Subliminal Automation Brooklyn NY
As one of Brian Eno’s ObliqueStrategies cards states, “Repetition is a formof change.” For dance music, this isn’t merely astrategy, but a mantra. However, the fact of thematter is — unless your audience’s intoxicantsare extremely good — too much repetitiongets old fast. Too little, and you risk breaking the spell you’re casting on the dance floor.
The most common technique for keeping a riff interesting is to dramatically morph the synths and effects, creating crescendos andpeaks to enhance the listener’s journey. Thisis well-suited to progressive dance, sometypes of house, and of course, trance. Butdrastic or sweeping changes don’t always mesh with the tech and minimal genres.
By applying what I call “subliminalautomation,” you can hold listeners’ attention without resorting to abrupt shifts. The idea isto use very small brush strokes to keep a part changing continuously but subtly. To illustratethis, we’ll automate an analog-style square wave riff over a beat from Loopmasters’ JoeyYoungman library. The end result is a cyclingriff that keeps tickling the ear, while leaving sonic space for embellishments in the drumsand other synth bits.
Step 1. Create a simple riff with a sound that’s not too complex and has a bitof room to morph subtly. Here’s the isolated square wave riff, created withFXpansion’s Strobe synth from DCAM Synth Squad (reviewed Nov. ’09).
Step 2. Let’s start with a touch of filter automation. Inthis example (using Ableton Live), we’ve lowered thecutoff ever so slightly, then put a slight peak at themiddle of the eight-bar loop.
Step 3. To change the wave shape slightly, we’llblend in a bit of sawtooth twice, with peaks atbar 3 and bar 7.
Step 4. Another useful parameter to automate is theenvelope sustain level. Large shifts are great forbuilding peaks and crescendos. A tiny amount addsjust a dash of flavor.
Step 5. As a final touch, we’ll blend in a bit of noise. Aswith sustain and filter, a little goes a long way. For thepeaks, you can get a lot crazier, as we’ve discussed inprevious columns.
Jenny's Penny Musical
Dates: 11/19/2019 – 11/19/2019
Riverdale Y Bronx
5625 Arlington Avenue
The Wishful Penny” by Jennifer Jo YoungDirected by Ben Becher With choreography by Emily Walton“See the wish. Feel its power. It’s right there for you each moment….every second…every hour.” ~ From “Jenny’s Penny”While visiting her Grandma, a rare coin collector, Jenny learns the history of one very special 1943 wheat-ear copper penny. As she listens, “Penny’s” journey unfolds and so does a unique coin wisdom that can easily apply to anyone. Penny learns that mistakes are good opportunities; there is value in being different; life will get better even when it seems hopeless; envisioning wishes can make them come true; and that there is a treasure inside everyone, even if no one sees it yet! A magical, musical adventure for friends and family to enjoy! Book Signing by Ms. Young at each performance!General admission tickets are $12 and are available online at www.RiverdaleY.org