Jamuary ’23 #30

lofi by the numbers

The op-1 field is a lo-fi machine. Or, it can be.

Recording is via the 4-track tape, where you have to commit (and then overdub). There are really so many advantages to this if you are trying to pump out a bunch of music. Commit, move along, and don’t be twee.

Best to not be a jerk and yell at people on the internet about how everything must do everything every time all the time. Really well put here by Simon Sherbourne when writing about MPC world:

“I often fixate on trying to make one piece of gear do everything, and it’s a path to frustration.”

The OP-1 can be (if you let it) a full track machine, with major guardrails. Again = advantage. You can make all the records with it or just use it for synths or menkie drums.

When I listen thru the current top of the lo-fi charts, the foley noises really stick out. Futurely, it seems like that’s what’s really going to date current tracks. Feels a bit like sonic doilies. Take fake-aged guitars, this decomposition of artificially aged tracks with atmospheric noises stop sounding like what they were intended to be, turning more into a rubber stamp of the time. Great for the good stuff, but real bad for the bad.  

Typically one movement of 4-8 bars, a lo-fi track could start with the background noises in to a nonchalant drumbeat, then a break, the all in, then another break, then out. Paint by numbers here.

Not taking too much away from all of this. It’s a good form. Blues had rules too! This one is very much like deep or organic house music. Lots of drops in familiar places. Part of the appeal is that you know what’s coming. Can this next guy make it interesting. Surely there is some kind of progressive movement out there?

Anyhoo, this track uses the form. Related to the above, the idea here was to eliminate all the extras. No foley, and very short on the transitions. Can it stand up to the hits without the (dreaded) ear candy

Should have spent some time working on the drums—need better sounds, and they are really too loud in the mix. Will have to be replaced in the final track to work. 

That’s what February is for!

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