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Holiday on Alcatraz Island



 Genre: Electronic

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The title is of course ironic. I wanted to write a really dark and gloomy track. I actually never visited Alcatraz; this is more based on seeing it in the San Francisco Bay, and imagining what life would be like in there.
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Song Stats
Hits: 6863
Comments: 16
Fans: 6
Plays: 544
Downloads: 340
Votes: 10
Uploaded: Dec 11, 2004 - 02:24:37 PM
Last Updated: Nov 15, 2010 - 05:54:12 PM Last Played: Feb 06, 2019 - 04:10:57 AM
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G5, no external hardware
Synth: Tassman. Harp, piano, organ: GPO. Drums: Plugsound. Bass: Trilogy. Sound effects: KTGranulator, Trasher. Mastering: XARC.
eastman said 5180 days ago (December 12th, 2004)
well done
i was actually quite impressed .. didnt think this track was gonna get as great as it did ...
it has soundtrack written all over it ..
and i kinda can also envision the alcatraz bit !
great stuff !!!
Check out my latest song called Come Forth ( Transmission Edit )
said 5177 days ago (December 16th, 2004)
Kissing a hammer
That's a cool sound -- like someone kissing a hammer, as
if they could sweet talk their way out of Alcatraz. Not sure
I like the crunchy static that starts about 1/3 of the way
thru. Or is that my Sony sound deck decaying again?
Almost sounds like a bunch of inmates practicing their
basketball moves with rocks. A surf sound would be less
troubling to a region within my brain case. Other than
that, a nice progression. Dark, minor-key suspense.
TennesseeVic said 5177 days ago (December 16th, 2004)
Kissing a hammer
Your Sony (even though it's a Sony :-) is probably fine. This track was my first
experiment in manipulating sound, rather than notes. I've been trained as a
traditional musician, playing classical, pop, jazz, on "real" instruments. This
was my attempt to get away from that and really use the possibilities of the
electronic medium.

If you follow the synth line you'll notice that halfway through it's pretty much
gone. That's the "Trasher" plug which simulates a reduction in bitdepth and
other distortions. Together with that I tweaked the EQ and increased the
resonance on a low-pass filter.

The crunchy sound is what starts out as an echo and later becomes the
waves; that's a granular delay line. Basically it takes snippets of the drum
sound, and transforms them increasingly randomly. Pretty soon you don't
recognize the drum in it at all.

There's another granulator on the piano, doing more of a pitch shift. I find
that those first piano chords sound like someone throwing a piano out the
window, but on the other side of the building.

Anyway, thanks for your comments.

Check out my latest song called Allegro from flute sonata 1 in C
cjorgensen said 5157 days ago (January 5th, 2005)
Cool Stuff
I too had some problems with the static, but more on the volume side. I don't mind it being there, but found it too lpoud, somewhat distracting. The opening sequence also doesn't fit with the rest of the song. Sounds a little too electronic on the drums? Especially since as the track progessses it get more and more organic sounding.

I usually don't say what I voted, but:

7, 6, 8, 6

I'd have gone higher on production if it blended a little better.
Check out my latest song called Gardens
_nderscore said 5148 days ago (January 13th, 2005)
lock the door
i found the static kinda soothing-didn't bother me a bit.
what did rub me the wrong way was the repetition..
changing key somewhere in there would have made a
difference-just seems too linear. i wish trilogy didn't cost
so much, the bass is frikkin amazing

interesting pic-is that a roller coaster in the background?
& how did i get lucky enough to have this woman locked
in the cell with me? i'm diggin her shoes.. maybe prison
ain't so bad
Check out my latest song called kolors wash
TennesseeVic said 5148 days ago (January 13th, 2005)
lock the door
Ok, first about the art work: yep, that's a roller coaster. Two images from
istockphoto.com superimposed over each other. Hey, if I knew how to get
that chick in a cell with me I wouldn't be sitting here behind a dumb

Repetition: sorry, no changes. The whole point of the song was to take
material and gradually transform it. Listen for instance to that synth: within a
minute it's become a nasty growl. The harp is transformed but more subtle.
Likewise the piano. The "static" is granulator delay on the drum. After a while
you lose track of the fact that it's a drum, and all you hear are the random

So, no, the repetition stands. I like the subtle transformations of the music as
they are.

Trilogy: yes, expensive, but I wind up using it almost everywhere. This is one
of the synth basses, but I have another track that uses the acoustic bass,
which is too die for.

