My first recordings, where I thought I was making “something new”, were painstaking affairs, taking me years to finish – I was always editing them down, taking things out, adding something new. I worked all day and night in NYC, sound editing and mixing all kinds of crazy things for HBO and always brought things in and out. My sound work had its feet in two worlds, and they merged. I can hear now how I was blending them.
John Wiggins at HBO, mid-1980s — above with Max Headroom
“All The Truth At Once” was finished in 1986. I was processing real sounds I recorded through my mighty Serge Modular, a small computer I programmed in assembly language to play back samples, all recorded on a ½” four track Scully. I would bring the four track into work and mix it down to ¼” through a Neve Melbourne console.
Phillip Seifert was kind enough to ask me if any of my old LP’s from the ‘80’s were digitally available anywhere. I did transfer the ¼” Masters to DAT in the late ‘90’s so I dug those DAT Master tapes out and re-transferred and re-mastered:
Tuned Space (1981)
pARTicle music (1984)
All The Truth At Once (1986)
The Timbre Maps (1992)
ALL NEW (1996)
Hearing Complex (1998 – 2000)
This all was the very best sound work I could make at the time.
Here’s an excerpt from “All The Truth At Once” (1986)
Editor's Note: Anagenic by John Wiggins is available at Bandcamp
Adam J Naworal
Hard to believe this is 22 years old; it sounds like it could have been made yesterday! Great stuff and a great read here, John!
Thanks Adam - I was really into going out with my then 7 year old son and collecting sounds, he would find great stuff, and I let him break stuff for the mic!
ha! make that 32 years ago... I would never have guessed that any of the sound collages I heard in the mid-80s had been produced on such fine equipment as a Neve console! Well, it does sound rather timeless, as Adam indicates. Thanks for the photos and explanation (not to mention the sound collage itself).
John S Wiggins
Evan - you're very welcome, I guess I kinda cheated using a Neve! But then all the '90's music was mixed on an SSL 6000!
Adam J Naworal
You're right of course, Evan! Did I mention I suck at math? XD
Wonderful sound art! I love all of the unique combinations of sound. It is very musical indeed. Lucky person who has the actual LP! The cover is great too!
Thank you Lumen K! When I, very freely organise these sounds, I try never to repeat anything. It’s like an unfolding of a film with sound, and sounds are everywhere for the microphone, unlimited!
Excellent track! I'm also thoroughly enjoying Anagenic. Was the Serge used on this album as well? Would enjoy recording or mixing through a Neve or SSL, but will have to be content with using the software versions.
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is an award winning sound designer for TV and films