Brain & Guts (2nd ALBUM)

Some words about the album

This album was produced between 2019 and 2021, a complicated period, during which I fought against a disease. Creating music allowed me to escape from the drain daily medical treatment had on my life.

100000 “thank you” to all the people who supported me during these complicated times. Many thanks to my family and the great people at Claranet and https://linuxmao.org.

This album was entirely produced on Librazik 3 which is an impressive Linux audio distribution (coucou Olinuxx) !

You can also hear Sub26nico’s guitars on “Pops !” and “Twenties”. A cool guy for a great collaboration !

Thanks to Samuel from https://tonstudio-tuebingen.com for the mastering !

PS : I’m feeling better now. Don’t complain and enjoy life !

Listen to the album

This album was also released on Dogmazic under a creative common license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Hardware

No need for a monster PC to have fun !

  • CPU : AMD Phenom II X4 955 / Ram : 4GB / HD : 256 GB (SSD)
  • Soundcard : Focusrite Scarlet 2i2
  • Mixer : Behringer Xenyx 1202FX
  • Microphone : Shure sm58
  • Some vintage and less vintage synths (most of them are second hand) with 2 USB MIDI interfaces (Roland UM-One and Edirol UM-1). About that, it’s important not to use cheap chinese MIDI interfaces because they are well know for not copping very well with sysex.
  • A Yamaha Pacifica guitar

Commonly used software

Explanations about each tracks

Intro

This track was brought to life by an E-mu Proteus 1 (released in 1989), a keyboardless MIDI sound module that was the first of a long serie of sampler. The title of this track is self explanatory.

Dream

In this track, I wanted to mix nasty synths with an acoustic drumkit. The Red Zeppelin kit from x42-avldrums was particularly appropriate. Moreover, the audio can be sent to multiple tracks in Ardour thanks to the multi-out plugin, a really cool feature ! I honestly don’t remember why this title was choosed.

Two Open Source lv2 synthesizers were used (ZynFusion & TalNoize Mak3r) but also two VST running through Wine (Dream Sequencer 2 & Crystal).

Aches ‘n’ Tears

The most emblematic track of this album… My daughters hates it and, sometimes, it makes me cry. I had a very complicated times in terms of pain and I hope it won’t happen again. it’s title speaks for itself…

Hardware

Software

220820

In this track, the game was to mix synths and orchestral instruments. As I don’t own such instruments and as I don’t have the skills to play them, Sfizz (a sample-based musical synthesizer.) with some “no budget orchestra” soundfonts and x42-avldrums Black Pearl plugin were used. I had not inspiration, so the date was chosen as the title.

the synthesizers used are a Roland d-50 and Tunefish 4.

Twenties (feat. Sub26nico)

I wanted to play around with some synthwave sounds. 2 synths have been used : Surge and SQL8 ( Ensoniq SQ-80 vst emulation hosted inside Carla). The drums were created on Hydrogen with a Linndrum kit (I don’t have such instrument ! Picture by Forat Electronics, CC BY-SA 3.0). The title is a mix between “eighties” and “2020”.

Sub26nico is playing the guitar and using the following plugins :

Lmmax

This one was created on LMMS with some E-mu Emax soundfonts hosted in Polyphone (a very neat soundfont editor). This Emax synths were heavily used by Depeche Mode for example. Emax picture by Matt Friedman (CC BY 3.0). The title is a mix between “Lmms” and “Emax”.

D-25

The drums are coming from a Roland D-20 (D-50 little brother) and the other sounds from a Roland D-05. D-20 + D-05 = D-25 ! What a good joke ! The D-20 was my first real synths (recently for space optimisation reasons).

Pops ! (feat. Sub26nico)

This track was started with some Korg Mini Pops samples (a range of iconic drum machines released in the seventies). After that I have decided to try WhySynth and as I like arpeggios, I decided to give QMidiArp a try.

Sub26nico then kindly offered to send me some guitar tracks ! Guitarix was used but also a Whammy pedal.

Synthetreasure

Twelveight

This one was created for the 15th Linuxmao’s contest (Étincelles mécaniques médiévales). It was a real challenge to find the time signature I was looking for (thanks Olinuxx !). I wanted to create an electro medieval thingie.

the following instruments where used :

Odin

The aim of this track was to test Odin2 which is definitely a cool synth ! Because of it’s name I decided to tweak Nordic culture with some Old Norse poetry (original sample is here). Hydrogen with an Oberheim DMX kit was used for the drums parts.

VL-1

This one is a “single synth challenge” and a replica of an iconic 80s synth toy was used, the Casio VL-1 (thanks Jpcima !)

