After a bit of a delay, here is the fifth free single leading up to the Radioatomic album: Half Life. It features a 'proper song' and a couple of experiments I like to call sonic atmospheres.
Half Life is perhaps my favourite song that I've written for the album. It was written in March of 2013 but not finished until this April. It started out with a basic loop made from a clock sample and a bass note from the Korg Monotribe. I called upon the K-Station for an arpeggio (and a few other sounds) you may recognise from other tracks, as I wanted to give the songs on this album a similar sound and style. The bulk of the lead sounds were made on the Roland HS-60. It wasn't long after I got it that I made this song, and I wanted to 'show it off' as it were. The Yamaha TG-33 also makes an appearance. It's a digital 'vector synth' designed for making evolving pads, but in this case I've just used its lovely bell sound. The drums are Alesis SR-16 samples which were initially programmed via keyboard but redone using the Alesis SamplePad to give them variable velocity and a few interesting frills here and there.
March of the Rads is the earliest track I recorded for Radioatomic. It's essentially an aural journey into a radioactive wasteland. We hear the clicking of a geiger counter, getting faster as the radiation builds, the stark sounds of wind and other strange wiggly noises. I thought I was being clever, only to realise that Kraftwerk already did this in the 70's on the opening track to their album 'Radioactivity.' The geiger sound was realised on K-Station. If you apply a pitch modulation envelope to a sawtooth oscillator you can, with a bit of fiddling, slow the waveform waaaay down until it just becomes a click. Turning it slowly back up produced the backing track, which was then fed through a Danelectro Spring King (spring reverb pedal). HS-60 provides wind sounds and the weird wiggly radiation noise. Monotribe also makes a brief appearance and you can hear some radio frequency sounds towards the end.
Video: (coming soon)
Global Warning while doing research for the album I happened upon this youtube clip, filmed inside Sellafield THORP. At 3:50 you can hear the criticality alarm which sounds perpetually inside the building. I found the whole idea rather creepy and thought it would be a cool experiment to replicate the ambience using synthesizers. The blips were made on the Monotribe through the Spring King. HS-60 and K-Station each provide a layer of filtered noise to emulate the background hum of the industrial building.