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Table Of Contents
Message From the Editor
Letters From Our Readers
In Tune -- Ubik's "Neophlox"
A Little Column For Obscurity -- Axel F. Remixes
Interview -- Hunz
Tracking and Married Life
The Quest to Expand
Beat Me Up Scotty -- Percussion Tips, Part II
Message From the Editor
I guess you could say we are expanding. Though we have only had two
more subscribers this month, I personally believe that we have expanded
as a magazine. First of all, let me welcome a new staff member, Calvin
French. He is going to be writing a regular column about tunes that are
often overlooked. This is not another review column, lets just say that
it is another way to look at the obscure. Also...Setec has found the
time (though I don't know where) to write a regular interview column. I
don't know how permanent this is, so if you are interested in helping
him, let us know.
This month, we have the biggest issue we have ever brought you.
Calvin starts his first column with an introduction to the various Axel
F. Remixes. For those of you who don't know (including Calvin...hehe),
Axel F. is a reference to the "Beverly Hills Cop" trilogy. SiN rides
solo this week as he reviews the music of Ubik. Setec interviews Hunz
in his new column, and I compliment Setec for the fact that he is one of
the best interviewers I've ever seen in the demoscene. For those of you
who like to keep up on their software, Louis is unfortunately unable to
participate in this month's issue. He'll be back as soon as possible.
In addition to our regular columns, we also have a 'leet column by the
newly married dilvish, and Setec returns with the second installation of
his percussion mini-series. Now you know why I wonder where he gets the
Anyhow...I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for
your feedback. In my eyes...this magazine is probably one of my best
and most loved contributions to the demoscene. I'm glad you guys have
been honest with me, and have told me what you think. Keep sending feedback
and we will do our best to fit the magazine to your needs. Thanks to
Letters From Our Readers
-=- Letter From Calvin -=-
Hey man, DFC [Defractor] is *not* that bad... I mean, on one hand, it
would be an utter lie to say it's even slightly versatile, but that's
not really what it's for. AFAIK, it's own peculiar way of mixing the two
oscillators (which I have *not* solved, perhaps you understand it better
or perhaps it's simpler than I think) is something that is completely
idiosyncratic to this synth. I think it's great for making strange chip
samples, or for auxilliary waveforms for other synths like Orangator.
Also, what about Visual Orangator. It's a little touchy at times
(hitting the DEL key in an edit field will delete a whole oscillator,
whoops! -- a real headache) but overall seems really flexible. I use it
more than anything, it's very fun to experiment with. Also I bet if you
ask Mellow-D what he's using nowadays, he would say Visual Oranagator,
simply because I have made samples that sound strikingly similar to his
with it. Like those bizzarre little percussive riffs, mainly. His pads I
really don't know -- I'm not very good at pads yet. Also voramp is much
easier to use than Orangator and way more flexible (except there's no
examples and some things don't work quite as expected, for me at least)
Anyways, cheers, and it's a great mag (I did like the section on
softsynths, I'm just taking exception and saying remember that DFC *can*
do something that other softsynths *can't*, though I really have no idea
what that is, exactly.) Anyways Good luck!
-=> Reply from Louis Gorenfeld:
I agree that Defractor is not without its purpose. Even though it
didn't exactly receive the highest rating, it is still useful for making
sharp synth sounds rather quickly. The effect can be achieved in most
other softsynths by taking two waveforms (at different frequencies) and
synching them (for example in Vaz, just check the Sync box on Oscillator
2). To add an extra kick to the sample, envelope Oscillator 2's pitch.
Virtual Orangator was not reviewed since it is still in early stages:
the controls are not the greatest, and it flickers. It has roughly the
same capabilities (waveforms, effects and such) as Orangator, except you
can mix combinations of them.
-=- Letter From Marble -=-
Hey [Static Line],Good job! Static Line seems to be much better than
Trax-Weekly: columns are good,useful,and interesting.I like the synth
part. However, it would be nicer if the staff dedicate a column for an
interview with a famous musician and another column for a monthly chart.
Obviously, Static Line mustn't be a stupid Hit-Parade based of
preferences of few peple. It might be a list of the emerging people
voted by subscribers, who had listened to some songs around the net. In
my opinion this is a good method to give the reader an idea of where is
going the scene (although it's very difficult monitoring it). For
example, I listened to some Victor Vergara's tunes,alias Awesome, who
arrived second in the mc6 veteran category. This guy rocks in his genre
(orchestral music I think): it would be nice to know more about him, and
also comparing his songs with the ones of another emerging musician (who
track the same genre,of coz). So the reader might have a general idea of
the ruling people in a particular genre.
Let me know what do you think.
-=> Reply from Coplan:
First of all, I don't like to compare Static Line with Trax Weekly,
or any other scene magazine. I think its a shame that Trax Weekly has
suffered the fate that it has. Meanwhile, I am glad to hear your
suggestions towards makeing Static Line better (than it is currently, of
course). It's in my opinion that we have a ways to go before we can
claim to be a staple in the scene.
