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‘Thoughts that move’ – Renoise Forum discussion

For those of you that might be interested an open Forum has started up in which I’ll answer any questions you might have about the album I recorded in the month of February last year. For those that are doing RPM ignore this message and get back to work! :D

 

Thoughts that move Q&A

 

“Soon, soon” has been Chosen to be in Renoise 2.1

As you all know I really wanted to make sure everything was done in renoise for the album “thoughts that move”. I’ve been in love with tracking ever since I had my faithful Amiga and when I played with renoise I knew it was everything I hoped a tracker would become. During the whole process I talked with the renoise dev team to see if they could help host my .xnrs files to which they said they will but I never thought they might include a track in their program for all to hear when they purchase it. So a big Thank you so much renoise dev.

 

Also they have 3 of my tracks playing from their main page so check that out here and click on the player on the right.

 

New Album is out now, it’s free!

[cue angel sample + oooo choir] “thoughts that move” is now available! It comes in a few flavors as well. You can jump right here and have a look, Click the top album cover or read more about it below.
 

Physical CD
After we put the poll up it was apparent that a lot of people would love a physical copy of the CD. So we went about and found a place to put this together. I think it’s come up really well and has the right balance. We managed to get the CD down to $10 (AUD) and I’m very proud of that.
 

Digital Download
It’s free and you can grab it right now. I love the Digital age, sure it’s scary, but the way you can help out is by telling people about my music and passing it around. It’s free!!
 

Renoise Files
I wouldn’t be anything without the demo scene. I really loved it when an artist would release their work in a raw format. I loved going through them all and just learning. I hope these renoise files help some people out ^_^. www.renoise.com is hosting the files for this. A BIG thank you to the team. Renoise is one of the most exciting things I’ve used in a long time.
 

February 2009 housed 28 days. That’s 672 hours for potential productivity, but far less when working around employment and social commitments. This time constraint make the conditions surrounding the release of Hunz’s second album all the more remarkable.

“Thoughts That Move” was conceived, written, performed and produced by Brisbane independent electronic artist Hunz (http://hunz.com.au/) throughout the month of February 2009. It’s Hunz’s contribution to a worldwide contest known as the RPM Challenge (http://rpmchallenge.com/), which saw over 2,200 bands commit to releasing an album of original music within those 28 days. Those 672 hours.

These ten tracks find Hunz tightening his grip on a peerless pop sound that hints at dark electronica undertones, while never misplacing his outstanding melodic sensibilities. In a similar manner to Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails offering the GarageBand source files used to compose his music, Hunz is simultaneously releasing “Thoughts That Move” in the Renoise format that contains the core components of each electronic composition.

“Thoughts That Move” is the sound of Hunz evolving the themes explored on his 2008 debut, “When Victims Fight”. First single “You Said Hello” skillfully contrasts sinister verses with an uplifting chorus, while “Car In The Meadow” will be accompanied by an intriguing animated video later in 2009. On stage, Hunz collaborates with bassist Phil Evans and drummer Richie Young on his devoted journey to the frail heart of pop music.

TOBIAS FISCHER – TOKAFI
“It is neither forced experimentation nor a complex concept which holds these emotionally bipolar pieces together but the simple, yet hypnotically crafted rhythm of verse and chorus, as well as a voice capable of expressing discreet ecstasy and uncliched pain.” (“When Victims Fight” album review, March 2009)

DENIS SEMCHENKO – RAVE MAGAZINE
“Backed by a powerhouse rhythm section, the soul man/laptop wizard gives a glimpse of what Pivot could have sounded like if Richard Pike sang conventional lyrics; his expansive range, in-song vocal loops and sheer passion make for one memorable opening slot.” (Live review, January 2009)

ANDREW MCMILLEN – RAVE MAGAZINE
“Hunz augments electronic samples with his unique voice and live drum and bass to produce an enchanting sound. Why haven’t we heard him earlier? Blame ineffective promotion, blame infrequent performances; it doesn’t matter, as there’s several dozen new fans appreciating the trio’s thoughtful, restrained pieces.” (Live review, November 2008)

I REALLY hope you enjoy this release. I had a lot of fun making this and if it wasn’t for Danielle none of this would have happened. thank you.
 

My Album is so close. Stuff and things.

Tonight a sense of accomplishment fills my mind as I compressed the last of the .xrns (renoise) files. The whole entire album will only be 26megs as .xrns and it was no thanks to a little compression program called XRNIRipper and it compresses the samples in the renoise files to .ogg.
 

