The Haunted House

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

creature - promo1

Within the next few days I will be releasing a new promo album for creature. This album will be completely FREE to download. The album represents a cross section of music from all my releases so far.

I am releasing it purely for promotional reasons, but it is a good way for people to check out some of the music. The track listing is as follows:

01 - Ferrite
02 - Hive
03 - GeoSwitch
04 - Terrapin
05 - Even Flow
06 - Vitamin
07 - Helter Skelter
08 - Rise
09 - Tenge Misuser
10 - Glide

All in all a pretty good release. I have been listening to it for the past week on my mp3 player since re-mastering the tracks, and the album flows really well. More info soon when it is available.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Roland SH101 Software Synth

I was sent a link to an interesting and free software vst synth the other day. It's inspired by the classic Roland SH101 analog synth. I have had a little try of this VST and it sounds great. I am not sure how much of a SH101 emulation it really is, as I have never used a real one, but it does sound good. I think I can definitely find a good use for this synth on my next album. The synth is really easy to use as well, which makes a change :-)

Here is the product description from their site:

TAL-BassLine is a virtual analog bass synthesizer especially made for bass, acid sounds and effects. It’s based on a robust core and has the usual controls of analogue hardware synthesizers.

A unique -18dB low pass filter with a lot of asymmetric and random components introduce a warm and analogue sound. Very fast, non linear envelopes are also a part of this synth.

  • Bandlinited oscillators (saw, pulse).
  • Sub-oscillator: square -1 oct., square -2 oct., pulse -1 oct, pulse -2 oct.
  • -18 dB/octave low-pass filter (resonant/self-oscillating).
  • LFO (frequency: 0,1 .. 30 Hz, waveforms: sin, tri, saw, rec, noise).
  • Very fast nonlinear envelope (A: 1.5ms..4s, D: 2ms..10s, S: 0..100%, R: 2ms..10s).
  • Simple Arpeggiator (up, down, one octave mode).
  • 2x Unisono Mode.
  • Panic button.
  • MIDI automation for all sliders and pots.
  • Precise fader control while holding down the "Shift" button.
  • Supports all sample-rates.
  • 2x oversampling.
  • 23 presets.


Sound Mangling Tools : Part 1

I am currently preparing and tooling up for starting the next Creature album. I will probably do more circuit bending for this album, but I also want to experiment with different ways of completely mangling and decimating sound. So I have been on the lookout for some useful tools to help with this. First up is a nice little tool called Audio Paint.

Essentially this tool turns images into sound. This opens up lots of sound possibilities. Think about it, you can effectively turn your camera and photoshop (or other image editing package of choice) in to a synthesizer. The image above, is from one of Mine and Amanda's walks in Derbyshire. The image below shows the wave form generated from this image. This makes a great way of creating new and weird sounds.

So, how does it work?

A picture is actually processed as a big frequency / time grid. Each line of the picture is an oscillator, and the taller the picture is, the higher the frequency resolution is. While the vertical position of a pixel determines its frequency, its horizontal position corresponds to its time offset.

By default, the color of a pixel is used to determine its pan, the red and green components controlling the amplitude of the left and right channels respectively (the brighter the color, the louder the sound), and the blue component is not used. The action of each component can be modified in the Routing section of the Audio Settings window. Starting with version 2.0, AudioPaint can also convert the color components into HSB values, and use hue, saturation and brightness instead of red, green and blue.

This application is Windows only. There might be a mac equivalent somewhere, but I havn't looked as I don't use them. But if you are using an Intel Mac, you could always run it via a virtual machine or under BootCamp. I guess it would be fine under a VM as the tools isn't a realtime synth.

At the weekend I will put a little audio demo together to show you the interesting noises this tool generates. I plan to make good use of Audio Paint. Oh, did I mention this tool is FREE. I have another couple of tools in my arsenal that I intend to use for sound mangling, Audio Mulch and Beatburner. I will do a little write up on these soon, but they sure so look fun.

I am now raring to go on the new album, which I will plan to release next year, as I am in no rush. But in the mean time, I will be releasing a new album that is effectively a re-release of the original Mechanical EP's. I will also soon be re-releasing the Nightmares and Dreamscapes EP. Keep tuning in.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Quite Afternoon Walk Around Belper

It has been a while since Me and Amanda went on a walk, so today after lunch we decided to do a local walk around Belper. We have done this route before with Neil and Caroline last year.

The walk is nice and simple, 5 miles in length, with only a little steep bit. We was still tired though afterwards. We set off about 1pm and the walk took just under 3 hours as we wasn't in a rush.

The weather was very warm today, although it was very over cast. It did rain once though, but not very heavy. The air felt like there was a storm brewing though and about an hour after we got home, the thunder and lightening started.

We are going to do a couple of walks over the bank holiday weekend next week also, not sure which ones we are are going to do, but we did talk about maybe doing Kinder Scout again.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Electronic Critters Available From Sample Magic

Today Electronic Critters went live on Sample Magics new download portal, Sounds/To/Sample. The direct link the Electronic Critters is here. This is a cool thing to happen. They are quite picky about the sample collections they stock, so I was quite happy when they got in touch with me.

Here is the blurb from the site:

About Sounds/To/Sample

Sounds/To/Sample is a one-stop pro-audio download resource developed by the team behind award-winning sound design company Sample Magic. In an age where media is increasingly delivered and consumed online, Sounds/To/Sample's mission statement is simple - to bring the sample industry in-line and up-to-date with the remainder of the creative industry. In putting sample libraries online we cut the costs associated with duplication, packaging and shipping - offering a better, fairer deal for the producer and the end user.

