Monday, 9 June 2008

Well as it's turned out this post is more like a magazine. Still I haven't posted very regularly lately so there you go- all in one post. Please check Phil Robb's contribution at end after the Shaman calling video.
I know I promised photos and news of EB Band recordings scheduled for the weekend of the 23rd but it was not to be. That being the case I decided to make some thing entirely on my P.C. and with a video camera as an experimental extension of my recent blog videos. I started work on Wed 21st May and the whole thing was intended to take around 10 hours. Ha ha ! Still it only took around 17 hours over a week or two.

At the risk of boring some of you with stuff you don't want or need to know I wanted to tell you about aspects of the process and of the product made on very simple to use equipment. You don't need lots of expensive equipment - ideas are what counts. The microphone I used is available at all computer stores for around £12. The video camera cost £399 and I used the very basic bundled editing software ( see photo above). I used some thing called ACDsee which is a photo viewer that cost about £20 online. It has a very quick slide show down to 5 milliseconds between photos. I used this to make video out of stills. I shot the slide show with a tripod off the screen of my PC.

Some of the samples were re-recorded through my little Fender practise amp via the twelve quid microphone. I planned to record my 5 string bass and guitars through the amp but then decided I would make the piece with out playing a note. So no guitar and no bass. My kind of of techno. I decided I would only use samples I had previously made or those already existing in my library. I re modelled and re-processed almost every thing fairly extensively while trying not to be too precious about things. I made a couple of new samples (the voice and string) for the end part.

I started by moving sampled sounds from my library around the multitrack window of Cool Edit adjusting them as and when required in the editing window. I made a short voice recording which I wanted to be a featured "hook". It is me sneering into the microphone through the wonderful Steinburg Orange vocoder which is one of my many onboard effects. I made some of the drum sounds with my voice and then mangled them into shape and then loops. I would like to make a whole track with just voice but that is another project for another day. The audio was monitored using a pair of £16.00 PC self powered speakers by NTrust and a pair of Sennheiser HD250 head phones. OK they cost £145 but you gotta have some luxuries.

I had planned to make some thing including some yoik and chanting with a little bit of voodoo gris gris. Out Demons Out. At this moment I was just at the point of sticking pins in an effigy when the doorbell rang. It was Ramblin' so I had to hide the sacrificial cockerel as he is a vegetarian. He had arrived to upgrade my PC memory to 2 gigabytes. Other wise my PC is not a specialist music tool in any way. It does work more quickly though. Cheers mate!

Brian Eno had cards which he used to plot musical strategies such as what he would do to begin a piece. I just asked Ramblin' for a sample of his front door bell which he emailed to me. This inspired the title SHAMAN CALLING. Does any one remember the Shaman Lady? Sorry I mean Avon Lady. I later dumped the idea as the track began to take some sort of useful shape. So Ramblin's doorbell is now my text alert on my phone. Waste not want not.

I made and mangled all of the sampling in Cool Edit Pro 2. Sampling is like photographing sound and Cool Edit is a bit like Photo Shop for audio. It is the standard audio editor in Broadcasting and cost around £200. I used it to train young people on a youth radio project I was involved with some time ago. It has now been replaced by Adobe Audition which I have yet to see. The beauty of this software is that you can teach yourself the basics using the excellent manual on disk in a day. Simplicity of use is the main feature for me though it has complex layers of possibilities, some of which I have yet to explore. There are many other affordable software packages that do, more or less, the same job.

I am quite new to making visual material though I have always had images in my mind that fit with songs. I basically want to make video scratch stuff fairly simply that doesn't require huge resources. HD I don't think so, unless it stands for hard drive. The ability of video to be recorded on drive in the camera is manna from heaven as far as I'm concerned and warranted my buying one. I like intentional and some times accidental distortion of sound and visuals that contibutes texture. Some of the video was shot by Ramblin' on my phone while he projected images on me and the wall behind me. All of the sounds and visuals on Shaman calling are in some way distorted.

