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Presonus Studio One Artist with Decent Sampler Slinky Violin plug-in instance
Arturia MicroFreak and KeyStep 37 MIDI controller

For the first time in, well, a lot of years, I’ve about finished a new piece of music. I’ll say that again. I’ve almost finished a new piece of music. To say that I’m excited by that would be an understatement.

For those who have been following along, I was working on a new song using the OP-Z. This piece was not done on the OP-Z. In fact, the OP-Z doesn’t figure into this piece at all. So, what happened to that? The short answer is that I got distracted by the new firmware for the MicroFreak that I mentioned the other day. I started mucking about with a sample I’d got from an old Fairlight, and I’d made a noise with it, and that sparked an idea.

And so, I hooked up the MicroFreak to the computer and hooked up the KeyStep 37 to the computer and loaded up Studio One and proceeded to have a little bit of a cursefest getting everything to talk. Which it eventually did. And, I laid down a few little bits and at the same time, I recorded the MIDI in as well. And then I started wrapping some other stuff around the MicroFreak bit.

I’d originally thought that I might want to try to do all the tracks with sounds from the MicroFreak, but I was also keen to try out some new samples I’d downloaded for Decent Sampler (a really nice, free software sample player by David Hilowitz) and I wanted to play with those — particularly his samples from his electric toothbrush (you can watch the video about that here). In the long run, that didn’t make it into the song, either. Instead, I used his Box Violin, Slinky Violin, and Dave Choir. And a couple of other things. And a load of effects.

Anyway, here’s the “might be nearly done” version of the song. Enjoy. Oh, it’s best listened to with good headphones or on a nice stereo. Little laptop speakers won’t cut it.

Prelude – a work in progress

So, while I’d hoped that I’d be making my music more without the computer, I’m finding that I really do like working in the box. I’m thinking now that the OP-Z is going to be more of a “musical sketchpad” than a full on composing machine — at least at the moment. Of course, as with all things here, that’s subject to change. Oh look, a squirrel. Maybe, I’ll have a cookie.

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