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Today was mostly wiped out by a migraine with much of it spent in bed.

I have, however, spent a couple of hours this evening working on something that I started last night: a new blissed out, trancey #acid track.

I'm putting the MS-1 to good use.

β†’ 28/05/2024 10:30pm
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I started a new track a few days ago and came to work on it yesterday afternoon. The session didn't go well β€” things weren't flowing. So, after a few hours of scrolling through presets I gave up.

After tea, I thought I'd have another try but instead wote almost a complete new track and finished it this morning. That's just the way it goes sometimes.

Here's a quick snippet:

#acid

# The new track is called "Self Doubt" and is now live on Bandcamp.

Self Doubt cover image

# So happy that Southampton FC will be back in the Premier League next season. Must admit to also having a bit of trepidation after our last season there. Much to be done over the summer but let's enjoy it for now! πŸ”΄βšͺπŸ”΄βš½

β†’ 26/05/2024 12:39pm
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It's been the perfect weather combination ... for weeds.

I cut the front grass not long ago, pulling the stuff that shouldn't be there but rain followed by some hot, sunny days meant those pesky weeds just seemed to appear from nowhere. I cut that all back again yesterday.

This morning has had me out the back pulling up all sorts of stuff. I'm probably about half way done but it's gotten too hot to be out there comfortably.

Maybe this year will be the one where I actually keep on top of the garden. As I've said before, I'm a reluctant gardener at best. Maybe it's because I don't know much about it and so just see it as a chore.

# I've been spending some more time with the new old track, making more tweaks and adding additional layers. I'm pleased to announce that a 'final' version is now up on Bandcamp on a free/pay what you want basis.

It'll be okay

It'll be okay cover image

This was always intended to be the last track on the 'mental health' E.P. with a more euphoric vibe. I think I've done it justice and am really pleased with how it's turned out.

#acid

β†’ 19/05/2024 12:59pm
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New up on Bandcamp: It's all in your head β€” a 124 BPM #acid banger.

 It's all in your head cover image

Written in March, it was originally supposed to be on a new E.P. (where each track was somehow related to mental health issues) but that never happened so I'm releasing it as a standalone track. At least for now.

"It's all in your head" is the classic example of what NOT to say to someone.

β†’ 15/05/2024 2:13pm
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Happy 303 day!

Roland TB-303

I'd love to get the new idea finished today in honour of the day but not sure if I'll have time.

#acid

β†’ 03/03/2024 3:25pm
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Spent a couple of hours working on a track using the Behringer Edge in a minor capacity β€” just starting to get the feel of it. I was originally just mucking about but a couple of #acid lines took shape and, before you know it, a full track emerged.

It need some further tweaks and a couple of "extras" but I'm really happy with it, especially as it's 140BPM and I usually struggle to make something I like at that tempo.

β†’ 27/12/2023 12:25am
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Started a new musical experiment last night: stripping everything back to the bare bones with just one drum machine per track and one TD-3. Pure, simple #acid with no complications.

It's an exercise in creative restriction that, I'm hoping, will help me improve.

I often try to over-complicate things so this will be the complete antithesis of the way I usually work.

β†’ 13/08/2023 10:48am
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Happy 808 Day!

The 8th of August (8/08) every year sees folks around the world celebrate the iconic Roland TR-808 drum machine. Many release music for the occasion.

Here's mine: introducing 8080808

8080808 cover image

An old school electro beat (think Afrika Bambaataa, Cybotron, Egyptian Lover, Jonzun Crew) with screaming, distorted acid. What's not to love?

As always, you can check it out on BandCamp

#acid

β†’ 08/08/2023 7:26am
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New release: Litmus Test (phase 1)

The first release in a series. Four new tracks (well, three and an intro). BPMs from 118 to 126 – different vibes, one theme.

#acid

Check it out on BandCamp here.

Litmus Test (phase 1) cover image
β†’ 11/07/2023 9:29pm
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pH 1 is done!

I've decided to release Litmus Test as two EPs (Parts 1&2). I've had an idea for an intro to part one then also need one other track before I release Part 1.

#acid

β†’ 04/07/2023 2:44pm
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And here it is...

Told you it was going to be very soon πŸ˜†

feel the acid artwork
  • 115 BPM - gritty & lo-fi, old school acid rumbler, even down to the whispered vocals (yes, that's actually me!) The 808 kick (well RD-8) takes the lead.

Check it out on BandCamp here!

#acid

β†’ 19/06/2023 9:47pm
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Happy Friday!

It's time...

The Acid Clan EP is now live! πŸ₯³

Four tracks of acidy goodness:

  1. Acid Clan (04:38)
  2. Creeping Anxiety (07:43)
  3. Round and Around (06:31)
  4. False Pretences (06:24)

This is the start of a new journey. While I had released a few albums back on the old mp3.com site (and sold a few CDs) it was all software based and not of any great quality. There were some good tracks that I'm still proud of today but I don't think you can beat hardware and actually getting hands on, tweaking things in real time.

Things will only get better and better from here, both musically (I hope) and in the quality of production but you've gotta start somewhere.

Thanks for the reactions and encouragement, and a special shout to Simon for answering some questions.

#acid

Smiley Face
β†’ 09/06/2023 11:57am
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The new hardware version of round and around is done!

...and around, and around, and around.

#acid

β†’ 03/06/2023 10:00pm
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Just testing a new mastering plugin. It really emphasises the reverb with this setting.

The Wrath of Karma

#acid

β†’ 04/05/2023 12:38pm
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Music in the key of acid...

