Friday, 31 May 2019


So then, as my sonic offering didn't cause any outbreaks of either a) deafness and b) people shouting "for the love of Kraftwerk, STOP!", I shall continue to report on my musical meanderings... 

While I haven't really a bloody clue what I'm doing, I have been rather enjoying just messing about with chords and assorted patterns of notes. For example, quite by accident, while mucking about on the Keystep the other day, I found the bassline to "Are Friends Electric?". I was delighted.

More seriously though, the Arturia Keystep is a real delight to play - the keys have a gorgeous feel to them and are properly responsive. They are velocity sensitive - so the tone of the note depends on how hard or soft you hit the key - plus it has aftertouch too, which roughly means adding additional pressure generates more of a note. So then, while the actual keys are a bit smaller, it is just like playing a proper piano! And hence, if you are looking for a midi keyboard controller, particularly if you are wanting to play a lot of stuff live as it were, I do heartily the Keystep. The sequencer and arpeggiator are a lot of fun too, but more about them another day. 

Anyhow, enough of my blathering on, here's another little improvised demi-ambient piece - again just using the soft synths built into Ableton Live. Here I was just mainly testing out the Keystep, and specifically seeing what the limits of the key count was. Certainly for me, having played a little piano and electric organ in the past, the concept of having a keyboard of only 32 keys did seem a bit limiting. However the Keystep does have some easy to tap while playing buttons to shift the octave range of the keys up and down, and in practice it works rather well. 

So to give this a bit of test, I did this piece somewhat traditionally - all one one track with the left hand doing chords, the right noodling little melodies. Admittedly it is very much just some chilled out sounds going search in tune for a proper tune, and probably not finding one, but hey, I'll worry about song structure another day! However the mood of these piece was very much inspired by The Mound by HP Lovecraft which I'm currently recording for the podcast (and here it is - Future Jim), trying to catch the weird beauty and melancholy of the ancient decaying city of Tsath, that lies in a great blue-litten vault, deep beneath the earth...

Anyhow here's the track -  

This track is downloadable for free as an mp3 here - 

No comments: