4 Radiophonics
I chose to complete this project using Cubase because my first radiophonics
track would use a recording I had already made using the software, and I felt
more comfortable using Cubases Groove Agent sampler than an equivalent in
Logic. Because the processes involved in producing my three tracks were very
similar, I will only talk about how I made one of them.
My tracks are: BoB Drop, Apple and Intersteller. BoB Drop is made from a
recording of an Air Cadet parade featuring samples from a marching band,
parade commands, and the roar of a Spitfire engine. Apple is made from a
variety of sounds made by an Apple Iphone, These were recorded using an
SM58, a DI’d Iphone and a Focusrite audio interface. And finally, Intersteller is
made using sounds from NASA’s history, including rocket engines, Euston
commands and a mysterious clicking sound heard by the Rosetta spacecraft on
its recent mission.
The first process involved in making BoB Drop was to listen to the pre-recorded
track, in this case, the parades audio (which was then synced with visuals from
the parade) picking and cutting out the parts I’d like in my sample track. These
included bass drum hits, snare roles, trumpet sounds, aircraft engines, parade
commands and marching feet.
I then imported these audio
files into Cubases Groove
Agent One sampler. The
sampler would allow me to
import audio onto allocated
keys and then edit each
sound as I’d like it.
The front ‘Play’ page offers
adjustments to: Volume,
Pan, Course (Pitch), Cut off, Q factor and output location. In the case of the
trumpet, the pitch alters at various points forming a melody. For each note a
new sampler was required and the course or pitch of the key needed to be
altered. Each value of course is one semi-tone, for example: the first trumpet

note heard is a Bb, the next trumpet note heard is a C#, 3 semi-tones above
the Bb and therefore 3 values of course.
The second page of adjustment
parameters is known as ‘Voice’.
On this page a key’s sound can
be altered by: it’s mode
(Whether it is heard forward or
in reverse), its course or pitch,
fine (adjustment of pitch using
microtones), mute Gr, trigger
mode (one shot or key hold)
and output location. On this
page I needed to ensure every key’s trigger mode was on key hold rather than
one shot. One shot lets the sound carry on until it stops when triggered where
as key hold stops the sound when the key is released. Ensuring all keys are on
key hold, I can begin drawing in the MIDI data because I know that when a
note is released, the sound won’t be heard.
On the Groove Agent’s Filter page, the cut-off of a keys sound can be adjusted
and on the amplifier page its attack and release can be altered but I found the
sampler’s pre-set settings to work just fine.
The next process involved in the production of the track was to draw in the
MIDI Data which was made incredibly easy due to the fact that I had a sampler
featuring the sounds I required. In the final track, I had used 15 copies of the
Groove Agent Cadet Machine 2 but had altered each ones sound’s slightly
using the VST’s adjustment parameters.