Disquiet Junto Project 0336: Open Mic


Thanks, Marc, for hosting this Open Mic night (or… weekend)!

I have a tendency to hold on to unfinished tracks for a long period of time, in varying states of undoneness. It’s fairly rare that I let them out into the world for other ears if there’s something that I can hear that needs to be adjusted (the logic here being: if I can hear it, then I just need to fix it myself before asking someone else to spend their time listening). I’m not sure it’s entirely the best policy, so this is a welcome change.

I’ve been working on this piece in the background for about a year. It’s a combination of a couple of improvised takes made while rehearsing for last year’s Memphis Concrète festival. One part is a set of loops made from a short phone recording of a rehearsal set, and one is a longer studio take of a separate set. I thought the two worked interestingly together to make the basis of a drone.

The piece is a slow burn for sure… but I wonder if it’s too slow or slight a build to keep interest? I’ve had a couple of runs at doing things like highlighting certain higher frequencies to bring out parts and add interest, or adding a small part or two to make more of a build, but so far none of those have stuck. (Those tries are not included here.) I do think adding something in the mid-high to high frequency range would would work well, as the piece is mixed a bit on the dull side. The question is: what would that be? It could also just be close to done? I think at this point, some outside perspective would be good to have.

Any ideas, comments, suggestions are all welcome and appreciated. And thank you in advance!


Here is something I did back in the winter and never actually finished. It feels there is something missing I don’t know.
I like the groove but i don’t know. Tried to make the sounds evolve and move somehow.

Any and all input is welcome. thanks!

Used Elektron Digitakt with a Dirty Synth sample.

Let me know your thoughts!


Very good stuff! loved the landscape. High frequencies need some EQ.


Agreed, I thinned it out some.


It’s a captivating listen. Honestly, would not consider changing much. The piece recalls such “dusty glitch” masters as Shuttle358 and some of Taylor Deupree’s work. The organ or whatever it is that seems to surface at around 3:40 might be an interesting area to explore, perhaps sliding back everything else so it comes further to the front. That’s a small nit, though, and admittedly an easy fix. Also really love the strange little percussive blorps or whatever they are – any way to add more of these without creating a crowded din? You have something nice here.


The drum pattern is totally unexpected – was ready for the typical electronic 'boom, tiss, boom, tiss" beat, but this is really nice. That sliding melody at around the two-minute mark is amazing. That could almost be a finished piece all on its own. Try fading in the crashing rat-tat-tat noises with a bit more subtlety. Could almost hear some sort of deep wind instrument (a bassoon?) playing along with the synth whooshes. This piece sneaks up on you and really moves once it gets going.


Hey cool sounds. The mix kinda stays in the background it might be cool if some of the sounds came forward at times (maybe dry wet on the reverb or something) also maybe fading in and out with volume of the separate tracks so some isolation occurs. I am sure your working method is probably pretty live so that may or may not be possible.Enjoyed.


Hey Devis, Had kinda a jazzy feel. It might be cool if that backing track was not always on the beat, maybe kinda syncopated at times some times straight ahead,


Also, Marc, i wish replies went underneath the OP instead of taking me to the end of the thread cause this will become a mega thread soon. Just a thought Hugh


Hey klaa, real smooth mix. i have found the super looper fx in ableton can really funk up a guitar track but it is an fx that can get out of hand easy. Also transposing around can get some funky live feels going on. The bass sounds cool but the piano bass line is kinda weak maybe another bass with a kind of a Lately Bass sound mixed with it. I think this track could use some randomness to it. Also maybe the kick could go half time in parts maybe in the breakdowns.


Hey Frank, Really sci fi sounding. It might be nice to bring in some kinda robotic vocal sounds(or humans sounding like robots) or something in a non rhythmic pattern that suggests intelligent communication picked up by satellite. I might try something with it. I will use wetransfer if I do. Hugh


Great stuff. I like how you left spaces open. It may be kinda cliche but some kinda bouncing ball metronome thing might be cool or tempo changing period. some kinda bass percussion popping in and out very infrequently might be interesting. Enjoyed. Hugh


Hey DD, Kinda soundtrack sounding. Yeah the soloing gets a bit much but you make it work-nice. I don’t know too much music theory but maybe if it was simplified like you said becoming more ambient and also if it could be in different keys from each other and they clash more. Maybe choose three instrumens and do each in a different key and slow it down. Maybe record each track without listening to the other two tracks like Marc suggested in a Juno way back, That may sound terrible but I bet it gets interesting in a few spots. Always enjoy your tracks. Hugh


Continues on as suggested, here’s as far as I got.


Hey Frank, Check your Soundcloud massages. OOpps Freudian slip. Hugh


@papernoise thanks for your comment, I don’t think I’ll add more of anything, I guess that, after reading several comments and suggestions I’m heading for a reduction in terms of length or layers, leaving the solo/melody bits as they are, perhaps making a stop in the build much before the actual point and making the coda more “ambient” and ethereal removing layers.
Thanks a lot, very interesting reading you.


@DetritusTabuIII thanks Hugh, the key changes is a good idea, wish I thought about that, now it means a lot of re-recording to keep the “a tempo” pulse going (not slowing/speeding), but I might give that a try.
Overlapping instruments in different keys to create interesting dissonance is not what I’ll go for on this particular track, I like the “mantra” thing, all those unisons going on, I want that simple power.
I’ll definitely work on this one again.
Thanks a lot man, cheers


I will! Thanks a lot for the tip!

Yes the water drops are the only untreated recordings, most of the rest that you can hear is actually also just sampled material from the drops being sometimes heavily processed. It was totally my intention to blur the borders between what is synthesized and what isn’t

Yes totally helps, thanks a lot!



I don’t think I’ll have time in the next few days to completely re-think this one, but did a new mix today, following the idea @SussMusik gave me in a way: making a sort of halt in the crescendo to make it less linear. It marks the enter of the distorted guitars, and then resumes.
What I did is just muting the pulse tracks, adding the e-bow quartet and remixing everything from that point on. It happens midway through the song, around 4:30 time

I’ll sleep on this new mix before proceeding.

Thanks for your constructive comments and for listening.


thanks süss!! I was worried it didn’t cohere, but I am very encouraged by your impressions. :slight_smile: I am also really enjoying your in-depth responses to all the tracks here, it’s helping me get a lot more out of it!

ps - yes an orchestra – it was a tuning note, I think they begin with an oboe, then everyone joins in, then they get bored and start playing little riffs against the tuning note. I paulstretched it, or, just slowed it way down, can’t remember exactly, but I thought stretching it out would help flatten it, while still leaving little hints of the original instruments…