Kamelmauz: Mercy, Whom I Have Never Met (new recording)

What I term workshop tracks get uploaded to the never-ending album, Infinity, at Kamelmaus-soundz.bandcamp.com. This new track didn’t need to be pieced together. It’s a slightly contracted version of a nine minute improv using Xynthesizer as a controller and means for intervention, and, using it then to control (play) the new flocking synthesizer Photophore and Alchemy Mobile Pro. Both are in Audiobus and run through the Crystalline effect (from Holderness Media.) The audio stream was captured in Logic on a laptop, re-panned and lightly mastered using Native Instrument’s new delay Replika, and my go-to reverb, 2C Audio Aether.

Mercy, Whom I Have Never Met is in a minimalist vein I have been spending little slices of free time wandering within, so-to-speak.

Grabbing little moments to do audio experiments means that at the end of 2014, I’ve got two workflow modes I can deploy quickly. The basic Kamelmauz workflow is either in the “A” mode, where both iPad are piped into Logic on the laptop. The most complex array I manage at once involves setting one iPad up to execute a composition translated to MIDI or otherwise programmed into an iPad MIDI controller–such as the superb Xynthesizer–and then this controls one or two synthesizers slotted into Audiobus. The other iPad then is used to be the live, or performance, foil. I usually use Gestrument, my go-to controller for the past two years, to control either an iPad synthesizer or to control a software synthesizer or sampler in Logic (DAW.)

I spent the first half of the year trying to get iConnectMIDI4+, an audio I/O and audio and MIDI router, to consistently work as an aggregate device in Logic, but I have given up. I’m back to charging the iPads to 100% and running the older one through a Behringer UCA-222, and the newer Air through a Line6 Sonic Port, then routing iPad audio with direct 1/4″ stereo connections to a Focusrite Saffire audio I/O,then into Logic.

In A Mode I improvise on one iPad against my own compositions being played via MIDI on the other iPad. This is equal to a live set-up were I playing out.

B Mode is so simple I use it to sometimes play myself to sleep, late at night with the iPad Air on my chest. Here I just take the composer’s set-up in A Mode, and much more actively intervene to play the controller controlling iPad synthesizers in Audiobus, and recording the playing and interventions using Audioshare or Multitrack DAW. Audioshare gives easy access to Inter-App-Audio, so a full chain can look like this, for example,

TC-Data (MIDI controller) –> [AUDIOBUS] Alchemy Pro Mobile->AUFX:Space (reverb)->Audioshare [IAA]->Ultraphaser
Gestrument (MIDI controller) set-up to execute a drone –> [AUDIOBUS] Animoog->AUFX:Space->Audioshare [IAA]->Ultraphaser

Although MIDI routing is crude within CORE MIDI on iPads, all one needs to differentiate controller streams is the ability to designate the different MIDI channels, and, so it is easy enough to do so if you choose capable partners such as TC-Data, Gestrument, Alchemy and Animoog. Xynthesizer makes this easy too, and so it’s also straight-forward to get a composition going while stabbing against it using Gestrument.

In Mode B, all audio is being processed by the iPad. Later, I export it to the laptop. I don’t have any hangups about quality because it is on a par with what my regular Focusrite I/O can render using digital synths as a source.

Kamelmauz: Limber I Monos Om (mini ep)

This new set follows from the surging iPhone band-in-a-hand moment. It refers to a truly odd collaboration made possible by the strange new world of the iPhone, its so-called apps, and the kinds of sonic exploring the technology makes possible. Originally I was just biding my time, waiting for the iPad, and knowing eventually be plugging it into the studio machinery.

But the iPhone came along and with it–soon enough–came a slew of app-driven opportunities, including the most prime ones of all, courtesy of ambient giants Brian Eno and Steve Roach. I have collaborated with each, and with their colleagues, in these two slow, ambient pieces. Almost anybody who has an iPhone knows what I’m speaking of–Bloom, Trope, Air–in the latter case, and, may well also know of the fine Immersion Station app of Steve Roach and Eric Freeman. (Visual mixing is very cool!)

The odd point is that none of my collaborators know they have served as my collaborators! Yet, it was inevitable I was headed toward plugging iPhone/iPad into my digital rig and into Logic and force such collaborations to bear sonic fruit. Several other apps were used; I didn’t keep notes for the ninety minute exercise cum experiment. And, at the end, I did process the tracks in the convolution reverb studio and did a down-and-dirty (what I term,) mixmaster.

The overarching formula for each piece is: Intro (Eno) / Outro (Eno+Roach.)

As always, full digital, free download are available at Kamelmauz-Soundz Bandcamp for the savvy and well-equipped soundnaut.

Intro i

Band In Your Hand

The same week I junked my five year old dumb phone for an iPhone 4s, I’m cruising the app store like a fiend, having prematurely reached the foothills of an artistic vision. You see, I’ve had my eye on an iPad but had decided to wait until iteration #3. I figured spring or fall next year. I had my sights on using it as a musical platform, especially in the ‘generative’ that has blossomed based in the touch screen.

Then my Nokia flip punked out. The T-Mobile sales gal couldn’t arouse herself to try to sell be a Android phone, my muse and wife bought an iPhone, and, two weeks later I stuck my head in a Sprint store and got the last iPhone in their stock.

Checked out all sorts of free and cheap apps and soon enough shards of experimental leavings were flying off my enthusiastic whirling around this band in your hand.

Madpad app

Pentatonic Experiments, using NI Reaktor-Prism

Back on the pentatonic trip: here’s two very down-and-dirty versions of pentatonic riffing that use some patches from Native Instrument’s Reaktor-Prism synthesizer module. (Upgrade to NI Komplete version 7, and Prism is included as one of the numerous new modules.) The pentatonic, characterized as the ‘black keys’ on a piano, is elsewhere on the keyboard too, obviously. I think of it not as a five or six note mode, but as an extended two or three octave scale; in C: C, D, E, G, A, C, D, E, G, A, C

For these short sketches, the Akai pad controller adds in the E and the A. I did run some effects on this unmastered and roughly mixed set of sketches. The versions represent different mixes.



Aound, versions I & II

Kamelmauz Studio Sketch: Faeon version 1

If you load up the effects channels on a software hard disc recorder, sometimes bad stuff happens. The computer might crash or the effects go dead. In this case, the output was glitchy and seemed worth looking at in an editor but not worth saving.

Except the glitches scattered throughout the drone, including many artifacts left from editing out total drop outs, sounded of a piece with the darn improv. I whacked a few but left many in this rough mix.

This is a crunchy series of drones played on an Indy Rail 6 string lap steel guitar and run through Absynth and some sympathetically nasty distortion and other tricky effects. Okay but it’s a throwaway…crumple, crumple…

Faeon v1b (studio sketch)