808 Blockchain Beats (Disquiet Junto Project 0276)


Disquiet Junto Project 0276: 808 Blockchain Beats
The Assignment: Make 808-style beats based on the blockchain.

Many thanks to Jon Phillips for proposing and helping to develop this project.

Step 1: This week we’re making music informed and inspired by blockchain. If you’re not familiar with blockchain, this concise summary might be of use:

The Blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records called blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block. The most well known and original implementation is the Bitcoin Blockchain which is often described as a peer-to-peer (p2p) public ledger of all transactions. Blockchain technologies offer a consensus mechanism of indirect coordination, which provides the ability to achieve large-scale and systematic cooperation in an entirely distributed and decentralized manner. Blockchains can be considered as hyper-political and global governance tools, capable of managing social interactions on a large scale and dismissing traditional central authorities. Specific uses include accounting, identity management, record keeping systems, voting, and land registries.

The source of the summary:


Now, if blockchain is too technical and you aren’t using bitcoin as the new gold :wink: then use the images that come to mind: block & chain, and use 808 sounds to make some beats.

Step 2: Make a beat informed by blockchain that uses or is in someway inspired by the 808 drum machine.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If you hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0276″ (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In this discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track.

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, April 17, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

Length: The length is entirely up to the participant.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0276″ in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this information, and if possible link to the original track:

More on this 276th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “808 Blockchain Beats: Make 808-style beats based on the blockchain” — at:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:


There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

Image associated with this project is from:



I like the sound of this just based on the title :slight_smile:


Cool. The project is now live.


Read the disquiet description, Project 0276: 808 Blockchain Beats, didn´t understand anything, loaded TR-808 patch on DM1 Ipad app, send it through strymon´s BIG SKY and worked hard on it…




Hey All, Going 808 and data speeding. Interesting tale for your perusal below.

I began working at Portal Software in the summer of '91. Grunge was was a whiff in the air that would become full blown that September when Smells Like Teen Spirit started blasting out of car stereos(Pop Culture is the best way give people an idea of a point on a timeline). The internet was just was in the early stages of becoming what we know now and Portal was one of a few ISPs in the land. We were already in the process of pulling out of the ISP business to focus on software cause code was cheap and infrastructure was a bitch. My job at that time was working with universities to get them online. This was not for the students but for the researchers at that time. In fact the universities were up in arms because they were concerned that businesses were wanting in on this internet thing for their transactions and they thought it would slow down their service because data would bottleneck at the ISPs which was a legitimate fear at that time. I was working at a university and staying in a hotel near by. I shared a room with my boss who had to have had some form of autism looking back on it now, but at the time autism was not very commonly diagnosed in those who were high functioning. I just knew he was very good at his job but terrible at social interactions.In fact his boss had pulled me aside at the home office before this trip to tell me that i would be handling all interactions with the university administrators and researchers and my boss “Tom” (name changed) would handle the software and network logistics, At the hotel one night Tom was telling me about the “Shannon limit” which concerned the noise to signal ratio limit which was a problem we,Portal, were having and we were nowhere near that limit and wondered how we could improve the speed of our modems. We got ready for bed and shared a joint. We were watching a baseball game on TV and they were warming up in the infield. The first baseman was throwing a baseball around to the infielders. Tom started freaking out. He went and looked at the cable box and then took it apart and was staring at the inside of the box. He grabbed the hotel stationary and started mapping something out, Scratching things out and balling up page after page. I looked at one of them and I couldn’t tell what was what but it had boxes and lines and math above my pay grade. He called his boss and told him he was quitting, that he was he needed some time alone. He hung up looked at me and smiled-which I had never seen him do before. Needless to say Tom is a very very very rich man today.
Peace, Hugh


The playlist is up and rolling:


I dusted off my Tr-8 and spent the afternoon experimenting with patterns until I settled on using tr-8 to create a drone. Setting 4 on the reverb was selected and time turned up to max. the cowbell was sent to the reverb and the gate setting acted as a cutoff for the drone frequency. I synced Circuit with the Tr-8 and held down a sustained bass note and fiddled with macros to alter the timbre.
I then fed the wikipedia entry on block chains into Alter Ego and tapped along to the tempo. Mixed on headphones.


Waz up Junto, Well it has an 808 in it. Holmes was quite the hommie. This is going to be long-so you was warned.
The American Literary Blog reminds us that December 6, 1882, was one of only six occurrences in modern times when humans have witnessed the Transit of Venus, the cosmic moment when the second planet comes between the Earth and the sun. It’s an event rarer even than the return of Halley’s comet every seventy-six years. Observations have been recorded in 1639, 1781, 1769, 1874, 1882, and 2004. One more will occur in our lifetime: June 6, 2012, after which the next will be on December 11, 2117.
Oliver Wendell Holmes waited in line on Boston Common to pay a dime to observe the event through a telescope. He memorialized the event in “The Flaneur” and in his autobiography. According to charts of the event, the 1882 transit took a little more than six minutes, so Holmes’s turn on the “tube” must have been propitiously timed—and perhaps dangerous for his eyesight:
Here’s Holmes on his experience
Ever since I paid ten cents for a peep through the telescope on the Common, and saw the transit of Venus, my whole idea of the creation has been singularly changed. . . . In looking at our planet equipped and provisioned for a long voyage in space,—its almost boundless stores of coal and other inflammable materials, its untired renewal of the forms of life, its compensations which keep its atmosphere capable of supporting life, the ever growing control over the powers of Nature which its inhabitants are acquiring,—all these things point to its fitness for a duration transcending all our ordinary measures of time. These conditions render possible the only theory which ‘can justify the ways of God to man,’ namely, that this colony of the universe is an educational institution so far as the human race is concerned. On this theory I base my hope for myself and my fellow-creatures. If, in the face of all the so-called evil to which I cannot close my eyes, I have managed to retain a cheerful optimism, it is because this educational theory is the basis of my working creed.

