Saturday, July 14, 2007

Shameless Self Promotion

Those with a keen eye and a good memory may have realised that I listed two of my own tracks amongst my top 20 best records of the year so far. I'm not really this egotistical but missing out on an opportunity to help spread the name of my alter ego, Nanorhythm, when I've just got to the stage of putting a demo together would be just daft.

Continental Breakfast has made an appearance on this site previously and has since won third place out of over 1000 eligible tracks in a competition at carbon logic.

Woden's Discotheque is my latest effort and this time I've aimed things squarely at the dancefloor. I've done two cuts, both are techno-based and the original is a fairly modern sounding affair that I think chugs along nicely and has a couple of breakdowns / buildups to keep you interested. The second version, The Wild Hunt Mix, follows the same basic song structure but is a bit longer and much darker and harder.

Comments are always appreciated on the blog but even more so when it's our own stuff we're mentioning so I'd definitely be interested in any feedback (good or bad) you have.

Nanorhythm - Woden's Discotheque

Nanorhythm - Woden's Discotheque (The Wild Hunt Mix)

These tracks, and others, are also available via the Soliton Research site.

Soliton Research has also finally got round to putting a myspace page together. We're having some technical issues uploading more than two tracks and haven't gone though the laborious process of adding loads of friends yet but why not pop along, add us to your buddy list and leave us a comment -

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hi RAW - first off, these tunes sound nice! and I can hear how much hard work and craft has gone into them. I like them, I like what they do; what follows are some thoughts on how they could be made even better. obviously I'm only guessing at the effect you're aiming for, and I'm listening at 128 Kb and on headphones, but I offer these notes with love ;-) and hope they are some use.

original mix -

I like the groove you get going; I would argue with that 808 kick drum - I've never thought the long decay worked well and it really makes finding room at the bottom end difficult.

the first synth stab is a little quiet, I think, and the second, chugging, synth is too loud. those two and the third, Detroity-pad synth work very nicely together, tough; perhaps you could fuse them into one element that morphed from one state to another rather than stacking them up? it would be the minimal thing to do, but you might not be after that.

I think the other synth, the brrrapppp you use at the end of an eight-bar section, is really begging for the rhythm to go up a gear straight after it, and I think it's a shame that it never does. the Wild Hunt mix does do that, and I really like it.

the wilder, tweakin' synth you have from about 4' 30" is lovely, I'd like to hear more of it and less of the first three. I also like the on-the-one feel you have in the rhythm as you're building up, although I'd not keep the kick in this breakdown. this would help the track really go wild when the beat comes back.

I like where you are at the end of the track, starting to tweak the delays on the clave, for example.

altogether, I'd like to hear those synths more as beads on a string and less as a stack; and I'd really like to hear a bass line.


Wild Hunt mix -

again, I'd really like to hear a bass line.

the rhythm is good and noisy and very exciting - I'm still not sure about the 808 kick but that long tail-off doesn't stick out so much. the way the off-beat double-tap comes in at 1' 12" is just what I meant above about taking the rhythm up a gear, but then you let the track sit for a while until the breakdown.

I really like the breakdown but I think the first note of that new synth gets a bit lost in the changeover. I love the build back up until the last 30 seconds, which I think isn't really doing anything, and I like how the beat comes back. but to my ears, you lose momentum about 2 bars after the beat comes back, I can't pinpoint it but I think something gets turned down a bit and the energy sags a little.

again, that higher, wilder synth is nice; the emptier bit around 6' is nice but I'd like to hear the higher-pitched sounds worked on a little to integrate them a bit more - they don't need to be so full-on as there is more room for them here. this bit is where I'm really gagging for a nice syncopated bassline.

the last two or three minutes have some nice bits, but I think it's too long. a feeling I get about both mixes, but this one especially, is that you'd decided how long the track is going to be and what (roughly) was going to happen when, which leaves not a lot going on in some places; the thing that I really like in the work of people like Ripperton and Mathew Jonson is the feeling that the track is developing at each moment according to the logic of that moment alone, that it's very skilfully improvised. of course it's not improvised, but you get a really nice feeling of flow.


that's my sixpenn'orth, and I hope it's some use to you. I know there's a lot of "change this, don't do that", but that's because I like the tracks and definitely think they're worth a little more tweaking.

compliments and thanks for the blog, too, I enjoy reading it.

best wishes

Holy moley, it's so rare to see actual constructive criticism in a comments forum! I was expecting some random "your mixx iz teh suXXorz" from some basement coward or something.

Anyways- just wanted to mention that the wild hunt mix has a great haunting & minimal vibe...Tangerine Dream soundtrackish but way more menacing. Kickin' stuff. Might wind up on one of my Traktor hobby-mixes, who knows...

That said, I'm curious to hear them once they've been tweaked a bit...

Oh yes, you're on the blogroll.
Thanks for the site! Keep it up.
Hi guys - thank you both very much for the feedback here. Much appreciated from both of you!

Obviously I'm going to have to focus my response here on Andi though as the level of feedback is truly unprecedented - most of the people I know personally can rarely be bothered to spend the time giving me anything as specific as this!

Some of the things such as the lengths (of TWH in particular) & the synth levels on the original version hit home straight away as these are both things I wasn't 100% sure on - the levels were actually something I changed right at the last minute I as felt it lacked a little punch (again another thing picked up on here).

The way I approach tracks is basically through experimentation so don't usually have many preconceived ideas about the end result until I get there. Basically, I'm not an 'expert' on sound engineering so just play with the kit and if I like the sounds, I stick with them (that said, I am learning more how to achieve certain types of results).

The comments have certainly given me more to think about and I'll consider each of them throughly when I get round to making some tweaks - not sure when this will be though as getting the tracks to this point resulted in a brief spell in the clinic to treat my loop psychosis.

Thanks again for the support on the tracks and the site!

it's a pleasure ... cheers a>
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