I’m in Sacramento decompressing after the final, completely insane, few weeks putting the finishing touches on the new Tycho album (I’ll be announcing the release date here very soon). It just so happens that Launch — Sacramento’s annual art / music / fashion festival — is going down this weekend and I’ll be doing some live visuals for Little Foxes during their set.
If you’re not yet up on Little Foxes, they’re a new band consisting of Dusty Brown, Jacob Golden, and Zac Brown (live bassist and collaborator in Tycho). They’re incredible and this event is not to be missed. There are a lot of other great artists on the bill and to top it off it’s back at The Greens again. Hope to see you out there.
I’m headed to Graz, Austria where I’ll be playing a Tycho laptop set at Springfestival and doing an ISO50 talk at the related Springsessions conference. The talk is on Saturday, June 4th from 15:00 – 16:00 at Kunsthaus Graz and the Tycho set is early the next morning, Sunday, June 5th from 03:15 – 04:30 at P.P.C. All the details are at the Springfestival site.
Sorry for the late notice, but I wanted to be absolutely sure I was going to make it out there. The Tycho album is now in the very last stages of mixing/mastering so I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make the trip and the album delivery deadline. To make it all work I decided to hack together a portable computer setup from my main tower PC so I could finish up some remaining songs before I return when the mastering will begin. After some light dremel work I had all the components fitting inside a small aluminum case I found laying around (pictured below, the PSU is separate. And yeah, I’m planning on spending a fair amount of time at airport security). You might ask why I don’t just port the project over to a laptop; the reason is that the projects are simply too large to run my current notebook (early Macbook Pro Unibody). In order to run the big projects (96+ tracks with 250+ VST instances) I had to add three SSD drives in a RAID 0 (in other words, three fast storage devices chained together to act as one very fast storage device) configuration to my existing Intel i7 rig.
I had already been bringing my tower to Count’s (aka Mikael Eldridge, the engineer who I’m working together with to mix the album) studio to mix. We decided to mix several of the songs directly from Reaper as opposed to porting them to Pro Tools like usual so I had to bring my machine in. This already had me thinking about slimming down the rig to make it more portable. It’s really been a freeing experience being able to move around with my main computer; I’m so used to bouncing down projects, flattening layers, and generally compromising things to get them small enough to run on my Macbook Pro when I travel so the idea of having all the power of my studio computer with me anywhere is pretty exciting.
Of course, this is just a temporary stop-gap measure to get through a scheduling conflict. I think the next step is to get a powerhouse laptop machine with Lightpeak/Thunderbolt so I can get a PCI SSD RAID setup or some storage device with equivalent bandwidth. I was thinking about the Dell Precision (I’m PC only when it comes music and design, although I have several Macs and love them, just not for creating on) or some “gaming” laptop. It really doesn’t need to be that small, just more portable than a tower as I wouldn’t be moving it that often. Any suggestions? My wish list would be Intel i7 or better, 16GB ram, and at least 250GB of SSD storage with a bandwidth of 500MB/s up/down. Probably a tall order, but I’m hoping something on that level will be available soon.
Pre-sale tickets are sold out but they held back 50 tickets for the door so even if you don’t win, there’s still a chance to get in if you show up early. Show starts at Midnight, Heathered Pearls is up first, Com Truise at 1am and Tycho at 2am. See you tomorrow night.
Thanks to everyone who came out and made last night in SF amazing, we had a great time playing for you.
I’ll be doing a laptop/visuals set along with Com Truise and Heathered Pearls (Jakub’s alter-ego) on Saturday, April 16th at Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn. The show is limited to 250 people, ticket link is below. See you out there.
Sat, April 16th @ Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn
Above is some (poorly shot on a phone, sorry) test footage from the new visuals set for the Tycho live show (next one is this Thursday, 4/7 in SF). The song is from the forthcoming album. It’s not all completely tightened up yet but you get the idea. I recently stripped down the entire live set — audio and video — and started from scratch. With the new album pretty much wrapped up I decided to rework the visuals to go with all the new material and to have everything work better with the new live band. What you’re seeing is VDMX effecting / compositing video in real-time on a Macbook Pro. Everything is being triggered / synced by another machine via MIDI over IP running Reaper which is handling all the audio duties.
I’ve been using VDMX for years now but just recently switched to Reaper as my DAW for recording and decided to use it for the live shows as well (Was never happy with Ableton. It’s a great app but it just didn’t fit my specific needs / workflow). It’s been a very freeing experience to say the least. Being able to use the same software in the studio and on stage has helped immeasurably and opened up some possibilities that didn’t exist before. Here’s hoping it all works as smoothly on Thursday (the first Tycho show to feature the new album and visuals) as it has been during rehearsals.
I also wanted to take this time to give a bit of a progress report on the new Tycho album. It feels like forever since I started, but everything has finally come together. Things took a lot of twists and turns; a lot has changed and some songs have been shelved while new ones have taken their place. But I think the album is now — finally — what I envisioned it to be when I started this process some two years ago. All that is left to do now is tie up some loose ends and complete the mixing / mastering phase and things should be ready to go. With label schedules and all that I’d imagine a release date sometime after this summer.
Thanks to everyone for your patience and support over this past couple years. You have afforded me the ability to focus on my work in a way I was never able to before, and for that I am extremely grateful.
The winners in the Tycho poster + ticket giveaway (for Tycho live in SF 4/7) are in. I decided to add another winner and give everyone posters so there were a total of five posters and six tickets up for grabs. So without further adieu, the winners are:
Colin Johnston – Poster + 2 Tickets Curtis Joseph – Poster + 2 Tickets Zac Witte – Poster + 2 Tickets Christian Lawrence – Poster Cristina Dennison – Poster
Congrats to the winners, you should be receiving an email with details soon. Please get in touch (talk [at] iso50 [dot] com) if you don’t hear anything within the next few hours. Thanks to everyone for entering, hope to see you Thursday night here in San Francisco.
The Tycho San Francisco show is fast approaching and we’ve got some tickets and posters to give away. The first two winners picked will get a copy of the ISO50 Studio Edition print from the show along with two tickets. One runner-up will get two tickets.
To enter, just leave a comment on this post with a valid email address so that we can contact you. Please specify whether you can make it to the show or not, if not we’ll pass the tickets on to someone who will be in town for the show. Winners will be chosen Monday, April 3rd.
On a side note, I’ve completely re-worked the live show — stripped everything down and started from scratch including the visuals. I’ll also be playing most of the (now almost completed) new album. This should be an interesting one.