As of current, I agree, we do have a lot of opinionated columns. I
have been trying to find someone to do interviews for Static Line, but
this is the first I have heard of a monthly chart column. It seems
strange, but the thought has never crossed my mind. Setting up the pole
system for a monthly chart actually wouldn't be so difficult. PLEASE,
if anyone is interested in carrying either of these column ideas, please
e-mail me. For now, Setec will be carrying an interview column. But he
could use some help.
By: Coplan and SiN
This month, SiN gets to return the favor as he will be flying solo.
He will be reviewing the work of Ubik, specifically a song called
"Neophlox." Everyone may have heard of Ubik in the past, but maybe you
havn't listened to his work. Now's your chance...grab "Neophlox" and
start your collection. Heh, that sounds like a plug. I assure you, he
didn't pay us anything -- but considering I don't have a chance to write
a full review this month, I feel its only fair that I demonstrate my
interest in his style. Well, on with SiN's review...
-=- SiN -=-
The tune begins with a choir sample playing in two channels at different
pitches and panning positions. What is slightly jarring right away is
the pauses in between the choir "hits." It sounds too empty. If the
choir samples had been reverbed so that the reverb's release-time was
long enough to last to the beginning of the next hit, or if another
ambient sample had be playing at very low level to fill the gap, the
flow of the intro would have fit better with the liquid state the choirs
reach in the body of the tune.
In order 4, the choirs, now flowing into each other in turn, are joined
by a stuttering percussive effect and some well implemented voice
samples. I say "well implemented" for a couple of reasons:
1) The echo & panning make the vocals less what they actually are
(listen in the sample list) and more into what fits the mysterious
nature of the song.
2) The volume levels and frequencies of the vocals fit perfectly into
SiN TiP - instead of boosting volume levels of a sample to make it be
heard, try editing the sample with some EQ ... I few dB's boosted in the
right frequency-range can work wonders (for vocals try the 2.5 kHz
range, you'll add a lot of clarity .. not crispness, clarity)
Back to the song now..
Ah yes, another point: the Aeon Flux samples are quite poor quality
(8-bit).. but in this instance they work rather well with he mood of the
song... try adjusting bit-resolution on samples, sometimes it can give
you the exact dirtiness that distortion can over-do.
At order 10 the main drum section (loop) enters after a nice, SIMPLE,
little lead-in from order 9... this brings me to a point about
transitions... Arguably, transitions are the most important element of a
song (yes, this does vary GREATLY from song to song). If you are
writing a tune that has many different movements or themes, the only the
that ties these separate elements together are the transitions between
them. You can get by adequately with normal transitions, but if you
take the time to put the work into them, the results can be
extraordinary. Be creative, use a special sample, use a pause in the
song... In this case of Neophlox, Ubik used a small portion of the
impending main loop to introduce itself... and because of it, the song
flows nicely through.
In order 26 a set of really over-driven and distorted drums come in, but
they aren't alone. Ubik also brings in the "dry" versions of the same
samples at the same time. This is a very flexible technique as it
allows you to vary the levels of the "wet" sample with that of the
"dry." (for any that don't know, a wet sample is a sample that has an
effect put on it, the dry, conversely is the plain sample that you
In order 31, the drums get a great little solo, and are joined by an
industrial machine noise and well-done vocals again. I think this is my
favourite part of the song because of its energy and interesting
The choirs return in the same chord progression in order 40, and are
joined by an ambient sample that again sits perfectly into the overall
Next comes one of my only issues with this tune. In order 45, the song
fades out to an "ending," but there's 63 patterns? .. yes .. In my
opinion, the song _should_ have ended here.. not because I wasn't
enjoying it.. because it felt like it should... Now, I am not saying
that this fake-ending technique can't be used... lord knows I've used it
myself, but I think that if you decide to bring the song back in, there
should be at least one new _significant_ element added. After Ubik
brings the main body back in, it is just a condensed re-hash of what had
been tracked before that leads into a fade-out ending... Fade-outs are
ok, but again like in transitions, show your creativity.. heh, anyways,
if I had to choose, I liked the "ending" that happened in order 45
better not only in its position, but execution too ;]
-nice use of panning envelopes, you can also use the Yxx command in
Impulse Tracker for what Pulse calls Panbrello
-the instrument names are cleared (F4) with is a nice touch and
"cleans up" the appearance of the mod
-Ubik made use of the shift-f9 song info section, and remembered to
enter his email address (ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS put your
email in a mod!!!)
-big plus for mentioning me ;] (j/k)
I guess that's it, other than I listened to this mod in IT 2.15 through
a GUS PnP (MMX driven) and over a Techniques mini-system.