In the meantime, I heard the hunz.rpmchallenge.com link went dead SO, until the album becomes down loadable I’ll steam it on my hunz.bandcamp.com site instead. Check it out :D
 

Also want to point you to an artist called Matt Limmer . He contacted me out of the blue to do some poster art. So I threw him 22nd of May @ The Globe gig. Really happy with the poster he did up. His design work is so endearing and fresh. Thank you Matt, really appreciate it!
 

Hunz 22may @ The Globe - Poster art by Matt Limmer

A Reflection

I’ve had time to sit back and listen over the music I wrote. It happened so fast that I forgot some of the melodies and ideas which is wonderful, it’s like listening to it fresh again. I’m really proud of whats come out. Some of the tunes could have used another month that would have allowed time to work out better verses / choruses or to strip back and really find those great combination’s that help relate the moods a little better. Some of the tunes feel a little over commercial for me which I know personally I sit on this fence of being a bit quirky and understandable which I like but I prefer the quirky over the norm. One thing it really did so unexpectedly was force me to find my style more and help bridge a gap between the album I was working on. It felt so great to use Renoise to put this together too, such a joy to write on a tracker setup again. So over the piano roll outs in music apps these days :P

 

I personally need to thank Danielle, Mr Mark Dollin and Matthew Gray. Without these people I would never have this album out. And then a big shout out to Rpm for placing me in this awkward situation that bought about some really neat music. Then to everyone for following the journey, so great!

 

Please hang around as this album will hit in the next few weeks. In the Interim I’ll release the vocal version for my iphone game I worked on “venger”. Thank you.

 

#Rpm is complete!!! (Artwork + Mastering is left)

So I put the final stamp on song4 tonight and left it as is. I fell in love with the way it was and didn’t want to change it. I’ll wait till tomorrow to post it as Mark will be working on the mix. This isn’t a time yet to reflect, as I’m going over the artwork tomorrow with Phil (the bass player) and using photos that my wife took when we visited Albany in Western Australia. I’ll announce what the album is going to be called with song names and an order, which my mate Brendan is going to help me out with. I love my friends, and I am learning to let go, and I am excited about what that might mean for me (hunz) this year.

 

On Saturday I will be mastering the album at Mathew Gray Mastering, and then it’ll be sent off to #Rpm and then posted on the internet (.mp3) shortly after with the original Renoise files to follow in the next weeks. Each .xrns file is around 20-30megs on average. Anyone feel like doing mirror to help with server load? Drop me an email.

 

I’ve kept 1 song secret from everyone, so there is a surprise on the album too. Take a look around the site to see what madness spewed forth from February. Thank you dearly esp to my wife, Danielle, who sacrificed so much. I love you.

#Rpm Mixing Day19 Song6 v7

I changed the format of this one. I thought going back into the chorus at the end would work. I know, I’m going back to conventions but it, well .. needs it? So now its, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Bridge, Chorus, Outro. Enjoy what Mark has mixed:D

 

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Song6 Version7
Mixing Comments [Mr Mark Dollin]

 

