February 17, 2017

9.00 am: Emails addressed and appointments approved, I headed for the studio to ‘finalise’ (in that provisional sense of the word, which only creative people understand) the equipment set-up for The Aural Bible III project:

Task 1:  Strip down the system and begin from square one, again.
Principle 1: Don’t presume that a good idea is the best idea, or that the best idea is the most appropriate one.
Principle 2: Work from the simple to the complex.
Principle 3: Ensure that the complex is a multiplicity of simplicities, rather than an excess of redundancies.
Principle 4: Honour efficiency as a manifestation of beauty.
Principle 5: Be suspicious of principles: a good principle may not always lead to a sound practice.
Principle 6: Therefore, let practice dictate principle when appropriate.
Task 2: Rethink. Reorganise. Rebuild.

11.00 am: I was compelled to clear the studio floor of the guitar-based equipment. It wasn’t getting in my way, physically, but it was encumbering my thinking unnecessarily. Keep the arena of creative endeavour clear of distractions, orderly, safe, and comfortable to work in. This is the second discipline.

11.15 am: Intruder alert!:

1.40 pm: After a surprise and delicious white bait lunch, I set about trialling the functionality of a sampler/looper. Problem: When attached to the ‘mains’ out of the mixer, the effector’s effect cannot be captured by the Digital Audio Workstation. The device had, therefore, to be placed first in the mixer’s ‘send/return’ circuit. A barely perceptible whine over the monitors surfaced once again (as it had at the beginning of the week), when the mixer’s loop was active. I inserted two ISO units on the ‘return’ path. Silence was restored:

3.00 pm: I introduced another loop (2 x ‘send’/’receive’) into the circuit. One loop (‘A’) is dedicated to the Moog effectors and the OTO Biscuit (bit crusher) unit, and the other (‘B’), to the Korg Kaoss pads and Roland sampler (which will pick up fragments of the post-effect sounds). The ‘through’ path from the mixer’s ‘send’ output passes through the loop unit and onto the Sherman/Rodec Restyler and Eventide units, before entering’s the mixer’s ‘return’ input. In this configuration, there are three separate pathways of modulation. This prevents an accretion of effectors and resistance. It also enables the effector pathways to be run either separately or in parallel (rather than in series). Optimise the sound system for quality, functionality, and controllability. This is the third discipline:

6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: Further modifications were made to the ‘through’ route and ‘A’ loop:

Principle 7: If a solution is good, remember — there may yet be a better one.
Principle 8: You cannot always anticipate the impact of a change to one part of the system on the whole. Therefore, make changes experimentally in order to perceive their outcome experientially.
Principle 9: Don’t celebrate a solution too soon; the same problem may turn up again somewhere else in the system.
Task 3: Reroute. Rewire. Retire.

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