120 BPM

RD-9, RD-8, TD-3 x2, TD-3-MO, MS-1

#acid

β†’ 12/04/2023 10:24pm
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A sneak peek at some of what I've been working on...

125 BPM

  • Behringer RD-9
  • Behringer TD-3 x 2
  • Behringer TD-3-MO

#acid

β†’ 10/04/2023 10:31pm
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I got a Behringer TD-3-MO for Christmas – their emulation (and enhancement) of the Roland TB-303 with the notorious Devil Fish mods. It gives so much more control over the sound compared to a normal TD-3 and really screams when put through a decent distortion pedal.

TD-3-MO

Over the past couple of days, I have been working on a track using it but accidentally came up with something that sounded like the old Speak & Spell toy that first came out in the late 70's.

Within about half an hour (before bed last night) I'd come up with this semi-minimal track, appropriately called Speak 'n' Spell.

#acid

β†’ 02/01/2023 12:30pm
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Messing about with something new now that I'm all set up.

Just being able to switch on and dive in is so much better than having to connect everything up before I start playing.

  • TR-06 (running as midi clock)
  • RD-8
  • TD-3 X 2
  • MS-1
  • Crave

#acid

β†’ 30/05/2022 11:40pm
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A little something for the weekend:

Roland TR-06
Behringer TD-3 X 2
Behringer Crave

#acid

β†’ 30/01/2022 6:28pm
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Use the alternative voices with a bit of distortion and the TR-06 sounds a lot more like a 909. Loving it already!

#acid

β†’ 26/12/2021 6:24pm
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This wasn't where I started and certainly not where I expected to end up...

A first pass at some #acid mayhem.

β†’ 23/11/2021 3:44pm
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Happy Friday! And a happy accident:

One of those times when you're messing around and things just come together. A rare occasion when I use the saw tooth wave on the TD-3.

#acid

β†’ 19/11/2021 3:23pm
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I've been trying to rework the regex patterns for search to be more accurate, provide for more edge cases and exclude instances where the search term is just in link and not the actual post text but it's tricky. Consequently, I've (temporarily) broken hashtag searches – I only noticed that last night after posting a new #acid track.

Rather than a straight search on the text in the database I was trying to process the markdown and then strip out HTML tags but something has gone wrong somewhere. It's complicated by the way I run two queries - one to identify the number of items found to set up the results paging and then one to actually return the results.

I'm going to revert back to the original queries and rethink how I'm doing it. I may just have to settle for a non-perfect solution that catches most items.

β†’ 06/11/2021 8:30am
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Early 90's vibe. Not overcomplicating it.

(Headphones or decent speakers recommended. Smartphone speakers don't do justice to the kick drum)

#acid

β†’ 05/11/2021 10:09pm
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Something new. This took about 7 takes as I was playing the MS-1 live leaving one hand to do everything else and kept messing up.

I'll probably redo it at some point to get the MS-1 a bit higher in the mix.

#acid

β†’ 25/10/2021 11:32pm
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One of the common criticisms of the Behringer TD-3 is that the sound is too 'bright' when compared to the Roland TB-303 – the cutoff frequency knob is set too high. This can be changed by taking the case off and adjusting the VCF Offset.

I've always loved really angry, squelchy acid so don't mind the brightness this gives but with two TD-3s I wanted them to have different personalities.

Armed with a couple of screwdrivers I tweaked the black TD-3 (how fitting) to make the sound a bit darker, just what sounded good to my ears rather than trying to tune it properly. I have to say, it definitely sounds more like a real 303 now – it's smoother and less raspy.

To fully test, I made a new track (appropriately titled 'Darker') with the acid lead played on the now tweaked black TD-3. 9 minutes of pure self-indulgence:

#acid

β†’ 06/10/2021 12:41pm
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Spent some time making some noise during the moments when feeling a bit better and threw together an initial version of something new:

I'll redo it at some point but it's a start.

#acid

β†’ 28/08/2021 11:31pm
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Listening to to last night's track I could hear another layer in my head, so I decided to added some strings in Reason to give a little more depth. They come in from about 4:15.

#acid

β†’ 31/07/2021 1:44pm
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A quick session last night, about 45 minutes max, produced this:

There's an annoying crackle at 14 bars, I'm not sure if it's come from the equipment or as it's being recorded into Reason on the Mac, so I'll have to re-record it. That's fine, though, as it gives me the chance to tweak it further with a little more variety.

I'm going to start adding #acid to these posts to make them easily searchable.

β†’ 24/07/2021 8:15am
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In my mind, the sound of the Roland TR-808 drum machine will always be associated with Electro and 80's hip-hop, while the TR-909 is firmly embedded as a Techno staple. Even back when I was only using ReBirth to create acid tracks it was rare that I'd use the 808 section of the app, predominantly sticking to the 909 sound.

It was, therefore, hardly surprising that my first experiment with the RD-8 was an electro-style beat.

So, I deliberately wanted to do something more "techno" And came up with this:

I'll probably redo it over the weekend as it's not as smooth as I'd like – I kept hitting wrong buttons, forgetting whether I was in 'mute' or 'solo' mode on the RD-8, and I might rework the second acid pattern. But, overall, I'm reasonably happy with it. It was also the first test of hooking up the external effects pedals to give more flexibility on how things were processed.

#acid

β†’ 23/07/2021 8:36am
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First experiment with the RD-8. It's so much easier to build a good beat and mess about with it live.

#acid

β†’ 18/07/2021 3:49pm
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