Following my previous post I’ve been using Forester over the last couple of days after downloading it from Leafcutter John’s website. It is a phenomenal piece of software and highly addictive. I’ve messed around loading a variety of sample folders into it. It extracts 6 randomly and then proceeds to mangle the sounds into weird and wonderful soundscapes as you drag the cursor around the ‘trees’ that it generates.

A lot of the resulting sound mixtures are a total mess but with a bit of careful surgery you can get stupendously strange but highly usable chunks that really sound like nothing else and would be near impossible to make without the algorithmic random structure that the program provides.

So far I seem to be having some success by laying cut up sections over a house beat and bassline. The somewhat inane and predictable stucture this provides contrasts well with the ludicrous vocal and synth mashup chaos created on Forester. I hope to post an MP3 of the completed song soon.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. It is donationware, so it’s ‘free’ (now also available on PC), but you can contribute funds to the artist as and when. I’m considering buying his latest album now – I bought an The Housebound Spirit a few years ago on Bleep (which seems to be down at the moment) – it’s a haunting and beautiful collection.

Thanks Leafcutter John!

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