Tell me how you "reworked" Hal McGee's loop material. I'm interested in how you approach a sound resource and the process you use to fashion it.
I view a sound source as a synthesizer voice. This stems from my work in the 1980's and 1990's with analog synthesizers where I would build a patch and then see what could be done with that patch by modifying it, by changing the parameters of the synthesizer and processing the sound with effects. I view a sound source or a loop as a voice to be modified and processed. However, this doesn't mean every sound source or loop is going to be modified and/or processed, just that they are all candidates. I reviewed each of Hal's loops and then reworked them. On many of them I would edit out silence and any part that I felt did not fit. The next step would be to experiment with differentmodifications such as resampling or slowing/speeding up the loop, adding different forms of processing, splitting stereo loops into a mono-left and mono-right loop. One loop might wind up being six or eight loops. For example, say I am working with stereo loop "A", I would wind up with "loop A mono left", "loop A mono right", "loop A mono left with echo", "loop A mono right with echo", "loop A mono left with distortion", "loop A mono right with distortion", "loop A mono left reversed with echo", "loop A mono right reversed with echo". Then I would the various iterations of"loop A" in Acid, the original split-into-left+right-mono-tracks" might be at zero db, the echo iterations might be at minus five db, the distortion iterations might be at minus eight db, the reverse echo iterations might be at minus twelve db. Then the panning points are set among all these iterations to compliment each other; one pair might waver between thirty and forty-five percent left and right, another pair might hard pan slowly from left to right, another pair might hard pan quickly between left and right and so on, and sometimes the panning would be non-complementary for variety. I value production very highly and feel that is of utmost importance in any genre including "noise".
Tell me about your effects. Do you use outboard effects or purely VST/digital?
For "One" I only used the effects that are avilable in Sound Forge (version 4.5). Actually, that statementis true for a lot my work with loops, i.e.: my composistions at Tapegerm. For loops that I create, I'm just beginning to use VST effects but Ihave used the effects available in the freeware tracker "Buzz" for many years now. I am a big fan of Buzz and while it can be exasperating to work with running it on a Windows XP computer, I have become somewhat experineced with it and enjoy using it.
You build your own electronic sound devices. How does your understanding of building electronics influence creating work such as ONE?
I don't do much electronic construction these past five years or so but what my understanding of electronics has given me not only for "One" but all my work, is an understanding of the audio spectrum and how the frequencies work with each other, how not to group a composistions frequencies all in one section of the spectrum. However, that doesn't require an understanding of electronics, anyone with a decent ear that has studied recordings can get that insight. Maybe it's been with me so long (thirty years) that I can't separate it out and say this (electronics) has influenced me this way or has influenced me that way. Getting back to "One", if you really listen to it, you'll understand that loops are placed to compliment each other and not stomp over each other's frequency space. It's a wall of sound yes, but it's not a wall of uninteeligible noise.
How did the recording evolve once you began building its structure in ACID? Are there sounds which permeate the entire piece or is the recording built up of sections flowing from one to the other?
The best answer to that is "yes", it's really a combination of that. There are loops that show up over the course of the entire sixty minutes but most of the loops are in groups. By groups I mean this; I would take a loop then repeat it after a set period of time, say ten seconds and then another ten seconds and so on. Perhaps this will make it more clear: Loop A___ten seconds___Loop A___ten seconds___Loop A___ten seconds___Loop A: this would constitute a group and then I would have three or four of these groups over the course of "One"'s hour length. Of course every loop is different and even if the group repetition number is the same there are differences in the timing and panning of each. One of the loops is stretched out to sixty minutes to form a sweeping background. That was the first loop I did for the piece and provided a foundation on which I built the rest of the piece.
Tell me about the cover art.
I set up a small diorama of "scrap" electronic and metal pieces from my workshop. I just picked pieces I thought were visually inteesting and arranged them the same way, just visually interesting. I took a picture and split it into three sections: front cover, inside front cover and back cover. I manipulated the colors in my graphics program, Corel Photo-Paint and then imported that into Corel Draw which I use for my CD art layout and printing. Coincidentally while I was scrounging through my junk I found the brass piece that is on the front cover, it had the number "1" stamped into it.