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Monday, 10 August 2009

Mix DS146: Drumlins

My trusty original X-Session MIDI controller had been playing up in the lead up to this months show. Several of the rotary dials on it began to malfunction, causing them to have a life of their own and start changing values for me during a mix...
Evolution X-Session The offending article - My long-serving original X-Session
I've unceremoniously retired it to the dustbin now but this then gave me the problem of what to replace it with? I did my research on what was available and ended up going for the compact and relatively inexpensive elder brother to the X-Session, the X-Session Pro. I was tempted to spend more on one of the posh Vestax's controllers, but they still haven't really got it right for me yet... not for that kind of outlay anyway. The VCI-100 is nice but I don't need or want platters. The VCM-100 is nice too, but I don't need another audio interface and I want 4 faders. Faders are what I missed most about using the original X-Session. The most tempting I found was the super new TR-1 but it also comes with a built-in audio interface and has no cross fader! What were Vestax thinking??
Vestax VCI-100 Vestax VCI-100 - £400 with pretend records or 'platters' on.
Vestax VCM-100 Vestax VCM-100 - £400 - Nice and compact but pricey (Due to the audio interface) and only 2 faders.
Vestax TR-1 Vestax TR-1 - £ very nearly but where is the damn x-fader? We're not all techno n trance DJ's you know!
X-Session Pro X-Session Pro...only £60! Can't go wrong for that money with cross fader, 12 rotaries and 4 up faders. BYO audio interface though.
And finally here is this weeks show tracklist mixed using the new X-Session Pro. Perhaps a little more tentatively mixed than usual due to me trying to get used to my new controller but I hope you enjoy listening nevertheless. Let me know what you think!
  1. Brooklyn - Someone remix - Horizons 
  2. Mow - Jazz Me Up Bass Me Down - Have A Break 
  3. Tyler Straub - Impatient - Santorin 
  4. Redeyes - 90 (Got Over Love) - 
  5. Bcee - Consumed - Spearhead 
  6. Bachelors of science - The BeautIful Life - Horizons 
  7. Basic Operations - The Great Break Away - Sound Trax 
  8. Netsky - Prisma - Liq-Weed Ganja 
  9. Lenzman - Sugar Hill - Deepkut 
  10. Undersound - That Thing Called - Point 9 Audio 
  11. Resound - Stay The Night - Santorin 
  12. Donnie Dubson - Super Marimba - Have A Break 
  13. Brookes Brothers - Someone - Viper 
  14. Random Movement - Methods of Thought feat. Basic Ops - Bingo Beats 
  15. Sub Focus - Follow The Light (Vocal Mix) - RAM

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Consonance and dissonance in balance

As Frank Zappa explained it, "The creation and destruction of harmonic and 'statistical' tensions is essential to the maintenance of compositional drama. Any composition (or improvisation) which remains consistent and 'regular' throughout is, for me, equivalent to watching a movie with only 'good guys' in it, or eating cottage cheese." In other words, a composer cannot ensure a listener's liking by using exclusively consonant sounds. However, an excess of tension may disturb the listener. The balance between the two is essential. Contemporary music has evolved in the way that tensions are less prepared and less structured than in Baroque or Classical periods, thus producing new styles such as Jazz and Blues, where tensions are usually not prepared. New show coming up this weekend folks!