Video: Hans Zimmer & Radiohead on use of random music composition technique “tidal orchestra” for Blue Planet II

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Video – How Hans Zimmer and Radiohead transformed “Bloom” for Blue Planet II.

Radiohead’s “Bloom,” remixed for the ocean. If you listen closely enough to Radiohead and Hans Zimmer’s rework of “Bloom” for Blue Planet II, you can hear a really fascinating orchestral trick at work. They call it the “tidal orchestra” — it’s a musical effect created by instructing each player to play their notes only if the person next to them isn’t playing. The result is a randomly swelling and fading musical bed for the entire series that captures the feeling of ocean waves. It’s a captivating way to score a soundtrack for the ocean — but it also fits in with a long history of capturing randomness in music composition.

Here is the video of Thom Yorke – BLOOM, Pathway to Paris Live @ Le Trianon (HD) on Piano, Elektron Analog Rytm, and Looper.

Thanks for reading,

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Electronic Musician, Producer
Boulder, CO
ModulateThis.com


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First Impressions Using Elektron Overbridge on Surface Pro 4 with Analog Four

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I owned an Analog Four 4 years back and ended up selling it. This was way before features like polyphony and Elektron Overbridge were added. I got interested in the A4 again to pair with my coveted Octatrack for a quick setup fly rig. To make a long story short, the Analog Four MKI is back in the lineup and I’m dusting off my chops and exploring the features new to me. In this post I’ll offer short video then some first impressions after my initial session using the touch screen on a Surface Pro 4 running Windows 10 to improvise (one virtual knob per-function) on the Analog 4 using the pen and multitouch. Overbridge is running as a VST in Ableton Live.

In a related note, I’ll be doing my first performance with the Analog Four at Freq Boutique in Denver on Monday August 14th. Nothing like jumping back in the deep end :^)

Video

In this video, I’m triggering notes using the Analog Four’s built-in keyboard and then manipulating they synth engine parameters using the Surface Pro 4. The Analog Four is sitting at an angle on a Cremacaffè SPIKE tabletop synth stand and the Surface Pro 4 is at a matching angle on its kickstand at a matching angle with keyboard detached. Caution – I’m hammering out seriously gnarly Andromeda Strain noise with this little session – haha. 

 

First Impressions

  • Synchronization between A4 and Overbridge – Selecting tracks on the hardware selects corresponding pages on Overbridge. Parameter sync seems snappy and smooth.
  • Overbridge virtual knob response – the throw of knobs and sliders with your fingers and the pen works well for both fine and larger adjustments.
  • Multi-touch support – Yes you can control multiple parameters at the same time with multiple finger.
  • GUI & User Experience – Working with Overbridge is shortening my sound design learning curve as  the GUI exposes the anatomy and signal flow in a clear way. Cheers to Elektron for such a great looking interface. I LOVE graphics in the delay section!
  • Stability for live performance use –  Seems good. The combination of Surface Pro 4 + Overbridge definitely makes the Analog Four an even more compelling solution for expressive live performance doing sound design on-the-fly. I will still commit to gaining muscle memory using only the hardware – but I plan on using Overbridge + Surface Pro 4 live in some of improvisational ensembles  such as (no)poem and The Denver Synth_Drone Collective where sound design as performance is the name of the game.
  • Sound Design Use – Sound design is faster using Overbridge. I can see using it to build up a library of custom sounds, then taking on the road with just the hardware.
  • Ableton Link – When using the Overbridge VST, ABleton is the master clock and therefore the Surface Pro 4 could be used to sync the Analog Four’s clock in a Link jam.

Photo / Video Journaling on Denver & Boulder Synth Scene on Instagram

The Denver & Boulder synthesizer scene is just exploding. In most weeks, there are multiple events happening of all types ranging from meetups to jams to concerts. I’ve started photo and video journaling the events I attend out on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/markmoshermultimedia.

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I’m pointing this account out as I last year I went through a serious round of voluntary simplification where I deleted all my social accounts except for Facebook and Twitter. So if you followed my old Instagram or want to start following use this new account.

My journal this week includes photos and videos from:

  • Freq Boutique:  A monthly event catered around modular synthesizers and synthesists hosted by WMD Device’s Alex Anderson (Aka Nasty Nachos). You can think of it kind of like an open mic night for synth heads.
  • The Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup #57: Our Effects Electric – An Outboard FX Processor Roundup

I look forward to follows and following you fellow synth geeks back.