A soothing and entrancing piece. Honestly, wouldn’t change any part of it. The sounds from nature provide a perfect bedding for this tranquil atmosphere. Have no idea where this was recorded but we want to live there. Nice work.
The opening minutes are eerie, almost ghostly, and it’s fun to see you performing these sounds in real time. The mallets seem to come as a surprise. Actually really love how they simply repeat the same phrase until the cello/bass makes its appearance. A possible area of exploration might be a bit more variety in the lower tones. Things seem to stall around the 3-minute mark until the drums kick in, then it almost sounds like a totally different piece. It’s definitely an interesting listen, almost bordering on prog-rock (!) near the end. Great work.
To start: absolutely love your thought process behind this piece. The tonal scale seems just right – not too complex, not too simple. It almost has a John Adams Common Tones in Simple Time sort of vibe to it. Really love how it switches scales about two minutes in. Not sure that we’d add any rhythmic noises or percussion, as that might cheapen the experience. Could seriously envision monks chanting these notes at midnight. What might possibly be interesting is a bit more roughage during the final minute – perhaps a gradual introduction of white noise distortion. Then of course, a proper fade out to complete this wonderful piece.
Here is an unfinished drone / ambient piece. I’m never sure where to take these things.
It’s comprised of a pitched down field recording of birds, a snippet from an old sufi cassette tape, a ripped youtube recording of a piezo mic recording ants walking (similar to a vinyl crackle effect), and a self-generating aalto patch with some additional software fx and modulation.
I think I may add some upper harmonics to the synth part and cut the low end a bit more. Is it too muddied? Should I introduce a new element or refine what I have?
I began this week’s junto eager to give feedback on others – @SussMusik is owning this right now, amazing job – but realized it’s really hard to give feedback on experimental work! Will try to dip into a few selections before the week’s end.
Greetings all! This is a track I began using some of sounds form the modular “blocks” in Reaktor to form the main synth sound. It is, in part, an attempt to get away from a bad tendency to use to many sounds rather than exploring what can be done with less sonic material. Any feedback and ideas is more than welcome. I’m particularly wondering if quieter sounds leading up to the main synth line are too floaty and whether they feel like they only exist to provide contrast for the main line. I also wonder if the role the percussion sound plays is sufficient or if something with more complexity might be worth exploring. Thanks in advance to all responders. I will try to give a listen to everything and comment as the week goes on.
I started this one a year ago. I had quite a few “sound effects” or “source” records, and the self-imposed rules was to make a mix from records only, to justify buying them. In the second half is a “bass line” made from moving a needle on and off a low tone in a record. Similar to my other submission some ideas are there but composition needs to be tightened up.
This was strongly inspired by the Tape-Beatles, esp. their release “The Grand Delusion”, some of which I saw them perform when they toured in the 90s. I have that CD and “Music with Sound.”
Thanks for taking the time to listen and comment, I really appreciate it. I will explore what to do regarding the low register, the mellotron cello might be blocking some other options. There was a little when the mallets start, the tambourine shouldn’t start right away so it takes a bit to get it’s 4/4. And the another funny thing is that the ambient/eerie part, the second rhythmic part and the (still not there) ring modulated part is actually the same mallets with different fx!
It’s a very compelling listen, especially in the opening moments with what sounds like a distant flugelhorn or something accompanying the birds. The deep tones that arrive at 1:45 are majestic. Repeating a comment made to another contributor, check out Shouting at the Ground by Zoviet France (especially the track “Shamany Enfluence,” which this very much resembles). It’s not muddled at all, and the composite chords you’ve created are actually quite emotionally dense. If anything, the piece might benefit from reduction – pulling back some of the harmonics to reveal hidden textures. Lovely.
This is tremendous fun – love these little two-minute sketches that pack a lot of content into a small package. There’s a vague quality something like Yellow Magic Orchestra as it opens, then it goes all Prefuse 73 and Mouse on Mars with the smashing bits – great stuff. Really like the melody that holds it together. Only possible area to explore might be to expand the panning range of the hits, perhaps have them arrive from different parts of the listening field (one from front-left followed by one from behind-right, etc.). Really use the space. Nice work.
Straight away this brings to mind the work of Erik Lindgren on his Arf! Arf! label – check out Dig Archaeology Vol 1 if you can find a copy. It’s almost as if Negativland were commissioned to do an instructional audio piece for air traffic controllers. The only comment that comes to mind is to explore the call-and-response more fully, perhaps expanding the time between the bits of voiceover. That might allow more layers to reveal themselves, to perhaps tighten up the composition for you. Also, don’t be afraid to add a bit of musicality to the more abstract components – could you work with the intonation a bit? This brought a smile, thank you for sharing it.
My first idea to complete the track was to add a improvisation bass clarinet or Didgeridoo. Wildlife and Frozen lake are pictures present in my readings of this moment. I feel that all the ideas expressed are good
Had a toasted sandwich the other day but haven’t finished a track to edit the video yet.
Did it! I brought in some Coltrane and it sounds awesome. Thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks Marc for this one! It come in exactly the right moment for me! Plus I haven’t been doing a Junto in ages, so hopefully this might give me a motivation boost to get back into it.
This is a track I have been messing with for some time, but which still isn’t done for various reasons.
It was made for a planned split which for now goes under the working title spaces (and partially evolved from a previous project of mine called intimate spaces).
My part of the split is focusing on the exploration of uninhabitable architectonic spaces present in modern facilities, through field recording and synthesis (combined via the modular synth).
I’d love it if you could listen to the piece and answer some questions before reading the explanation below.
