02 January 2009

Too Much|TI Snow

Shortly after Christmas I received an unexpected present in my inbox from Renus*. A while back we had talked about getting together for a bit of jam, but never got round to it, so I was really quite pleased to see a few guitar tracks that he had been working on arrive unannounced in my inbox, and for the opportunity thus presented to tinker around with them on a few new toys.

The good people at Futuresounds had a demo-model sale in the run up to Christmas, and I picked up an Access Virus|TI Snow that seemed to have been used maybe twice in its life before I got my happy little paws on it at a hefty 35% discount. The Virus is a great synthesizer with more features than most soft synths, made all the more fun by the presence of many knobs. No softwear can ever replicate the true joy of knob-twiddling. Lacking a keyboard, it is designed to be used with an external midi-keyboard or run directly from your computer, but why I picked it up was because it is a perfect companion to the Tenori-On, taking 4 separate layers via midi and allowing you to take full advantage of the Tenori-On as an interface while using the much richer sound banks of a full synth. All of this and it comes with a rather tasty messenger bag that fits both the Snow and a Tenori-On (or eight bottles of beer if you are not on music duty).

My problem with music-making is that I get so wrapped up in messing about with hardware that I rarely bother to actually record what I am doing, or try and form it into any sort of semblance of a track. By sending me through a pretty catchy guitar riff** Renus threw down a "get off your backside and do something" gauntlet, and I spent a happy few hours actually recording my less-than-expert knob twiddling and sent the results winding their merry way back to him.

It's still what I would call a work in progress, the result of a few hours work and a desire not to detract from the main guitar track itself, but I'm happy with where it is right now. Unfortunately as the bulk of the work was done between Christmas and New Year's Eve, it doesn't count as this month's attempt at creativity, but it's a start.

* He who created his own multitouch interface from paper and cardboard. Damn his talented hide.

** So catchy that I couldn't sleep for two nights because the damn thing kept looping over and over in my head every time I closed my eyes.

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