Disquiet Junto Project 0330: Wax Off

Disquiet Junto Project 0330: Wax Off
Make a piece of music by erasing aspects of a pre-existing track.

This project was proposed by frequent Junto participant Zero Meaning.

Step 1: Make a piece of music by erasing aspects of a pre-existing track. You’ll be taking an earlier audio track of your own and reworking it. Select a track. It might help to read through these instructions in full before making the selection.

Step 2: The theme of this project is “erasure.” You will be removing material from the track you selected in Step 1. Consider what “erasure” can mean in terms of sound: removal, texture, fragments, artifacts, etc. What techniques would erasure entail?

Step 3: Apply the concepts and techniques you came up with in Step 2 to the track you selected in Step 1. The new track should remain the same length as the source track. That is, the canvas is to be the same, and only the contents are to be altered. One additional note: even if multitracks/stems are available, they shouldn’t be employed for this project; only the “final” version of the track from Step 1 can be used for this project.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0330” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0330” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Please consider posting your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co.

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Other Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, April 30, 2018. This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, April 26, 2018.

Length: The length of your finished track should equal to the length of the source track.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0330” 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 330th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Disquiet Junto Project 0330: Wax Off / Make a piece of music by erasing aspects of a pre-existing track) at:


The project was proposed by frequent Junto participant Zero Meaning. More from whom 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.

The photo associated with this project is by Erin Vermeulen, used via Flickr and a Creative Commons license:




Man, that Twitch link is assertive. I can’t get it to not show the embed. Anyhow the project is now live. Thanks to @ZeroMeaning for having proposed it.

1 Like

Broken Vistas

I took a piece (No Small Vistas) that I originally did for a Gone in 60-Seconds compilation, and which was then added to Dance Noise (my 2nd Neurogami album).

I used narrow EQ to split the original into three frequencies over three tracks, then applied a series of on/off muting to each track (each one rhythmic but different from each other).

I added some delay to help fill in some gaps.


did a track with a prescient title yesterday so made sense to use it (cello samples in protoplasm)
i wanted to avoid erasing amplitude as that’s what i did in last week’s junto. was thinking about fx that take away but inadvertently replace artefacts.

in the past audacity noise reduction has been good for this. i laboriously applied noise reduction about 60 times so that it accumulated throughout the track, then played it back and there’d been no noticeable effect (thru speakers)

so i saved as a 8kbps mp3 which erased a lot of detail and hi freq. had this faded in as another layer so it both adds to and subtracts at the same time


After reading the prompt, it seemed appropriate to rework last weeks piece and its theme of removal. The rhythm in particular seemed an interesting place to start. Having recently watched ‘Against the Clock’(the YouTube channel by Fact), the limitation of making a song in 10 minutes seemed intriguing and beyond my meager skills…so…what the hell!

I started by removing all but the rhythmic elements, a quarter bar for the kick and a eighth bar for the rim. I continued the same chopping throughout the entire song leaving traces of the melodic(?) bits when the kit disappeared. This was run through BramBos Kosmonaut in Cubasis for some multi-tape delay interest. The mixed down result was doubled in speed to 122bpm. This was duplicated on four tracks. The first is dry with no effects, the second is eq’d and panned hard left, the third is reversed, eq’d differently and panned hard right and the fourth is eq’d, has a linear 11 bit reduction and is panned 10 o’clock left. The reversed track is offset just a touch and gives some interesting rhythmic response, especially at the break. While the piece is short and not exactly song like, it has a fun movement and almost made the 10 minute challenge. +/- 5 minutes wasn’t too bad, I thought, and a small nod to the original spirit of the Junto, more of a sketch then a ‘masterpiece’. :slight_smile:


This one worked out perfectly for me after last week!

I went back to last week’s track (the very noisy Box Fan and Guitar) and decided to see what I could get out of it (via erasure) using Adobe Audition’s noise reduction tools. Adaptive Noise Reduction removed most of the amp hum that was present in the original recording. I then used the Noise Reduction process to further clear out hums, buzzes, and extreme high end from the recorded signal. At that point I started to hear some interesting harmonics and movement between about 500 Hz and 2k Hz. To stick with the theme of erasure, I used a multiband compressor to push everything below about 470 Hz down in relation to everything above (no makeup gain, threshold around -40, gain reduction of 12-15 db). Once I hit a nice sweet spot, I normalized the entire track back up to listenable levels.