Who are we?

Sounds/To/Sample was founded in 2007 by Sharooz Raoofi and David Felton.

Sharooz is a veteran dance music producer who has sold over 100,000 records worldwide. With releases on Warner Music and Ministry of Sound, he has enjoyed numerous plays on Radio 1 and has written for EMI Music Publishing and BMG Zomba. As a sound designer he has produced sample collections for Zero-G, Loopmasters, Tekniks and AMG. He has a background in music marketing, having previously working at London Records and Universal Music.

David Felton is a music producer whose debut album is due soon on Toolroom Records. He has remixed for the likes of Mark Knight and has released a series of house singles to critical and commercial acclaim. He also writes production music for Boosey & Hawkes, EMI/KPM and Deep East. His professional background is in print management, journalism, editorial and design, and his work has been published in, among others, The Guardian, the BBC and the Sunday Sport.

What we sell

We offer full sample collections from leading sample production companies exactly as they appear in their physical form, and associated variants to offer you what you need rather than what others think you need. We also offer samples from named producers and DJs, as well as exclusive bespoke sample download packs and a variety of free sounds. To help users make the most of the sounds, we also feature production tutorials and producer insights, tips and tricks from the best writers in the industry. In offering Wav, Rex, Apple Loops and assorted sampler formats we give the customer unparalleled choice and flexibility. But most of all, we sell quality sounds - handpicking the companies and producers that we work with to ensure that our sounds are the best out there.

Here is the Electronic Critters description from the site:

Other-worldly fx, vocal glitches, manipulations and tawdry bit-crushed riffs, reductions and randomness make up this bumper value sample collection based on circuit-bent children's toys.

Dark soundscapes, atomic crackles, space-gongs, alien choirs and ethereal voxmospherics star in this collection, boasting sounds from re-wired 1980s classic toys, including the legendary Speak&Spell, Major Morgan, Talk'n'Lights, Musical Insects and My Little Talking Computer.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Glitch With Ableton Live 7 and Novation SL Controllers

For the last 2 years I have been using Ableton Live as my musical composition software, and they are currently up to version 7, which I have. I havn't done a huge amount of work in this yet as I had been getting Electronic Critters ready for launch, but recently I have been getting some of my files ready from the Daisy Cutter and Twilight EP's ready for re-releasing as a complete album.

When writing music I use the Novation Remote 25SL keyboard controller, as shown in the above picture. This controller is excellent. I would even go as far as saying it is probably one of the most flexible controllers on the market. As you click on devices in Ableton, all the controls and the LCD displays on the Novation remap them selves to show the controls of the device you are working on. This is really useful, but there is a little gremlin with Ableton Live 7 which makes your music track glitch a little when playing back. This is regardless of processor speed, or OS (windows of mac).

controller in real time, it just gets a little chocked up, but don't The reason this glitch happens is because of the sheer amount of data being sent to the novation display. There is a way around this. Goto the preferences window in Ableton Live. When you see the Midi Ports section, click the little sideways arrow next to each port (shown in the picture below).

Where it says 'Direct Music', click this button until it says 'MME'. Do this anywhere is says 'Direct Music'. This will stop the glitching. Hopefully this issue will be sorted out properly soon. I am not sure if it is a problem in Ableton Live, or the protocol for Novations Automap system, but this fix will stop it glitching up and driving you mad. Hopefully, between Ableton and Novation, this issue will get sorted out properly.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Distant Horizon Available For Licensing

I have been in the process of trying to get some of my music available to licensing agencies since the beginning of January. For those who are not sure what this means, licensing is when you give companies the right to use your tracks in TV, Film, Advertising, etc.

My chosen licensing agency is Pump Audio, who are a sub division of Getty Images, the stock photography licensing company. It has taken a good few months for them to aprove the contracts and get the album through their A&R department, but that process is now over, and I have been accepted. I will get the rest of my back catalog licensed with them over the next new months.

If you are a media type person reading this and you want to license any Creature tracks, then goto the Haunted House Records site and click the pump audio button :-)


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Electronic Critters Merchandise

Things have been quite busy with the Electronic Critters Sample DVD release. I have just signed a contract with a large sample disc provider. I have signed up with them for the online distribution rights to Electronic Critters. This means they will handle all the download sales for Critters aswell as marketting and promotion. The company selling the disc is Sample Magic, via their new online portal, Sounds To Sample.

We have been sorting out the contracts for the past month or so, and today I recieved the final signed contract back from them, so hopefully Critters will be available to buy as a download very soon.

Also in the world of Electronic Critters, I have launched the first out of hopefully many Circuit Bending T-Shirt lines. The first design is called, 'Speak Not Spell' and is available from the Haunted House Records website via CafePress.

There are lots of different garments you can get with the design on, ranging from value T-Shirts, through to Baseball Jerseys and Sweatshirts. We also offer garment fits for women too. Finally you can get a Messenger bag, see below, with the design on.

All garments are printed to order and dispatched from the USA. We are hoping to have some new designs made for us very soon :-)


Monday, April 07, 2008

Free Happy Welly Album - Tales From The Teapot

I am in a generous mood again this week. I think it must be the spring air. We have decided to release Happy Welly's very first, and previously un-released album, Tales From The Teapot for FREE. As in totally FREE.

The album contains 18 tracks of full on crazy weird stuff. Click HERE to get it.