ZwischenRaum

the 2nd chapter “zwischenraum”of the “raum“-trilogy by dominik grenzler aka an moku and stefan schmidt. finely crafted ambient / soundscapes using stringed instruments, synthesizer, electronics and field recordings. 

when dominik grenzler aka an moku, a sound artist and bass player based in zurich, approached stefan schmidt (guitarist, composer and improviser from baden-baden) with the idea of collaborating, it turned out the initial spark for a fruitful process and artistic exchange. within just a couple of weeks they not only managed to craft “raum” (the german word for room / space), the duo also realized there was still a plethora of ideas to explore and that this first album wouldn’t be their last – rather, they conceived a full “raum”-trilogy, named after and inspired by a sentence grenzler had read in david foster wallace’s unconventional bestseller novel “infinite jest”: “die echte welt ist nur ein raum.” (“the real world is just a room.”). 

on “zwischenraum”, grenzler and schmidt continue their sonic trip into abstract voids, crafted by finely processed sounds of different origins like cello, field recordings and a vast array of electronic equipment. From the opener “yama” with its indian drone to the closer “sediment” the atmosphere is dark and alien, with references to hauntology and musique concrète, and yet organic, even harmonic. The future may be bleak, but there is still life. 

All tracks composed and produced by An Moku and Stefan Schmidt
Recorded in February 2021 with field recordings, acoustic and electronic instruments
Double Bass by Adriano Orrù on Schwere See
Mastering by Weldroid
Cover Artwork by Stefan Schmidt

www.anmoku.net
www.musicforoverexposedcelluloid.com
www.adrianoorru.com
www.weldroid.net
www.karlrecords.net

Fromaroom Sessions: Exploring discontinued and obsolete reverb units

Let us talk Ambient and let us explore. Shall we?! 

It is finished! This is the six tune session using my old school rack reverb units from the 80’s and 90’s. You listened to the same long meditative sequences with different sounding reverb units during the last days on Bandcamp and hopefully enjoyed what you have discovered… Just for the record if I can get my hands on another old reverb unit I’ll let you know. The recording of it will be added to this session… 

Please note that each reverb algorithm has its own mojo and flavour and I have not recreated the same sound for all units. You hear what I liked at the very moment. And for the record, «Of shadows and light» is my final track (read and listen below). Here we go…

Alesis Midiverb (1986)

This is Midiverb sounding. You are hearing the Digitone by Elektron playing a few notes constantly and generatevely feeded into the Midiverb. Preset: 50 (20sec, Dark & Large), 75% wet. Into the Oto Machines Boum into H5 (line in). The only thing I did to this recording was adding a bit of EQ by Kush. Not too much. You need to hear the unit.

Midiverb, a surprisingly good sounding 16-bit reverb. Manufactured in 1986 by Alesis, it was introduced as the world’s first mainstream 16-bit digital reverb. And the first of the Alesis series, followed by the notable Midiverb II (used in the past by Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin), QudraVerb (currently by Hainbach) and the Nanoverb (currently by GusGus). Yes, the midiverb is a bit noisy but offers nice lofi and mojo, which I think is trumped by my favorite Midiverb II. If you can get your hands on these Alesis Reverb units, do so. Thanks Stan Pete for fixing the unit (by the way).


Alesis Midiverb 2 (1987)

This devil in 19-inch clothing comes from the people who brought you the MIDIVERB and Microverb, two outstanding products in a market where the words ‘cheap’ and ‘quality’ are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, let alone about the same product. It’s the sign of a smart company when, instead of building a reputation on a couple of products and then sitting back for a round of applause, they proceed to make something better and cheaper than ever before.

Lurking on the PCB inside the MIDIVERB II is a 16-bit linear PCM convertor, running in a RISC environment with a custom-built VLSI chip (clocked at a snappy 8MHz) which, unless you’ve got ears like a bat, is as clean as you’re likely to need, buddy. Seriously though, although anything you can’t hear won’t hurt you, having as little as 0.1% distortion isn’t bad, and it gives you that ultra-clean, digital sound that people love so well. Some other interesting spec is: this unit used to be used by Boards of Canada and Apex Twin.

There are 99 preset effects supplied (plus defeat), featuring 29 very natural sounding reverbs, 10 gated reverbs, 10 reverse reverbs, 20 echoes, 10 flanges, 10 choruses and 10 miscellaneous effects. That’s a lot of stuff, and it’s all as easy to use as the remote control on your video. Okay, so you can’t alter any of the programs, stepping the reverb up and down in infinitessimal graduations… but there are more different room sizes than you’ll ever really use here, so who needs to, hmm?

