muted tones

march 05


Brooklyn's Steve Silverstein is a musician and writer who performs in the group Christmas Decorations and whose words have appeared in Tape Op.

curator log:

on Deadline

march 30th, 2005

When I think of making music on my own, I tend to dream more than I accomplish. It was great when Muted Tones gave me a deadline. Dreaming and ambition had to meet a hard reality, while working on a new Christmas Decorations album and my friend Andy’s album and my office job.

My solution borrowed a bit from Christmas Decorations’ bag of tricks but ended up standing on its own. I surrounded a small mixing board with a guitar, a drum machine, a microphone, a couple of loop pedals, and a few effects. I recorded about an hour of live performances into my cassette 4 track (in stereo, using just tracks 2 and 3), and then transferred it all into my computer, with some minimal processing on the way in. I had just bought an M-Box (AmateurTools, as I sometimes like to call it) and it took its inaugural voyage on this piece.

Once in the computer, I found 20 minutes that I liked (having been only asked for 10 was irrelevant in the end) spread throughout the hour, and then I edited it together into a seamless piece. Everything was assembled in a linear fashion like tape edits, without any layering of the performances or other sophisticated digital trickery.

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