Experimenting With ACID

Lately, I’ve been messing around with a couple of music mixing programs–Mixcraft by Acoustica and Sony’s ubiquitous ACID (though I only have the limited XPress version). After settling on a good program I intend to produce a bi-weekly "podcast" kind of deal, which will include music, commentary and other weird stuff. I don’t really have a definite plan, so we’ll see what it becomes once I start feeding various songs and sounds into the mixer! You might also catch me doing a party mashup or two, but that’s currently far beyond my skill level. Being a chemist.

The result of my first mixing experiment is an assemblage called Walking Down the Street. I made this in a couple of hours using ACID XPress, and I had a huge learning curve to contend with because I had never used any sort of mixing software before. I know the theory of how it’s supposed to work, but the practice is quite a different animal!

Street was something I pulled out of thin air after sifting through a bunch of the MP3’s on my hard drive looking for a scrap of ANYTHING to use as a sonic element. I ended up looping a couple of sections from "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac, then I threw in a poetry reading by the late Kathy Acker (downloaded from UbuWeb, where you can find lots of interesting MP3’s of poetry and experimental music) that seemed to fit the mood. These two tracks were spare and effective, but for a little more atmosphere I added the intro to Air’s "Radian". So this was a simple experiment that required minimal editing and mixing, but I’m rather pleased with the resulting hypnotic and creepy track.

As a strange aside, I actually spoke with Kathy Acker on the phone a few years before her death from cancer. She was in residence at Hollins University, where I was employed at the time. A student friend of mine who had been hanging out with Kathy gave me her number and said I should call because she was having trouble with her computer. So there I was talking to a renowned underground poet about her Mac, which I could scarcely help her with because I was a PC man! But it was a pleasant conversation anyway.

So enjoy the track, and please be warned that it does contain adult language and themes.  Old hat.


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