Improvised Electronic Music

Fluorescent Grey

SYNOPSIS

Download Part 1
Download Part 2
Download Part 3

“During the latter part of June 2007 I decided to experiment with making electronic songs without a computer. I was always intrigued by the idea of simple improvising with an TR808, TB303, and TR909 but not so excited about the sounds they made. I had been collecting drum machines over the years but never really used them beyond recording bits into the computer and mangling the crap out of them, or triggering clips via MIDI whilst sequencing them in Cubase. Using the computer only as a recording device, I would start the recording to force myself to keep moving forward with the beat structure, layers and melody. Starting with an empty 16 step pattern, I would slowly build up a song template but never stop the clock to evaluate it. Once I had made something that I was satisfied with, I would immediately modify or progress the pattern to the next part. I would take comfort in the knowledge that it had been recorded, and this method eliminated any need to save the part on the drum machine itself. After recordings had piled up I would begin to edit them together. Typically around 30 minutes of raw improvised material would be distilled into a 5 minute song, and care was taken to preserve the natural progression of the original jam. The continuity was maintained by sequencing the parts in the same order that they had been played during the free form session. The only overdubbing or post production effects on these recordings occur when a new raw recording fades in at the end of track. Some jam sessions became three or four tracks, whereas others were narrowed down to just one.

This two week jam session was made entirely at the same tempo of 171 bpm, so the idea struck me to experiment with an auto mash up system to listen to the tracks. Although my scheme required the ability to play two tracks at the same time, I wanted it to be easily accomplished, not a chore that would alienate a casual audience. Most audio players only let you open up one instance of the program at a time, but luckily in Winamp I found a player that allowed for multiple instances to open and run simultaneously. Utilizing Winamps lack of a standard two second gap on shuffle mode allowed for the tracks to play in a seamless and random fashion and always remain on beat. With two Winamps running concurrently on shuffle you will hear over 12,227 mashup combinations. No matter which order they are played in, the rhythm will always be synchronized all of the songs are perfectly loops and precisely timed to progress into one another seamlessly. (scroll down to the bottom of this page for step by step instructions on how to achieve this)”

– Robbie / fluorescent grey

equipment used:
elektron monomachine (master clock)
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midi slaved to monomachine:
jomox xbase09 analog drum machine sequencer
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yamaha dx200 fm synth step sequencer
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elektron machinedrum uw mkII
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simmons Sds6 step sequencer
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korg electribe ESX1
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doepfer maq/16 analog sequencer
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nanoloop v1 with gameboy color
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midi out from korg electribe & doepfer maq/16 tracks 1 & 2:
doepfer, blacet, plan B, and motm analog modular synthesizer system
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trigger out from simmons sds6:
vermona drm1 drum synthesizer unit

all audio sent to
Mackie 1604-VLZ3 Mixer
Aux Sends of Mackie 1604-VLZ3 Mixer sent to sampler input of Korg Electribe ESX1

WINAMP mashup instruction

    • download newest version of winamp free
    • after installing, open winamp, go to preferences, on the main preference screen check the box ‘allow multiple instances’

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  • close both, then click on the winamp icon twice until two instances are running
  • now go into preferences, go to ‘hotkeys’ , click ‘enable’ then assign for ‘play’ the hotkey ‘J’
  • on the other winamp do the same thing in the hotkeys but assign for ‘play’ the hotkey ‘K’
  • load up these mp3s in both winamps, both instances set on shuffle mode
  • Hit J + K at the same time, it might take 4-5 tries to get the mp3s synced perfectly (since it is inhumanly possible to hit two keys at the exact same time)
  • You will now be enjoying a seamless playlist of 12,227 + electronic music mashups
  • This only works for Parts 1 & 2 of the series (tracks 1-38)

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high resolution art download:
improvised_elec_music

Tracks

1. 2

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2. 3

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3. 4

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4. 5

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5. 7

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6. 8

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7. 9

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8. 10

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9. 11

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10. 12

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11. 13

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12. 14

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13. 15

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14. 16

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15. 17

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16. 18

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17. 19

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18. 20

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19. 21

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20. 23

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21. 24

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22. 25

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23. 26

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24. 27

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25. 28

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26. 29

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27. 30

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28. 31

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29. 32

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30. 33

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31. 34

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32. 35

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33. 36

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34. 37

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35. 38

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36. 1996

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37. Mortal Kombat Acid

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