Tuesday, December 07, 2010

modyfier is in a bardo state. while this location will remain as an archive, all past, present and future contributors to the process series can now be found here. please redirect yourselves.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


With this mix, I wanted to create a little compilation of tracks with special beats that I like. You'll hear eight tunes I picked out of my record collection. Records by DIMLITE, EMPTY CHAIR, AARDVARCK, INSTRA:MENTAL, JOE, APPLEBLIM/PEVERRELIST, 2562 and NSNT PRJCT. Instead of talking too much about the music and why I did this mix, I put down eight statements that in my opinion fit to the mood of the mix:

1. Note to self: Stop Expecting.
2. It's hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but it's even harder to give up when you think it's everything you want.
3. Listen! Don't believe any of this. Keep on partying! You'll never regret it. Trust me!

4. Whatever you want to do, do it now. Life is time and time is all there is.

5. I'm just tweeting to tell you I blogged.
6. The more you say, the less you say.
7. Do you remember when you said you'd never forget this?
8. Shut down computer. Go outside. Meet someone!

achim maerz - process part 243 by modyfier

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have to confess, I feel a bit apprehensive trying to describe my creative process.

To proceed, I suppose I could begin with a pre-conceived notion of where I'm headed, and then attempt to beat a path towards that destination. Conversely, I could enter, discern a path and then follow it devoutly to the end it seems to demand.

Maybe these are just sides of the same coin. A competition between identity and location, between who I am and where I am.

Where I am: the feeling of that moment, the emotion, the sensation; the feedback from those around me; the direction my sound or texture or colour or key suggests. This seems to me to be the path that pulls me along.

Who I am: my notion of what I am trying to create or emulate or discover; the reaction I strive to evoke in myself, in others; my message, my habit, my ability. This is the part that pushes me to search for a path, or to cut one anew.

These are all imaginary, invisible forces. In reality, I try to create something out of the sounds I have assembled, try to muster some meaningful expression in the moment with the vocabulary and tools and ingredients I have.

My experience is that of discovering the path in the same motion as I set out upon it. While I find my way, I hope that the moments that don't work serve to elevate the moments that do.

m50 - process part 242 by modyfier

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


When I was contacted to participate in the Process Series with a DJ mix or a track, I knew that it would be with a track, as I am not djing. Also, doing a mix at home with the music I like would´ve be fun but I guess less interesting and personal than composing something special for the occasion. So I tried to plan this with enough time in advance to be sure I would have the time to sit for one or two days in the studio to work.

I also decided (after checking other issues of the series, especially Dntel´s) that keeping detailed written track of everything I did in the process of producing could be interesting for me and maybe also for the readers. I wrote almost everything, even if it was just a thought, an event, an idea or something stupid.

As a result here is the detailed list of my composing process and the resulting track.

I would say that the track it is not even finished and probably the mix needs a lot of work still. But I am quite happy with the general feeling of it and maybe in a future I would modify it and release it somewhere. For now it should be taken as an open experiment or excercise for self-discovery.

As a conclusion, I would say the inspiration and the process to transform it into a "finished" product, unlike many other artists, usually comes from my everyday routine. As a strange as it may sound, waking up, going to the studio and starting with a few sounds, takes me on a tunnel where the outside world disappears and the ideas, melodies, etc. start to flow. Obviously, this doesn´t happen every time. I guess that is the magic of it. But, as someone said: You never know when inspiration will come, but it better find you working when it does!!

Monday, 11th October 2010

- 10:30: I wake up with a bad pain on my back. I should probably change my pillows or my mattress...or probably better: do some excercise. I read emails, prepare my "mate drink", eat some toasts and start to plug my studio.
- 13:20: I add the first kick.
- 13:26: Straight four to the floor is not my thing today. I add some small variations.
- 13:30: I start a bassline with a simple sinewave oscillator with an extra click on the attack. An easy, moody melody on A minor.

- 13:40: I create a new channel with an interesting succession of chords, but it doesn´t fit with my previous bassline....mmm...I delete it. You can always start again.
- 13:43: I add some delay and LFO modulating the filter frequency to give some movement. It's a very moody and happy atmosphere. A minor 7 and D minor 7 chords.
- 13:50: A cowbell helps for the rhythm...not sure about the sound...but I'll have time to change it later.
- 13:55: I open the wonderful Collision (Applied Acoustics technology in Ableton) and add a mallet sound. Same note, variable rhythm, almost random. The modulation capabilities are great...play a bit with it to get a moving feeling on the background.
- 14:05: I add a shaker, timbal and new bass line. A groove starts to take form. Nice :)
- 14:15: After some minutes listening, I start to imagine a new melody...quite cheap and pop...but I say to myself that with a nice percussive sound, it could help the rhythmic and instrumentation of the loop. I put it on the keyboard and register with an awful sound. I will have to change it soon.
- 14:22: The track without the kick misses the groove. I realize that the problem is my LFO modulating the filter of the chords. It´s not set to oscillate in synchro with the beat. Problem solved.

- 14:25: Suddenly, I get a new bassline melody in my mind. It sounds familiar. I hope I'm not stealing without even knowing it. I put it on the keyboard. It's an awful sound, but nice idea. I tweak the sound until I find something decent.

- 14:40: After listening a few times, the personal test moment arrives: mute the main melody part and hope that the loop still has enough consistence to groove alone...(I´ve been always stronger for melodies than for rhythms). Nice! I think it passes the test. Minimal but hypnotic. I think I have something worth continuing.
- 14:50: I like it. It still needs tons of work, but it is going somewhere. I stop to work. I am hungry. I will continue later.

