More (Earlier) Frog Talk with Cory

Another lightly edited and excerpted email exchange. I should have posted this one first; ahh, welp…

2023 April 12 – From: Howie – To: Cory

Subject: picked out FX for buckaroo bonanza

might perform them tonight.  i’d forgotten i added this cool
little extra sample that really makes it.  i don’t remember if the last
version you heard had the “yeah, yeah!” in it but it rules.  anyway.  2
more songs of FX (buckaroo, ice/disappear), then doing some vocal sample
performances into the computer, then mix/master!  we’re pretty close to
being able to hear the whole record and i’m really excited about that,
because i don’t know what it’s going to sound or feel like to hear all
these different tracks in one go.  -h

2023 April 12 – From: Cory – To: Howie

I don’t think so on the “yeah, yeah!” but a little sprinkle of sample is always tasty! Love them extra touches, Uncle Grabby! 

It’s crazy how quickly this record came together, at least from the outside! Obviously a lot of time and work goes into it, but this kind of music seems less gnarly than something with full drums and winding arrangements. And 27 sax-trax. 

Spring is here and it’s beautiful outside and my head is full of fluid! 

2023 April 12

it’s been fairly quick-ish?  not as quick as a New Synth Record, but a lot quicker than a guitar record.  i think the 404mkII arrived about a year ago (i ordered it when it came out in oct/nov ’21, but there were production delays).  and it took a while to kind of learn and come up with a workflow.  or it felt like it did…  but i had the first 5 songs done by christmas, because over the break i set up and did a bunch of guitar parts for songs 6-10.

anyway, the old 404SX is kind of a blunt instrument… i love it, but it does what it does, even when i max out its arrangement pastabilities by using the pattern sequencer and going one song at a time.  the mkII is extremely well-designed in terms of keeping what i love about the workflow of the older 404, while adding quite a few useful features, so it can go quite a bit deeper… but it doesn’t *have* to.  the main features i’m using are 1) on the mkII i can work on 32 songs at once (vs. 1 on the SX, unless i wanted to use full-on resample method arranging or write down and keep track of BPMs), and 2) with parallel effects paths i’m doing a lot of grab effects on just the drums, or just the guitars, or whatever, vs. the entire mix.  (i’m doing some on the entire mix, too.)  i think that’s nice, it’s still definitely 404-sounding, but it’s not quite so IN YOUR FACE as the crazy SX-style grab FX.  which i still love.  but gets tiring to listen to after a while.

i think Digital Sin might not have any SX-style *full-mix* grab FX.  the drums and bass are in one group, and the saxes and guitars are in another group, and different grab FX are on different groups at different times.

what i truly, deeply adore about the workflow on both samplers is that i make progress, and then it’s locked in and i *don’t* revisit those choices.  on the older unit it might be literally locked in and unchangeable, unless i wanted to go all the way back several steps and re-do work.  on the mkII it’s a lot more flexible, which is great; the *opportunity* to go back exists, but because of how the limited screen works i sort of don’t think to fiddle with stuff ** unless my ears are telling me that something needs to change **.  i could call it an “ears-led” workflow, compared to a computer DAW that we could call “eyes-led” in many instances.  and the ears-led experience is super fun and rewarding (and probably much more similar to tape-based recording than DAWs are).

totes agree about spring.  -h