MATRIXSYNTH: (OB-6/DFAM x4/MB/Ricky): Quad-Polymetricism: "Four Islands"

Sunday, June 23, 2019

(OB-6/DFAM x4/MB/Ricky): Quad-Polymetricism: "Four Islands"

Published on Jun 23, 2019 Kris Lennox

"I'm recording guitar for someone this weekend, and decided to also work on a track of my own, given the amp was up & running (synth parts were recorded midweek). Instrumentation for this work is as follows:

Matrixbrute (initial chime-like sound, and chime sounds throughout)
OB-6 (pads)
Moog DFAM (x4)
Rickenbacker 620, ran through Mesa TC-50 head
Reverb = Lexicon PCM 96, and delays are TC-2290, and Boss DD-500.

To the music...
The time signature for this piece can be thought of in 5 possible ways. Each DFAM is playing a different time signature. All are in the same tempo - but the groupings are different.

DFAM 1 (top L) = 18/16
DFAM 2 (bottom R) = 12/16 (i.e 3/4)
DFAM 3 (top R) = 15/16
DFAM 4 (bottom L) = 16/16 (i.e 4/4).

So, any of the above time signatures are valid. What I was thinking when writing the piece was the polymetric latch point, as this is where I'm changing harmony. The entire pattern when all four DFAMs are playing latches after 720 beats, so we could think of the time signature as 720/16 (!!).

The DFAM in 15/16 is pitched, but what will likely stand out is the percussive element. Very interesting rhythm.

Interesting to hear a Rickenbacker doing duties other than the Beatles! Good sound from the guitar/pickups. It doesn't have the sustain of, say, a Vigier, but given I'm intentionally using it 'out of the norm', it can certainly hold its own within this stylistic domain. By shred standards the strings possibly sit a little high at the nut end, but the nut could be taken off and filed down a little if looking for a super-low profile action. The main downside of the guitar for lead is the 1st string sits very close to the neck edge; any vibrato beyond minimal on the 1st string and it frets out. But don't be put off if you're a rhythm player - they are great rhythm guitars.

Doesn't the OB-6 SEM filter sound great. You'll likely notice it at c. 1:22, and also @ c. 5:35. Obi pads obvious from 7:05 - end (the Obi is running throughout, but is quite deep in the mix, and possibly won't be noticed at certain points). How could the sound of opening up the SEM be described? Sunshine breaking through from behind clouds?

'How does the OB-6 sit in a mix?' is quite a common question. With people in the industry I've spoken to RE the OB-6, their main concern has been 'it'll cut through everything...' It has a reputation for cutting through: it 'can' do this - but doesn't have to. I'd say it can sit in a mix beautifully, and I think a track like this shows a different context for the OB-6.

Personally, I can't think of a modern analog poly that matches the OB-6 in terms of sheer beauty of tone. Of course, every poly has its own strengths/best situations, and the case could be made for any poly.

We're really spoiled for choice these days with polysynths. And monos!

Enjoy/all best

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