Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Time Travel Experiment (Week 4)

It took me quite a long time to sort through all of 2003's projects and recover all the old and missing files.  2004 I apparently started getting more organized with file structures and keeping projects more tidy.

It was around the time of my birthday in 2003 that while I was in high-school the photography club had a day trip to Yosemite National Park.  In 2004, I had only a few friends I still kept in contact with from high-school and the first of the year we decided to make a trip on our own and I had a field day taking black & white photos.

The beginning of the year I was messing around a ton with Photoshop and continuing more classes.
Photoshop filter experiments was the name of the game and how I acquainted myself with a lot of the tools for photo manipulation.  The sevendust design was done by taking a scan of my hand (literally on the scanner).   Color overlays and filter effects to manipulate the hand layer, and then designing text patterns and layering that over the effected hand layers. 
A similar process is used on the Mer De Noms below. This one actually started from scratch with the render clouds on the first layer. Just playing around with duplicating effected layers and running more filters on those new layers, then messing around with their blend modes until I got something unique and interesting (to me).
By the time I got to Breaking Benjamin I was more focused on actual design and placement, thinking more about positive and negative space and context to the music.

War Craft
More modplug programmed drums from my favorite loops I chopped.  Again with the recording direct out from my Vetta combo cab's speaker outs with the different OHM settings (8 and 16 on each hard-panned guitar).

I was getting really fed up with the sound I was capturing this way and wondered why this amp sounded so good in real life but the speaker outs being my only options at the time for getting a signal out seemed to be really lackluster.  This was often why I opted for the POD 2.0 over the Vetta during my early days of recording as it just plain sounded better going into the computer than the Vetta

Kidneythieves mix on Acidplanet

Veteran Remix

Straight Out of The Mud
For some reason this one just feels a bit bluesy.  My main method of writing was still improvisation and just putting together a beat and playing over it.  These recordings were the first to feature my new EMU 0404 card for getting audio into the computer.  The NJ Supreme as usual, going through the Vetta but this time utilizing the actual direct out's meant for recording and not driving external speakers.

Tripping The Riff
Drum Programming in Modplug Tracker

Just a straight solo improvised piece.  NJ Supreme through the Vetta cab, direct out into the EMU 0404.  The reverb level changes were done live thanks to the expression pedal programming allowing me to use the floorboard pedals for more than just volume and wah.  A pedal was tied to the wet level of a parallel mix path.  The Vetta combo cab (even being the first model) had a lot of flexibility and routing options to make for some awesome patches.

Mafia Song
Not much to say, NJ Supreme as usual.  And... it's the mafia... whatcha' gonna' do?

What The?
Around this time I started working my first job.  Lifeguard at the Manteca Waterslides.  Sadly this turned out to be the last season they would be open as the owners sold the land to real estate (just before the economy crashed).

It was quite a busy year as lots of things had been happening.  Without going too into the personal details I managed to dive deeper into photography with my first ever digital camera a FujiFilm Finepix S7000 thanks to my parents again!

Abstract Behavior

Never Let Me Down (R.hyhtm in E.nergy Mix)
This remix is the last piece I would publish on my Little Red Soldier's iNC. profile at Acidplanet.

I do have to mention one of my favorite moments of my personal life occurred on my birthday  - a present from my friends, was to all go see Rock Expo with bands like local band Captive8, Sloth, Shinedown, Tantric and Static-X.  Pretty cool especially since it was on my birthday.  Aside from my first show experience back at the end of 2003 called the Rock Before Christmas featuring Accident Experiment, Ill Nino, and Sevendust; this would be one of just 3 concerts I have been to in my entire lifetime to date.  Yup, I have only been to three shows.

Friends and I with local band Captive8. (I'm the tall one)
Static-X... the backdrop doesn't lie.
These photos were some of the last I will have ever shot on film.  They turned out pretty nice considering it wasn't even with the same EOS camera I used for my film photography class featured in my previous posts.

The First Reason
Not much to say.  Not much to hear either.  However, my very first time ever even experimenting with reason was... different,  The timeline view was easy enough to get used to, aside from the minor differences between how it and Acid operate on clips and midi.  The above screenshot is taken from Reason 6.5.