The mix is very rough and it lacks mastering of course (just gave it a little bit of compression to even out some things)
I know it’s a lot of questions, so feel free to skip some or just answer just one. I’m also happy about any type of feedback which you’d like to spontaneously write about this piece.
- How does the piece feel in terms of length. Did you doze off while listening to it, or does it achieve a certain dramatic tension, which makes you listen to it despite there not happening much in terms of musical structure.
- can you clearly identify which sounds are originating from field recordings and which have been synthesized?
- Is there something that feels overly obvious or trite in it?
- would you say it sounds like somebody else’s music, if it does, who would you compare it to? Is that good or bad to you?
- Did you imagine/think about something specific when listening to the track? If you did what was it?
- after reading the description below, would you say that my intent is perceivable in the final piece or not?
Process and description
Click to uncoverMy process is usually this one: I work on a field recording collage using only sounds recorded in one space or location. Then I pass this collage through the modular synth, adding some synthesis elements to it to either enhance frequencies and sounds already present in the recordings, or – less frequently – to enhance the evocative element in them (i.e. to emphasize a certain mood). In this case it was mostly the second case. The field recording collage is done completely in the DAW, the rest is recorded – in this case blindly to use ioflow's term – from the modular, one voice at a time. I do like the fact that there is some randomness in how the pieces then fit together, but I'll also edit things so the randomness is somewhat controlled, adjusting things I don't like. I do try not to go to crazy with the editing though. The space below the pool, where I recorded the sounds has a beautiful, reverberant sound to it (it's basically a concrete box) and the dripping of the water creates a very interesting sonic environment there. But it's also a very cold, dirty and wet place, full or pipes and water pumps. It's dark and with a shallow ceiling, which adds to the claustrophobic element. It's mostly in stark contrast with the pool under which it lies and to a certain extend with itself. So what I was trying to achieve is a certain going back and forth between a somewhat romantic, warm cosy feeling, and a more unsettling, eerie one. The intent is not to be descriptive, but rather to make the concrete sound abstract, while preserving some traces, or hints to the space they have originated from (the evocative component). I did base all the notes on a rather common scale and 12TET tuning, while there is some play with just intonation tones.
I managed to break my glasses the weekend that spawned this excellent, lengthy, and still ongoing thread. As a result, I’m still playing catchup. Thanks to everyone for posting — not just their music, but their comments.
Thanks for the encouragement, @SussMusic. I think I’ll give Bandcamp a try for these experiments.
Thanks, @prema108. You’re right, some voice snippets (vocoded?) could be a way to add more tension.
@finja: I really like how it builds up and the wierdness of it, which still sounds organic and cohesive throughout the piece. If I had to add something, maybe I’d go with an additional line located more in the lower register to give it more foundation towards the middle of the piece?
@DeDe it’s funny, I’d never have used the term “ambient” in conjunction with your track, but I get what you mean. To me it sounds pretty structured (even if the structure seems to be revolving around adding layers, which is something I really appreciate as a compositional technique), and actually there is quite a lot of melody going on. So since it appears more melody/solo oriented to me I’d actually go with option two, make it shorter and less ambient. Though I do really appreciate not having gone too far on the jazz-fusion road… but hey that is personal taste, and actually it would probably be coherent with the overall style of the piece, if you’d wanted to add more of that.
@Ethan_Hein I quite like how it opens, it has a warm, sunny feeling of it. To me it feels like you just need to maybe remove a little bit here and there more than add. The bassline becomes quite a lot after the first minute and actually destroys the groove a bit.
@Anatol short version is: yes! Long version: did you also try to overlay some of these pads/drones?
@DetritusTabuIII: well, all can say is: wonderful track! It’s got a strong, forward momentum that indeed makes you want to dance to it making weird moves.
@krakenkraft the field recordings don’t strike me as being an “alien” body in the piece. I quite like the track. Maybe you can work a bit more on the depth, taking some elements more in the background (eg. the sine bell sounds, could be EQed a bit, and you could use reverb instead of delay, to move them more to the background. The bass drone could be even thicker and more distorted at one point if you want to make the absence of it more evident.
@Justmat I think it becomes quite interesting when the second voice comes in! Not sure about the drums, have you tried without drums? Seems like a good starting point for a track for sure!
@Mtt_Nx not sure what you did here or how to interpret your description of the compositional process, but I quite like the minimalism of it, and the birds singing to it.
@prema108 there’s an interesting tension in the initial part. Quite like that.
@healthylives yeah maybe narrowing the spectrum of the synth could be an idea but I think at 3:45 it starts to be more interesting to me, when the distorted synth gets more mixed with the Sufi music. I like it when it’s a bit more sparse, and the birds come in and out it creates a nice fluctuating mood. Oh, and I like that it gets crazy at the end. You could even go more crazy there!
@Cryptohelix love this one. Especially the part where the vinyl needle noise starts and that sustained mid-high pitched drone, the two sounds mix in a quite interesting way.
Looks good! Sounds good! Love the “mmmm yeah” drop-ins. Like Arthur Russell’s long-lost foodie cousin.
This piece is yet another that recalls Zoviet France’s best work. You may want to explore their album What Is Not True. In terms of length, it doesn’t feel long or short – just about right. For some listeners a running time exceeding nine minutes might be asking too much, but to our ears it’s fine. There is both a calm and a sense of dramatic tension, as you put it, and the structure seems to reveal itself with closer inspection. We can detect water drops (or perhaps the inside of a cave) but the rest is only discernible as synth creations. The piece was playing in the background on a loop during work hours, so can’t say there were any specific thoughts or visions while listening. Still, it was an enjoyable experience. Hope that helps