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Building a Synthesizer
My Name
Reason for Being
Works In Progress
Writing Songs
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Wednesday, 7 December 2005
The Slithy-Toves
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
Topic: Writing Songs
I'm back from a nice hiatus from (what is now) normal life. Went back to my homeland of Tennessee. Saw family and friends. (Unfortunately, didn't see everybody I wanted to see. Apologies to those I missed. I'll be back again someday, and a lot quicker than that dreamer Frosty the Snowman. He made a lot of promises, but never delivered. No one has ever heard from him again. [I don't even want to hear about the sequel...that was not the real Frosty. He's gone forever.])
Right. So I've been writing feverishly ever since I got back home. I feel like I'm coming out of that slump I was in. That electronic record was just another detour which was preceded by an as-yet unfinished covers album.
I made the electronic/experimental thing (OH YEAH, BTW, it's called Pandemic) as a way to break in my new modular synthesizer which I have talked about plenty previously. Also, I find it easy to create things in that medium with minimal planning or...effort.
But now, I'm serious again. I've decided that I'm living in the musical world where I belong regardless of what the rat race of life tries to throw at me. I'm sick and tired of letting my primary source of income, which is not even remotely related to music, dictate how I feel about spending serious time creating art. Right now I'm sleep-deprived and sore, but it's worth it because I'm really proud of what I'm doing right now. It could be just a phase, but then, what in life is not? There are seasons in all things. And I'm at the start of another good one.
I think I should go now; quit while I'm ahead.


=extra wide egg noodles=

Posted by MooT BooXLe at 10:59 AM EST
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Tuesday, 22 November 2005
Searching for Titles
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: Works In Progress


going on vacation now. goodbye.

Posted by MooT BooXLe at 4:12 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 22 November 2005 4:16 PM EST
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Friday, 18 November 2005
The Law of Diminishing Returns
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: The Shaggs - My Pal Foot Foot
I think it was a lyric from that Postal Service record that said, "It's not a party if it happens every night."
That statement has echoed in my mind for a couple of years, in good times and bad. It's so true. Anything can lose its effectiveness, thrown off balance by overexposure. Moderation and temperance in all things are the key.
Take, for instance, this blog. If I posted daily, would I really have anything important to say? Or would I concoct hasty, unripe ideas and thoughts in the interest of keeping on schedule? What if a person was forced to write a song every day? How many of those songs would be inspired? How many would be nothing but excercises?
It's the old quantity vs. quality debate.

Like this post. In the interest of brevity, I could have simply said:

I prefer Quality over Quantity in most things in life.

Why think in terms of sheer numbers?

=This has been another discursive, rambling post by
MooT BooXLe.=

Posted by MooT BooXLe at 10:28 AM EST
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Monday, 14 November 2005
Improvisation #1
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Rumbling and Humming noises
Topic: Musing
What I am about to say does not make sense, even to me. If it somehow bears a resemblance to anything meaningful, it was totally by accident.

My intentions are not clear
And I want it that way
If I make a mistake
It'd be easy enough to say
That that was my intention all along
And if I succeed at whatever I'm at
My hope is by that time I'll have realised that
Success is a surprise if you've no goal in mind
And when you happen upon something great
You can pretend that it's what you were trying to find
And if you make a mistake

You can leave it behind.


Posted by MooT BooXLe at 1:32 PM EST
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Monday, 7 November 2005
Stone Knives and Bear Skins
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Doug Carman - Field Recording
Topic: Writing Songs
I was just telling a good friend about something, and the thought struck me that I should share it with everyone.
I used to write a lot of songs whilst sitting and singing at the piano. However, I find this to actually impede my progress now.
I look at songwriting (and perhaps music creation in general) like mining: you find a rich piece of ground and you mine it and mine it and mine it, but that ore is of finite supply, and after a while, it becomes quite barren and the results of mining it further are an excercise in frustration.
That's the piano for me right now. Actually, that goes for any instrument that either sounds amazing or is extremely fun to play. I can't write good songs on my 12-string electric guitar, because it's too much fun to make sounds on it. Ditto the modular synthesizer.
I have written my best compositions, instrumental or vocal, on "limited color palette" instruments. These are usually unplugged electric guitar or my little Yamaha PSS-470, which has 49 small-sized keys, and a very basic overall sound. I don't get distracted and start tinkering endlessly. One can use up valuable inspiration that way, just noodling about. That accounts for my numerous unfinished songs.
Just some thoughts.