Later, Les


If like me you went through the wikipedia article and were like “what?”, here’s the article you’ll want to read:


Thank you, sir!

[t w e n t y c h a r a c t e r s]


made a beat (or block) using https://io808.com/
loaded into protoplasm at 3 different octaves
had a (block)chain of guitar fx
at each stage the block gets more complex and further from the original. ending in a nice noisy drone.


Hello everyone!
This weeks hurt :wink: https://soundcloud.com/user-651760074/blockheaddisquiet0276

I spent too much time fighting with iOS app library corruptions this week and had less time for the Junto than planned. Don’t let anyone tell you ‘It just works’, the last week was a syncing AND sinking waste of time and effort! Enough of the rant. When I saw this prompt there were so many choices for beat makers that TMCS(Too Many Choices Syndrome) got a hold of me. Since time would be limited, I chose Korg Gadget for both its excellent synths and real time parameter recording. The sounds made of knob twiddling, with half the fun :wink: The the 808 beat is based on the block pattern shown and three synths are playing off a buss feed compressor from a duplicate but muted kick track. A fourth synth is playing the high noise drone and all the patches were modulated and recorded during the final playback…if that makes sense!? The song was sent to Audioshare, trimmed, sent to Dropbox, mp3’d in Ocenaudio then uploaded to SC. Picture was created in PSE.
Video - Filmed at a secret location with state of the art light gathering equipment and edited with cutting edge software in an undisclosed sight hidden within the Rocky Mountains :wink:


Fairchild + 808 samples under blocks of ice with sloppy fretless bass, click here to read more.

Will also upload this video to Facebook



For this piece I turned the image of the blockchain on its side and programmed a pattern into the iPad Boom 808 app based on the layout of the image. It is a 9 beat pattern, so it resolves in a weird fashion, if at all. Around 35 years ago I built a Paia Programmable Drum Machine from a kit. Up to that point, my musical partner and I were making rhythms by miking up shoe boxes, beating on them, and looping the results on a reel to reel tape machine. The Paia was not perfect due to my inexperience with a soldering iron, but it was more immediate than beating on shoe boxes. This pattern reminds me of that old drum machine, which I still own.


“I’m not just singing,” The great Mick Jagger said to an interviewer who suggested, at 70 years of age, that maybe Jagger was a little too old to be dancing the way he does onstage. “I want to do a performance, as well, so that’s waving my arms and running around. I hear the music and just can’t help dancing."

Mick Jagger might be the most illustrative lead singer in rock and roll history. Perhaps the least engaged vocalist of all time is a relatively unknown Californian named Su Tissue, lead singer of an obscure 80’s outfit called Suburban Lawns. Dressed like a schoolteacher and looking decidedly uncomfortable, Su Tissue (real name McLane) didn’t have what you’d call stage presence. Her singing was something of an acquired taste as well, resembling a weird mix of Yoko Ono, Deborah Evans-Stickland of the Flying Lizards, and someone who’s just returned from having a root canal. Naturally, the Lawns were a brilliant slice of New Wave art-rock.

What does this have to do with Blockchain? Suss Müsik has no idea. We do know something about the 808’s “systemic cooperation” with our understanding of rhythm. As individual sounds, the 808 doesn’t exactly embed the urge to shake one’s booty to the ground. Once assembled into a recognizable beat, however, all disassociation evaporates as the synthetic beats are decentralized, distributed, indirectly coordinated.

For this effort, Suss Müsik considered the strange, wonderful aesthetic of Su Tissue in the context of Bitcoin. (Hey, somebody has to.) The 808 rhythm was purposely antiseptic. Two phrases were played on piano to roughly match the 808 sequence: syncopated yet awkwardly immobile. We kept the BPM as close to 88 as we could, although to our ears it might be a bit slower than that. There’s a fuzzy bass in there someplace.

The piece is titled Dosimetry, which is the measurement and assessment of ion radiation dosage on the human body. The SU-E-T-808 is a improved sequential booster for treating cancers of the head and neck.


Every time you post I learn something interesting! Thanks for the great write-ups and music :smiley:


Oops, this was meant to go here…Every time you post I learn something interesting! Thanks for the great write-ups and music :smiley:


It’s been quite a bit of time since my last Junto… and I was really missing it!
I had never really looked into how blockchaining really works, so thanks a lot @disquiet for getting me to fill this knowledge gap of mine!
One central mechanism of blockchaining is that every time a new transaction is carried out, this gets broadcast to the whole network and – if everything is looking good – a new block is added to the chain, which adds this transaction to the distributed database.
So, inspired by this mechanic, I did something very simple (and somehow stevereichish) but quite fun to do.
I started with a simple 1/4-note-long pattern, repeated it 4 times, then made this pattern longer by a 1/4, added some events, but didn’t change any of the existing one. This new pattern is then repeated 4 times and the whole process starts again. I did this until I reached 3 bars, but could have gone on forever. Actually I would have wanted to make 4 bars, but it was getting a bit long. The abundance of 4s (even if it’s the unhappiest number of all numbers) is simply due to the fact that the 808 is based on a 16-step grid (4x4) and the number 8 in 808 itself is a multiple of 4.
All drum sounds here are samples of a TR-808. I’ve mixed in some field recordings from Japan (triggered by the drum sounds) to give it a bit more air.


my entry- employing spurious science fiction narrative to justify itself…