The dynamic range, a statistic so frequently bandied about by audio salespersons, is a whopping 85dB. Right, so much for the physics of the situation, how does it sound?

This is the Midiverb 2 sounding. On the foto it is the 2nd in the row. You are hearing the Digitone by Elektron playing a few notes constantly and generatevely feeded into the MV2. I have used the preset number 29 at ca. 45-50% wet, XLarge Warm (15sec.). Midiverb2 into the Oto Machines Boum into H5 (line in). The only thing I did to this recording was adding a bit of EQ by Kush. Not too much. You need to hear the unit. I think the MV2 sounds beautiful. It offers a lovely, lovely lofi and mojo. I love it. 


Lexicon LXP​-​1 (1988)

There can be few effects devices around as prestigious and as desirable as those made by Lexicon. Now, with the release in 1988 of the LXP1 16-bit processor, the classic Lexicon sound became truly affordable.

This is the LXP-1 sounding. On the foto it is the 3rd in the row. You are hearing the Digitone by Elektron playing a few notes constantly and generatevely feeded into the Lexicon. I have used the Plate D preset at ca. 45-50% wet, decay at maximum (6sec.) and Delay at maximum as well (246ms). You might hear it bounce a little. Reverb into the Oto Machines Boum into H5 (line in). The only thing I did to this recording was adding a bit of EQ by Kush. Not too much. You need to hear the unit. I think the low-mids are beautiful. The LXP-1 offers a lovely lofi and mojo. I love it. 


Alesis Quadraverb (1989)

The Alesis Quadraverb is a 16 bit programmable stereo effects box processor utilizing four digital effects, originally released in 1989. This rack mount unit is arguably better for electric instruments like guitar, being a product of the late 80’s and early 90’s.

This effects unit and many effects units like it can be heard all over rock, metal and alternative rock records from the 90’s. It really gives electric guitars that 90’s sound. For the people familiar with the sound, it will become recognizable almost instantly when you hear it.
This rack was used as reverb on lots of classic hip-hop and boom bap records from the early 90’s. It was a definite go-to for reverb for a lot of hip-hop producers using machines like the SP 1200 and the Akai S950. Ask anyone who knows and they will look at you funny if you mention the SP 1200 + S950 + Quadraverb when talking about drums. Part of one of the formulas for snares that knock.
Alesis reverb effects processors can also be heard a lot on 90’s trance and dancehall music as well. For the vintage factor alone, the uses to this day are fairly obvious for those who are after a certain sound. A vintage unit will never be out of play… As long as people value the sounds from the past these machines will always hold some value.

Many love the Alesis Quadraverb for the countless options and tweaks that you can play with due to the programming. Like many of its counterparts of the time, this rack mount box will take on full MIDI capabilities widening the range of use from studio to stage. As far as vocal effects go, there are a lot better options to go with for mixing plugins and applications.
The Quadraverb is an analog piece of music equipment and does not exist in digital VST form. I would recommend finding the real thing if you are trying to recreate that sound because it’s never been cheaper to do so. However, the ValhallaRoom is a very, very good VST to check out that can produce similar reverb without the metallic drawbacks of the Quadraverb.

This is the Quadraverb sounding. On the foto it is the 1st in the row. My Quadraverb is made in 1992. Could be one of the last units… You are hearing the Digitone by Elektron playing a few notes constantly and generatevely feeded into the QV. I have used the Taj Mahal preset at ca. 48% wet. I have been curious about this preset since Hainbach speaks a lot about it. For the record, I have bought this unit last year from a Balkan Beats producer here in Zürich and did not change anything on it except repairing the LED-screen (Thx Joel for that). So, I really do not have a clue until now what this unit is really capable of! Simply because it’s not my «to go for» reverb device… But who knows… Alright, let’s move on, reverb into the Oto Machines Boom in H5 (Line In). The only thing I did to this recording was adding a bit of EQ by Kush. Not too much. You need to hear the unit. Yes, the Quadraverb is a bit noisy but offers nice lofi and nostalgia mentioned above. Sorry for the clipped tones here and there. I just didn’t notice it during the recording session 🤷‍♂️. If you can get your hands on this reverb unit, do so!


