Dirty Vs. Clean

Before I got wrongly banned from KVR, I had started a topic on clean vs. dirty in regards to audio. I was finding I’m really turned off by the modern ‘everything is digital and has no loss because it never left the original box it was created in, 872947ghz oversampling at 512bits’ etc. type sound. To me, dirty audio adds charm and character to a piece that otherwise might not have it. And this doesn’t stop at pure audio quality. I think ReNoise crew took a good step in the right direction by allowing not-perfect timing. Even if the variations in, say, a drum pattern aren’t overly obvious, the small changes in timing give a tune a more organic feel. When coupled with things like tape saturation or even downsampling a 1bit recording to 8 bit or something, you start to carve out specific character that I think a completely clean-room-type recording just cannot achieve, no matter how good the song is.

I know I may be alone in this thinking, but it’s definitely been entering my work more and more these last few months. I’ve got a copy of FerricTDS that I treat all my music with now and sometimes I add in a vinyl simulator (it adds crusty crackles and even ground hum and hits of warped record) or a VST I found called ‘Imperfection’ which adds tape hiss, some tape saturation and bit crushing.

Does anyone else feel like taking something clean and running it through the mud?

I like that grit sound as well. Some character to your sound is a good thing…
You listen to albums from the 80s/early 90s and you can hear that grit they got from lower bit samplers.
I like the Renoise feature that lets you turn off sample interpolation is great too.
It’d be great if we got even more control over the renoise sampler like the sampling rate, etc.

I’ll check out that ferric plugin.

Bizarro world twix?

Although I may never use the results, I love putting distortion on things to see how they sound. Sometimes it can just blow things out so you get these nice overtones and almost erase whole parts of a melody / chords / sample. I don’t think it’s a “vs.” kind of scenario, it’s another tool to be able to use. Most of the time I feel like I want everything to be the best it can be, but sometimes I get together with people and jam and it’s a lo-fi looping kind of a mess. Dirty is just another avenue of expression that it’s important to explore, and maybe even find a nice place to live in!

Juxtaposing dirty and clean in the same track can give some of the nicest feelings and listening experience. Distorted bass or low-fi vocals with very clean and digital pads for example.

This twix?

What does The Einstein Ninja Turtle have to do with anything?

Yeah a bit random I know, to explain I googled ‘Twix Raider’ (Twix used to be called Raider in various european countries years ago) and found a picture of Italian PM Belusconi with Raphael drawn over his nose which led me to that image…

Anyway back on topic, Saine is one of my favourite renoise artists and he makes some of the most beautiful earthy music by resampling to cassettes, sending sample through old hi-fi equipment, etc. You should check him out if you like this sort of thing (which I do, very much):


Oh, forgot to add this very cool interview with him, in case you don’t find your own way there: