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Analogue Heaven Day 5: The Last.

Today was a sharing day! A few people came in to listen to what we created and we got the chance to reflect on the experience of using the analogue equipment. I think one of the most positive outcomes was discovering a way of composing that doesn’t require sitting and writing. I suppose that’s true of making any electronic music. However, unlike when making a piece on a computer, when using the analogue synthesisers you become a performer, but a performer with the creative tools of a composer which means you’re absolutely in control of the results.

Also, certainly for me, where you would normally draw on automation curves over a track in Logic, I was controlling the filters of the synthesiser live by moving dials very slowly. This creates an interesting relationship between your imagined theory of what the filtering will do and the reality of hearing these effects live as you control them. What might have been a straight line or a standard curve in automation might become a gradual adjustment which lingers on a particular frequency and then moves on because the performer/composer finds an interesting sonority. It feels like a very natural way of making sounds.

Another positive result of the project was, of course, the process of learning how to use these instruments. The complicated patching systems and unknown dials which can be quite intimidating at first have now been given an identity and I have some to implement the effects they produce. I was also very impressed by the sounds of the Korg MS20 and the Doepfer A100, which both make gorgeous, rich, sonorous sounds – quite unlike any of the digital synths on Logic. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to use them for other electronic pieces I make in the future!

Well I think it’s time now to show the results! I haven’t got a recording of Oded’s piece but here is Declan’s:

And here is mine:

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