- 17:00: I reopen my project and play for few minutes, muting parts, playing around. I definitely like it. I arrange the sounds, the mix, clean some samples, etc.
- 17:10: I change the kick figure...more variations.
- 17:30: There are some interruptions, email, etc...I stop work on the project.

- 18:15: I come back again to my loop and realize that is quite ezquizofrenic. But no worries, it gives some tension. I add some more percussion, sporadic fx, some dynamics processing, compression, gate, etc.

- 18:20: I start to be worried about the arrangement suitable for this track. It is not a club track, and it is not just home listening either. What is it? What to do? Where to go?
- 19:30: For the last 30 minutes I've been adding fx and some more little melodies coming in and out of the track. Without the main chord, it sounds quite mysterious, almost vodoo-like.
- 19:55: I feel like I am starting to ruin the track, so it is better I quite for today.

Tuesday, 12th October 2010

- 12:20: I open the project. Listen few times. No new ideas coming yet, just arranging the mix and the sounds.
- 12:40: I can´t find new ideas. I close the project.
- 14:50: Back from lunch. I try again to find some ideas.
15:00: No great ideas about composition, but good ideas for effects, delays and reverbs.
- 15:20: I stop. I will continue another day.

Friday, 15th October 2010:

- 15:15: I reopen the project after few days. I was busy working on other urgent stuff. I listen to the loop a few times. I decide to take the day to work on it.
- 15:30: I do a real time recording of everything and I end up with a 12 minutes loop. Now I need to cut, arrange, delete, etc. and then I will have a better idea of the final arrangement.

- 1
6:50: After more than one hour of changing details, mixing, arranging, etc., it's time to take pause.
17:20: I continue working on the final details. I am almost ready but need to correct some last details on the mix, bounce and do a home made mastering.
18:30: The render is done. Final EQing and mastering are done.

alejandro mosso - process part 241 by modyfier

Thursday, November 04, 2010


from coast to coast, everything changes. a journey where the destination does not matter after all. a sound, and we're off to a mysterious journey. are we going somewhere? we follow the wind. it guides us like the stars. and off a surprise, we have discovered a new island. we stay there awhile. nature is lush and unknown. strange creatures appear. in the back, the distant sound of waves. and we are already different.

sinner dc - process part 240 (from coast to coast) by modyfier

Monday, November 01, 2010


Notes on three mixes:

- There is a certain amount of self-indulgence in presenting three mixes as part of a series that more often than not does one per artist. Thankfully, I don't consider myself an artist.

- I began the A mix as a sketch to see if some new tracks worked well with one another. But then I forgot to put things in front of the opening track to lead the imagined listener in a bit more gracefully. Oops.
- I think the Mathew Jonson tracks goes on a bit too long, but it was almost impossible to mix anything out of it in the way that I prefer to do things. Every time I'd think I had something, a synth squiggle would come in and mess it up. That's not a bad thing.
- There's this wonderful moment after the San Soda track where the Karizma track comes in offbeat, but doesn't sound like it until it's left naked there to stand on its own. I'm fascinated by this moment where your brain switches to the "proper rhythm" even if something is still matching fine.
- Those tiny skips early on in the final track aren't your mp3 file messing up, they're my mp3 file messing up. I also don't know much about "levels," "mastering" and "compression," as I'm sure you'll hear very quickly. Sorry about that.

crambe repetita - process part 239a by modyfier


- I began the B mix because I recently got a computer back that had a folder in it with a bunch of files that I had tucked away for when inspiration struck. It took four months, an unusually long time between mixes for me, to put together a mix like this. I'm not sure why that is.
- With mixes like this, I prefer to do a lot of hands-on work so that even if you know something that's playing, it doesn't necessarily take you out of the flow.
- That said, the track that comes in at the 54 minute mark is by Daryl Hall. Unlike much of the rest of the mix, there is nothing else going on at that moment except him.

- Overall, 28 tracks were used.

crambe repetita - process part 239b by modyfier


- I began the C mix because I was recently asked to make another mix for an acquaintance of mine, and I had about eight hours too much material that I wanted to use.
- Artists that had to remain on the bench, despite my best efforts: Kepler, Bochum Welt, Bark Psychosis, Flying, Giardini Di Miro, The Avett Brothers.

- More than anything else, I'm interested in how the moments between the tracks sound, how they flow into one another in those three, five, ten, 20 seconds. This is the same, whether it's a dance mix, a mix for the car or whatever B is.
- I had to make this mix three times. Odd, as you think it'd be the easiest of all.

crambe repetita - process part 293c by modyfier

Monday, October 25, 2010


Everything started around two years ago when I decided to leave Málaga, my home town, and moved to London.

I had in my mind to make a few tracks deeper and softer than I usually do. This track was the first of a series in this vein.

The feeling came from my first day in London: I woke up early to a beautiful red dawn. It was quite curious and, for a moment, I didn't know if I was dreaming or if it was real. I focused on this feeling when I started the track.

Putting the soul of that day into this track gave it its name, red (grey) day. Grey because most of the days I’ve spent in London are quite sad. I tried to reflect on the thin line between dreams and the real world. All these new feelings mixed inside me and came out in a slow BPM, a deep bass and lots of strings. The structure is like that day: a red morning, a quiet evening and a crazy night.

I feel like vocals are often too explicit, so I play them in reverse and no one can understand what I say. For me, there is no other language, just music.

carlo - process part 238 (red (grey) day) by modyfier

'Red (Grey) Day' was recently included on Multi Vitamins MVD28.