First gig with the SonicCell

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First gig with the SonicCell

Postby comradec » 00:06, 13 September 2010

I played my first gig using the SonicCell this evening (Sunday 12 September 2010).

Just a five-track set at a singer-songwriter night. But it was only my second solo gig this millennium as I've returned to music-making only recently after many years of creative inactivity.

I used the SonicCell to play audio files of songs I'd programmed on my Fantom-G6 or with Ableton Live 8. I played a Gaia SH-01 synth alongside but only I used that as a MIDI controller for performance patches I had programmed into the SonicCell.

Despite the fact that I'd only learned how to organise playlists and program performances on the SonicCell today while preparing for the gig, I found it easy to use and everything went to plan.

As it was a small-scale gig where performers needed to set up quite quickly, I think I might try powering both the SonicCell and the Gaia with batteries next time round in order to save time setting up and reduce the number of cables. But that wasn't a major issue.

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Re: First gig with the SonicCell

Postby MeNotU » 00:23, 13 September 2010

Congrats mate.

Listened thru some of your soundcloud, you're a busy boy, and your grooves are great, you sound like a real musician lol - famous name I guess? Love the dropped samples too.

Can't believe Stone Roses ain't in your influences, you've got the drum groove and the funk of them.

Wolves to Stockon - how does that happen lol? We have something in common, I was born in M'bro, and arrested in Wolves lool.
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Re: First gig with the SonicCell

Postby comradec » 00:41, 13 September 2010

Thanks MeNotU.

The venue for my gig was Billingham Synthonia Club.

That sounds like a really cool name and you'd imagine it was some sort of tribute to electronic music.

But, actually, the same is just a compound of 'synthetic' and 'ammonia' - an agricultural fertiliser produced by the former ICI plant in Billingham, which used to be closely associated with the club.

Not many people know that.

As for the Wolves to Stockton, I guess that you're referring to my place, as mentioned in my Facebook, and my current place of residence, Stockton-on-Tees? Well, I've lived in a lot of places over the years and somehow ended up here. It's okay, I guess, but I didn't so much musically for the first decade after moving here. Trying to put that right now ...

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Re: First gig with the SonicCell

Postby MeNotU » 01:11, 13 September 2010

Ah the smog and the grime - good for inspiration?

Well I ended up listening to all your soundcloud, most accomplished stuff I've heard in a while from an 'ammateur', to kick out that many complete songs in a short time is great work.

Did you master them yourself or have it done elsewhere? They sound very pro.
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Re: First gig with the SonicCell

Postby comradec » 08:23, 13 September 2010

My tracks on SoundCloud may only have been uploaded to the site in the last half-year - I joined in February - but they were recorded over a long period, hence the very different technologies involved. All of the songs except for the 'Works in progress' set were recorded between 1992 and 2000, after which I did very little creatively until only the last year or so. I'm only just getting back into this muso lark - in part thanks to the Fantom-G6, which, for all its frustrations, has been very good for my creative process.

If you look at the individual track details, via the tracks page, you'll see further information on the recording process, musicians, writers and chronology. In short, though, the 'Friendly Fire' set was recorded 1992-94 on 16-track analogue tape in community studios (ie, ones operating as charities to encourage creativity among unwaged people), with the synth sounds coming from a Yamaha QY10 'walkstation' and a Casio CZ1000. Other people did the engineering and helped me with the mixing but the mastering was done by me later.

The 'Funky stuff' and 'Live recordings' sets were recorded 1999-2000 by me, using a Yamaha MD8 MIniDisc eight-track recorder and various Behringer, Zoom and Alesis effects processors. Either at home or on location for the live recordings. A couple of them, however, were done on a four-track cassette machine. My main synth for all of those tracks was a Yamaha QS300 and some feature an SU10 sampler. They were mastered using a Behringer Ultramizer unit. This was before I owned a computer.

The 'Works in progress' set was recorded this year and I'll be uploading new versions of these tracks later this month. Those songs were done either on the Fantom-G6 or in Ableton Live 8 Suite with a few instruments from NI Kontakt 3.5. I may be using a Tascam 2488neo for some of the next batch of recordings.

I usually master my recordings in Sony Sound Forge 9 these days.

Did I say "in short"? That was probably quite detailed, really. ;-)

SoundCloud has been great for me, by the way. I've had less than 200 plays on MySpace but have achieved around 13,000 plays on SoundCloud in a similar period. I get some great suggestions and critiques from people on the 'Cloud and I've learned a lot from networking with other musicians and 'fans' there and also via Facebook.

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Re: First gig with the SonicCell

Postby MeNotU » 09:50, 13 September 2010

Thanks for that Steve - you can't talk too much about this kinda stuff - it's why we're here init?

Well done for everything, great composer, player, and now mastering, wow.

Checked out soundcloud, seems good, I'll have a play with it - the lite deal seems fair, guess you may have a pro licence? How do you like the stats, they look like they would be very useful.

Off to my next community I go - lol.
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Re: First gig with the SonicCell

Postby comradec » 12:52, 13 September 2010

I have the cheapest of the paid-for SoundCloud licences. Cost me 29 euros, I think.

The way to get heard on SoundCloud is to listen to, and comment on, other people's tracks. That way you'll gradually build a following and people will take an interest in your material. You can see what the people you're following are commenting on and 'favoriting', and this is how word spreads and attracts people to listen to your stuff.

You do have to be quite pro-active, though. People won't visit your page just simply because it exists. Same is true of all these formats, I suppose.

The difference I've found with SoundCloud, however, is that it seems to be leading to productive collaborations between people - playing on each other's tracks, finding better singers to perform them, co-writing songs, remixing, and so on. SoundCloud provides the facilities to enable this and it really is working. For me and plenty of people I know anyway.

The other trick, of course, is sneakily including links to your music in your forum and email signatures, as I have here.

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Re: First gig with the SonicCell

Postby MeNotU » 13:31, 13 September 2010

Yes I noticed the collaboration tab, which is great to see. I have participated in collab sites before, Kompoz was one of them. I found it realy useful to not have to songwrite, play drums, or play guitar (properly lol), even have lyrics done by someone else. It all makes for a better product and a faster workflow for producing songs.

Yeah it's a maze, and some peoples self promotion can be sickly sweet at times, but it's a great tool to keep yourself active.

I heard some great stuff by others whilst surfing soundcloud, it's almost sad to see so much good work go unrecognised.
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Re: First gig with the SonicCell

Postby comradec » 13:42, 14 September 2010

Hey, and there's a video of me performing the first song in my live set here:

http://www.facebook.com/v/500132363218

It should work regardless of whether you're a member of Facebook or not.

I didn't even realise that someone was filming the proceedings.

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