Discrete Machines – The Electronic Music EP – studio talk

Discrete Machines – The Electronic Music EP – studio talk
Tech talk with Discrete Machines about the production process of the Electronic Music EP released on Other Records Ltd: Our ‘studio’ practice is very loose these days. I’m in Yorkshire and Steve’s in Paris and Leicester, so although we get together every few months to work on sound and video projects, we often send files backwards and forwards between those times so we can both modify and contribute to whatever we’re working on. For The Electronic Music EP, I had some melody and lyric ideas that I wanted to explore so I sketched some tracks here and Steve played some keys and sonics on them when we got together. I play bass guitar (in a quite punky/ DIYstyle - I love Tina Weymouth, Kim Deal etc...) but we have a nice vintage Fender p-bass that has a lovely tone so tracks like Ladies of Electronica and Radio Music started with a bassline and grew from there. Steve’s PhD research looks at how mobile technologies can be used in the music-making process and mine was about how technologies impact on lyric forms so both of those concepts inform what we do. I master the vocals here, spend time on getting melodies and harmonies right (that’s a throw-back to the pop music production techniques we learned back in the day!) Then we build on the melodies with a combination of Ableton sets, iOS apps such as Samplr and Max/MSP. We also make a lot of live recordings where we improvise, in real-time, with the music and vocals we’re working on, and with environmental sound, traffic, rural or city sounds etc… We use a variety of microphones: in-built mics on our phones and iPads, Electromagnetic pickups and piezo disk contact mics and we use these listen to the machines and abandonware around us as well as the room sounds. We record these straight to 1/4 inch tape and then make digital edits from that. We don’t fuss too much about fidelity, we just try to catch a spirit. We’ve scaled the studio equipment we use right back and recently got rid of a lot of outboard, instruments and old hardware in a big destructive purge (!) We’re in the middle of making an audio/ visual installation work called ‘Breaking Media’ which documents this process (here’s a little excerpt of work in progress https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beoJQATlOOU). You can see more of what we do here - www.amacalledadam.com (Written by Discrete Machines) You can BUY Discrete Machines - The Electronic Music EP released on Other Records Ltd HERE from whatpeopleplay.com.

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