Zoom 9030 (1991)

Zoom introduced the 9030 with a 16-bit processor as a smaller version of the 9010 multi effects processor. Although the Zoom 9030 is easy to use and the effects easy to edit, you still have to wonder if the effects are any good. After all, this is a fairly cheap unit compared with the mighty Zoom 9010 which was sold for over a grand back in the 90’s. Before I make any comments I have to stress that assessing any effects unit is a very subjective matter and you must try out the unit and make your own judgments. As usual. There is no doubt that all effects processors are built of a good quality and the effects have their own mojo, but whether they suit your needs is something only you can decide. That’s how it is with the Zoom products and in general. Well, my very first effects pedal was a Zoom BFX-708 bass effects processor that I bought in 1998. It was a heck of a lot of money for me, but it paid off and served me well. Still works by the way. That piece of plastic. I used it especially during my 1999-2001 support shows for Whitney Huston, Marla Glen or Joe Cocker (as the dedicated bass player for the opening acts. How time flies! This was more than 20 years ago!!! Please excuse my digression…). All in all, the 9030 used to be used by Trent Raznor. Well, you might say, this is the famous effects processor that provided the distortion for the Nine Inch Nails albums Broken and The Downwards Spiral. The unit supports up to 99 patches and has a wide range of effects from various distortions to wah, pitch, flange and much more. But I went here for the longest Reverb patch available…

This is the Zoom 9030 sounding. As usual, you are hearing the Digitone by Elektron playing a few notes constantly and generatevely feeded into the 9030. I have used the Cathedral preset at 41% wet, 7.7 sec., Pre-delay 230msec. The 9030 into the Oto Machines Boum into H5 (line in). The only thing I did to this recording was adding a bit of EQ by Kush. Not too much. You need to hear the unit. I think the 9030 sounds very noisy and digital. Very! Well, if you like it offers a lofi-lofi and digi-mojo. Sounds interesting! In a way… But I would not use this reverb for sound design…


Yamaha A3000 (1997)

The Yamaha A3000 is a professional hardware sampler released by the company in 1997. Back then the company was barely known for sampling, so the release of the A3000 was an unexpected one. The goal of Yamaha with the A3000 was to make a break-beat machine and phrase sampler that could be used for a wide variety of recording as well as performance applications.
Although the A3000 is a capable machine, it is one that takes a lot of time and dedication to master. Right out of the box you are faced with an almost 400 page manual to introduce you to all the features and functions of the A3000. Although the A3000 only shipped with 2 megabytes of memory, it can accept expansion memory in the form of single in-line memory modules up to a maximum of 128MB. The A3000 handles sample processing with three independent effects blocks that can handle all the usual delay, reverb and chorus style effects. Everything recorded to floppy disks. This unit was used extensively by Junkie XL. This unit was used extensively by Junkie XL. He loves the bass sounds on the A3000. I explored the side of the reverb and did not sample anything…

This is the A3000 sounding. As usual, you are hearing the Digitone by Elektron playing a few notes constantly and generatevely feeded into the 9030. I have used the Canyon preset at even D=W. The manual says I am able to go up to 30sec reverb time but to be honest I failed reading the manual! So the reverb time is long. The A3000 into the Oto Machines Boum into H5 (line in). The only thing I did to this recording was adding a bit of EQ by Kush. Not too much. You need to hear the unit. I think the A3000 sounds noisy and digital. Sorry for the clipped tones here and there. I just didn’t notice it during the recording session 🤷‍♂️. Well, if you like it offers an interesting lofi and digi-mojo as well as the Zoom 9030. Sounds interesting but I would not use this unit for its reverb sound.


Of shadows and light

This is the last piece of the session using my old school rack reverb units from the 80’s and 90’s. You have listened to long meditative sequences in which various reverb units sounded. «Of shadows and light» is the finale of it. You will now hear the sequence of Midiverb and Lexicon reverb superimposed. Did not change a thing. Added a bit of saturation only. Very beautiful sounding! 

Start your day or just close your eyes. 
Good morning, good night.

Music by me 
Cover Art by Sana Vahdati  
instagram.com/sanavahdatii

SFAIRA

Today an exciting album was released on my EndTitles label: SFAIRA by Tilman Ehrhorn (aka WERKEN). As explained in my last collective message to you, this release is one of the cornerstones of this year. I think that working closely with Tilman last late summer turned an album into a little masterpiece. Personally, I already consider it one of the musical highlights of 2022. I hope you like it too!