Seeing as Hornet is now a memory, if anyone has songs they would like to
get reviewed (com'on, we ALL want feedback, admit it ;] ) try to get ahold
of me in Scenenet #trax, or drop me an email.. please do not send
unsolicited songs.. I WILL listen to them, but you will never hear from
me again ;] .. and no they won't be reviewed either...
Until next month then...
**MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS CHANGING!! new address is firstname.lastname@example.org
**MY SYMPATICO ADDRESS WILL BECOME INACTIVE AT THE END OF NOVEMBER
--SiN aka Ian Haskin
SiN: IT 2.15 useing MMX PNP drivers; volume ramping (@48kHz); MikIT;
Senheiser Studio-Reference Headphones and his home stereo.
Filename (unzipped): ub-nf.it
File Size: 1,219k
"In Tune" is a regular column dedicated to the review of original and
singular works by fellow trackers. It is to be used as a tool to expand
your listening and writing horizons, but should not be used as a general
rating system. SiN and Coplan's opinions are not the opinions of the
Static Line Staff.
If you have heard a song you would like to recommend (either your
own, or another person's), we can be contacted through e-mail useing the
addresses found in the closing notes. Please do not send files attached
to e-mail without first contacting us. Thank you!
A Little Column For Obscurity
The Axel F remixes
By: Calvin French
Well, here we are at our first episode of what I hope is going to be
a fun column covering music you've either never heard (but should give a
listen) or heard a really long time ago and just fogotten about. The
purpose of this column isn't going to be to "review" per se., rather to
reflect. Each week I'll look at a number of different songs, and
hopefully we'll uncover a few gems in the process.
First, I'll randomly download a song. Hornet is still up as of this
writing, and I hope it'll stay that way for at least a few months
(although, there's always aminet, heheheh.) I'll just pick a random
year, 1992 sounds good. Now, honestly, I click the scroll bar, close my
eyes, move it around a bit, let go. Moving my mouse to somewhere I hope
is in the screen, I open my eyes. We have a winner:
Axel F (remix) by Vogue of Triton 19 Nov 1996
/music/songs/1992/cd_axelf.zip (128k) MOD
Don't even let me begin. At first I didn't put it together, the Axel
part. Honestly folks, this was done totally randomly. But what we have
here is of course by far the most remixed song (as far as mods go at
least) better known as the theme from Beverly Hills Cop. And this turns
out to not really be such a bad mix. Not much to mention per se, except
really it's an above average job, with some nice string harmonizations
and no small bit of creative work with the leads. Now, there is a nice
laid back feel to this song, and some good "old skool" beats in order 4
(pattern 4). I'm not sure if the effect can really be considered
intentional, since this is after all 1992, but it sort-of hearks back to
SIDs which use samples for percussion. Kind of an 80's rap feel, really
-- but just the beats, and just kind of. Vogue does a nice thing in
bringing together those rap beats with a very housey feel in places.
Overall I'd say the strength of this song though is, in fact, in the
leads. There is some very nice countermelody work and while, perhaps
it's not the hardest tune to work with it's also not easy to keep it
sounding fresh. I bet this sounded pretty decent in 1992. And while it's
far from sounding poor even by todays standards (well that can work both
ways) I don't think it's something you're going to listen to more than
once unless you are some kind of nut.
In case you are wondering, I really have no idea where the term Axel
came from. I can speculate though that a C64 demo called "Axel" used the
Beverly Hills Cop music. Or maybe I've got Beverly Hills Cop mixed up
with some other obscure movie called Axel. Maybe the tune is just called
Axel. Who cares?
-=- Editors Note:
Actually, the term "Axel F" comes directly from
Beverly Hills Cop. In that era of movie making, characters in the
movie had theme music. In this case the main character, played by
Eddie Murphy, was actually named Axel Foley. Thus, Axel F. This
also happens to be the name of the song used for his theme music.
Well I had hoped to do some other music that I already knew but
really, one Axel mix deserves another (and another, and another...). And
then I never have to touch it again ;-) So I'll get a recent one,
Axel.f - Theme Remix by WERTY of DRuNK 28 Jan 1998
/music/songs/1997/w/w-axlrmx.zip (68k) XM
This turns out to be a mix of Vogues tune, which is quite apparent
from the start. I find it a little awkward in places. A house beat has
been substituted for the "rap beat" (I know I'm gonna get flamed for
that, heheh), which matches the style but unfortunately it loses a lot
in the progress. Other than that not much has been changed. Don't blame
WERTY though, he fully credits Vogue in the sampletext, and it's really
not such a bad attempt at remixing. But it's not a remix of the actual
Axel tune as I understand it to be (that is, an old C64 tune) -- it's a
remix of Vogue's remix. Which would make it... Wowee. It's a meta-remix.
We now move on to:
Axelf Damp Mix by Setec 04 Jan 1998 /music/songs/1997/s/sc_axelf.zip
And this, my friends, is what we came here for. There is a bit of
resolution as far as this article goes; the Axel F it turns out comes
from "Axel Foley" (so says the sample text). Cool, now if I only knew
who Axel Foley was. Eddie Murphy? It sounds familiar but I'm not too
good with movies.
