Speaking of new tunes, here's one of them. Don't take it as in any way indicative of a new direction, it's probably one of the more "out-there" ones on the new record. On the other hand... we're not making music like we used to. Heads up.
We may be pushing out a mini-EP called "A Vast Bat-Like Machine" soon, containing three (maybe four!) of the tracks from the forthcoming Chronicide EP (currently standing at twenty-one tracks.)
Also, it may not be called that, because we really like the name, and might attach it to something of greater importance. We'll post about it here and elsewhere (Facebook, Twitter) when it happens, so just follow as necessary to get your filthy mitts on our latest toonz.
If you've been following us for more than, I don't know, three years? you've probably been wondering where the hell this album we're always talking about is.
Well, I'm here to say there will probably be another, entirely different release, or possibly two, before we see AMHF hit the digital shelves. There's a lot of work to be done, and much of it is seriously, seriously expensive. Part of the problem is that it just doesn't sound any good unless we properly record all the orchestral bits, and that is not cheap. Part of the other problem is that we're missing some people. Also part of the problem is that we're missing a good deal of backstory and the something like 20,000 words that will be coming with this record.
So, before you see AMHF, you will, at the very least see one of the following EPs, and probably both:
My friend Kyriako immediately complained that I was mixing Greek and Latin in this word, and my response was that mixing languages with no regard for the sanctity of either is a time-honoured English tradition. If you haven't already figured it out, it literally means 'killing time' and that was precisely what we were doing when we started writing some of the tracks that will now be on this record. It's also a bit of a departure from our typical style; we wanted to try to write some concise, two-and-a-half minute pop songs, so there's our own interpretation of that conceit on there.
Something perhaps a little silly about this EP is that we agreed to make a track for every title we could come up with. We put a stop to this three days later when we had twenty-six titles. We've pared it back to 21, but still. 21.
Mistakes or Happenstance EP
This would be, as the title suggests, an EP of a few tracks from the forthcoming album. Quite possible a part of a series of four. On top of some album tracks, there would be some extra tracks that expound upon the characters' stories.
Mistakes would feature Mistakes, Into the Heart of Darkness and probably something from one or two of the characters who crop up around then. Happenstance... I'm hesitant to feature Happenstance on a record. Those of you who might have heard it somewhere - you know why. I'm not putting it on the site, if that's any indication. I like it, a lot - but it's not a friendly song. On the other hand, around the Happenstance part of the record is The Takeover, which is a great track. And I had a remix of Happenstance in mind that could turn out pretty awesome (thinking of using it for live shows, where the whole 7/8 business doesn't go down too well.)
So we'll see about how that pans out when we come to it. In the meantime we're still working on material for Chronicide and really pulling together the live show.
We'll keep you posted. Follow us on Facebook for livelier updates.
Okay, so I'm not going to pretend software piracy is okay. It's not. We are all aware of this.
On the other hand, I don't think stealing from consumers is okay either, especially when they paid you a considerable sum of money already for your product.
The backstory, in case you haven't caught it: AVID, formerly Digidesign, have been essentially caught out crippling their Pro Tools multitrack recording software. A crack has spread through the mysterious channels of BitTorrent that allows you to release the arbitrary restrictions placed on Pro Tools - namely, in the entry-level LE product, limiting the track count to just 48 and the voice count to 96. Tracks and voices are different things, which we won't get into here because they're complicated. Suffice to say they are different but related.
Here's the kicker, though - it's not just for LE. It also releases the restrictions placed on their high-end HD systems. We're talking people who have spent thousands and thousands of dollars here. AVID have always been insistent that the restriction was in place due to the hardware - the better the system you bought, the more hardware came with it, and the more tracks and voices you got. We are now finding out this is not the case.
In fact, the crack releases you from needing any AVID hardware at all.
What shits me most about this - other than the blatant lying from AVID - is people rushing to their defence. I read this from a British engineer: "Yes, it's an unlimited track count theoretically, but in reality you've got more chance of finding rocking horse shit." He wrote this in the same paragraph as stating that he just spent £13,000 on a new HD|3 system, the highest end system you can get.
Let's jump on to store.apple.com/uk.
For £13,000 you can get the highest end Mac Pro - with two 2.93GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon CPUs, that's eight cores total, and 64GB of RAM. I'm not sure if I said that hard enough. SIXTY-FOUR GIGABYTES OF RAM. That's not only the entire session in physical RAM, it's probably all the RAM Pro Tools could ever possibly use. If you can't run 192 voices natively on that machine, I will eat my hat. I will eat all of my hats, and the hats of all my friends.
Actually, I must confess: that's not true. For £13,000, you cannot get one of these incredible, outrageously powerful machines.
You can get two.
So we're working on some new material for the first time in a while. I've finally gotten confident enough in my vocals to actually record some stuff, and we're doing some interesting things with layering. This is probably something you'll hear on chronicide, but it's not ready for general consumption quite yet, I should think.
After quite some time we're also getting our live set back into gear, so probably expect something on those lines in the near future.
[chorus?] and i'd love to live in silence (though i fear it's a meaningless life) and i want not to fear but i can't help but hear all the echoes of the struggle and strife [alternatively] and i'd love to hear just nothing the beating of blood in my ears but i can't stop the noise and my mind it destroys with the echoes of all of my fears
is that they're very, very expensive.
WARNING: AUDIO GEEKY POST AHEAD
So we got this thing called Record. It's basically a sequencer; it allows you to record audio and MIDI and then plays it back. But it's from the guys who do Reason, and so of course, it's actually a paradigm-shifting mind-blowing completely-different-to-what-you-once-knew piece of software. Basically, they take Reason, and strap on a big ol' SSL mixer and proper recording ability. This means we can now actually use that incredibly powerful vocoder with real vocals, and moreover we can write and mix songs at the same time. That might not seem like a big deal, but when you mix a song, you sometimes realise that it's missing something, or maybe this melody should be slightly different, or maybe this is a bit too crowded but when you thin it out it gets kind of boring. The ability to mix - and to mix properly - gives us a much better idea of what the song is going to sound like at the other end.
Basically it's awesome.
Along the same lines, I'm currently working on my own interpretation of the Ableton's Live. Live is an okay piece of software, but I feel like what it does can be done better, and probably with significantly less bloat. For the record - this isn't Live, it isn't a Live clone, it is something different in the same category - something to make playing electronic music live easier. I'm tentatively calling it Loopback.
This is one of the first songs we wrote on the new album. Features vocals from the incredibly talented Jordan Smith.
So, this is the new website.
I know what you're thinking. "You just had a new website. You never updated that one. You're never going to update this one." Well, I made that website on the basis that it would be easy to update, and it was even harder to update than the old one (which we never updated). It turns out that writing a good back end is hard and takes a lot of work, so I let someone else do it (the good people at Django). I wrote the front end and made with the prettiness, and now we have a fully functioning site that actually might get updated every so often.
So, have a poke around, although there's not much here yet.