Disquiet Junto Project 0312: Amplify/Magnify


Disquiet Junto Project 0312: Amplify/Magnify
Explore two ways in which sound is scaled.

Step 1: This week’s project will explore the difference between “amplification” and “magnification.” Consider the two words, what they have in common, and what distinguishes them when applied to sound.

Step 2: Select a short piece of sound/music.

Step 3: Produce an original recording with three movements of equal length that explores the sound from Step 2. The first movement of this recording should involve the “amplification” of the sound from Step 2. The second movement of this recording should involve the “magnification” of the sound from Step 2. The third and final movement of this recording should explore contrasts and similarities between elements from the first and second movements.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If your hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0312” (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: Please consider posting your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co.

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 (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, December 25, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, December 21, 2017.

Length: As long as you see fit. Three minutes feels about right.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0312” 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:

More on this 312th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Ceramic Notation: Read a work of ceramics as a score in graphic notation) 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 by Carly Hagins and is used via Flickr thanks to a Creative Commons license:



The project is now live.


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Here’s mine: I took this pretty literally, using a field recording of a piece of plumbing with a contact microphone attached. Section 1 plays this pretty straight through a wave folder; Section 2 cuts the sound into tiny overlapping grains through a delay; Section 3 does this simultaneously.

This one can get a little noisy in places.

Enjoy the solstice all.



I wrote a short piece of music. The amplification part is kind of basic I guess, just a fade in and a fade out. The magnification comes in the middle and third iterations, where various parts are silent, therein “magnifying” the rest. Or something. Happy Holidaze!



The idea of this piece was to select a sound or piece of music and amplify, magnify, and contrast the two ideas. I swapped the first two movements of this short piece.

Looking at the Merriam-Webster dictionary I used the two following definitions:

1 a : extol, laud
b : to cause to be held in greater esteem or respect

1 : to expand (something, such as a statement) by the use of detail or illustration or by closer analysis

The piece of music I selected was a simple C9/Dm11 chord progression, which is repeated initially. Using only the notes within this alternating chord progression, I wrote a piece that offered the idea of praise. The second section took the first section and expanded it through development. The final movement places the two previous movements together with some minor thinning.

Magnify Amplify was written for string orchestra.

The score is available at http://bit.ly/2BukFrw


This is one of those weeks when I didn’t follow the instructions.

Some weeks ago I bought a candelabra that sounded nice. Today I thought to record it.

I used a diaphragm microphone to amplify the sound and a contact mic to magnify it.

You can hear each of these in the first and second 30 seconds.

Then I go in the oposite direction for the remaining two minutes, repitching and stretching the recording while adding reverb – which kinda gives a sense of distance, I think.

See more on my blog, including a screenshot from Live.


Hey All, When I first read the assignment I knew I would be using my all time favorite plugin Guitar Rig. To get the amplified tone I used an amplified cabinet and centered it. For the magnified I used my the DI(direct input)Bass setting which I always put on bass tracks. I had two tracks and split them R and L in the stereo field thinking that would be like zooming in on it. I went to the Poetry Foundation website and entered amplification in the search bar. One thing that popped up that caught my attention was a definition of Synesthesia https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/synesthesia. That led to the poem by Baudelaire and I used a short excerpt from that. I really don’t drink much anymore but I used to really put it away in my younger days. I much prefer the herb now as there are no hangovers and I don’t do crazy shit. Reminds of the quote (paraphrasing) A lot of what passes for wisdom or virtue is really just people getting old and tired. I hope all have a great holiday season and you get to spend time with loved ones but if not there is always wine-divine child of the sun.


Peace, Hugh


nice random zen zen zen


Season’s Greetings!

This is amplifying the sound of a bathroom fan - then magnifying the extra noises it was making … all done in Fieldscaper, including some mixing inside the app …

Have an excellent week!

H U :slight_smile:



The first thing I did was get a little stoned. :slight_smile:

For the first section I played a music box like melody using just friends and the er-301 to amplify it. For the second section I thought of magnifying a music box, which led me to think of what a really large… cathedral sized music box would sound like. I used Rings and some pink noise to add a cavernous feel to the melody. By the final section I had lost the plot and ended up going back to the first part. :sunglasses:



In order to better understand the relationship between magnification and amplification, Suss Müsik referenced an old paperback copy of the 1965 psychology textbook Perceiving, Sensing and Knowing.

The book contains an essay written by Roderick Firth on the Precept Theory, a key tenet on how we interpret sense-data. The nutshell is that traditional psychological distinctions are construed by evaluating an object’s ‘given’ status compared to how it behaves ‘in use.’

Our ability to judge magnified or amplified sound relies on a process of acclimation. As Firth puts it: “It makes no sense to say of an after-image that it looks different from what it really is … there really is in such a case an object about which it is an after-image, or an appearance of a physical object.” This is especially true when it comes to rhythmic music that commits itself to continuous change.

For this short piece, Suss Müsik determined two points of sense-datum for piano and drums. The “object’s” original state is ‘amplified’ with the addition of repetitious phrases at intermittent points, creating a busy din of notes, chords and beats.

At about the 1:15 mark, the object is ‘magnified’ by alternating between F#m11 and Emaj7 and a hint of stereo chorus on the drum phrasing. A bit of staccato strings fills out the sound near the end.

The piece is titled Zajonc after the Polish-American psychologist who suggested that repeated exposure to a stimulus brings about a change in social behavior related to that stimulus. The image is a magnified view of a 1950’s flash cube.


The playlist is now rolling.




these are the sorts of words i’d use synonymously without really thinking about it. hhmmmm…
amplification i think of sound and magnification, vision.
amplification is increasing a quality of the object whereas magnifcation is spatial - changing the surroundings.

i used a recording of a children’s keyboard i had a go on in asda the other day

the track starts off amplifying in the obvious sense - getting louder… also there’s distortion (amplified too much) and reverb (everything getting bigger). more deeply i wanted to get a sense of fullness without detail (chorus/paulstretch)

for the last bit it fades from reverb/paulstretch to the more detailed sound zooming in to the object, claustrophobic, and seeing the flaws - in this case the artefacts from too much noise reduction




For my starting sound, I chose a couple of breakbeats I sampled from Woody Shaw’s live version of “Well You Needn’t” by Thelonious Monk. I amplified the breaks by applying the Ableton resonator plugin, and by doubling them with a drum machine. I magnified the breaks by massively Paulstretching them. Enjoy.


On a monotone base there grew an ascending tone, coming back, and modifying, becoming force, growing loud, carrying his partner away.



Very playful! Like the noice development!

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Great idea! Great sound result!


Lovely idea! Sound really cool!


Nice melodie! Cool building!

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