SFAIRA is available at a reduced price for the next two weeks. My Bandcamp subscribers get it for free, of course. In the coming days I will write an email to each of you personally.

Thank you and enjoy listening!

https://shopendtitles.bandcamp.com/album/sfaira

Dingeklang Vol​.​2 – Sound pack of other fancy obsolete electro acoustic devices

Dear Listener, Musician, Fan!

Did you ever ask yourself how other fancy devices might sound electro magnetically? Well, each device has its own sound. Even the more fancy ones. During my stay in Ireland this August I made a recording session and thanks to the unstable Irish electricity an exciting sound came to light. Frankly speaking, it was NOISE. What else to expect ;-) 

And again, devices new and old, obsolete, some of them never used, some of them used on regular basis have been listened to by using Stan Pete’s «Elektra» electromagnetic microphones and recorded with a Zoom H5 in August of 2021 during m stay in Ireland. The result is a new sound pack full of 30 interesting sounds, domestic electric interferences and voltage: Dingeklang Vol​.​2 – Sound pack of other fancy obsolete electro acoustic devices

You can grab this sound pack again for free for a limited time or pay what you want but please consider to pay a bit since I would love to support the great photo artist, Sana. She is so awesome! Thank you in advance :-) 

So, start sampling, mangling. Feel free and be inspired to transform the sound into something new. I have left plenty of headroom for you to experiment with. Please let me know what you’ve created. (This license lets you distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as you credit me for the original creation.) 

Music created with my previous Sound pack:

Darren Dyke aka Pancycle is a Musician and Craftsman from Belgium. His track called «56» is inspired by and created with sounds from my sound pack «Dingeklang Vol.1». Listen and support his music:  pancycle.bandcamp.com/track/56

An other great and wonderful work comes from the French Musician Thierry Arnal aka SEPL. His track is full of power and drones. Listen and support his music: scorchedearthpolicylab.bandcamp.com/track/parenth-se


Credits:

Sana Vahdati 
Abstraction photographer, graduated in architecture.  
instagram.com/sanavahdatii

Peter Schwieger aka Stan Pete 
Installations, Instruments, Modular music  
stanpete.de


Parenthèse

Der Franzose Thierry Arnal aka SEPL hat einen neuen Track veröffentlicht! Ebenso wie Darren Dyke aka Pancycle bei «56» hat auch er Samples aus meinem Sound Pack «Dingeklang Vol.1» verwendet und mir dies soeben mitgeteilt. Danke vom Herzen, ich habe eine Riesenfreude :-)))

Support his music: https://scorchedearthpolicylab.bandcamp.com/track/parenth-se

Full Sound Pack available here: https://anmoku.bandcamp.com/album/dingeklang-vol-1-sound-pack-of-obsolete-electro-acoustic-devices

One Minute Soundtrack [35]

Den Video-Clip habe ich heute Vormittag für die @one_minute_soundtrack Gruppe auf Instagram fertiggestellt. Als visuelles Ausgangsmaterial dienten mir meine Aufnahmen vom Zürcher Stummfilmfestival aus dem Jahre 2017.

Für die Live-Audioaufnahmen kamen folgende Geräte zum Einsatz : Quantum Defrakulator Drone Synth, Into the Unknown Guitar Synthesizer Deluxe, Zoom MS-70CDR, Kaoss Pad 3, Strymon El Capistan, Neunaber Immerse Reverb

One Minute Soundtrack…

Weapons of choice🙌🏻

every morning the best weapon of choice: black coffee.

weapon of choice no.2 (no specific order): i call it RONIN. the name is inspired by @nikbartsch. made by @zoomsoundlab, introduced by @joelgilardini

weapon of choice no.3 (no specific order): my all times fav coffee grinder. bring the noise🙌🏻 thx @amluttropp

weapon of choice no.4 (no specific order): vapor trail. delay made by @seymourduncanpickups. introduced by @amluttropp

weapon of choice no.5 (no specific order): Micro [D] 🙌🏻 made by @ollahandmadeinstruments introduced by @joelgilardini

weapon of choice no.6 (no specific order): kaossilator. first edition. made by @korgofficial. bought in tokyo back in 2008🙌🏻

weapon of choice no.7: microphonic soundbox. made by @leafaudio, introduced by @obliquenoir 🙌🏻

weapon of choice no.8: cathedral digital reverb. made by @ehx. i have bought it in nyc back in 2013. i simply love working with it 🙌🏻