  • Time for a brief early morning mix session. Having a general listen and enjoying the slow chill vibe. Setting up some master channel settings for standard playback.
  • First things first looking at the bass. Putting a High Pass filter on the bass expansion echo, keeping all the low end mono. Adding an EQ to shape the sound. Adding a little dry warmth to the distortion. Adjusting the highpass on the bass atmosphere channel. Nasty little click on the start of pattern 12 – Attempting to fix the problem by automations to replace the switching on the filter. Same issue at pattern 32 fixed.
  • Ok now to the kick. Wow this one is an oddy! Clicking on the second kick fixed with a short instrument envelope. Adjusted the EQ, but may have to check it later.
  • Playing kick and bass together to get sense of balance on the low end. Kick seems a bit flabby and epic so I’m trying a gate on it to make it punch quicker.
  • Now the snare. Feeling a bit too loud and lively so I’m lowering the output on the compressor and squeezing the ratio harder. Taking some low end out of the EQ. Adding a LP Filter to knock some nasties out of the high end.
  • Kick and snare together are feeling a little dull in tone – adding a filter to brighten the tone.
  • Adding the highhat to the mix. Bringing the volume down so it sits inside the kit sound. Fine tuning the EQ. Adding a reversed pan echo to fill the soundstage more.
  • Adding the bass back to the mix and just realised it needs a light chorus on the highs to make the sound ‘travel’ more.
  • This’ll have to do for now – time to go to work!
  • Afternoon session. Starting off with Synth 01. Turning off the left inversion. Adding another short revere-pan delay to make up the width. Adding an EQ to focus the tone.
  • Now for the Rhodes. Cleaning all the samples of clicks. Adding an EQ to focus things a bit, especially reducing tension in the mids.
  • Looking at Synth 02, which is kinda epic and erratic. Again a quick EQ to fix the tone up.
  • Time for the big phat strings! Moving the EQ to after the compressor and adjusting the tone a bit. Checking the Reverb send while I’m here. Adding a filter to reduce the bass, offsetting the pan just a little to the right. Adding a reverse panned delay to fill the width evenly.
  • Now playing all the melodic instruments together to get a feel of how it’s all coming together. Making some minor tone adjustments here and there.
  • Adding the drums to the mix. Bringing up the strings a bit. Squeezing the drum compressor just a little more and adding a limiter to catch stray transients. Listening through a few times.
  • Time to rest the ears and have a break before doing the vocals. Time to walk the dog!
  • Armed with Aktivite I’m ready to tackle the vocals. Listening to all the vocals acapella. There’s some nice ‘voice breaks’ hunz as done here, has a nice emotional tension to it.
  • Sending all the vocals to a group send to apply global edits to them. Adding an EQ to the group to smooth the sound.
  • Bringing up the volume of the first verse vocal.
  • Soloing the backing vocals. Lowering the bass in the EQs.
  • Back to the full vocals to check balances. Adding a filter on the group send to lift the tone of the high end. Mmmm sparkley!
  • Spending some time cleaning the vocal samples…
  • Adjusting the feedback levels on the vocal echos to balance the stereo image a little more.
  • Ready to add the other sounds to the mix, one by one.
  • Vocals feel like they are dominating just a bit. Dropped the group volume by -06dB ;)
  • Bass upper harmonics are feeling like they are competing with Hunz’s voice, so I’m lowering the bass tone a bit.
  • Things are feeling nice and together so it’s time to check on other speakers. First: headphones. Bringing the drums up a touch. Just a touch more off the low end of the vocals.
  • Now to the big speakers in the other room nice and loud! Dropping the chorus vox down a small amount.
  • Back on the main speakers, adding a fadeout on the last pattern. This is sounding right to my ears now. Time to pass it back to The Lord of The RPM.

#Rpm Day21 Song9 V2

Started rather late, like 2pm and finished this one up around 7pm with a 1hr break inbetween. Not to bad. Will work on another track tonight and I hope to complete 3 before the weekend is done OR I’m going to fall behind. The quality might start hurting but I’ll make sure it’s not going to suffer too much ^_^. As always, names names names .. I need names people .. gimme :D

 

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Hunz Song09 Version01

 

Verse
I saw nothing but the very best for you
I’ve sort nothing but the truth
you’ll have to trust me as we venture out so far
Cause I swing words that might bruise

 

Chorus
I heard the messenger
to shake down the barrier
I’ll wait until it’s clear
to shake down this barrier

 

Verse
I feel discouranged when the fear is all I see
pushing deep against
I make my opinions based on everything I’m told
I’ll walk this line until I’m old

 

Chorus
I heard the messenger
to shake down the barrier
I’ll wait until it’s clear
to shake down this barrier
I heard the messenger
to shake down the barrier
I’ll wait until it’s clear
to shake down this barrier

 

Bridge
Shake down the barrier, oh oh oh.

 

Chorus
I heard the messenger
to shake down the barrier
I’ll wait until it’s clear
to shake down this barrier

 

