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Steve Ball (I believe) asked what patch I was using on the Vortex at
the time. I think it was a modified Choir B so all of the swirly
leslie-like stuff that usually is quiet in the background and is
delayed several seconds after the dry signal goes through is amped
way up in the foreground and then I used the tap tempo to produce
(I believe) two (or was it three) notes for every note generated
on the keyboard. Fun
But, I put down a hundred bucks on a Yamaha CS1X synth that I fell
in love with (it sounded good even unprocessed) that a local store
was selling on clearance. Can't wait to take it home so I can mutate
Part of my problem is that I'm a screaming rock/fusion guitarist who
also loves drifty ambience. I call the original stuff I do "free form
Back to swirly, ambient, drifty textures:
I also used this technique to create big ambient textures using a
drum machine. That song that some of you tried to download (it's
at http://www.waste.org/~crash/asb.html) called aliensporebomb...
I'm on the verge of putting a realaudio or .wav sample in addition
to the .mp3 you already heard (some of you didn't, I'm not real
sure why it won't work on some mp3 players).
All the swirly background stuff that sounds like Leslie-synth and
piano is just heavily effected bass coming from a drum machine that
is sequenced in a particular way.
Well, I use a Roland R-5 drum machine to create big background
textures. The machine came with a demo song with all kinds of
instruments on it. Everyone (even the local roland rep) told me
you couldn't write songs like that, though. They were wrong.
I'm probably going to create a R-5 homepage since it can do stuff
the manufacturer probably isn't aware of.
The R5 has three bass samples (acoustic, slap and electric bass),
and I just make a copy of a sample and tune it up an octave or
two. Then I send that pitch-shifted sample to it's own output,
and use the drum machines' pads to create melodic motifs and record
it into an empty pattern.
Then, I take the actual sample and edit the attack, decay, sustain
and release so it will work appropriately with the delays and other
stuff in the vortex. I usually let it sustain for a while. You
can tune the stuff way up high or make it go down very low in pitch.
Then I add conventional drums to that and add one of the other basses
to that. So, I can literally have drums, bass, rhythm synths and
lead synths (the picked bass up two octaves playing melodies) all
done from one machine. At the time I had no other synths so I
learned the machine inside and out.
I even figured out how to make it send MIDI note on's to an external
$100 casio I had so I had yet another melody on top of that. The
Casio's stereo line out, of course, has to go through yet another
processor to make it sound good.
Usually, I end up taxing the machine's polyphony. It only really
allows for 12 voices at once but because the delays in the Vortex let
the sound carry over, you never really hear that too much (most
notably on the cymbals).
So, it's crazy but it works. For those of you who can't listen to the
mp3 there I'll encode a realaudio track and/or a little wave excerpt
so you can hear what I'm talking about.
I'm also planning on adding some insane loop mp3s to the looping and
delay page at my site since I haven't added anything there in far too
I've rambled too much.