Alex Fiennes

Today was slightly frustrating from my point of view, although a learning experience nonetheless. It is good to learn that if you overload the DSP on a powercore and lots of warning error consoles come up then this isn't the end of the world and that you should just cut things back down again until things are happy, and then continue with things. You don't try and reboot the powercore, thereby causing the communications with the metric halo chained after the powercore to fail and then causing the metric halo to reset the powercore to (what it thought) was the right default state when you restarted the software, but which it turns out was the state from a couple of hours earlier and not what I was after at all.

It was also frustrating because I haven't really had a chance to get my teeth into things. The audio for the takes was being recorded on Martin's machine so that the automation in the FX processing was stored rather than the output of the FX processing which while it could be mixed in audio space, couldn't be tweaked in any way beyond that. So I was largely routing audio between machines for the bulk of the day.

We are also gradually learning more about time management. Still not got it entirely correct and therefore the mp3 that you can listen to on the parent page isn't what we were listening to during the recording and processing sessions. I'm pretty sure that the FX have been pushed way back into the background, probably because the monitoring path on Martins computer involved multiple outputs which themselves had different monitoring routes to speakers and monitors and other computers, and I suspect that summing directly inside Logic didn't have the same gain structure...

But tomorrow is a late start (and later finish) so I'll see if I can look into the bounce operation on Martin's computer and work out where / if the gain structure has become warped and whether I can work out what it was that Julien had in his head when he was making / mixing his piece and realise it in a better way to share it with people.

On a more positive note, I did play around with inserting processing into the Metric Halo between the audio inputs and the routing to both my Logic and Martin's ADAT to RME thereby enabling me to make the electric strings sound a bit more balanced and human than the raw outputs. Nothing like a little bit of slightly pushed valve preamp emulation to warm things up a bit and try and get rid of the over-edgy sound. And I really like the fact that once you have decided on something like this, that the machine just gets on with doing it with a sub-1ms latency from inputs to outputs and you can then get on with other stuff...

And aside from all the technical lunacy, I enjoyed the piece very much, and I liked the fact that both the piece, and the processing and the way of working on it was completely different from yesterday. I am interested to see whether or not every day brings something completely different - I hope so (and I suspect that it might be the case - I've been having some initial discussions with Matt about the best way to realise on-the-edge acoustic feedback of a conventional violin with a contact pickup while still making the space workable for the other musicians!)

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