Check out my latest song called Allegro from flute sonata 1 in C
qthrul said 5109 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
lovin' the pads
This is a great comp. It would fit in quite well as an interlude or openining for a movie sountrack.
Check out my latest song called Restless
halo370 said 5099 days ago (March 3rd, 2005)
nice vibe
I like the way everything slowly builds and deconstructs.
It gives kind of a lost feeling, like the concept of life on
alcatrez. Its like your an inmate losing your sanity over the
time you've spent living on the island. You have lived this
life long enough to forget what a real life is like. At least
thats the vibe I get. I like it. Do more tracks like this one.
Check out my latest song called Impossible Dream
said 5094 days ago (March 9th, 2005)
Sea of Songs......something is FISHY
Really cool sound effect thing in the beginning. Can't
imagine how you kept that from over driving the mix.

I also like the synth sample that plays the melody. Very
nice tonal quality that has. Really random the popping
and background noises. Nice job with that randomness
seeiming rhythmic. Not easy. I think that the whole
melody line is simple here and that allows for all the
randomness to go on as if it weren't that arythmical.
Great job. Really this is a cool way to pull this off, and I
really like the sense of atmosphere that the song conveys.

I would say that there could stand to be something to
build up to as the whole tune seemed really flatlined until
near the very last part.......and then.......wow.......

No nevermind.....Don't change a thing.

Great job. I will have to say that this is by far a brilliant
song in a sea of songs that have been not all that good
lately. (Mine in the sea. Pun Intended I guess)

TennesseeVic said 5094 days ago (March 9th, 2005)
Sea of Songs......something is FISHY
Thanks for the kind words.

Compression: the final master of this track was done by a commerical
mastering studio (xarcmastering.com). They charge something like $60 a
track, and it's fully worth it. It improves the sound by a mile.

Synth: that's Tassman. Expensive, but very good sounding.

Random noises: those are in fact random. Search for "KTGranulator". It's a
weird effect that I've used a couple times. When the piano comes in it works
as a kind of pitch shiftter, but for the most part I use it on the drums. It does
random delays and pitch shifts, giving that "waves" sound.

Victor -- I review yours, you review mine, 'kay?
Check out my latest song called Allegro from flute sonata 1 in C
drakonis said 5093 days ago (March 10th, 2005)
interesting gritty textures
It is slightly dark, but there are little rays of light flashing
through cracks in the thick crumbling walls. The
electronic noisy pattering that comes in later was initially
a little annoying, but actually fit in with the sawtooth-like
synth pad to create a dirty electronic rain sound or more
likely, the sound of sprimkles of dirt falling into the cell as
unknowing people walk overhead. The ending was a bit
abrupt, maybe a better finale... dunno. Overall I liked the
tempo and chords & feel, definitely created images in my
Check out my latest song called Miwok
qpliu said 4977 days ago (July 4th, 2005)
I liked the harp line
It evokes a sense of despair in the midst of everything else
going on.
Check out my latest song called Her soulmate
magnatone said 3016 days ago (November 16th, 2010)
wow vic - how FAR you have come! this is very cool, dark, forboding. you could consider redoing this with your 2010 skills - that would be such a fascinating comparison! on the other hand, having now listened all the way through - what is there to change - it's excellent as is. please ignore me :)
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
apb said 3016 days ago (November 16th, 2010)
What Drak said ..
..and I personally would have had that KTGranulator? effort used a bit more sparingly.

Enjoyable oldie all the same: soothing (if a touch sad) melody.
Check out my latest song called Stowaway
shavingronaldscar said 3016 days ago (November 16th, 2010)
Cool sounds!
Love the rhythm, and the extra two beats in the chord progression, give it a really lucid feeling, if you know what I mean. It's like, BAM, that's the tune, right there. This develops in an unexpected direction, which is great. Impressive deconstruction, a real fountain of collapse. Sweet job, prime production, definite 10s. I don't know who bombed this and what they were smoking, but whatever.
Check out my latest song called Adelaide
Skean said 2264 days ago (December 7th, 2012)
Holiday on Alcatraz Island
So, Victor this is something who is actual today a song I think could fit the day before doomsday, peace
Check out my latest song called Can You Hear Me?
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After a day's work in the fields I enjoy playing the pump organ. Some of it pleases my wife Dotty, and some of it pleases the neighbours. I hope it may please you too.... [see more]

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