Some minimal dark lo-fi ambient sketches on the OP-1

Created some dark minimal lo-fi tape ambient sketches on the Teenage
Engineering OP-1 at the park on a sunny day and recorded them to the
Zoom H4n.

Everything you hear is made out of samples recorded
from and to very bad reel-to-reel audio tape on a even worse
reel-to-reel tape machine to give it a 'nostalgic' feeling which I was
aiming for.. The virtual OP-1 reel-to-reel tape is running @ 40 BPM and
pitched 15 semitones down (16,25 BPM) to give it a even more 'lo-fi'
character when you record stuff to it.

Anyway.. These are just
some raw sketches (with the usual mistakes) which I may or may not use
again in the future and normally don't share, but thought I would share
this one just for fun.. Perhaps you'll enjoy it?

Ps.
Warning for people with epilepsy.. Please skip the last 3 minutes.. My
'VHS effect™' exploded (again) near the end... Strange® Things™ happen
around here.. Cheers! ;)

Comments

  • Like @eesn, I'm somewhat speechless. Would love to hear more! 
    Was the arrangement/performance mostly improvised, or did you script it out? It feels very ephemeral in the best way.

    Great work!

  • Really nice :) your description confused me a little tho. Did you fill your op with individual reel to reel samples, then produce all this on the op? Thought I could hear some drum loops etc so just wondering how you went about getting this much material together and sequencing it on op. Did you stay on grid or all loose? And how did you get the op tape to last so long? Is it as simple as slowing it down whilst recording to it? And that also gives added lo-fi flavouring? Thanks for any info!

    Great stuff dude.
  • When you slow down the tape at its maximum you get 24min of recording if I recall correctly.
  • Very nice dude !
    Where did you get these samples ?
  • When you slow down the tape at its maximum you get 24min of recording if I recall correctly.

    Sweet :) do sequencers still sync to grid when you slow down the tape? Guessing the obvious answer is no? Is there a maths solution/table to get it working like that?

  • sounds like the 1979 album from Deru, Actually I always wondered if he was using one..

  • Servando said:

    sounds like the 1979 album from Deru, Actually I always wondered if he was using one..


    First 5 minutes of that deru album sounds amazing. Will listen to rest asap. Thanks for the heads up
  • eesn said:

    !

    :)
    Skotchi said:

    Like @eesn, I'm somewhat speechless. Would love to hear more! 

    Was the arrangement/performance mostly improvised, or did you script it out? It feels very ephemeral in the best way.

    Great work!

    Thanks, I wanted to make something like this for a long time so I did have a plan beforehand, however the arrangement/tracks are all written one after each other in one day and I left a 'empty bar' after each one to be able to make 'transitions' (with shortwave radio noises) afterwards. I only changed the position of the first track to the last track because that one was made on 40 BPM instead of 16,25 BPM so at the end I speed up the tape during transition.. It felt easier that way and was also a nice finisher I think.

    Really nice :) your description confused me a little tho. Did you fill your op with individual reel to reel samples, then produce all this on the op? Thought I could hear some drum loops etc so just wondering how you went about getting this much material together and sequencing it on op. Did you stay on grid or all loose? And how did you get the op tape to last so long? Is it as simple as slowing it down whilst recording to it? And that also gives added lo-fi flavouring? Thanks for any info!

    Great stuff dude.

    Thanks a lot, every melodic sound that you hear is a single note recorded to reel-to-reel first and sampled on the op-1 afterwards adding some extra wow&flutter (sometimes with the help of me slowing the tape by hand) Every drum sound I've used is just a 'general sample'
    I've recorded this on 40 bpm (slowest setting on the OP-1) and pitched the tape 15 semitones down, which gives you a very long (and lo-fi quality) tape. Everything is on grid btw.

    When you slow down the tape at its maximum you get 24min of recording if I recall correctly.

    I think you are right ;)

    Very nice dude !
    Where did you get these samples ?

    The samples come from various free Soundfonts scattered around the internet and Native Instruments Absynth recorded to reel-to-reel first before sampling it in the OP-1

    When you slow down the tape at its maximum you get 24min of recording if I recall correctly.

    Sweet :) do sequencers still sync to grid when you slow down the tape? Guessing the obvious answer is no? Is there a maths solution/table to get it working like that?