-=- Editors Note: -=-
See the above Editors Note. =)
This mix sounds probably as fresh as it's possible to get with an
Axel mix. I will reccomend you get this tune, it's a little bigger than
the others but it's not wasted space by any means. There is a really
great final discourse towards the end, which brings in some new
material, which serves to break it up structurally before final recap
A nice laid back jazzy hip hop beat drives this tune, and that laid
back feeling permeates the whole thing. The only thing I miss a bit is
that the "damp" acid lead used for the intro never returns. Setec has
used largely his own samples, and they go really well. The tune is
balanced perfectly, and seems to be organized into an alternating form,
with nice little episodes interspersed between recaps of the main Axel
theme. It's the last of these episodes that I was mentioning before that
really finishes the tune. Great job, Setec, you've managed to make a
very hard-to-stomach tune into something quite fresh and mellow.
Now, I've been mentioning all these C64 Axel remixes before. There is
a cool Chris Huelsbeck one from '86 which pretty much typifies them. I
don't have a URL but if you get HVSC you will have it. Sean Connelly has
another one which uses a modified (or perhaps just plain wrong) version
of the melody which is kind of interesting. Basically, there are tonnes,
and while they are easy to spot when they are titled "Axel_F.sid" they
are often hidden in little intro tunes and such. Still, I have no
trouble finding plenty of them titled just "Axel_F". Maybe one in four
composers in HVSC has a tune called "Axel_F.sid". Unfortunately I can't
find any truly exceptional ones. The best I can find is by DRAX (and
okay, I confess, I do check the "big" names first here) and while it's
fairly typical, it does have a very nice C64 feel to it.
Well I'm pretty much at my limit. If I have to listen to one more
Axel mix I will puke. I hope you liked this first installment, it's a
bit more boring that I had hoped, and while perhaps we had no flaming
comets I think we found a pretty good mix. Considering what terrible
luck I pulled in bringing up the Axel tune in the first place. Heheh.
Next time I think I think I'll look at some really great SIDs I've found
by perhaps lesser known C64 composers, and maybe touch on some Bubble
Bobble mixes (which rock my world). At any rate, I will NOT be doing the
random tune thing again for a while ;-) Well, so okay folks, until next
time... (and bear with me in my ignorance, please)
- Hunz / fm.analogue.ramjam
By: Jesper Pedersen / Setec
This will be the first (but definitely not the last) interview in
Static Line. The interview was conducted on November the 10th.
The log has been edited for clarity.
I am pleased to present... Hunz.
Setec - Okay....here goes. I have already prepared a few questions.
Hunz - Wow! ;) You are too cool for this world ;)
Setec - Yeah. I know, that is why i enjoy life on a hovering shuttle
Setec - Just for anyone who do not know you (are there any such?)
please state your name, handle, group affiliations, age, sex
(no, not the amount, damnit!) and anything else you find
Hunz - Hans van Vliet, Hunz, fm.analogue.ramjam, 21, male
Hunz - I like to clean the house on mondays, not on fridays like
every other Tom, Dick and Harry.
Setec - hehehe
Setec - You just made me laugh out loud in a house full of people
Hunz - Sorry. ;)
Setec - Your membership of FM was one of the things that really
assured your place amongst the top trackers. How did that go along?
Hunz - Wow. Now I have to think.
Setec - Take your time.
Hunz - I think, FM were looking for a 5th member and at that time I
leaked out a tune called "Volume" Basehead and Wave (because
of magasin de juex) already liked my music style, but the others
didn't know much. Soon Volume thanks to scrm was shown to
Mellow-d and since all of them wanted me in (and they would
just bash up Necros if he had a problem) I WAS IN! ...
Setec - I am sure Necros had no problem with you joining...
Setec - Volume was a great leap away from your usual sound and style.
What inspired that tune?
Hunz - Volume was inspired mostly by Tricky (mad trip hop
originator) and Mellow-d. I wrote it when I was very sick so I
guess that state didn't help the coherrent nature of the tune.
Setec - Tricky amazes me also.
Hunz - Yeah, he is 'leet.
Setec - I fear his production skills
Hunz - He oozes with emotion. Well one actually .. ;) darkness.
Setec - Well, enough about Tricky...:)
Setec - There was, earlier on, a lot of talk about FM just being a
bunch of elite guys grouping to show off. All of you have proved
this to be wrong, but how do you yourself see FM as a group/band?
Hunz - FM is a stepping stone. I think it's a little too hyped at
times, it's just a group. People seem to think you turn into this
green monster which puts up an ugly face of disintrest in everyone,
becuase you are so called " the cream of the crop " .. I don't
think I AM the CREAM, I write music and people enjoy it (and
that concept is something I still find bizarre)
Setec - Do you interact a lot with eachother? Function as a "real"
band, like you originally aimed to do?