Another Sound

Depth of Shadows
A little techno, pop.  I think I was getting on a kick of experimenting on blending and mashing up different genres.

I even have a text file saved with all the tablature I wrote out for the song after I made the riffs.  This one featured a Mexican fender telecaster I didn't use as often as my NJ.
I started taking photos of my gear and my room (cheesy as that sounds).

Fighting In The Street
One of my first midi only experiments, I wanted to practice mixing and hear what virtual instruments could do, and was extremely excited to get such great control over the music material that I could program the sounds any way I wanted and still have the ability to change it later.
Streets of Rage came out in the early 90's and was one of my first Sega Genesis games.  I managed to find a collection of midi files people had ported from the games and so I experimented with what virtual synths I had in my growing arsenal.
The original composer for the game was Yuzo Koshiro and there's all the information about the game and it's soundtrack on this Wiki page.  Definitely makes me nostalgic for the days of the old 16 and 8-bit consoles.
Meanwhile, in Graphic Arts class I was experimenting more with photo and image manipulation.  I had a piece of foil i had folded up and crinkled, and then unfolded and scanned to build this image below.
Life was seemingly moving by at light speed, between school, work, I managed to squeeze in time to mess around with music and my gear and relied more and more on midi and virtual instruments which saved me time compared to surfing through modplug tunes and chopping samples and loops from modplug tracks or having to build them from scratch which was quite a tedious manual process.

Programmed To Destroy

Back to the NJ supreme.More midi programming with soft synth drums.  More practicing mixing, learning about compression and limiting and post production techniques just purely by experimenting.
Fall semesters were beginning again, and I decided to go visit my girlfriend at the time after class.  I got to meet up with my photography teacher who had converted an empty class room into small photography studio with lights, and so we fired a few shots off while I waited.

In between starting my own college classes for the new semester, a girlfriend, and working as a lifeguard I don't know how I kept up with friends, one of my last concerts I would go to ended up being the last date of Projekt Revolution Tour, September 5th 2004, with a few friends and my sister.  I unfortunately didn't get any pictures, but it was pretty cool to see bands like Korn with Snoop Dogg, and Linkin Park live.

By the end of September I was well into my new semester at school, advanced Graphic Arts class for photoshop allowed me to pursue more digital image manipulation.  One of our projects was to go around with a camera and shoot photos to layer together.  Out of all the random pictures I had taken I edited and brushed up a brick texture picture I had taken and then desaturated it, tiled it, and proceeded to make layers and layers of colorizing to try to break up the pattern.
It still feels a bit patterned, but nevertheless I went on to think of graffiti effects I could do, and the hand image was in our project book resource files, I then used some other resources I found online for x-rays and sketches of of human skeletal anatomy and blended them in to create the final image.
My very first attempt at painting was this piece below.  We were told to go find a spot around campus and set up and paint a scene.  Water color on wood.
Delta College Landscape
It wasn't long after the semester started when I was told during the 2nd to last day of the season that there would be no more Manteca Waterslides.  Still the funnest job to date.  So, with my job gone and school still being a full-time thing, I wasn't really in a hurry to find a new job.

In just a month after the closing of the waterslides, my friend and manager had already lined up a job working a few towns over for then retail giant CompUSA.  She offered me an opening to submit my application and be interviewed. Suffice to say it wasn't even a month I went without employment while still juggling a relationship and school full-time. 
TC Helicon Voiceworks (Oddly, I've never recorded my voice)
However with the new job came a higher pay rate.  I found some freedom financially to start pursuing more of my interest in audio gear.
Audio Technica 3035 (I've had this forever)
Received this pair with the purchase of the EMU-0404.

I've actually had this for longer.
Emu-0404 break-out cables are all you see of it here.
A modest home studio setup for 2004.

Unstoppable Force

Calm Before The Storm
Studied some online article about proper midi channeling for drums and ended up making split tracks for every percussive instrument, but since VSTi's didn't have to follow conventional rules that governed the General Midi world (like channel 10 being for drums), I was simply experimenting educate myself, haha!

They used to call me Jesus...
It's late, I'm tired and this article took way too many days to fabricate.  Up next, well.. you know.... next year.  As always I do appreciate any and all feedback,  feel free to comment, share your own experiments and works!

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