Guitar106

A nostalgic 80s thingie again !

The following instruments were used :

Niemals

A nostalgic 80s thingie again ! I was recovering from a surgery and the sample in German means : “It’s never too late, go out and try to make the impossible possible”, that was particularly appropriate for the time this track was written.

The following instruments were used :

Sheep Thune

In this track, I wanted to use some Shiru’s plugins ported to lv2 by Jpcima. ChipDrum, ChipWave were used but also Chiparp (vst inside Carla). The result is a funny kind of chiptune music.

The port is available on Github and included in Librazik !

Sixteen Steps

I had fun with an assortment of hardware synths orchestrated by an Arturia Beastep pro (hence the 16 steps).

the following instruments where used :

Amigo

This one was created on LMMS with original Amiga samples. These samples were heavily used with trackers in the late eighties and the nineties. Each sample is less than 10K !

Surgery

This track was made with Surge and Surge only, that was the challenge !

Broken Roses

This track was made with Zynaddsubfx and x42-avldrums (Black Pearl). 

Outro

The following instruments were used :

B&G featured on Trentmix Radio !

B&G was featured on Trentmix Radio ! in the radio show “120 minutes” ! Thanks Hed’ !

The following was written by Hed’ :

“Comme chaque semaine, 120 Minutes met en avant la musique libre en offrant un espace de découverte via sa “Section de Libération Musicale”.

Voici R1L, un projet électronique venu de Rennes. Derrière ces 3 énigmatiques caractères, il y a Erwan, “un plombier de l’internet” comme il dit, qui utilise Linux depuis plus de 20 ans et le logiciel audio Librazik pour composer une musique fortement influencée par les années 80. Et principalement à base de synthés, on est dans une inspiration new-wave un brin sombre mais très atmosphérique.

Récemment, R1L a publié son 2e album, “Brain & Guts” qui est le fruit abouti de 2 années de bricolage musical et médical. Médical, parce-que ces 2 années ont été compliquées pour Erwan qui avait lutté contre une maladie. Et la création musicale lui aura permis tout ce temps de tenir le coup et de s’évader loin de ses traitements médicaux. Il a pu compter aussi sur les soutiens et les encouragements de sa famille et de communautés du libre.

Un second album donc très personnel, où chaque morceau à sa propre histoire, et qui nous donne pour morale de profiter de la vie à fond, plutôt que de se plaindre ! Il y a dedans tout un univers sonore qui se développe et qui fait son effet. Les ambiances sont belles, y a même un p’tit côté chiptune dans certaines pistes… Bref, à découvrir vivement !

Here is the extract of the show where Hed’ is talking about the album (in french) !

2 Comments

  1. November 5, 2021
    Reply

    R1L – Brain & Guts
    les mixages sont bons, va falloir que j’apprenne pour arriver à ce niveau !

    1 – Intro : L’intro est bien
    2 – Dream : démarrage en fade-in, c’est chouette
    3 – Aches ‘n’ Tears : hallucinantes les voix ! c’est super
    4 – 220820 : chouette ambiance électro-percussions avec de beaux choeurs
    5 – Twenties (feat. Sub26nico) : très mélodique ambiance
    6 – D-25 : là on a une intro typique R1L (méfiez-vous des imitations ! :o)
    7 – Lmmax : elle aime max ? C’est une belle rengaine la bass et les percu sont chouettes
    8 – Pops ! (feat. Sub26nico) : On dirait CURE sans les paroles, c’est géant !
    9 – Synthetreasure : je donne ma langue au chat (il fait miaou miaou 😉
    10 – Twelveight : des percussions comme j’aime ! avec un peu d’orientalisme woua!
    11 – Odin : Très bonne invention avec des voix dont on se demande si elles sont virtuelles ou vraies ? ;o)
    12 – VL-1 : Hummm les “octantes-ties” sympathique
    13 – Guitar106 : également de belles nappes
    14 – Niemals : un début très Fame ! c’est jouli
    15 – Sheep Thune : petite ballade aux sonorités graves
    16 – Sixteen Steps : l’apport vocal sublime ! j’embauche pour ma musique ! ;o)
    17 – Amigo : il y a du minimalisme là dedans c’est du lourd.
    18 – Surgery : très beaux glissandos descentes remontées et fin lumineuse.
    19 – Broken Roses : chouettes nappes c’est joliment sombre
    20 – Outro : séquence superbe !

    • erwan
      November 12, 2021
      Reply

      Salut François ! merci d’avoir pris le temps d’écouter cet album et de laisser un commentaire sur cette page ! Je vais tacher d’expliquer comment je suis arrivé à ce résultat.

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