Black metal album created entirely on A4 mkI

Last Fall I set out to see if I could create all the sounds needed for a one-man black metal project on my A4. Here we are a few months later and I have my debut recordings finished and just released them today.

I wanted to share the project with you all and express my gratitude to Elektron for making such capable instruments. I also wanted to show that you don’t need a whole studio of equipment to make an album. This is all made on the A4 mkI. Thru programming and song mode I can press play and these entire songs will play from the box.

Hope some of you can enjoy it. I know it’s not your typical music you’d see on here. If anybody has questions about how I made the sounds just let me know.

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Brilliant

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OK, this is really cool.

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Good Job this is neat

really digging this. Speak to Flames is heavy AF.

edit: wow, just got to Elegy. This is so gorgeous

Well done! I’m considering getting an A4 (mkI, II, or keys?) I’ve been looking for a synth to add depth to my songwriting.

Can you elaborate on your method, sound design, and using song mode?

Again, really cool to hear something like this from an A4!

Amaze! <3

Impressive!

Wow! That’s amazing!

Thanks for sharing this, it’s not my usual type of music but I’m impressed by the sounds you’ve crafted. I’d love to hear about your techniques.

Nastily Beautiful!

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you nailed it !

Sounds like lots of creative feedback tone shaping, really cool stuff!

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exactly. overdriven feedback galore.

absolutely brilliant

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Yes! Very good! I fell in love with the music right from the first second but I didn’t think I would like the vocals, I’m not really into metal. But I do and man do they go good together on this album. Great job! The whole thing is eerily soothing. This and @pselodux 's nord modular/OT video are the two most inspiring posts I have read or listened to in a long time

Do you listen to Wolf Eyes at all?

Yeah this is amazing. Listened to about 20 seconds and bought instantly. Really good to see someone doing something completely new with Elektron gear.

Actually, I’ve organised to work on a black metal/black ambient split EP/album with a friend, and this has now inspired me to use my Elektron gear to make it! So, in a way, thanks for making this and showing that it’s possible :smiley:

aw thanks! Glad people are appreciating it.

Thanks for all the positive feedback everybody!

I guess I’ll just do a quick run-down of the technique. I use one track for kick drum, one for snare and the other two for guitars, typically a high and low track. Having only the 2 stereo outs was a major limitation to overcome but I ended up doing one out that is a clean track and one that I overdrive in my mixer, then use panning to set how much distortion I want each track to have. I have everything leveled in the A4 so I get consistent results whenever I set everything up. Everything is pretty maxed out in the mixer which makes for a more compressed/solid sound and then with the drum sounds on a clean channel they cut thru guitars pretty well.

I started out making the drum sounds and programming different types of blast beats. While I was doing that I had a few riffs I would play on the keyboard which I eventually programmed in. I’ll have to power up my machine to see what exactly is going on with the guitar sounds. One I made from scratch and the other one I tweaked from a sound pack that was already on my device when I bought it used. Pretty sure the secret is in the osc sync settings which get it buzzing which the overdrive really grabs onto. Then I can set the 2 oscs to different waveforms and octaves to achieve different picking sounds.

The lack of retrig was kind of a pain so I used the arp to make the double kick blasts. Can’t p’lock the rate which sucks but not the end of the world. Then when I started using the arp on the guitar sounds I realized I could make some serious tapping leads. I was very happy when I figured that out!

I jammed the songs and switched patterns while recording to figure out how I wanted them arranged and then realized it would be safer to have them programmed as songs so I could focus on vocals in a live situation. Song mode is pretty straight forward. I already knew how I wanted the arrangement so that was pretty quick.

Speak to Flames was one of the guitar sounds but changing the envelopes so it was a longer note and then really digging into the filter. Elegy was actually layered and are just a few different variations of a poly/unison patch.

I’ll check out the guitar sounds and probably share some of those details sometime soon.

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Yes absolutely.

Funny you ask because the first time I performed this project live was a gig with Wolf Eyes. That show was a deadline that really made me tie up the loose ends and finish all the songs.

Also John from Wolf Eyes sometimes plays with my other project, Doberman. He calls it Crazy Doberman haha. It’s more of an industrial noise outfit.

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