Black Node - Rolling [Jazz Fusion][Thoughtful Noise]

Black Node - Rolling [Thoughtful Noise / TN05]


Been tweaking this one on and off for while.
After wondering if it was too long (at ~5 mins), I’ve actually extended it to ~7 mins, mainly to add a 64-bar solo.

Anyhoo, here’s the finished(-ish)* track.

* The solo was done into Ableton by looping that section of the main track and riffing over the top with a midi keyboard for a few long takes. Then, taking the best bits, compiling them as a solo and adding some more bits.
I did consider rebuilding it in Auxy, but tbh, Auxy lacks the nuance (volume, velocity), so it would have only compromised it (and largely pointless [shame I can’t submit it for TotW :wink:
Plus I’ve got a better bunch of Rhodes VSTs, than my beloved Auxy Vintage Keys.

And now, on to the next one… :slight_smile:

In the meantime, it would be great to hear your thoughts, comments, feedback, etc… either here or on the SC page.

Thanks – and enjoy :slight_smile:


Props for posting the tags on the forum track page–should honestly be adopted as a standard for all track threads. :slight_smile:

Definitely enjoyed listening to this track–despite it being a relatively long track it kept me engaged the entire way through and the track had a very clean mix to it.

Nice job all around! :clinking_glasses:


Good jam so far, I’m a few minutes in & I can already feel the mood of this here track. There’s a lot of pauses in the parts we’re as though the track as reached its max level of energy. Reminds me a lot of a sonic level, no? :face_with_monocle:

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Thanks. Helps give more context… :+1:

Thanks for the feedback on the track too. Good to know the energy stays interesting.
I was already previously thinking of editing a section or two out. Instead, I double-down and went the other direction.

I find jazzy synth or rhodes/keys solos really inspiring. I haven’t done a ‘long’ solo in a track for quite a while, but thought it might work in this one.

I still think I could probably punctuate that solo section with some more details; stripping it down underneath the solo, or syncing some of the underlying music with bits of the solo to add some highlight moments. Maybe. Nothing’s ever really finished. :wink:

There are possibly a couple of sections in the solo itself that could possibly benefit from improvement, but I think there are a couple of moments in there that I think are quite interesting/cool.

The tracks I’ve been gravitating towards recently tend to be the 7-8 min jazz pieces. Not especially radio-friendly, but great to listen to. Some parts of my output are in the jazz-y end of things, so I’m happy to go with longer, if there’s enough ‘music’ in there. :slight_smile:

As I put the solo together outside of Auxy, I was toying with using a retro synth lead, but I came back to Rhodes keys. I still might swap it out for a retro synth lead, if i can find the right lead, as I think that might add some dimension to it — though I think the keys solo might play well against the other synth leads, which are used more sparingly in the track.

I still think the 64-bar solo might benefit from adding one or two really punching moments.


I’ve never really played Sonic. Maybe I should check it out for inspiration. :wink:

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While listening to this part I was thinking “man this must have been a total nightmare” - you still ended up fully transcribing to Auxy though right? Project file must be insane can’t imagine…

I think the decision to go longer suits the track really well. The vibe is great throughout, very reminiscent (to me) of early drum and bass, details like the string drone and drums. Really enjoy it a lot.

Thankfully jazzy type stuff and drum and bass go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s one of the reasons it’s my favorite genre - there’s an awful lot of ways to bend the rules and experiment.

Thanks. I know I’ve still got a fair way to go with my production finish, but I think this one mostly hangs on the musical ideas, rather than the quality of the finish.

Either way, glad people seem to appreciate it. :+1:


I started, but then realised the only reason to bring it all back into Auxy, when it’s effectively ‘finished’, would be to be able to submit to TotW, so decided against it.
(of course, with ‘midi in’, I might have done it directly into Auxy, but hey… :wink:

Only got as far as the first long keyboard run before bailing. It would have taken a fair chunk of time and effort to get it all in — especially as I wanted to keep it unquantized, so would need to do it in Free mode — plus I no doubt would have kept changing it.

I thought about chunking it as samples, but again, didn’t make sense to put the effort it simply to get it back into Auxy. That’s not my current direction of travel, as I’m transitioning away from Auxy, at least, partially.

Besides, if I did bring it back into Auxy, I knew I’d continue editing the other Auxy parts ad infinitum — and I just wanted to draw a line under it and move on to developing the next Black Node piece that I’ve already started. :wink:

My keys playing is far from competent, so it really was a case of playing around, then cleaning up and editing the midi. Happy(-ish) with where it ended up, give or take adding a couple of bigger ‘moments’ as mentioned. There are some nice flourishes in there, considering my (low) playing abilities.

I make music in different genres, and none of them are really pure genres. Always a bit of fusion going on. Jazz/y seems to be in there somewhere most of the time. The Black Node material seems to be heading towards tracks that, imo, could work well live, with live instruments.

(I’d love the replace the drums in Rolling with live drumming. I could probably sequence it to sound closer to live playing, but to get the real feel, variation and flourishes, it’s just better to get a real drummer.)

I’m endlessly inspired by the contemporary jazz scene, Yussef Dayes, Kamaal Williams (Henry Wu), Kamasi Washington, Alfa Mist, Robert Glasper (natch), Keifer, … but also YouTube-based artists like Binkbeats, whose Little Nerves track perfectly captures the energy, feel and spirit that I hope to be creating as the Black Node project develops.

I think my Black Node material is the most interesting stuff I’m currently creating.
I still over-produce. Too many layers and musical fills, etc…

If I come back to this track, it’ll be to strip it right back to something more raw and essential. Still me, but something a bit less ‘luxe’ and a bit more authentic to the spirit that I’m trying to carve out of the pieces I’m creating.

If Cid Rim can perfectly capture the feel with some keys, a lead and drums, surely I can get a little closer without repeatedly maxing out the 20 instrument slots in Auxy. :wink:

Fewer instruments. More music.

Wondering whether to push it up to Spotify, etc…
(Looking for an excuse to try out Amuse, Level, etc…)