Saturday, 30 May 2009

single strings, dancehall, primary percussion and import duty

Hi all.
Ooops been over a month since our last log, and we were doing so well!

Been a busy few weeks with interesting sample sets for CM and FM. CM wanted sounds of the carnival so we went for some booty shaking dancehall twinned with a load of latin percussion loops. We've a huge box of various percussion here at GCHQ but we surprised to find ourselves without a cowbell and our deadline looming. Mrs Hoodee ended up saving the day with the suggestion of asking our local primary school if they had any percussion we could swipe for an afternoon - the school turned up trumps and supplied us with a selection of pristine cowbells to thump merry hell out of. At least they look used now.

FM was all about bass this month so we fired up the synths and got all low end on their ass (sorry). Just to mix things up a bit and inject the usual GCHQ flavour we had a crack at making and playing a tea chest bass. With no tea chest in sight we used a varity of boxes and bins but found that just a humble cardboard box gave the best results when recorded with a sm57 poked in a roughly cut sound hole.
Apart from being a good giggle, perhaps unsurprisingly our string bass was an absolute bugger to play and pitch without a few weeks (if not months or years) practice. We had around an hour, so ended up running an output from the mixer into a guitar tuner and sampling off as many good. clean pitches as we could before stretching and re-sampling them to make a really warm sounding Kontakt kit. We also have renewed respect to all the skiffle players out there who can play the bloody thing!

In other sample related news, we've just finished a set of drum and percussion loops for the guys at Sample Magic for their Sunset Sessions 2 sample library that should be out in a month or two. really pleased with what we came up with so think the release will be something special.

On the audio toys front we had delivery of a Gakken mini synth-thingie from Japan and a monotonic labs N37 synth pedal-sequenced square wave-whatsit from the states (let us know if we get to technical).
The Gakken is a screw together kit that makes a sort of stylophone-like synth with cut off and is played with a metal probe-like thing on a carbon ribbon. There's no notes laid out like a stylophone but it does make some great sounds and comes in some fab Japanese packaging, complete with a synth mag (in Japanese). These are pretty cheap but be careful as due to some skipping of the small print from the online shop where we got it we got stung for a lump of import duty (although the processing fee from parcel forge ended up more than any duty/vat we had to pay!!) so it turned into a rather expensive bargain. Is great tho.
On the cards this month is a set of nu-gaze samples for CM (don't ask - look it up), a trip to switzerland to see our mate Spoons, if MR Hoodees passport gets back in time (really don't ask) and an interesting set of samples for FM, which we'll blog about later in the month.

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