Hunz - Yeah, we do, but not as much as you would think. We are very much
interviduals in a 5 man group. We do, do co-ops and so on but
nothing that makes us a unit.
Setec - Is this something that you would like to change? Or is it
fine the way it is?
Hunz - Not really I think it's fine. Also remember that I'm the
only Australian in the group and I can't help but feel isolated.
I like it the way that it is though, gives me freedom to move
within a trusted name - FM
Hunz - FM to me is a name that will help people who aren't into my
music download it, just becuase of the name (shallow, but it's the
Setec - So FM is more of a record label than a band, really?
Hunz - Yeah, to me it's just a name of sorts that will help promote
me in the scene. I do care for the guys, and I like them heaps...
but that's what it comes down too in my mind ;)
Setec - Fair enough. I think that is what group affiliations are like
for most people in the scene, really. And i mean, no harm is
done. People in the group are assured that lots of people care to
get a hold of their music, and people downloading are assured that
they get quality stuff.
Setec - It is just a touchy subject...
Hunz - Yeah, I guess it is.
Setec - On to another topic: Your band, "Beanbag". As most people
might know you recently released your first commercial cd
(congratulations once again, btw). Tell us a little about that...
Hunz - Beanbag is the band I'm in outside of the scene. It's what
people would call "Rap/Rock" but we call it Heavy Groove. The cd
is called "Guttersnipe" and has 7 tracks plus 4 hidden ones (2
of them are remix's I did on the 'puter). If you were to compare
us with similar bands, Rage Against The Machine, Beastie Boys
and possibly Tool.
Setec - How long have you guys been together, how and when did you
all team up?
Hunz - 3 years now, so we teamed up in 95. Do you want to know how
we met and stuff?
Setec - If you care to tell me...;)
Hunz - Micheal(guitarist) and Murray(old drummer) started the band
and needed a bass player so they asked Hirvy('duh bassplayer).
When they relalized that the singer they had coulnd't really sing
they got me (and I still havn't told them I can't sing either).
Now wasn't that just odinary ;)
Setec - Quite. :)
No bar fights or anything colourful like that? :)
Hunz - Nah, oh we did lose our old drummer, and our new drummer Phil
(new drummer) joined.
Setec - How was your first meeting with those record label guys?
Where they all fat, cigar-smoking businessmen who couldn't care
less about music, or is that just another lame prejudice? :)
Hunz - Well, record label guys are as nice as you make them. WE
have sat and talked to everyone from Sony through to EMI and they
are all very keen, but no one will touch you until they think it's
perfect timing. We don't care for that talk, we just love our
music and will contunie to do it with or with out money. (hrm,
without is hard though)
Setec - Perfect timing, as in what is currently up the charts?
Hunz - Yeah.
Hunz - But although I'm not spoze to talk about it, something is
happening (I'll just leave it at that)
Setec - Hehe. Okay, sure.
Setec - So who did you end up being signed with?
Hunz - Well, we are still sorting that out, and I can't really
discuss it, cuz of legal matters )=
Hunz - But Sony were over intrested, they sent up a few scouts from
Melborne (they guy behind SIlver chair) saw us, and all the
guys at QLD Sony love us.
Hunz - But that means nothing, Sony can love us, but we still aren't
singed .. hehehe
Setec - You told me that you will be touring the States later?
Hunz - Yeah, well if things work out, we will be in the states.
Setec - When, where?
Hunz - But thats hush hush too ;)
Looks like I've been a blabber mouth .. heheh
Setec - And will free tickets be handed out to sceners? :)
Hunz - Yup, if they contact me and tell me, I'll let them back stage
even .. whao! Hehe not that it means much ;)
Setec - You know a lot of guys might take you up on that!
Setec - You also mentioned that you are planning on releasing a solo
album later on?
Hunz - Yeah. If things work out I will be in the works of a solo cd,
which is long overdue.
Setec - Which kinda equipment would you use for such a project?
Fast Tracker? :)
Hunz - That and a lot of other stuff. I will never leave FT2 ;)
Setec - Werd to that.
Setec - So, what other equipment do you own? or have access to...
Hunz - I have a computer, and some sample cds with softsynths
poggies ;) And that's it. Oh with sf and wavlab which make things
sweet. But I manly use softsynths now, and make all the kits and
so on up myself.
Setec - Amazing. Most people crave for synths costing up to $2000 and
you get a record deal with ft2 and a few sample cds. :)
Setec - which softsynth programs do you use?
Hunz - I have Vaz, Stomp, FM synths (Soundforge built in) and
ReBirth, and those likes. But I manly use those, and Orangtor.
Setec - Stomper is a great tool. And so intuitive.