I have spent years in the pursuit of wringing great sounds out of standard, fairly inexpensive equipment. It can be done. Some times these things are difficult to re-create in a top studio with all the gizmos. I always try to employ a little programming creatively and avoid using instrument factory pre sets , unless they are great and they rarely are. You start to recognise them after a while because musicians working in the advertising industry and pop producers buy all the latest kit, fill the air waves with the best factory preset sounds and then dump the instrument for the newest model. You can make quite presentable stuff if you get to know how to get the best out of what you have, what ever it is. The video is compressed to a third of its original size to fit on here but I think the quality is kinda o.k.

I hope the writing in this post is not too technical and gives some idea of the process involved. Enough chat - I hope you like the video. Peace.

copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2008

LATEST - We reached over 100,000 hits on the EB Band site.
Luke has more than 100 members on his EB Band group on face book. then type Edgar Broughton Band.

This was sent today from Phil Robb -
Thought you might want to sign this petition. I don't normally do this kind of thing, but you probably understand that it is an issue particularly close to my own heart, being very much part of the community this woman has chosen to slate. It doesn't cost anything to sign, just a few seconds of your time. Please lend your support.

Rob, does this warrant a comment on the EBBsite perhaps?

Kind regards,

Phil Robb

Subject: FW: homophobic politician

Subject: Oppose Iris Robinson - petitionIris Robinson is a Democratic Unionist Party MP and wife of Peter Robinson, the leader of the DUP. Mrs Robinson is now the subject of
complaint to the police on account of her recent public announcement that gays are "an abomination", and need psychiatric help to be "turned around". Yesterday she intensified her stance, with a BBC interview in which she announces that "as sinners", gays should be regarded alongside murderers.I'd also note that the DUP is the party whose support enabled the passage through Parliament of legislation to extend to 42 days internment by the police of "terrorist suspects" - legislation which is to apply throughout the UK. DUP spokespersons have already made it evident they expect government favour for their help in passing this legislation, which Amnesty International has described as an affront to civl liberty. As an MP, Mrs Robinson was among those who voted to carry this bill. In other words, to view Mrs Robinson and the DUP as influential solely in Northern Ireland is to disregard the role they are now taking in the wider sphere of UK politics.
Please add your name to the petition, to join in voicing opposition > against these developments.
>> Iris Robinson interviewed yesterday
> Belfast Telegraph report
> local-national/article3785912.ece>> Iris Robinson's opening salvo > northern_ireland/7439661.stm


Anonymous said...

Stunning !
intresting to see and hear how your mind meets your ideas.

Anonymous said...

I was feeling a bit miserable this morning but your creation and innovation has cheered me up.
It was well worth the 17 hours!

Peace from Paul in the Dales

Anonymous said...

Fabulous video........really different. Didn't understand all the technical detail but the result is great!

Anonymous said...

Lets dance. Way to go Rob. Compelling. My 19 yr son loves it. Waves of positive vibes. Let us have more please.
Sally and John (my son)

Anonymous said...

How amazing that such a performance can be put together for so little. Just shows that it is ideas that count..........that and talent and hard work. Although it took 17 hours to make that doesn't take into account the years you have spent learning your trade. Fabulous!

Anonymous said...

This stuff is alive. You seem to have become able to mix and match musical influences and styles in a much more meaningful way than some of your contempories. Your power still comes through after all these years. Remember the Farx. Happy days. Looking forward to a new album.
By the way Mr Larry Adler died in 2002.

Anonymous said...

Mucho bonkers and brilliant.
"Crossing over in the Midnight Sun" - can we come ?
More please.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Poland. Still greatest music even better than ever was. Groovy modern tribal song. Interesting about how you make it.
Peace and respects.

Anonymous said...

Now you are talking. Out Iris Out.
Kickin vid.
Love to all
Marvellous Gay

Anonymous said...

