August 24, 2017

8.00 am: A communion. 9.00 am: The ‘unread’ emails were ‘read’; the studio beckoned; the ergonomics of the ‘performance’ table had to be addressed. This required a major overhaul of yesterday’s layout in order create more surface for further effectors. Some practitioners can work effectively on top of what looks like a landfill site littered with devices, cables, and wall-warts. I cannot. Even when I intend to act in a disorderly and chaotic manner, creatively speaking, this bad boy demands an orderly stage. To lose control one must first have been in control. Following the example of good chefs, the studio, like a kitchen, ought to be keep tidy even as one cooks, too:

11.00 am: Geek-speak! Having tested the system in general, the AUX send/return, in particular, were rationalised. The AUX outputs aggregate and colour the individual inputs by the action of effectors in their loops. Both AUX 1 and 2 would be pressed into service, initially.  To test their viability, AUX 1 was assigned to the modulation pitch, and delay effectors, while AUX 2, dedicated to the reverb unit alone. In practice, it turned out, the AUX outputs (TRS) mediated a balanced mono signal only. (You never know until you try.) There was a workaround, however. For the plan to be executed, I’d have to dismantle Pedalboard II into its component units:

2.00 pm: I turned to reconsider the technology of recording the mixer’s output. Until now, I was persuaded to capture the aggregated tracks on a Revox A77 Mk IV reel-to-reel tape recorder. I interrogated the assumption: ‘This is the surely the best way!’. Far from it. By mapping the mixer’s channels individually on my Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), I would be able to remix, edit, and compose (post performance) the recorded content, and also separate the ‘dry’ (untreated signal) from the ‘wet’ (treated signal) of the main and AUX outputs during final production. Until all the cassette-tape recorders and their effectors are linked, I wont be able to trial the system fully. But, as of today, I’m confident that all this will work.

7.30 pm: I had an appetite for writing. My John Harvey: Intersections blog site has been neglected since this diary took flight. It’s objective is complementary: to provide the occasion for a fuller and more considered response to art, music, sound, history, life, and death:

I put together an extended reflection upon my earliest infatuation with sound equipment.

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