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Population Inversion

from Rauthaz EP by Solarno



Population Inversion gives the listener a sudden and drastic mood change after the methodical Red Apple and somber Angel, offering up an energy-laden spoonful of synth pop and danceability. I'm not going to go all physics textbook on you, so I will just state that the term Population Inversion refers to a necessary step in the transfer of energy during the firing/igniting of a laser. What does this have to do with the color red? Well it just so happens that the first working laser, fired in May 1960 by Theodore H Maiman of the Hughes Research Laboratory was a solid-state flash-pumped device using a synthetic ruby crystal. The light it emitted was at the visible wavelength of 694.3nm, or in layman's terms, deep red.

Production notes-
Instruments used: Logic ES P and Ultrabeat. G-Force impOSCar, M-Tron Pro, and Oddity. As this song was influenced by the first operational laser, the opening section (along with a bit in the middle and part of the closing) are intended to replicate the firing of a laser. This was done using the most unique and quirky synth emulator I own, the G-Force Oddity, which is an emulation of the ARP Oddysey. This synth was a contemporary of the Mini Moog, but traded warmth, user friendliness, and logical layout for something entirely more nerd friendly , hard to decipher, and cold sounding. Synths and sound don't function in the realm of nanometer measurements, so instead I set the primary LFO of the Oddity to 6.943 Hz. I have no idea how the maths might work out, but to me the symmetry of 6.943hz being a visual decimal variation of 694.3nm works nicely, and the end result is a very steady pulse feel that mutates and evolves as the song sets up.

The cover art is one more opportunity for me to geek out with a physics/laser/pop culture reference. The graph depicted is from a white board used in the 1985 comedy movie 'Real Genius'. It is from the scene where Val Kilmer's character Chris Knight is describing how he has solved the power source problem for the laser unknowingly needed by his professor to fulfill a Military contract. This white board was recreated in the background of an episode of 'The Big Bang Theory' as an homage to Prof. Martin Gundersen of USC, the science consultant who worked on 'Real Genius'.


from Rauthaz EP, released February 28, 2012


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Solarno Los Angeles, California

Every song by Solarno has a story behind it, and a goal to create an experience and atmosphere of exploration, not just of the music itself, but also the inspiration behind it.

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