Acoustic Nerdville: The Return of the Stompboxes

The work I did during this extended Corpus Christi weekend might have been the most interesting stuff musically I did since Summer 2011 not related to composing.

The trigger was that I got a new acoustic guitar. A Höfner HZ23, to be precise. Now I had started to try and record some kinda-song structure (which mainly faced problems with the recording chain, so that effort was rather weak).

The next step which I decided upon was to reuse the Nerdville setup, which I hadn’t used since – exactly, Summer 2011. It was used for the Nerdville sessions, as well as at the Firenze Loopfest back then.

Acoustic Nerdville 2013
Acoustic Nerdville 2013

The Nerdville setup – which is essentially stompboxes etc. and as such a contrast to the computer-centric MSS 3.0 and the last iteration of the loop4life setup – has however been changed in one very central aspect: there are no synthesizers. Well, there is a Kaossilator connected “just in case”, but I decided for this session not to use it – making the only signal sources the guitar, and a plastic hose.

Nerdville Plastic Hose
Nerdville Plastic Hose

Starting the session, I decided to record the plastic hose into the SMM, and then use its varispeed feature to get different pitches, and sample them into the four slots of the KP3. This gave me the possibility to play different harmonies over the pedal point of the remaining note from the SMM – which I then resampled to the M9’s loop recorder.

I continued to use granular and loop-processing effects from the KP3 to process the plastic hose sounds in the KP3.

Nerdville 2013: closeup
Nerdville 2013: closeup

Next up was the guitar. Here, I recorded a loop into the SMM and again used varispeed and reverse to process that. Of course, let’s see additional processing: the M9 proved very beneficial, mainly with its huge sound washes, generated by the Echo, Particle Trails and similarily named algorithms together with loads of delays. And I also used a little bit of the T-Resonator/OD2 chain in that (a signal chain detailed here).

The track then ended as it began: with the plastic hose pedal point:

Würzburg's Main reached the level 3 high water mark today - hence the name of the track
Würzburg’s Main reached the level 3 high water mark today – hence the name of the track

So what was the gained experience from that?

First of all: doing electronic processing on an acoustic guitar is great fun! Need to do that some more.

Secondly, for what I have in mind sonically, a setup with four devices which can do loops (SMM, KP3, M9 and DD20) and one chain which can do odd things only (T-Resonator), but only one for spacey ambient things (M9), the spacey department is underrepresented. I might replace the T-Resonator with the Zoom G2.u.

3 thoughts on “Acoustic Nerdville: The Return of the Stompboxes

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