EDIT: As I continue to listen, the little “twangs” that survived the noise reduction are very, very interesting to me. They’re in the original track as well (sounding more like clicks). I’m not sure if the source is the guitar or amp, but they did come through the mic. I don’t know exactly what created them - I didn’t touch the guitar at all during the recording process, the box fan was the only source of resonance. Whatever the case, they ended up being much more interesting the second time around.


Hi all,

I took my Junto0325, the forgery of an old jazz song… In Audacity did noise reduction a couple of times and this is the result… I kept the song-length the same, but in the original song, the end of the song kinda fades out. Meaning that in the end of this song, there is 56 seconds of nothing at all. Might be handy for another Junto.

Take care,




Finally got around to submitting my first disquiet junto project :smiley: been a while coming and glad I found the time for this one - great suggestion. Took an old field recording (https://soundcloud.com/timbamber/night-trio-for-electrical) and basically threw everything at it! Randomly deleted some elements detected by Melodyne using percussive and polyphonic algorithms, then lots of de-humming, de-crackle/clicking (also subtracting everything but clicks), de-noising, extracting harmonics, etc in RX and Audition, then divided it into freq bands and did lots of rhythmic amplitude deletion with LFOs (tremolo, essentially) in Iris2 and then a bit more cutting and deleting with the lasso in Audition. It is what it is! :slight_smile:


Suss Müsik began with a piece created for Disquiet Junto Project 0264. The brief that week was time travel, which makes perfect sense for thematically exploring the idea of erasure. If Suss Müsik were to go back in time, after all, the first thing we’d do is eliminate all the stupid mistakes we made over the years.

“I think of sound architecturally,” said composer Maggi Payne in Tara Rodgers’ excellent book Pink Noises. “I’m sculpting the space so that it becomes a tiny point source, a huge trapezoid, stretched diagonally, coming from the ceiling in the hall, coming from the top of your head … it’s always clear that the apparent space is being morphed in some way.”

There is nothing more apparent to a space than having something removed from it. What is left behind but the spatialization of our memories? That’s the approach Suss Müsik took with this week’s Junto.

For this piece, Suss Müsik recorded the finished track from 0264 directly to 8-track, randomly cutting the volume at various points. What you hear in the background are fragments of the original recording session: a bit of reverb electric guitar here, some homemade metallic percussion there.

The piece is titled Tram, a root of the original title Trammel named after a word to describe something that restricts one’s freedom of action.



A subtractive remix of “Rez Meditation” (https://soundcloud.com/ethanhein/rez-meditation-disquiet0323). I planned to remove frequencies from the track using some kind of automated EQ or filter. Then I thought, what better automated filter is there than a vocoder? So I used my source track as the carrier, and loops of “Cold Sweat” by James Brown as the modulator. (This required me to transpose “Rez Meditation” down a fourth to be in the same key as “Cold Sweat.”) I used a Max For Live LFO to slowly sweep the Depth parameter of the vocoder back and forth, and voila.



A little over a year ago I offered Looking For Planes – Looking, the first of a three part piece for two pianos that dealt with my granddaughter looking for airplanes flying overhead. I completed the other two parts and make them available.

The original three part piece, Looking For Planes, was written for two pianos. I had started working on a single piano arrangement but set it aside because of the difficulty. When confronted with this week’s junto project I decided to get back to work and complete the erasure of one of the pianos in the original version.

This version of Looking For Planes was written for piano.

The score is available at http://bit.ly/2HS24rQ


There’s a joke here somewhere about a Vince Clarke remix but I don’t have the time for that nonsense.

I grabbed an earlier piece of music from my archive, 2011 I believe, and judiciously removed various frequencies using the 4MS Spectral Band Resonator, whilst using various eurorack modules to modulate the frequencies left behind and their volume.