Angela here Rob. The video is amazing especially having read how you made it all. I didn't expect that quality but I suppose that is your point. How ever, reading between the lines, as I do, I see another sweeping statement here. Ha ha! A kind of ironic joke and a potent message. I know you have had a tough ride for some time now and it's good to see you rising above it. x

Anonymous said...

Out Iris Out indeed.

And how does this do for freedom of speech:-

The majority of christians, catholics and others who follow bible based religions are ignorant sinners who fail to fully comprehend the book that they claim to follow so faithfully. Speaking as a non religious person myself, there's actually nothing wrong with the messiah's (messenger) original teachings, it still comes through despite the myriad distortions in a book that was written well after the fact, then translated several times into greek then english, (do these morons even know that Jesus wasn't even the ancient rabbi's name, (rabbi means teacher) it's a greek translation of it - i mean how un-hebrew can you get! Yashua or Joshua is actually closer!) One of the biggest problems started with Paul who was one of his opposers, he then decided to pervert the teachings, call it 'the word' and spread it around to europe etc. and voila: the dysfucntional, corrupted, fantasy-based, sickenly co-dependant dogma that we all know and love was born.

Hearing this Iris woman go on about 'the blood of christ' makes me wanna smash something. Do we go around wearing silver nooses or guillotines or electric chairs round our necks? No. He was murdered because peoples inability to fully understand what he was saying was mired in the same blind deferrence that these points of view are mired in now.

The distorted message is weaved into every aspect of modern society, mysterious laws, attiudes towards family, sexuality, trading, mental health and even the notion of creativity and the resultant merging with the obssesion with fame, all have their roots in this mystical kind of defferrence, fear and externalisation of what is internal. We live in a mutant, codependant society because we have given a name, face (and long white beard) to our collective conciousness, you can't get any more co-dependant than that!! (externalise the internal)

There is no sense of context here, just a blind acceptance that 'this is the word of god'. The third book in the old testament was written for people who were wandering up and down the desert in danger of extinction. Hence Leviticus is simply a set of guidances on morality, horticulture, diet, finance, and so on, i.e men should not lie with each other cos we need to procreate or we will die out, and so on.

This is a quote from a well respected bible commentary, actually written by christians: it says that the whole of the christian faith is dependant on the idea that 'he' lived again after he was killed - without that the whole thing will crumble. In comparison, it could be scientifically proven that the Budhha never existed yet all his teachings would stand up on their own.

In the light of all this, how can we take her seriously? She is as deluded as the rest of them are. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Things may often look okay on the surface but they really aren't, and it goes way beyond attitudes towards sexuality.

Check out and please note, this is not a religious site.

Lets learn before its too late.

Anonymous said...

Cool tune. Love the video.
Iris should be put in the stocks and pelted with rotten clergy. There are plenty of them in Ireland, land of my birth.

Anonymous said...

I just had a couple of really beautiful Iris's come up in my garden - now, they are worth talking about.

Peace, and may the peddlers of truth just fu.. ... ... ...!

ramblinmad, or whoever

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a bisexual man, i see no point in any knee-jerk reaction to robinsons silly comments. There are 2 kind of polititions, the ones who want to get on with their job and the ones who, despite their convitions, are in it for the attention. Unforunately these days the majority fall into the latter category. This petition will be exactly what she wants in terms of negative attention, in fact halfway down the petition i found this: "God bless Iris Robinson. Homosexuality should be kept out of public view, and out of the media." Her remarks are no more of a threat to diversity in sexual orientation than what you'd hear in 50% of pubs across the country. Politicising sexuality is always a dangerous tightrope walk with hollow victories as best and often dire consequenses at worst. Paying into people hands is never a good idea.

After having watched her interview it's clear that she's operating on a fairly low level of mental health as there is very little sense in what she says. Reminds me of Edwina Currie's assertion that people in the north live a life of ignorance and crisps, then she appears on a celebrity cooking program and makes an even bigger twat of herself, and am I the only one who thought Tony Blair on the Catherine Tate show was disturbing?

Anonymous said...

Great vid, great tune.

How strange that someone named 'Iris' should be so blind.