Saturday, January 2, 2010

Synth Bass Troll

Ttam Troll laying down a synth bass part using a Moog Minimoog on 12/31/09 at FFS II during the New Year's 2010 Audio Warfare Sessions.

P.S. Next time MC2P4 needs to clean up the studio before we start taking pictures.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's 2010 Audio Warfare Sessions

Every New Year's, Any Questions? assembles to create live improvisational audio warfare. This year was no different. Ttam Troll and MC2P4 descended upon the studio at FFS II and recorded a series of performances. A favorite from the sessions is one simply referred to as 2010, a 10 minute analog synth death march which is sure to leave you goose-stepping into the New Year.

The personnel on this improv is Ttam Troll - Synth Bass and Drum Programming and MC2P4 - Synthesizers. The video footage is taken directly from the live oscilloscope feed which was recorded during the session.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Styling into 2010

Ttam Troll rings in the New Year in style!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Countdown is on...

One day to go and MC2P4 will need to change his glasses!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Any Questions? - The Face

Fueled by
Ferrara Pan Atomic Fireballs and Lipton Iced Tea Mix, I churned out this song and video animation for The Face music video from Any Questions? 1992 release, Prey For Death.

This song happens to be 1 of only 2 songs (Carousel being the other) that had all its drum parts created entirely by using the Drum Editor within Cubase. Using the Drum Editor, I manually placed individual drum hits on a grid within the program and then manipulated the velocity and volume parameters. The benefit of this is that I could quickly create dynamic rhythms patterns that I could have never played behind a drum kit.

Once the rhythm track was created, I began to compose the rest of the song. For inspiration, I stared out my back window and watched the steam from the cooling towers of the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant seed the clouds. That visual backdrop was (and still is) the stimulus for many Any Questions? songs. This song is a perfect example of the dichotomy those images represent. On one hand, you have the soft and almost hopeful sounding synth string sounds which carry the song higher and higher just like the steam that rises from the cooling towers. In contrast, the song is violently interrupted by a stark, pulsing beat and a repetitious droning sample which exclaims "Pray for Death!". A reminder that the end is always near just as the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident reminded us in 1986.

Work on the video animation for this song wasn't so dichotomous. Affordable video animation that could be done at this time with home computers was very time consuming and crude by today's standards. However, this didn't deter me from spending several days of my life hammering away at my trusty Atari 1040STe to produce the animation. To this day, I'm still not quite sure how I pulled it off though I do remember the pillow of Fireball wrappers that I would lay my head down on to rest when I could no longer see clearly.