Found an old piano based sketch. I eased the sounds by eqing out the body of the sounds. Made a few loops, loaded those into my modular. Did two takes into ableton live mixing the loops with some effects. Made a few minor edits.


The playlist is now rolling:


Started from C9vTSM(disquiet0264)

User-696185036 – C9vtsmdisquiet0264

Thought of “erasure” in two or three different ways.

  1. Take the original piece considered as a piece of raw rock, and sculpt it down.

  2. Erase over original piece by smudging stuff. Like what happens when erasing a blackboard, parts of what you erase get carried by the eraser to other parts.

To implement this we sent the track to 4 Abelton send tracks, with varying volume (so that it is like sculpting). EQ8 which is some kind of direct erasing of sound, resonator which kind of smudges the harmonics of the sound, and beat repeat and simple delay which kind of pastes over (like maybe white out) sound that occurs later with sound that occurs earlier.

We applied that process once and the took the output sound file, and put it through the system of send tracks again (with the same automation) to get the final track.


The preexisting track that I used was my submission for the April 2018 Contest at KVRAudio: https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7064683#p7064683 (I don’t believe I’m going to win.)

I decided to erase different multiple sections of the frequency spectrum over time by using the Image Filter room in Metasynth 5. Wow, you can get lots of fun timbres by filtering piano and drum samples!


Starting from my #sixtysecondsong “AI”, I used phase inversion, filtering, bit and sample rate reduction to erase various parts of the original track.

For the final mix I’ve combined the three of these erasure processes to remove stuff from the original recording. I’ve both played and drawn automation in Ableton Live. The results are musical, emotional build ups as well as rhythmical changes to the timbre.

[Will post a vlog/tutorial on the process no later than Wednesday May2nd. youtube.com/carlmikaelscabinetofcuriosities]

Vlog is up: https://youtu.be/1ILXfAj9AQU

Original track: https://soundcloud.com/carlmikaelbjork/ai-002


“Take an old track and make it new by erasing things from it.”

I took Steps from the early nineties (uploaded for reference and sentimental contemplation) and duplicated it to half a dozen layers or so in Reaper.

Three layers got scratched off by diverse EQ VSTs, so that they had only low, mid, hi frequencies.

One layer had been “noised reduced” (but I decided to use the noise instead the cleaned material).

I also did cut all these layers into small pieces, so that sometimes you can only hear one, sometimes some, sometimes all layers.

Another layer got partly erased of with methods like “declicking” and “voice removal” in Audacity, I did cut off parts of the stereo channels here.

An additional layer works quietly as a “faded image” in the background (which can’t be scratched off completely, so to speak) in order to glue the thing together and to be able to do it without reverb/echo/bla.

So this track erased the original in dimensions like time, frequencies, stereo.


Hi all,
The preexisting track that I used is ambient tape.
The PO-33 was used to record the samples and for the composition too. I used the internal microphone which is quite terrible (remove details) to record some chunks (remove parts) applying an external low pass filter (remove frequencies) to keep the noise out. Puredata was used for some granular sound and the final noise was recorded into a cassette (remove details).


I chose the music I created for Disquiet Junto 0327 called Deep Thought. That piece involved creating three lines of music: one in 3/4 time, one in 2/4, and one in 7/4, played simultaneously.

I applied several kinds of processing to the audio of that piece to create this new piece, called Shallow Thought. I used several spectral filters to subtract different ranges of frequencies to create four tracks containing different spectral subsets of the original music. I used a Max for Live filter called Max CutHacker, which randomly cuts out pieces of the audio in time with the beat, applying it to three of the four tracks using different parameters. The volume of each track varies throughout the piece, removing different portions of the spectrum at different times.

One of the more interesting things to emerge was a percussion track that did not exist in the original music. The percussion sounds were an effect of applying the Max CutHacker filter on a very low frequency track where the pitched frequencies were almost totally removed.

I’m not sure this music is really “listenable” except in the context of comparing it to the original piece. It works in small doses, but two and a half minutes is a bit much for my ears. It was an interesting exercise and I will surely use the techniques I learned here in future music, but perhaps a little more selectively.