.  When i switched to bass, i started using the 505 because it was what i had. Then i did a bad thing.  I looked on amazon for stompboxes.  I started small, you know, like you do. A cheap knock off DI / overdrive pedal which really improved my sound.  Then a tremolo, because i'd always wanted to be in Portishead, and before i knew it, there was a classic fuzz and a wah-wah.

But i do have a sentimental attachment to the baby Zoom.  Its old now, and while analogue seems to feel different, does it really? Is it really more real? Does it really matter? 

I'm currently in a situation where i have a new, great sounding practice amp (Warwick Blue cab 15.1, its fab! And discontinued! Mine's 'new to me' but was super cheap, i have no idea why) and time to fiddle with boxes.  And you know what?  My venerable zoom, stuck in front of a decent sounding amp, doesn't sound half bad. Especially with the 'no i am totally a marshal' pedal at one end and the tremolo and classic fuzz at the other. I may well use it at the next IED gig...

Adventures in Radio1...

So as part of my investigation into young peoples' music, i have been listening to radio1.  Once i got past the stage of finding the presenters squeaky and annoying, i quite like some of it.  This is pretty good, for instance!  And its also number one, probably. It was, but its now 5pm on a sunday so it might not be in a couple of hours.  But then its also clearly this.  With a side order of this.  I kind of don't have a problem with that, i mean music has always stolen, swapped and copied ideas.

I like this a lot more - Its clearly of a style and could be called derivative, but then Lady Gaga just put out a jazz album and its bloody brilliant.  The thing that really throws me is that ver kids seem to be dressing like its 1986 as well as making music that sounds like it.  Fashions go round and round and round and there we go.  Its kind of weird though, but its making my investigation easier, and also weirder.  I'm looking for new sounds, and i'm getting stuff that sounds like S Express.  Wierd...

Monday, 12 January 2015

Young peoples' music, analogue, digital, and funk.

Been a bit quiet round here hasn't it?  Truth is, i have been in no particular order, bored with tech, not in the mood for writing, and mentally unwell. Stupid brain.

Also, i just had other stuff to do, you know how it is.  And then it got longer and longer and i got lazier and i thought well, i've not really got anything new to say. Social media is still stupid, smartphones work and are getting bigger and smaller depending on whether you want a big one or a small one.  And that's it, until the next big leap forward happens.

I'm expecting nanotech babbage engines.

But, as always, innovation is a thing.  As is refinement.  And to be totally honest, i have not been paying attention.  In most of 2014 i have been working on music, which is fun.  On pretty much nought budget, because i am stingey and also like seeing what i can get out of cheap kit.  Anyone can buy the super expensive thing and get an amazing result. How dull is that?

With my musical cohort, we have been making very silly, and often derivative noise.  Its not plagiarism, its parody, okay?  And over most of 2014, i have been investigating the music i missed growing up, because i could never get hold of it (i lived in a field, pretty much) and it didn't get played on the radio.  I've been investigating P-Funk, the early JAMC, classic disco, and anything else from the 70s and 80s that made them look cool and sound awesome.

That does mean that i haven't been taking a lot of notice of a lot of recent music.  I missed this (which i must admit i can live with, and i was only vaguely aware of this, although being an old ex-goth, people telling me to be happy makes me want to nail them to a tree.

Autotune hurts my ears, and whats with all the ascending four chords and an 'eh oh' chorus stuff?  And in 2015, why are Wand erection still claiming ownership of women? The Temptations did it first, and less sexistly.  I mean, at least they were going 'my girl makes my life lovely' rather than 'this is mine and you can't have it'.

So, starting here, with a side order of here i have decided to investigate young people music. With a side order of bass geetars, noise pedals, boxes and general things that make noises.  Lets have fun...