Hunz - Yeah. Stomper is 'leet. I stil have to send Zap the tunes
I've done with stomp ;)
Setec - just mail him the cd, once you get it done. i am sure he will
appreciate that. :)
Setec - I think you were actually the one who first introduced me to
stomper...so i owe you big time.
Hunz - heheh.
Setec - Well...Back to that album...
Setec - How will the style of such an album be? I mean, you have
already covered quite a range of styles in your tracking career.
Hunz - Yeah. I guess I'm into moody groove music so that will be the
pretext of the album. But knowing me, I'll stray. But I love
it, cuz I have to make the whole album work together.
Setec - Moody groove music? Any tunes of reference?
Hunz - Well, stuff I haven't released yet, You Go Ahead is kinda
there but I've redefined it a little with tunes such as Assimilate
Me, Slave and Primitive Trigger (all unreleased ;)
They are all dark tunes, but have hope scattered through
them, something which I love to write about.
Setec - Yeah, You Go Ahead is very dark. But if I recall correctly
there is a middle part with a "hopeful" upbeat melody.
Hunz - Yeah, it has a lovely flute kinda part in the middle .. I
love that part ;)
Setec - Now, you have mentioned that you have plans about founding
your own label. What is that all about?
Hunz - Well, later on I want to run my own label, helping the scene
out. I believe that most of the time the scene predicts styles
that are coming out. So I want to catch them before the mainstream
Setec - So you feel that the scene could benefit from more exposure?
I know that a lot of sceners would prefer that it be kept
under-ground. How do you feel about this?
Hunz - True, but the scene is where we all grow. IF you want to
grow beyond the scene the next place is a deal so you can branch
out. I just see it as a step.
Setec - And you feel that many sceners have the quality to be signed?
Hunz - Yeah, only a few but a lot show potential to the mainstream.
I think Zauron and Mellow-d would be 1st on my to sign list
Setec - Lovelight sure is a potential hit
Hunz - Yeah, and his old stuff eats my shorts ;) It's amazing.
Setec - And Mellow-d is just plain great. I marvel at how he is not
signed already. You could make DOPE on those two guys, man. :)
Hunz - Yeah. But that's what it's all about in the end; money )=
Sad really, but I would like to give them an oppotunity to be
liked by more then just, 2thousand or so people ;)
Setec - Do you think that the commercial world of music is ready for
us? Or are we still too different from ordinary music?
Hunz - Nah, with Bjork and others like that stealing the light I
feel that there is too much room for us ;)
Setec - Hehe, good point. I sure find myself listening to more
tracked music than "real" music, at times.
Hunz - Yeah. I'm the same ;)
Setec - Well...wrapping it up, a few of those questions that are so
damned hard to answer...:)
What is - in your opinion - your best tracked piece yet?
Hunz - hmm. Send Me Drift'n (remix - unreleased)
I found a new melody line, and it's so beautiful (but it's
straight on the floor techno, so many will diss it ;)
Setec - Send Me Drift'n is beautiful as it is.
Setec - imo, Volume is your best piece ever. Most inventive stuff I
have heard in the scene so far. Besides some of Jak's stuff, which
is up there with Volume as well.
Hunz - Yeah, but it's not tracked to perfection I guess.
Setec - Perfection is not always a neccesity.
Setec - Well...that is it, I think. I have run out of questions :)
Any last words, anything you feel needs to be said before we
wrap it up?
Hunz - hrm. Nothing really, just keep tracking and do it well.
Or don't do it well, and track techno! (mwhahahahahha)
Setec - Oooh, you will be hated for that last remark. :)
Hunz - No worries ;) I don't mean it ... I do techno.
Setec - Well, thanks for taking the time to do this.
I can now look forward to an hour of editing. :)
Hunz - hehehen. YAH! That's always fun as fun can be...
Well, there you go. Once again thanks a lot to Hunz for taking the
time to do this. The whole thing actually lasted nearly two hours. And
the editing DID actually take almost an hour. :)
I will definitely do more interviews for Static Line in the future,
preferably one each issue. So if you have anyone you want to recommend
for interviewing (even if it is yourself :) please do not hestitate to
contact me. Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did...
Tracking and Married Life.
A few days ago, I made the biggest mistake a tracker can possibly make
for his music careeer. I got married. *bewm* bye-bye dilvie!
Wait a minute. Back the truck up! It ain't over yet! If you're having
a hard time getting any work done musically, because your S/O is jealous
of the time you want to spend on music, here are a few tips:
Get her involved. There are lots of ways to do that. The first and the
most important is to use your wife or girlfriend as a sounding board.
Assuming that you didn't drive her crazy forcing her to listen to the
song over-and-over again while it was a work in progress (big mistake),
she might provide some good critisisms from an outside angle.
