Archive for December 23, 2004

Noel

This song is basically indicative of my love/hate relationship with Christmas carols. Well, okay, maybe not so much love, but you have to admit that some of the traditional Christmas songs have a very nice sound to them – until you’ve heard them over the radio, the television, the supermarket PA system, and quite possibly your own atonal co-workers. So, in all honesty, this song is more about my hate of Christmas carols, coupled with my love of the pure, unadulterated sounds of basic sine waves.

As you can probably tell, the main melody is played live, by me, and is partially – but not entirely – corrected via post-processing. This, in fact, is partly intentional, as the goal of this song is to be interesting, while being just annoying and out-of-sync enough to drive you absolutely crazy! Of course, that wasn’t my intent when I began this piece – I had been playing around with different sounds on my keyboard, and listening to pure sine tones, when I tried out various melodies, including the classic Noel. So, I decided to play it into my sequencer and mess around with it a bit. However, after playing it over and over and over and over again in the sequencer, I decided that there is no way I’m going to make a Christmas carol that does not somehow embody the sheer annoyance that they seem to spawn in most people about this proximity to the holidays – and so you have this piece.

Don’t let that description turn you off, though – it’s still an interesting piece. It does follow my tendency to like building tones onto melodies over continually varying instrumentation, but I think that it has some very intriguing layering to it, as it goes from the simplest tones possible, to frenetic insanity, and back again. If you like Christmas music, or if you hate Christmas music, or if you just want to annoy your co-worker with more of the musical holiday spirit, then this is the track for you!

Production Notes: The track was, of course, produced and sequenced in Logic. The main melody line is created by the AirySynth, which is one of the best synths for creating simple, pure tones (not to mention the fact that it’s free, if you’re interested in playing around with it). Bells with EFM-1, weird detune thing with Buzzer, gliding synth lead by Crystal, and everything else by Vanguard. Yes, I know there’s a very slight glitch at the front of the track – I think this has something to do with the way the synth activates, so you’ll just have to live with it until I can figure out a workaround.

Also note that I have nothing against Christmas as a holiday, religious or otherwise – I just have something against the overwhelming commercialism and trite musical drivel that accompanies it.

http://www.idlecircuits.com/digintmedia/noel.mp3