New Album: The Mad Electroids of Io

Episode Three in the "Sublight String Band" saga of sci-fi instrumental albums is done. This time the crew find themselves hanging-out with the Roboutcast population of Jupiter's moon Io... and jamming with them! This album (like the others) is available for free download at SoundCloud but you will also find it on all of the streaming services, too -- it's already up at Apple Music and Spotify.

If you missed the first two, please check out The Space Mermaids of Europa and The Fire Handlers of Mercury, episodes one and two in the series.

Each album is quite a bit different sound-wise from one another, but they're all escapist sci-fi adventures. 

This one features a ton of "droid-operated" sound -- it's heavily psych-synth in a sort-of '60s-gone-'80s way and all of the "lead voices" are synth. The only things not robot-oriented are the bass and rhythm guitar.

This is a pretty different way for me to record because much of the sound was curated on the laptop side rather than before going into my interface with pedals and whatnot and I hadn't spent much time playing with faux-drums, MIDI, and faux-knob-tweaking before save for adding mild reverb and delay effects now and then and playing with mixing tools to tighten-up the sound. It's both easier and a lot harder to record this way. I think I'll be borrowing some of it going forward but then also ejecting a lot of it as well, because I find that when I get too wrapped-up "in the box" I start to have a lot less fun.

The synth audio units I used were all various Klevgrand plugins which I got crazy-good deals on (keys for) when a third-party supplier was going out of business. There are some e-piano and organ sounds that are all Sampleson things in there, too. I've really enjoyed those a lot while working on chord progressions on keyboard, lately. It kind-of stinks to have to fire-up a computer and plug in a MIDI keyboard to use them vs. simply walking over to a keyboard, but I like them better than "true" sampled plugins I've used for Rhodes and Wurli sounds in the past.

The drums are all cut-up "GarageBand Drummers" -- I'll mix two or three or four together but remove instruments from some and add them back in others. Removing myself -- in a way -- from this process was sort-of fun because you get unexpected results.

Similarly, I used Klevgrand's R0verb plugin for getting interesting reverb as it has a neat randomizer button. You can set some specifications and then you just keep hitting it until you hear what you want. I really enjoyed that because tweaking reverbs on instruments can be one of those things that bores me half to death but really helps "seat" it better in a mix.

Alright, enough of that! Enjoy and let me know if you hear anything glaringly "wrong" aside from the whole thing... and if it's not your cup of tea, try either of the last two episodes or wait for the next one. I'm aiming for the next one to have vibes of Zeppelin III's acoustic sounds. But... not really that. We'll see where the crew goes... but it will involve sentient cat-beings, monks, mystic journeys, crashed ships...


McComber said…
Shoot, this is awesome, like coming up from the depths for air. Thank you, Dr.
Elasticman said…
Weird. But I dig it.
Jake Wildwood said…
McComber: Thanks! :D

Elastic: Yusssss, I win. ;)
Dave in CO said…
Nice. The first song reminds me a little of the Eno/Cale Song Spinning Away. That is high praise from me...

Your styles are interestingly broad.


Jake Wildwood said…
Dave: Thank you! Took a listen, I hear what you mean! Thanks for the suggestion, too, hadn't heard that album before -- I'm familiar with the "Ambient Eno" and then the two vocal weirdo rock albums from the early '70s... :D ...that one's a bit like those but cleaned-up, hehe.