She might be more in tune with what the general public will think of
your song. Just because they're not musicians doesn't mean they're
clueless about music. They know what they like, and good music is hard
You can also get her involved by letting her twist the knobs on your
effects, let her dive in and get creative. Maybe she's got some talents
you haven't picked up on. If you make your studio less "my space" and
more "our space", maybe she won't be so jealous of the time you spend in
Then again, maybe I'm just blowing hot air. After all, I've only been
married a few days now. ;)
Erin likes to play guitar, read a good book, and piece together
puzzles while dilvie's "at work". Maybe the best way to stem the tides
of jealousy is to allow your S/O to find things that interest her to
keep her busy while you're burried in your music.
The Quest To Expand
This is sparked partially by Marble's letter (appearing in this issue).
But it is also drawn up from the idea that I personally don't feel we
have yet expanded to anywhere close to our full potential. Thus, I am
asking for anyone who would like to help out in any way to please
contact me. I can be reached by e-mail at: email@example.com.
I am very interested in persuing Marble's idea to have a montly poll
system. Without putting a whole lot of thought to it, the job would
entail selecting a series of current tunes (maybe some demos), setting
up the poll station, collecting data and formating it into a column.
For those of you who aren't aware yet, we do have a web page now. It
isn't much yet, but I promise you it will expand to something very useful
for everyone. It resides at: http://www.ic.l7.net/statline. The poll
station could reside on this web page if need be, as well as some other
things. Check it out.
If you are willing to help with any of this, again, please contact me or
any of the Assistant Editors (Ranger Rick and Subliminal). See the
closing for information. If you have ideas for new columns, you can also
drop us a letter.
Beat me up, Scotty
Percussion Tips, Part II
By: Jesper Pedersen / Setec
Percussion is too often a topic that is regarded as being one of
the easiest things to track. Something that just needs to be taken care
of. The truth however is that a proper drum section is just as important
as the melody line or the chord progression. If done poorly, it can drag
an otherwise great tune into something that is less remarkable. On the
other hand, if the percussion is well-handled, it can be a major factor
in creating a great tune.
I will try to present you with some basic tips on percussion as
well as some ideas on how to improve your beats. Some of these things
might have been said before, but they can never be repeated too often.
BEAT ME UP, SCOTTY
PART IIa - Drumloops; pros and cons
Welcome to the second part of my percussion series. This part will
concentrate on drumloops and drumloop usage, getting the most out of
your loops. First off, let me point out some of the pros and cons of
using drumloops in your tunes :
+ Drumloops give you the possibility to add "realtime" effects to your
percussion such as flanger, phaser, distortion, chorus,...
+ Depth. If you spice up a tracked beat with a drumloop you can
get amazing depth and sound, which can sometimes be hard to accomplish
+ Sampling drumloops from commercial audio cds is a heck of a lot easier
than filtering out the drum samples one by one.
- Size. Needless to say, drumloops will (often) be larger compared to a
- Variation. Unless you are really careful you might end up with a
percussion with little or no variation at all.
- Originality. If you choose to sample drumloops of audio cds you might
end up with something that sounds way too much like the original song.
As you might have noticed, two out of the three cons can be outcome
simply by using the drumloops properly. The actual how to's on doing
this will be outlined in this article.
PART IIb - Chop, chop
Okay, say we have a basic drumloop with four downbeats. Simply
playing this over and over is NOT the way to go. So how do we go about
making this loop just a little more flexible?
My friend, it is time to chop up our drumloop. Dividing it into
small segments of the full beat will yield many more possibilities to
add some variation to the loop. How many segments you wanna chop it
into is entirely up to you. Just remember - the more segments the more
I usually make a seperate sample each time there is a bass drum or
snare hit (or anything similar). So if we have a drumloop such as this :
|| bass drum - * - * - * - snare - * - bass drum - * - bass drum -
snare - * - bass drum - snare - * - - * - bass drum ||
(Those *'s are hihats, pardon the lame ASCII. Hope it makes just a
little sense :)
I would probably chop it into these pieces :
|| bass drum - * - * - * -
|| snare - * -
|| bass drum - * -
|| bass drum -
|| snare - * -
|| bass drum -
|| snare - * - - * -
|| bass drum
This would give us eight samples instead of just a single one. Now
with just a little playing around we will be able to take a drumloop
like that much further instead of just repeating it over and over.
The problem with this approach - besides the hastle of chopping in
the right places - is clicking. You might run into a serious amount of
One way to handle this is by editing each of the loop samples,
making sure that the volume at the end of each sample rises from 0% to
100% and that it decreases from 100% down to 0% at the end of each.
This is easily accomplished in the sample editor of Fast Tracker II,
but all Impulse trackers might have to use a seperate sample editor.
Of course, this method cannot completely take care of the clicking,
but it might help remove a lot of it.
An interesting way of avoiding all the trouble of dividing the
drumloop into seperate samples is by reserving a certain numberof
channels for the drumloop, instead of just a single one. What we do
then is rather simple.
