music and recording

GrapeNuts: Free Sample Pack for the Bastl grandPA by Simeon Smith

GrapeNuts Sample Pack is in no way related to or endorsed by Post Cereals, it’s just… read the post, m’kay?

GrapeNuts Sample Pack is in no way related to or endorsed by Post Cereals, it’s just… read the post, m’kay?

Things I love about the 21st century: 

-Creative friends to swap synth modules with.

-The ability to share art stuff at very little cost to me.

-You can totally film a promo video for a sample pack on your phone in like 5 minutes and totally get away with it. 

Anyhow, I recently did a module swap and received this rather fetching Bastl grandPA & Spa all in one module thang. It’s great. I’ve wanted one for ages.

Playing around with the samples that were on it, was fun, but UPLOADING YOUR OWN SAMPLES is totally where it’s at, so I sat down with some VST instruments I really like and use all the time. I copied 8 chord voicings over 4 different sounds and then filled the extra few slots with some noise. 

One of the most intense memories of my actual grandpa is sitting down to breakfast with him in his conservatory. Every morning he’d eat cold toast and a bowl of Grape Nuts Cereal with a little milk. So when I went about making food for my grandPA sampler, I knew exactly what to call it.

Here’s the sample pack in action:

And it’s free! Please, please share it with anyone you know that enjoys samplers or granular synths - it’ll work on any sampler, not just the Bastl. 

Big thanks to Bastl for making such kick ass modules and big love to YOU for listening to my shit. 

While it’s totally free, if you find yourself enjoying the sounds and wanted to support more stuff like this, my bandcamp is right here.

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Palindrome One by Simeon Smith

palindrome pal·in·drome | \ˈpa-lən-ˌdrōm  \ : a word, verse, or sentence (such as "Able was I ere I saw Elba") or a number (such as 1881) that reads the same backward or forward

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Carry The Martyr Released In Full by Simeon Smith

Hey everyone, and a Happy New Year to the lot of you.

Since the end of the summer I’ve been working on an album, called CARRY THE MARTYR, releasing tracks as I go: No promo, no noise, just having fun in the studio and uploading stuff when it sounded kind of finished.

While I’ve totally loved producing the painstaking piano soundscapes of PENINSVLA and CELLS, I just wanted to make some fun music, with my heart, not my head. CARRY THE MARTYR hopes to be just that.

It got more attention than I expected and had some lovely radio support from Adam Thomas Walton at BBC Cymru Wales (thanks bro!).

Well, since breaking up for work before Christmas I’ve been working at ironing out creases and gluing the whole project together. It’s done and there’s 10 bloody tracks of the thing. While I often find my music hard-to-describe, not this album. This album is 100% house music. 120bpm, 4-to-the-floor from start to finish.

Listen and download for free here: carrythemartyr.bandcamp.com and it’ll be on Spotify et al soon.

And now, as a New Year’s present, it’s yours. I hope you enjoy it on your New-Years-Resolution runs, at your New-Years-Resolution gym sessions, and while scoffing 20 toblerones in your car sat on the driveway as you fail your New-Years-Resolution diet.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

(A note on project names: Every time I release music under a different name, I get the same questions: Are you not doing XXX music anymore? Has XXX band broken up? Is this a new XXX?… Nah, guys, it’s just a way of segmenting my increasingly ridiculous back-catalog. Plus, I loves me a new logo.)

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The Randomness of Existence by Simeon Smith

As more time passes, I’m less and less sure if effort, or hard work makes a difference at all to productivity. I mean we all know, deep down, that hard work doesn’t equate to higher earnings, otherwise nurses would be millionaires. But does greater effort lead to greater… anything really?

Here’s a track that came out a few days ago that I produced with Eleanor, in an afternoon. Sure, we could have done things a lot differently if we’d had longer, we could have spent longer on the mix and post production, but what this captures is something very special; raw creativity (mostly hers!), done and dusted.

We could have spent a month on this track, we could have used better gear, found a better space to record, but we didn’t. And not only did we express something in a creative and energised way, people seem to be enjoying it.

The same with my little side-project Carry The Martyr, which has been composed mainly on headphones on my laptop in lunch-breaks, on trains, and outside my kids evening swimming classes. Just add 10 parts inspiration to every 1 part effort. There’s now 5 tracks of the thing in just a few weeks, and sure I’m enjoying it so much that when I have a more significant body of work I’ll mix everything down paying a lot more attention to the process and master everything to make it flow a bit (a lot) better.

https://carrythemartyr.bandcamp.com

One of my favourite artists is Salventius, who creates amazing one line drawings in seconds. This kind of reminds me that he’s standing on a mountain of practice, experience and work to get to the place where he can create these beautiful images in a few seconds, but at the same time the product doesn’t match the speed or effort he puts in at all!

And, because I’m naturally pretty pessimist this eventually leads me to think of all the times I’ve sweat blood and tears over projects and they’ve turned out… okay. Today marks 5 years since Bex and my last single as Kinetic Monkey. The whole album took ages, took a lot of headwork, we promoted hard, and… yeah. it’s okay. It’s a decent job, but it’s not by a long stretch the kind of music I’d hope would come from 100% effort.

And I’m not knocking effort. If something’s worth doing it’s worth doing well. Passion and dedication are important to us as humans, but this myth of “hard work pays off” needs to die. Who is it that said “The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good.”?

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New Eurorack Module: Talos. by Simeon Smith

TALOS PROMO SHOT.jpg

Talos is passive clockwork electroacoustic module for eurorack synthesizers, featuring a wind up toy motor connected to a piezo. The motor drives a small cog on the front of the module that can then drive... well... anything you come up with.

The piezo works best with a preamp, but most systems will have something that can amplify the module.

The cog can be connected to other cogs; it's lego-compatible.

talosweb.jpg

-Passive Piezo Tranducer attached to jack output - best used with a preamp module, or mixer.
-10hp acrylic panel.
-Hand assembled.
-Includes mounting screws and swag.

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