KiNK on Beat This

01 April 2015

Beat This is a regular show on Don’t Watch That TV that challenges producers to put together a track in ten minutes. They’re all quite varied – some people are clearly assembling things from the depths of their sample libraries; others are starting from somewhere more barebones. (I love the Swindle one for his piano chops.)

Anyhow, they teamed up with Novation to do some promotional content – showing off producers producing on Novation kit. And I completely loved what KiNK then went on to do: he just started playing.

It’s a lovely, ten minute live performance. At the end, you can hear the producer say ‘can you play the track?‘ and he points out that was the track. He didn’t record it.

It’s also amusing to see how little of the equipment he’s using. Mainly, he’s using an old headphone into an audio input, and then feeding that into a variety of effects in Live to variously be a kick, snare, all manner of other percussive sounds, and then at the very end he uses the audio signal to gate or side-chain the Bass Station loops he’s recording.

It feels right: straightforward, relatively improvised, space to layer without having to hit stop or break frame. I’m really into live performance techniques for electronic music; as such, I enjoyed watching someone perform and compose all at once.

  • Cracking article on John Chowning, who invented FM synthesis whilst at Stanford, and the long road to it becoming a commercial and creative prospect. Interesting on the relationship of IP to universities, but also fascinating on Chowning himself – a composer and musician, not a mathematician, who developed one of the hardest-to-understand forms of synthesis simply as a way to push the palette of timbres he could compose with. Brilliant.
  • "The last months I’ve crafted a spoon every day. I aim to reach the goal of 365 spoons later this year." Beautiful. Particularly good when you hold down spacebar and whiz through them all.