Say we have the loop from before (that ugly ASCII a page up) and we
want to make it play like this instead :
|| bass drum - * - bass drum - * - snare - * - bass drum - bass drum
- * - snare - * - bass drum - snare - * - bass drum - * ||
(GOD, I hope this makes sense!)
To avoid chopping up the loop, this is how we would play it :
00 C-5 1 40 000 C-5 1 00 000 C-5 1 00 000
01 --- -- 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000
02 C-5 1 40 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000
03 --- -- 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000 (of course, this only
04 --- 00 000 --- 40 000 --- -- 000 works if the beat is
05 --- -- 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000 exactly timed to last
06 --- -- 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000 sixteen rows)
07 C-5 1 40 000 --- 00 000 --- -- 000
08 --- -- 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000
09 --- 00 000 --- -- 000 --- 40 000
0A --- -- 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000
0B --- -- 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000
0C --- -- 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000
0D --- -- 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000
0E C-5 1 40 000 --- -- 000 --- 00 000
0F --- -- 000 --- -- 000 --- -- 000
This might all seem a bit confusing, but try looking carefully at
how the beat will sound played this way and you will notice that it has
changed into exactly what we wanted, without any chopping at all.
If we had wanted, we could have thrown in even more variation. We
use the opening | bass drum - hihat | sequence quite a lot, we could
have added an extra channel and timed the beat to use one of the other
similar sequences instead. Play around with it a bit and you will
I think this method of varying drumloops is seen far too seldom
in tracked music. It is a fairly simple approach (once you get the hang
of it) and the results can be very good indeed. So use it!
PART IIc - Playing around
One of the major advantages of using drumloops is that they are so
easy to play around with. I will grant you with a few ideas, a few
experiments of my own. But try experimenting on your own as well; do
crazy, whacky stuff. You never know when you will stumble across some
- Flanger. This effect is fairly easy to fake in a tracker, all you
need is two channels for the drumloop. There are two ways to go about
this, either you offset the loop on one of the channels a (tiny) bit, or
you tune one of the channels a little differently by using pitch
sliding. The keyword here is SMALL changes. Try it out and you will see
how it works. Try experimenting with changes in pitch slides during the
beat, kinda like a realtime flanger effect.
- Echo/Chorus. Another easy effect to imitate. I am not gonna go too
much into this, as I bet most of you know how to make echoes already.
Copy the drumloop channel to another channel and move it a few rows
down, then lower the volume of that channel significantly. Yes, more
than fifty percent, damnit! Unless of course you wanna experiment. :)
Chorus is actually (almost) just an echo very very close to the
original source (in time, that is). So offsetting could help you create
a chorus-like effect on your drumloop. This might sound like that
flanger effect though, if you offset the sample too little.
- Panning. Experiment a lot with panning on your drumloops. But
please, be careful. A sliding pan on a drumloop can be great if done
correctly, but otherwise it will just be annoying and hurt the listeners
ears. Do not use extreme pans, there is nothing worse than a snare drum
at full pan.
- As a side note to the previous idea, you can actually use rather
extreme panning in certain situations. Say you break your song into a
more silent part, where you do not want the beat to be in the
foreground. Try lowering the volume of the drumloop significantly and
panning it to something around 30 or C0, extremes like that. This is
great for beats playing in the background. But remember to lower the
volume quite a bit, otherwise it is just annoying.
- Try playing your loops at an octave below the sampled frequency.
This can make some pretty weird sounds, especially if it is combined
with the loop played at normal speed.
- Volume altering can also be an effective way to mess with your
beat. Try making a tremolo-like effect, only with longer periods between
the low volumes. Accent some of the upbeats instead of the downbeats.
It can be rather tricky to make this sound right, so play around with
it. Echoing something like this can be truly amazing. Watch Jak do this
and you will see what I mean. :)
PART IId - And I'm out
There, that was what I could whip up about drumloops. I might have
forgotten a few topics, I was surprised that is was actually a tough
subject to cover. Most of the ideas and knowledge about drumloops is
hard to explain, really. It all comes in experimenting on your own, so
go do that instead of listening to my blabbering. :)
See you in the next part.
This is the second part in a series of percussion tips and ideas.
Comments and ideas on topics to discuss should be mailed to me at
Editor: Coplan / D. Travis North / firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Editors: Ranger Rick / Ben Reed / email@example.com
Subliminal / Matt Friedly / firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Manager: Dilvish / Eric Hamilton / email@example.com
Columnists: Coplan / D. Travis North / firstname.lastname@example.org
Calvin French / email@example.com
Dilvish / Eric Hamilton / firstname.lastname@example.org
Louis Gorenfeld / email@example.com
SiN / Ian Haskin / firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff Writers: Acell / Jamie LeSouef / email@example.com
Darkheart / Zach Heitling / firstname.lastname@example.org
Setec / Jesper Pederson / email@example.com
Technical Support: Draggy / Nicolas St. Pierre / firstname.lastname@example.org
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