Synthetic Musings


1 2ALL

An Engineeer’s Dilemmas

Pottering about in the studio recently in 1764, drew me into a bout of rancorous rewiring. What had stemmed from a triumphant brainwave quickly degenerated into stubborn and painful perseverance, the sort one always experiences when long past the point of no return, yet consumed with a desperate desire to begin again.

What had incurred my displeasure?  I was moving a synthesiser, my Roland Phantom XR, closer to the big blue tower to tether directly to a USB 2.0 port due to my monitor’s supposedly compatible USB 3.0 hub rendering the subject unusable.

An hour of  tortuous  twisting  and tiresome threading ensued until, mercifully,  from my Fantom’s forlornness sprung flowery frivolity, but not without a traditional and tedious concession.  On this occasion, it was the need to substitute  a perfectly appointed meter long midi cable with a cumbersome five meter serpent that callously sneered over the top of my monitor whenever I chanced to catch its eye.

Despite technically surmounting the original and far more restrictive fault, I was unable dispel a profound onset of pessimism and began to question whether a lack of confidence is the catalyst to my and other sombre sound-scapists urges to periodically embark on the plug and grunt equivalent to a sunday gym session.

Remaining in Gigadenza’s hive of hindsight

On a nerdy spring afternoon of set-up and config, even when placated with as many smoky cups of lap sang as my dear Mum could manage, patience was  rarely if ever my party piece.

Upon receipt of a button laden box seething with samples, I never once doggedly digested the 500 page manual before insatiable curiosity crippled all common sense and ignited a yearning to feverishly fling aside the polystyrene,  dig out a clutch of cables, anxiously inspect my acquisition for the presence of vital ins and outs, press, twist, groan, grimace, effect poses that could pass for a novel and terrifying form of yoga, plug in, switch on, squint, push once, then twice and in hapless resignation, pray for sound.

Over the years this technique, though severely flawed, had always proven productive and my modest stack of synthery was  more often called upon to create than it did, through flagrant fiddling, demonstrate lapses in my work ethic and professionalism.

Nevertheless, whenever plagued by technical hitch of a novel or recurrent pedigree, the remedy was always identified via a nervous display of trial and error, rather than a competent showcase of progressive and logical recollection.

Now floundering helplessly in doubt over my anodigital acumen, I longed for things to change, to be able to nourish my lobes and have useful information  aptly filed and indexed by nano nibelungs for efficient deployment when any Cakewalk catastrophe loomed.

It was then that my conscience brusquely instructed;

Cease wallowing in self pity, the wisdom you crave can be harvested  from sources more accessible than any library and more topical than last week’s best selling guide to to the universe of electric unison and harmony.  Scour those sites, establish what, for instance, “Monophonic”, “Polyphonic” and “Multitimbral” mean.

Then, combine your discoveries with a casual canter around the humble furnishings of your own studio, if for nothing but passion for your interests, pride in your tools and the want to give a little in return.


1 2ALL

Pages: 1 2