25 Aug 2010

The Passing of Clouds: Track Archaeology

  The Passing of Clouds by pethu

All will be fairly quiet on the music making front for some weeks to come, I'm afraid. Sore limbs, family matters and full-on back-from-the-holidays-regular-autumn-panic att the office all conspire against me/us!

I have played around  bit, though, trying to fit some new music to titles I've already settled for. However and as usual, my projects tend to have a mind of their own. Suddenly, I played a sequence of chords that coupled with the autumn storms outside the window made me think an old number from the past (above). Now, the next new piece is likely to be "The Passing of Clouds Part 2", possibly involving an attempt to recreate the bass sound in the old tune on my modern synths.

In the 80's and 90's, I recorded about 8 "cassette tape albums" of some 10 tracks each. Some of the best stuff I recorded onto CDs before both tapes and cassette players perished, but the exact chronology and details of many pieces are not that well documented. It takes a bit of deductive reasoning to locate the proper place in history for a track like "The Passing of Clouds":

First off, the bass sound here is one of only two (2) sounds from the Korg DS-8 synthesizer worth remembering. It was a nice synth to play, but in general the sounds were pretty awful by today's standards!

All other sounds sound like they come from my Roland U-110 sample playback unit.

I can hear nothing that sounds like the later Ensoniq SQ-1, which was my first proper music workstation with a built-in 16-track sequencer. Further indication that it isn't a sequenced song but played live all the way through is that there is some heavy "pumping" of the sound related to the bass line, a sure sign of a DBX noise reduction system at work. The only piece of equipment I had with DBX was my second 4-track cassette tape recorder, a Yamaha MT2X.

In conclusion, this must be an "early MT2X piece", which puts it around 1989. Mission completed!


  1. I like this, it sounds like it would be a great soundtrack for a number of types of movies. It it seems a different style from other songs you have posted.

  2. I'm glad you're up and running again! Now that I think about it, this would be lovely in a King Arthur type movie!

  3. I really like this one a lot. my favorite you have posted so far. I am with Ginny, a movie background would be good for it. i closed my eyes and pictures clouds flying past like they do during a storm. welcome back to blog land