    Sequencers stay in sync perfectly.. a lot slower though so using 1/32 speed is something I've used a lot here.. Oh forgot to mention.. This is all done using the (modified) Beta firmware.. It would probably be a 'loop click fest' otherwise ;)
    mpiecora said:

    LEGIT!

    Cheers!
    Servando said:

    sounds like the 1979 album from Deru, Actually I always wondered if he was using one..


    I need to check that out! Thanks :)
  • I did another experiment with the OP-1 and a Microcassette recorder for the ones interested.. Different music style though, but perhaps you guys like it :)


  • Very cool stuff mate and thanks for the tips re tape speed etc :)
  • 'recorded this on 40 bpm (slowest setting on the OP-1) and pitched the tape 15 semitones down, which gives you a very long (and lo-fi quality) tape'.

    Did you pitch the op tape down 15 semitones before recording or afterward? Guessing before right? Thanks for info dude.

    Pretty stoked to start thinking about doing long tapes on OP. I somehow totally missed the 'slow down tape for longer tape' thing!?
  • Very cool stuff mate and thanks for the tips re tape speed etc :)

    Thanks and no problem.

    'recorded this on 40 bpm (slowest setting on the OP-1) and pitched the tape 15 semitones down, which gives you a very long (and lo-fi quality) tape'.

    Did you pitch the op tape down 15 semitones before recording or afterward? Guessing before right? Thanks for info dude.

    Pretty stoked to start thinking about doing long tapes on OP. I somehow totally missed the 'slow down tape for longer tape' thing!?

    I pitched it 15 semitones down beforehand  (before recording) you can even pitch it down 24 semitones, but the lower you go the less quality it will get obviously ;)
  • rephazer said:

    Very cool stuff mate and thanks for the tips re tape speed etc :)

    Thanks and no problem.

    'recorded this on 40 bpm (slowest setting on the OP-1) and pitched the tape 15 semitones down, which gives you a very long (and lo-fi quality) tape'.

    Did you pitch the op tape down 15 semitones before recording or afterward? Guessing before right? Thanks for info dude.

    Pretty stoked to start thinking about doing long tapes on OP. I somehow totally missed the 'slow down tape for longer tape' thing!?

    I pitched it 15 semitones down beforehand  (before recording) you can even pitch it down 24 semitones, but the lower you go the less quality it will get obviously ;)
    Thanks man. Last question!

    Bpm doesn't affect tape length right? I mean if I use tape at normal tape pitch/quality it's 6 minutes no matter what bpm I use? So if I pitch the tape down 15 semitones to get same length/quality as you have, then the bpm is just personal pref for grid spacing/metronome etc on the longer tape yeah? So I could have bpm high and not have so much space between metronome clicks etc? But still the same long tape? I'm not able to check it out atm but will test tonight :)
  • I am also not near the OP-1 at the moment, but the tape time/counter on the OP-1 will not change length with speed/pitch changes. You can't compare that to 'real clock' time if that is what you mean.
    It will always be 6 minutes max (at 120 bpm I suppose) so at 240 bpm the total real clock time will be 3 minutes long while the OP-1 counter is still on 6 minutes and it's like you say.. the grid spacing/metronome will change accordingly ;)

    I hope that's what you are asking?
  • look at him record at 16,25 BPM!
  • @rephazer beautiful and stunning !
  • really nice work indeed!
  • Thanks guys! Some nice response here :)
  • For the ones interested.. This (and other stuff) is now available on my Bandcamp page: https://rephazer.bandcamp.com/album/sketches-in-between-the-noise


  • edited September 2016
    I listenened to it...
    Instant bought. The pint's on me, pal :)
  • I listenened to it...
    Instant bought. The pint's on me, pal :)

    Thanks a lot for the support mate! Much appreciated ;)
  • I listened the whole EP a dozen of times. I just love it, mate, it's so peaceful, it's butter for the soul...

    Love it, love it, love it :D
  • Thank you very much mate! Now at least I can drink that pint knowing you enjoy that stuff :)

    Here is another quick jam which you might enjoy! Perhaps I'll use the song (without vocals) for my next one. Cheers!




  • rephazer said:

    Here is another quick jam which you might enjoy! Perhaps I'll use the song (without vocals) for my next one. Cheers!


    Very nice, thank you
  • eesn said:

    rephazer said:

    Here is another quick jam which you might enjoy! Perhaps I'll use the song (without vocals) for my next one. Cheers!


    Very nice, thank you
    Cheers man!
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