Visible vibes.

Over the last week, I have once again been messing around with my music apps; Oscilab, the loop maker and sequencer on my phone, combined with a beta-test version of the Poweramp music player on my tablet, which includes a new “visualisation” feature.

This transforms any audio signal played through it into a complex and synchronised series of patterns which are unique to each sound, allowing you to “see” the music.

Like, far out, man.

Unfortunately there is no way to save the resulting psychedelic visual display, unless you get creative and improvise a little, of course.

So I built myself a studio in the airing cupboard; a black box with my tablet lying in the bottom of it and a sheet of glass on top with my phone on top of that.

Then, with my phone camera turned on, all I needed to do was line up my tablet in the video viewfinder, press play on the tablet and record on the camera, then close the door and wait for my latest musical creation to finish playing.

Once I have video of the unique patterns produced by my new tune, all that remains is for me to edit the video to the exact length of the audio track, (cutting out me turning on the tablet and removing any blank screen from the end) remove the sound from the raw video, dub the music back over the edited footage and; Voila! another masterpiece.

I’m not one for leaving an idea alone, once I’ve convinced myself of its brilliance, so I ended up making four new electronic soundscapes in the last few days, all with their own trippy visual accompaniment.

I’m posting one of the most melodic and chilled-out numbers here, which I’ve called The Glimmering, but you can also find it, along with all the rest of this week’s audio output (plus one earlier attempt) on my new page, Sound and vision: The Oscilab project, via that link or the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

I hope you enjoy the soothing tones of this adventure in electronic psychedelia and when you’ve sampled its peculiar delights, why not visit the new page for yourselves and check out the rest of my collection.

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Melodic Randomiser goes virtual.

I had to sell my vinyl collection some time ago, I’ve finally surrendered to the inevitable and disposed of thirty years worth of cassettes and I have already showcased a fair number of my CD collection in the original Melodic Randomiser posts, so it’s time for another medium to take over.

As I have thousands of songs stored on the memory cards and internal drives of several mobile devices, it seemed the obvious next step to start making some blind playlists from these and see what I came up with.

So I hereby inaugurate the first in an occasional series of posts; Melodic Randomiser mp3, in which I shall scroll through the songs on my music player with my eyes closed, jab my finger on the screen to pick the first song and use that as a starting point, from where I shall shuffle twice more to pick the others.

This is what applying that technique gave me today, I hope you find something to tickle your musical tastebuds.

First up, James Yuill, a modern folk troubadour with a chilled electronica twist. Here is The Rush, from his These Spirits album…

…which we follow with some classic David Bowie and Time, from the era-defining Aladdin Sane

…and to complete this initial installment, we have one of the greatest English pop acts of recent(ish) times; The Smiths and the original single version of William It Was Really Nothing, taken from 1984’s utterly faultless Hatful Of Hollow album.

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