I’ve recently been developing a portable daw-less improv performance rig based around the OP-Z, OP-1 and various FX pedals. This is a 30 min-ish single shot take (mistakes and all!) of some music-making.
Things that may be worth noting to those keen on such things…. OP-1 is being used as the ambient noise & melody machine. I have various OP-1 tape loops and instruments set up on it. It’s running through the Chase Bliss Mood and Dark World pedals, then into the Frostwave resonator (for filtering), Boss DM-C, PN-2 and Strymon Timeline.
The OP-Z is being controlled by the FaderFox UC4 Midi controller. They work really nicely together, and it gives fader level control and 8 buttons which I map to various mute groups. The OP-Z is then going through the Elektron Analog Heat for filtering and colour and the Eventide Space pedal for big washy shimmer verbs.
You may also notice the use of the Tuner pedal. This is used to ensure that I know what key the OP-Z is in, so when I’m playing notes in the OP-1 I don’t hit anything too badly out of key!
I’m also experimenting with adding extra drums with the Pocket Operator PO32. This is sync’d via the OPZ’s oplab module.
I recently sat down (over zoom) with James Jennings to do this interview about my new “Cinematic Rhythms” course for Melodics, as well as a little about my musical past and things that have shaped my musical path.
If you’re unfamiliar with Melodics, it’s a Music training app for Keys, Pads and Drums. Available for both computer and iOS.
I began using the name Winterpark in 2005 for a collaborative studio project that then evolved into a wonderful band featuring myself, Jordy and Karl. As a duo with Jordy we toured internationally, and then as a band with Jordy, Kate and Alice we toured nationally.
After that, I spent some time as a solo project, then started collaborating with Susannah and Dan, did some more collaborations, including an awesome art show to release my Sunday Morning album, so some shows and released more music.
My most recent EP releases have been very much a solo project, and with 2020 and a new decade, it’s time to formalize that change. It’s time to stop making music under the name Winterpark (…for now?!). Watch this space for more music and projects to come out under my actual name.
For posterity, here’s a picture of the first-ever Winterpark show, at a friend’s backyard in Fitzroy.
Well, to round off a pretty crazy year, I recently became an Ableton Certified Trainer. I’ve been using Live since 2004, and this has been a pretty big milestone for me to achieve as a music and music tech educator. There are just shy of 300 Ableton Certified Trainers in the world, and it’s an exciting international community to be a part of.
I have recently been working some material up for the Melodics App, which is an app that aims to make learning how to play finger drum pads and piano fun and engaging.
The aim of my course was to get users to understand some of the techniques used in creating cinematic-styled music.
There are six compositions you can play along with; Space Between that helps you explore the idea of less is often more, and to listen to the space between notes. Character & Theme works on the idea that a simple musical theme can be synonymous with a character in a film. Drama & Rhythm builds tension through the use of dramatic deep strings and tense percussive elements. Tension & Dissonance works with closely clustered notes to create something melancholic and tense. Deep Melody puts everything together to create a deep cinematic world, and Chords Uplifting resolves the whole course as an epic uplifting grand finale!
To celebrate the release of my new EP Streamers, I’m giving away a set of Instrument Racks that are compatible with Ableton Live 10. These instruments use many of the new features and FX available in Live 10, including Echo, Drum Bus and Pedal.
Each instrument uses original audio files from each track on the EP, but they are more of a ‘re-imagining’ of the sonic landscape of each track, and are designed to be immensely playable using the pre-mapped 8 Macros, and hopefully creatively inspiring to you.
I used similar techniques for many of the instruments that I utilised in the commercial Analogue Sequences Pack that I created for School of Synthesis, which is available at Loopmasters. This technique involves using the Slice feature in Simpler in conjunction with carefully mapped Arpeggiator settings to create ‘playable’ sequences. It is particularly fun to play with using an Ableton Push controller in it’s 64 Pad drum rack mode, though can be played with any midi controller.
These are freely available to you to use as you wish, but if you find them racks inspiring consider donating a dollar. or downloading the Streamers EP via Bandcamp for a couple of dollars!
Download the instrument racks in .alp format here.