MooT BooXLe

Posted by MooT BooXLe at 12:04 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005 4:01 PM EST
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Thursday, 3 November 2005
This Is What It Is
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Get Down Saturday Night - Oliver Cheatham
Topic: Building a Synthesizer
Here is, in order, what my modular synthesizer currently consists of:
On back panel:
Q137 Power
Q104 MIDI Interface
dual blank panel

On Front, left to right:
Q105 Slew Limiter
Q146 Normalization
Q106 Oscillator (with CRS)
Q106 Oscillator (with CRS)
Q141 Oscillator Aid
Q106 Oscillator
Q116 Ring Modulator
Q125 Signal Processor
Q130 Clipper/Rectifier
Q124 Multiples
Q113 8-Channel Mixer
Q150 Transistor Ladder Filter
Q109 Envelope Generator
Q108 Amplifier
Q109 Envelope Generator
Q108 Amplifier
Q118 Instrument Interface

For info on all this jargle, see


Posted by MooT BooXLe at 12:41 PM EST
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Wednesday, 2 November 2005
You Know My Name
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Sir Paul McCartney's wonderful new record
For those of you who question the pronunciation of my moniker (and all of you who think you're pronouncing it right but maybe aren't),
I give you the proper one:

MooT (anyone can pronounce this)
BooXLe (Boo (like a ghost)ks- Lee)

NOT Boox-el, as is the usual mistake.

I just felt that I should clear this up. I'd like for everyone to say it like I do. ;0)

Everything's cool. No worries. I'm not mad at you, honest. :-)

M o o T B o o X L e

PS - Normally I use an accent (windows character map Alt+0233) on the e like this: e
But that doesn't always show up in a lot of fonts.
Little known fact: There were once umlauts (sp?) over all of the O's, but I dropped them after a high school German teacher pronounced it with them and I realised how dumb that sounded.

Posted by MooT BooXLe at 4:09 PM EST
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Tied to a tree and hanging off the edge of a cliff
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: The Who - 905
Topic: Works In Progress
I'm almost finished with the recording phase of my new experimental record. I would feel more of a sense of completion if I had adhered to my usual method of mixing as I complete tracking, but I've left most of it until last this time.
I'm about 90% finished recording, and about 40% finished mixing.
I created a very interesting piece the other night, a freely improvised modular synth-fest which is mostly aleatory/atonal in nature. I was very pleased with the end product. It's now completely finished.
Another thing that I normally do that I haven't done this time is naming the pieces. I sometimes come up with a clever name and a whimsical theme just springs forth from that name. I'm very big on titles. Anyway, this time I wanted the music to come forth on its own, with nothing to really lead it in one direction or another. I'll probably come up with titles last.


MooT BooXLe

Posted by MooT BooXLe at 3:56 PM EST
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Wednesday, 26 October 2005
Experiments in the Audio Nebula
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: The Beatles - Past Masters, vol. 2
Topic: Works In Progress
You know, I'm beginning to rediscover what made me like the Beatles in the first place. Sure, it's the songs, it's the moods, but really, for me, the engineering of those records is what grabs me. When I read The Beatles Recording Sessions I was changed forever in my working habits in the studio. I think of those sessions often when I'm recording.
About recording. My new experimental project is nearing completion. Instead of making this big potpourri/conglomeration type of record, I've really been concentrating on a particular set of parameters.
-No vocals
-as few digital sound sources as possible (only on a couple of tracks)
-All new recordings (no unreleased backlog stuff)
-Trying to use the modular synthesizer as much as possible

There are a couple of things that defy these rules, but I've been fairly consistent so far. Some of the tracks consist of solo synthesizer performances or tape playbacks which are later manipulated with the .com modular and/or the Space Echo.


Posted by MooT BooXLe at 12:51 PM EDT
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Where it's at now
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: 800MhZ radio chatter
Topic: Building a Synthesizer
Well, I survived Hurricane Wilma completely intact, and I'm here to tell you about it. Actually, there's not that much to tell that I feel like sharing so I'll just talk about my Modular Synthesizer. The cabinet is about 85% full now, and the rest is on the way. I actually bought a second VCA from a guy named Chuck that I know from the user forum, so when everything arrives I'll have to put the MIDI interface on the back panel for the time being. I really want to get a Kenton Pro-2000 anyway, so that's not really a big deal. Running out of space in a modular cabinet is a great problem to have. It's an incentive to start building another! :-)


Posted by MooT BooXLe at 11:37 AM EDT
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