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WeeklyBeats.com / Music / NWSPR's music / Achilles and the Tortoise

Achilles and the Tortoise

By NWSPR on November 4, 2018 11:17 pm

This week is the midterm election, so I went with a "running the race" theme from Zeno's paradox that represents our true state of affairs accurately.

For week 44 I live played the core of the track in a single pass with drum machine, arps from a toy instrument called the BlipTronic 5000, and me playing piano and synthesizer. Then I went back and added bass, guitars, vocoder, text to speech synthesis.

To get a single pass live, I stopped and started over again a dozen times until I got the track down.  I mention that it is lived played because the arps generated from the bliptronic are not synced electronically and go out of time a bit. Also, playing this way direct to audio does not permit me to go back and edit note values so you can hear it's a little sketchy. But always a fun way to switch things up and write as you go.

After the live pass and overdubs, I edited the intro and outro adding in some the other sounds from another toy instrument by Mattel called "U-Create Music" which actually only creates pure weird crap. The drums are a little soggy and the mix may be a bit thick but okay otherwise.

Can't believe the year is almost up and only 8 more tracks to go... I might actually make it all the way through first time ever smile Hope all is well and see you in the comments!

This submission is licensed by author under CC Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works (BY-NC-ND)

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November 5, 2018 12:28 am

The BlipTronic works well! Crazy you had to play live in order to keep time, nailed it though.

November 5, 2018 11:52 am

love the song and all the tones. the bliptronic and the drum machine beat are excellent

November 5, 2018 5:40 pm

Slow and steady wins the race. Are those vocals in there?

November 5, 2018 7:00 pm

Oooooh, that's a tasty blend, rich and bright! Great job on doing live parts, excellent outcome, everything's nice and tight. I lost it at "only creates pure weird crap", had to look up what a "U-Create Music" looks like, glad I did hehehehe

November 5, 2018 10:37 pm

Good track! And well done for doing things live.
Had to check what instruments the BlipTronic and the "U-Create Music" were, very cool that you found a use for them.

November 6, 2018 6:13 pm

Nice one. Good sounds and props for playing live, sometimes more fun that way. I'm inspired to march to the poles to vote ... actually dropped my ballot off yesterday though, very eager to find out the outcome, maybe cautiously optimistic for a positive one. I too, will now go look up these mysterious instruments.

November 7, 2018 1:59 pm

A lesser (though perhaps smarter) person would just record a sample and loop that to the tempo, but clearly you like to go the extra distance and play the whole thing live.

November 8, 2018 1:07 am
Devieus wrote:

A lesser (though perhaps smarter) person would just record a sample and loop that to the tempo, but clearly you like to go the extra distance and play the whole thing live.

You are correct.  I thought of the sampling a loop after the fact but I didn't know what I was doing and playing live was my only hope at getting something started. Some weeks you start with the loop other weeks the loop starts with you smile

November 8, 2018 1:10 am
Gab Manette wrote:

Oooooh, that's a tasty blend, rich and bright! Great job on doing live parts, excellent outcome, everything's nice and tight. I lost it at "only creates pure weird crap", had to look up what a "U-Create Music" looks like, glad I did hehehehe

Now I feel bad that I said it only produces pure crap. It is a weird toy but you actually can do some neat stuff in a "so crappy it's kind of good" way.  And now I have been messing around with it all week. 

November 8, 2018 1:18 am
mikememo wrote:

The BlipTronic works well! Crazy you had to play live in order to keep time, nailed it though.

As Devieus smugly pointed out, I could have just sampled it and problem solved. It's kind of a miracle that the 6 position BPM knob actually landed a fairly accurate 100 bpm that I could sync up to for several measures at a time.  Holy shit I think I see Corky in your avatar, or am I the only one seeing it?

Devieus wrote:

A lesser (though perhaps smarter) person would just record a sample and loop that to the tempo, but clearly you like to go the extra distance and play the whole thing live.


November 8, 2018 1:48 am
NWSPR wrote:
Gab Manette wrote:

Oooooh, that's a tasty blend, rich and bright! Great job on doing live parts, excellent outcome, everything's nice and tight. I lost it at "only creates pure weird crap", had to look up what a "U-Create Music" looks like, glad I did hehehehe

Now I feel bad that I said it only produces pure crap. It is a weird toy but you actually can do some neat stuff in a "so crappy it's kind of good" way.  And now I have been messing around with it all week.

Oh no I meant like it made me chuckle and got me curious! you can make anything sound cool wink

November 10, 2018 3:56 pm

Love the guitar sound combined with the synths.  It's like the Cure meets New Order (imho).  Really enjoyed the guitar line midway through as you can sense the race reaching it's peak.

November 11, 2018 7:59 pm

this is fun

November 11, 2018 8:45 pm

Sounds fantastic to me.  And sometimes those imperfect or chaotic elements make the song.  Love the hopeful feel of this.  I did my part and voted early and, at least locally, the election went the way I hoped it would.  Got our jackass senator voted out!

November 12, 2018 12:02 am
Bleeoop wrote:

love the song and all the tones. the bliptronic and the drum machine beat are excellent

Jim Wood wrote:

Slow and steady wins the race. Are those vocals in there?


A little text to speech but no real vocals.

Plantrain wrote:

Good track! And well done for doing things live.
Had to check what instruments the BlipTronic and the "U-Create Music" were, very cool that you found a use for them.


I played the wedding march at a friends wedding using the bliptronic and a casio VL-Tone.  Forgot about it since! Fun gadgets.

miraclemiles wrote:

Nice one. Good sounds and props for playing live, sometimes more fun that way. I'm inspired to march to the poles to vote ... actually dropped my ballot off yesterday though, very eager to find out the outcome, maybe cautiously optimistic for a positive one. I too, will now go look up these mysterious instruments.


Yep, definitely fun to play live after a few weeks of sequenced material. I did not get the total blue wave I had hoped for in the election but Dems made good inroads in the state houses which is a good sign!

Thanks for listening everyone!

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