  • Really not liking the whiney-ness of the verse
  • Taking the beat out and looping it to see what melodies present themselves
  • In doing this, I always keep the chorus vocals in my mind because it has to create a brige to get there.
  • although in this case it might be nice to have 2 different moments
  • Liking the same melody sung less whiney and more low so going to do a scat version to see if it fits in.
  • It works.
  • Making the drums flow better, which means creating a mood that the chorus could break apart a bit more.
  • So more stops and pulls but only at the end of phrazes.
  • I feel like this is a good time to put in some really bad lowfi toms doing a typical beat.
  • on man, why renoise has a Delete all samples is beyond me. Lucky it has an undo that works.
  • Found some Dorky 8inch and 10inch toms, sound so yucky. Excited by this ^_^
  • Put on heavy but round distortion over this – It sounds so like a lame casio tone moment. So happy.
  • Writing more verse lyrics
  • Recording the vocals in .. Wow so many cars going past my room right now.
  • Oh crapsicales I didn’t turn my monitors all the way down when I did my vocals take T_T will hear the damange done.
  • Haha, wow has this nice live feel about them with strange spill. I’m going to leave this as a mistake that happens for a reason.
  • Lunch break
  • Going to double up on “shake down the barrier” lines
  • Going to do a harmoney just for “shake down the barrier”
  • Liking what the chorus does now.
  • Listening back to the crappy toms makes me sad, they sound silly and too long.
  • I’m going to move into arragement mode and put this together.
  • Clone selection is so brilliant .. thank you renoise team.
  • As I’m arranging some little piano parts I hinting to be alive
  • The chorus bg harmonies are hanging into the lead into the next verse. Sounds really neat as they resolve to early over the chords but lead into the next chords ..
  • Still not happy with the verse vocals, I think there is another melody that is so much better which the chorus needs.
  • Listening through it and It’s going to have to do. Will make a note and change it IF i get time.
  • My wife said “I liked the song until the crappy toms came in”
  • I’m trimming all the long tom rolls
  • Sounding better.
  • Finalising arragment. Happy with this one.
  • Rendering out the rhodes now T_T
  • Done.

 

So .. err… back to work me! GO!

 

#Rpm Day15 Song5 v4

I started out really wanting to do 2 tracks today, but I only got one out. But it is complete. I would still love to tweak it some more — layering and work out what’s going on with it all, BUT it’s done for RPM. I’ll pick it up again at the end if there is time. I really enjoyed working with this song. It is something different, and that’s always great when melodies come along and aren’t what you know. Also need a name for this one… apparently ‘Pigs with Wheels’ is now taken, people.

 

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Hunz Song5 Version4

 

Verse
You call me, yeah, always.
I just found the phone.
Can I clean the driveway,
The entrance to home?

 

Chorus
My heart it floods with emotions
While, my eyes deny what I see
My mind can’t stop the commotion
And I need you now; release me

 

Verse
I’ll hold you in sorrow
When I get back there
It might be tomorrow
Do you want my care?

 

Chorus
My heart it floods with emotions
While, my eyes deny what I see
My mind can’t stop the commotion
And I need you now; release me
My heart it floods with emotions
While, my eyes deny what I see
My mind can’t stop the commotion
And I need you now; release me

 

Bridge
Go! I didn’t know you’d go, I didn’t know you.

 

Chorus
My heart it floods with emotions
While, my eyes deny what I see
My mind can’t stop the commotion
And I need you now release me

 

  • Don’t know why, but it’s taking ages for my laptop [xps1330] to boot
  • 3 resets and then I unplugged everything, saw it fix the problem
  • Working on Song5
  • I’m going to mix the drums a bit first. I want to make it more lazy and messy.
  • Really want the sounds to be more awkward
  • Snare is leading the 1 beat. I’m going to create a fake 1 count for it by adding another snare channel with more bottom end/mids.
  • A one count is something used in funk where EVERYTHING, no matter what, has to at least have something going on the one beat on the phrase. This helps create the funk.
  • I split the snare up. I cause a delay on the high end and distort the low end.
  • Decided to delay the low end of the snare send (10-15ms) and then resend the original send into the snare master.
  • Thick and a bit phaz-ee
  • Placed Scream Filter on high end pass sound – pleasant surprise.
  • Tweaked it a bit, and this will help flavor the one
  • Going to get a crash going. No this isn’t a BSOD moment; it’s a Crash Cymbal
  • Don’t know if people realize this, but I tend not to use crashes. Personally they hurt my ears, and there are other ways to do what they do in music.
  • In this case the Crash is a perfect “in your head” moment where you know it usually hits on the one, so it’ll help compliment the awkward count of this tune.
  • This is a perfect time to announce that I love sends in Renoise. It’ll be neater when they have groups and channels that you can expand and write in, but this works a charm.
  • Putting on a light verb on the Kit Master then using Pre-delay to help with the messiness
  • Pulling accents out of the chorus for the drums to follow
  • It is sounding very indie electronic. Nice.
  • Also managed to get some double kick action in there for my drummer.
  • Trying to write lyrics .. T_T .. it’s hard, people, very hard to write lyrics. I feel like the chorus is so cliche, makes me sad.
  • Lol, there are baby birds making this hideous high pitch noise. Going to put that in the break down if I can.
  • Lunch
  • Came back fresh ears putting down bridge bit
  • Going to layer this out and then stop it to bring in chorus.
  • Going to be a nice escape moment but with energy in it.
  • Just mixing and arranging trying to find the right balance in everything
  • doing vocals takes again
  • finishing up the track again
  • the mix is really rough and has lost some dynamics. the vocals are too loud
  • Wow took over 10mins to render .. scary!

