catchup 2, electric boogaloo

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the rage box - jack's song

This was made to impress my online pal Jack, who is much, much, much better at this than I am. My main regret is that this is not 4:25 long, as that was my goal.

[miss ya jack]

Straight up, what did you hope to learn about here

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the rage box - hope on the wind

This is a catch-up release – this has been done-ish for quite some time and I just didn’t have time to upload it.

As you can see by the date on the last blog entry, real life does take its toll on hobbies.

[if i were someone else, would this all fall apart]

chronology be damned

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the rage box - aerial onslaught

This one was actually mostly completed before the last one, but I wanted to put some finishing touches on it, and getting the time to do that took a lot longer than I’d expected. Anyway.

Newsflash: I still suck at drums.

[think of it like reservoir dogs]

our music is sampled, totally fake

A new TRB song is available.

the rage box - hex to rgb

This is mostly an experiment to see how many things I could run off the same step sequencers instead of playing by hand. This thing is essentially played note for note by machine – I never even got out the keyboard for this.

As such, it sounds rather stilted in parts, however the perfection of timing is pretty interesting to me.

Aaaaanyhoo, good enough to share, not good enough to write much about.

[it’s done by machines, coz they don’t make mistakes]

this one goes up to eleven

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the rage box - goodnight, maria

It’s a lullaby.

Bit of info on this. Usually, when I’m working on a song, I come up with concepts of what it sounds like to me, things that might be interesting titles, while I’m working on it. This is why most people who like my song titles like them, they seem to fit the mood and sound of the song – well, folks, that’s how they get picked. I usually have an idea for one of these by the first time I save something, because I usually don’t save a file til I have something with at least some sounds I like. Usually the file name I come up with becomes sort of the “code name” of the song, and some of those have been kind of amusing in the past. Whether the code name ever comes near the final name of the song depends on how it develops, and yes, I’m aware that the pretentiousness of most of my song titles and this entry is fairly off the charts. Blow me.Anyway, after getting an initial name, I start incremental filenames after a certain amount of development, much like a programmer. Initially this was because I used to break cool shit and save over it without realizing it, because I was a noob. Now, it’s because it allows me some flexibility to try radical tweaks on things without losing them. Moving to a filename with 1 in it is usually a sign that I like a collection of crap enough to try and make it a releasable song. This continues less for songs I get bored of, and more for ones I like, and want to polish into something nice. I usually want to put stuff out as soon as I hit a “critical mass” of coolness, so I push on and go through revisions quickly til I burn out and release what’s there, with as much polish as I can squeeze out of it in a short timeframe. 95% of all TRB songs are started and finished within the same night, usually with about a 4 hour span.

The average song I really like usually hits about revision 5. I may go to 6 if I want to try some drastic equalization measure that really changes my signal routing, but generally 4 or 5 is a release.

The final render of this song was revision 11. And it’s only a 2 minute and 12 second song.

I’ve spent a lot of time on it, and I really think it shows. I’ve been kicking the main loop around for quite some time, trying to come up with accompaniment that does it justice, and it always felt “better” than anything I have any right to put my name on. I wanted to save it for something special, something deserving, and I did. The feelings I have associated with it are how it got it’s name.

So, that innocent and emotional opening riff finally got a home I’m happy with – a lullaby for my favoritist person in the whole wide world – who, incidentally, doesn’t sleep enough.

[sleep well, baby]

hannibal’s on the jazz

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the rage box - deus ex machina

Got home from the crawfish low country boil tonight, and while getting my computer’s typical loadout of specialty programs re-installed in the fresh XP install, this just sort of happened.

I really like it. It’s a little on the fast paced side, a little on the industrial side, but it’s heads and shoulders above my usual in terms of composition and notes actually falling in some kind of meter, instead of when my fat clumsy fingers manage to hit the keys.

This is definitely in the top five. Finn, if you’re still reading, I think you’ll enjoy it.

[and that means we all dead meat]

down through my hands

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the rage box - cross country

I did most of this while on the phone about a week ago. It’s what I like to call one of those “compilation of sounds that eventually became mildly pretty” songs.

There’s still some pretty bad clipping, because it’s almost 8am, and there’s my OCD perfectionism vs my dry, pulsating eyes, and the more the pulsating eyes fight the more the perfectionism seems a distant, unrealistic dream. So, no producy medal on this one. Waaah.

Oh yeah, and happy fourth of July.

[the canvas, such as it is]

a song that is not called silhouette

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the rage box - daybreak

This took about 2 hours, start to finish. The drums just kind of unceremoniously end, but other than that, it’s not too bad.

I felt like I’d been neglecting my trusty MIDI controller.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled silence.

[but in an ideal world it would be]


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the rage box - idspispopd

I’ll explain the title in a second. First off, this is not a “song” at all – kinda like the last one, and arguably some other ones, it’s just a mood that doesn’t go anywhere. It’s like background music of some dramatic moment on a TV show.

This one is important because it’s the first output from the mighty Reason 3, which I managed to obtain through the venerable BadServo. This mp3 was essentially me just creating sounds that should not be able to happily coexist on the average speaker setup without causing unbearable static. This was a deliberate experiment to futz with Reason’s new mastering suite, which promises incredibly lush and – loath as I am to use the term – phat sounds, without them stepping on each other’s toes. That is where the title comes in.

In the audio production world, as I understand it, static that comes from overlapping frequencies (essentially loud sounds that have not been very well equalized and given their own space) create static and dissonance called clipping. Reason in fact has a handy little LED that lights up when it detects audio clipping. Audio clipping is the enemy of clean, pure sound. This file, as I said, was essentially random notes hit in some synth arrays that I designed specifically to create massive amounts of clipping.

However, true to its touting in the preview materials for 3.0, the new MClass mastering suite makes clipping its bitch in a way that would be sad if it weren’t so beautiful.

So, this file has been run through said mastering devices, and while I am still learning how to use them, so I’m sure it is far from perfect, the fact is, these sounds would not coexist for me before. This would have been a dissonant nightmare – but despite the forcefulness of the bass, and the reverb on the choral sound, and the clarity and high pitch of the whatever you call it echoy sound, there is simply no clipping, at least on the two speaker setups I’ve listened to it on.

That’s where the title comes from. In the 3D game design world, walls that are considered “solid,” i.e., the player cannot walk through them, are called clipping planes. Long ago, in a little game called Doom, the developers needed the ability to specify clipping planes, but for quickness in meandering through the game world, also needed the ability to ignore these rules of “physics.” So, a developer code was written for a “no clipping mode,” so they could essentially walk through walls. I’ll spare you all the hillarious and insane story of the origin of the code’s name (google it if you must,) but in all versions of the original Doom I’m familiar with (even Ultimate Doom, but not Doom II) the no clipping code is IDSPISPOPD.

I knew this from memory, because I am a huge nerd. I double checked it anyway, and found the list of codes for Doom, and had a bizarre memory surge.

So, that’s where the title comes from. No clipping, get it? It’s like 3 levels of nerd all rolled into a horrible groaner of a pun. It’s quite possible that will land me in the unpopular, wedgie-heavy section of hell.

[degreelessness biatch]

down through my hands

A new TRB song is available.

the rage box - in memory of things left unfinished

It’s simple. I like the title. That’s it.

[and on to the canvas]

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