Work for my next album has begun, sharing “Physical Models”:
I also love the ever-present noise. It feels like it ties everything together into the same sort of liminal and temporal space, where the disparate pieces might otherwise feel (too) sterile and disjointed. Just that little detail makes the piece feel more like a whole, and helps make its arc feel more natural and physical.
You bet! That noise is definitely intentional. I wanted to have the sound of a reel-to-reel underneath the entire project, so I’m placing very low-volume noise loops in every track. No plugins in Renoise, but when I export the final mix to Reaper, I then use the CHOW AnalogTapeModel plugin - so amazingly good at mastering duties as well as complete tape degradation - to further enhance the overall sound of the track with the sound of tape. Following that is the iZotope Ozone Elements to give me the little bit of extra shine. That’s it. The CHOW plugin is free, and absolutely amazing. I’ve tested both paid and free plugins for tape sounds, and this one just (to me) blows 'em out of the water.
Soon, there will be a version with a high/low cut bypass - this makes it so I can bypass the audio up to a frequency that I set. For instance, I was able to allow the sub-bass to bypass the processing of the sound, so it does not get affected (sub would lose it’s ‘body’ otherwise). Such an amazing plugin, can’t stop thinking about it when I mix.
amazing ambient and melodies! Congrats!
Can you tell us more about how did you make artwork/video?
Sure! On a Mac, I use the vector/svg animation software ‘Keyshape’, and then I made these characters, then animated them with very simple paths and rotation/skew. I export the video as a .MP4, then place it in a Mac/Win software called ‘Magic Music Visuals’. In that software, I affect the video with shaders, free ones that I find on Shadertoy or other sites that share them for anybody to use. After that, I run the affected video through Apple Motion to add audio. Then I export it and put it up on YouTube. Pretty easy. The shaders are not hard to find, and do a lot of neat things to the video.
Thank you for the detailed answer! great tune!
how did you create this instrument? it’s so lovely yet so bright and on the point!
No problem! I created all of the instruments (there’s several of them) using the software called “Substantia”, and it can be found here: https://www.giorgiosancristoforo.net/softwares/ (scroll down the screen a bit). Runs on Mac/Win and is a physical modeling software, can create all sorts of instruments. I often use Substantia to create the “strike” part of a sound, and then layer various single-cycle waveforms underneath (analog/FM) to provide a stronger melodic element. Similar to older 80s sample-based keyboards, where the user could create fake flutes and vibes by building up the instrument in pieces.
The rest of the work really depends on volume/timbral dynamics, and fitting the tracks to the mastering template, versus fitting the template to the track.