Electronica EP update

Things are progressing nicely on the electronica EP and the first two finished tracks, “Dreams in Plastic” and “Throwing Stones”, are now available on the ScarKord reverbnation site. These are veering more towards the cinematic soundtrack side but there will also be a mix of uptempo numbers on the EP to balance things out a bit. Hoping to have the finished EP ready for the new year.

On the collaboration front, Cosmo from Clear Air Turbulence is keen for us to put together a live show next year. This will likely be a mixture of C.A.T. and ScarKord material and I’m just working out the logistics at the moment and listening through C.A.T. material to get a rough running order together. We’re also working on some new C.A.T. demos, with me adding additional keyboard parts and sequences to flesh things out a bit.

Who would have thought…

… a new soundcard would give you so much joy!

I’ve been through quite a few soundcards since moving to a laptop and never really got along with any of them. First, I went down the USB route, using my NI Kore controller but got lots of glitches. Then a Novation XioSynth, less glitches but had to whack the latency up pretty high. Then I tried using ASIO4ALL with the onboard soundcard. Surprisingly, this gave the least glitches of all but shocking sound quality. Finally, I made the jump to Firewire via the Saffire LE – great sound, but more glitches and flakey as hell! (e.g. Random drop outs requiring a reboot about once an hour.) To be fair, the firewire implementation on my Dell Studio is meant to be pretty crap so it’s more likely to be that than the soundcard, but it was still annoying!

But then I found the Echo DJx. All I can say is WOW! Great sound, no glitches at all (!) and running drum racks in Ableton at 3ms latency! Finally, what I’m hearing from my headphones is exactly what I’m playing on the PadKontrol. And being an expresscard, it fits nicely on the side of my laptop with no nasty wires or PSU’s to contend with.

Now all I need is my APC40 to arrive, then I can start working out how to take ScarKord live!


Just a quick update on what I’ve been working on of late. (Apart from cracking out a few remixes for AcidPlanet competitions that is!)

I’ve been asked to contribute a track to a forthcoming SynthVox Summer compilation (not that the UK weather is anything like summery at the moment). This will be some original ScarKord material rather than a remix, I’m just trying to decide what style of track will work best. Got a nice little electronica piece I’ve been tinkering with, with the working title of ‘Dreams in Plastic’ which is the current frontrunner. Just finished adding in an oboe part (really) which I think sounds cool. Just gotta squeeze in a string part and some drum edits then I think it will be finished.

I’m also collaborating with my old friend Cosmo Valseca of Clear Air Turbulence again, contributing some keyboard overdubs to his latest demos.

The track ‘Sail Instead’ is now on Cosmo’s Myspace page and features my keyboard parts on the chorus.

Might Like You Better (ScarKord’s Serious Remix)

Just uploaded an alternative mix at a more sedate 130 bpm. But the mix is anything but sedate! Breaks, false ending, hidden acid, glitched vox and even a little nod to Kraftwerks Tour de France in there too. (Thanks to a vox loop from the rather excellent ‘Electronic Point Blank’ library).

To be honest, this is much more my usual sound than that drum & bass nonsense I’ve been dabbliing with (ha ha).

Anyway, please have a listen and leave some feedback on acidplanet if you can. Be interesting to hear whether the ‘real’ me is preferred to the fake one!

Might Like You Better (ScarKord’s Serious Remix)

Time for a change in direction?

Funny isn’t it. You can spend ages refining, editing and sculpting your electronic masterpiece, making sure not a single beat is out of place and no one listens to it.

But when you spend a couple of hours one rainy evening, doing a ‘just for fun’ drum and bass remix, everyone listens to it, you get your highest chart placing and loads of glowing reviews!

I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere 🙂

Birds as high as planes – ScarKord remix

Once more to the shed dear friends

Inspired by reading about Thomas Dolby’s fabulous studio in a dry-docked life boat (which looks amazing by the way), I’ve decided it’s time to get what’s left of my old studio equipment and set it up permanently in the shed at the end of my garden – better there than gathering dust in the loft or sold for a pitance on ebay.

It remains to be seen exactly how much time I’ll get to spend up there, but as I seem to spend half my evening wiring up my laptop / USB controllers / audio interface / Kaoss pad / Bitrman etc. it will be good to have an alternate set-up ready to go.