 

It is time for bed people. I have decided to take Song8 version1 and make that a new song. So I have completed the 10 (is that cheating .. lol). I’ll be taking some time off work to put this together, AND I have some much needed help, which I’ll announce tomorrow. And everyone said .. “HUZZAH!” I think I can do this people, if not we at least have 3 nice tunes .. huh, huh? When I get tired, I get a bit silly .. excuse me.

 

#Rpm Day5 Song6 v1

I had to work back late today to finish up something. So I decided to have an earlier night. I have a show tomorrow so I thought I would do a run down of how I set up a beat (backbone). I use renoise so if you do, then this will be helpful(ish). It’s not a fantastic beat but it’s what I’ll call a skeleton. What I do next is listen to notes and freq’s with in the pattern I’ve created and see if synth/bass or vocal lines comes out of it. That might sound strange but if you listen hard enough (hopefully the mp3 conversion hasn’t killed it) you can hear the bass notes I put in on the last 4 (or is that 8) bar counts coming out of the kick pattern.
 

Tonight’s audio preview has only drums in it. And goes. Kick pattern, Kick + hats pattern, Kick + hats + snare pattern and then the bass notes I hear in the kick. I personally don’t like what the kick gave me as a melody so I’ll start playing with that later.
 

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Hunz RPM06 01

  • Bringing in a loop to just sketch a drum loop.
  • Find some old vinyl thing
  • Chopped up and pulled out 2 Kicks, 2 Snares and a Hihat
  • I personally like working with recorded loops they have have character in them e.g. Hisses, rooms ambient and crowd noises.
  • I love how you can extend samples (e.g. looping) and cut them off (e.g volume ramping) to create counter rhythms.
  • Working on the kick pattern 1st
  • Looped one of the kick and then pitch shifted it for snare hit with quick volume off
  • Pitch shifted it down a few notes so it hit 80hrz range.
  • Eq it pretty harshly pulled tones I didn’t want out
  • Pushed tones I did want in.
  • Adding Hats before Snare
  • Hat sample is very Clicky heavy so I’ll be using offset (900) command in renoise to cut into it at certain points.
  • I’ll also be looping it to create dorky open hats.
  • Pitched them up a little
  • Created something to counter hit the kick pattern
  • it creates some welcomed awkwardness.
  • Placed snare on 2 and 4 then 2 and 4.5 I love delaying snares.
  • Eqing Hi hats
  • Whistling Freq (4000hz range pulled down) added 4octave around 8000hz for crisp.
  • Soloing the Snare, listening.
  • It’s a yucky Snare that I’m going to attempt to thicken with Chorus and Eqing
  • Distortion Chorus added more Freq to split
  • Splitting Freqs to Sends
  • With the Low Freq I’m going to put a reverb on them very long and then Gate it quickly.
  • I’m going to use the LFO device to Env the Gainer Gain
  • I’m resetting the One Shot every time the snare triggers
  • So I can adjust the Gate Evelope on the LFO device
  • Sending both snare sends to a master they need to be compressed and sound unified more.
  • I’m Bus compressing them and this is how I use the compressor
  • I push the threshold right down to -50
  • I set the ratio to 5:1
  • Now because this is a snare I like it when some of it’s crack comes through.
  • I increase the attack until I hear the snare crack
  • This case it’s around 350.
  • So after 350ms the 5:1 ratio is going to kick in and compress the snare
  • the release is just after it’s compressed that threshold setting how quickly it’ll release it back into an uncompressed signal.
  • I’m moving the threshold up and the ratio to be less severe
  • and placed some makeup on it (no not lipstick :D )
  • Made some minor tweaks to get more range
  • If I place a snare in with out triggering the LFO in the Low send it creates and awesome crack.
  • Creating counter beats with this crack.
  • Panning Hats around.
  • Drawing in Bass sample.
  • Placed bass pattern in it’s just following the awkward.
  • That’s all for tonight.

 
I also want to add “I’m no expert”. I just like sound and try my best to bring it together. If technically I’ve done the wrong thing with compression then please let me know. I’m always in a state of learning. On listening through it again, I think the compression on the snare is a bit severe and I’ll fix that later.
 

If you are around (Brisbane, Australia) please drop into my show at the troubadour tomorrow night. It should be a freek’n great night. I’ll be on around 8:30ish. Which means that I will not be posting tomorrow. :cry: