i remember typography before digital revolution came of age: it was based on lead, and linotypes where the machines in which molten lead was poured onto moulds sequentially placed to compose words and sentences, per line. then came dedicated photo-optical units, then it was the desktop realm.
it's not much different than what has happened with sound recording a few years later, though you were not required to spread metal oxide onto a polyester film manually, but simply bought a tape, instead. it's just a more recent piece of history, but tape recorders were replaced at first with dedicated digital recorders with hard disks as storage media, after which came the desktop realm.
plug-ins with a processing function are visually packed with a virtual interface that, for some reason, must look like a typical device, and possibly from the previous technological age, fake shadows and fake vu-meters and huge knobs, fake as well. that i find so disturbing, which is probably why i tossed any other daw and stuck with ableton live.
the process of pouring lead on type moulds for having paragraph lines in the shape of a bar, for traditional typography, to me resembles quite closely the process for getting audio into the creative process, with consumables and dedicated machines that needed maintenance and service, though in audio they lacked the toxicity of lead in typography.
the tape recorder in the picture is real, it belongs here. in its days it stayed above hi-fi audio cassette players, in terms of sound quality, by less than an inch maybe. but it's here, and nice to look at, every once in a while, even if a cheap zoom h6 travelling with me has all the linearity and dynamic capacity and stability that this uher could not dream to have, even when brand new.
molten_lead_crucible (where lead reads lɛd, which is metal, Pb, not liːd) is the result of this mental self-oscillation between old and new technology, between the visual type-typography realm that was meant to be my place in this world, and the sound-audio realm that became instead my own.
it's played on a baritone steinberger transcale synapse guitar, a thing with a long neck and six strings tuned b-to-b, whose oscillation is captured by magnetic pickups like in every electric guitar, and by a piezo transducer under the bridge saddle, which isn't that typical with electric guitars.
a word of fairness on what you're listening to, here, in case you wonder how.
it's one of those t.w.z. tracks in which what you're hearing has been edited on purpose, and couldn't be coming out live as such, without having re-recorded parts over different tracks.
to get even a closer view: i've physically "played" three parts, one for each ditto x2 looper, which have then been halved in pitch-tempo (t.w.z.'s own addiction) and duplicated to a reverse version. on my ableton live project's session view six tracks play a clip each, concurrently, to get at what you're listening here right now.
so while halving pitch/tempo and playing reverse can all be done on my loopers, the "dexterity" of putting tracks into ableton live makes it possible to play the same track both from start to end and from end to start at the same time, something tc electronics ditto x2 loopers obviously can't.
other than for duplicating the output of each looper so that straight and reverse could play together, there's no other post-effect or processing applied, all it's done live and in real time with my usual signal chain (that you can easily see described here: theodorwilhelmzanetti.tumblr.c...cessed-too-like
thank you for listening, thank you for reading, thank you for stopping by.
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