Tuesday, September 1, 2015

From Transient to Sojourn

A week ago I released Transient, my latest album, a journey primarily exploring ambient guitar.
With every album I like to take a completely new approach. And so with Transient I learnt how to use guitar effects pedals, I went back to using a hard-drive recorder (for most tracks),  I dabbled in looping, improvisation and minimalism.
A distraction in recording happened in February, when the RPM challenge happened, recording a 35 minute album in 3 weeks (it was meant to be 4, but I lost a week as I had to post the completed cd to the US).   The irony was that after that it still took the the best part of another 6 months to finish the Transient album despite having 75% of the album already done by the time the RPM challenge came about.
So after the last few weeks of mixing and mastering Transient I felt the desire to record again. 
I simply plugged my guitar in and recorded an improvised track straight into my DAW (digital audio workstation).   So I thought, what if my next album was done by recording tracks straight into my DAW and using minimal effects, so instead of using guitar plug-ins or lots of effects pedals, I basically recorded clean and used the effects (not guitar specific) in my DAW to create my textures and soundscapes.
I've been using Ableton Live over the last few years primarily for my synth recordings but had found it limiting for guitar. I bought some guitar plug-ins but never really used them much and preferred the sound I got out of pedals. Now what I've discovered was that actually using effects pedals helped me to better understand effects and a signal chain. A lot of my preferred sounds on Transient and RPM had come from reverb & delay pedals.   So my plans for the next guitar based album will be to have minimal clean guitar sound initially and then use the built-in effects in Live.
My first experiment is a new direction. The plan is to also minimise all the mixing etc. to keep the tracks reasonably raw and true to their original form, also to shorten the time from recording to release to avoid reworking the tracks.  Here's the first track. Enjoy