Disquiet Junto Project 0339: Rude Mechanicals

Disquiet Junto Project 0339: Rude Mechanicals
The Assignment: Record a piece of music in this imaginary genre.

Step 1: Imagine there is a genre called “rude mechanicals.”

Step 2: Imagine what might characterize the “rude mechanicals” genre.

Step 3: Create an original piece of music in the genre called “rude mechanicals.”

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0339” (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 “disquiet0339” (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: Post 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, July 2, 2018. This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, June 28, 2018.

Length: The length of your track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0339” 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 339th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Rude Mechanicals: The Assignment: Record a piece of music in this imaginary genre) at:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:


There’s also a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet to join in.

Image associated with this project is by Matt Haughey, used courtesy of Flickr and a Creative Commons license:




The project is now live.

This is an AWESOME project!






Part of Puck’s dialogue from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, mentioning the “rude mechanicals.” I love the “crew of patches,” too. Made me think of modular synths, naturally.



Composed in ChucK using code based around the ModalBar ugen. I instantiated four ModalBars, using pan and reverb to create a bit of space. The ModalBars were tuned to a root and fifth (with random octave shifting) and struck using randomized velocity. I then manipulated the timing to create different rhythmic textures, for an increasingly chaotic mechanical feel. I’ll post the audio on my soundcloud in case that’s more convenient for folks.


here’s the code:

//disquiet0339 rude mechanicals

ModalBar m1 => NRev rev => Pan2 p1 => dac;
ModalBar m2 => rev => Pan2 p2 => dac;
ModalBar m3 => rev => Pan2 p3 => dac;
ModalBar m4 => rev => Pan2 p4 => dac;

// effect parameters

-1 => p1.pan;
-0.5 => p2.pan;
0.25 => p3.pan;
1 => p4.pan;
0.2 => rev.mix;

// instrument parameters

Math.random2(0,1) => m1.preset;
Math.random2(2,3) => m2.preset;
Math.random2(4,5) => m3.preset;
Math.random2(6,8) => m4.preset;

1::second => dur interval;

  1. => float mfreq1;
    660 => float mfreq2;

while (true)
440. => mfreq1;
Math.random2(0,1) => m1.preset;
Math.random2(2,3) => m2.preset;
Math.random2(4,5) => m3.preset;
Math.random2(6,8) => m4.preset;
if (Math.randomf() > .5) {220 => mfreq1;}
1.5*mfreq1 => mfreq2;

mfreq1 => m1.freq;

mfreq2 => m2.freq;
 mfreq1 => m3.freq;
 mfreq2 => m4.freq;
interval => now;




What’s ruder than sequences that don’t stay the same enough to create a repetition? What’s more mechanical than DnB inspired noise?

Thinking of that, we’ve got dnb drums processed through Hysteresis and multiple gates (the set up of which changes throughout the track). Same with the bass. Still want to maintain an amount of similarity, because mechanical bits tend to do repetitive work.

Wait, is this just glitch?


Good day to all




rude suggests human constructs and emotion, and mechanicals: automation, rhythm.

got samples from freesound:
water mill freesound.org/people/borralbi/sounds/342819/
metal workshop freesound.org/people/ivolipa/sounds/337445/
electric chisel freesound.org/people/Deester/sounds/350882/
printer freesound.org/people/PsychoPancake/sounds/325215/

fed into iris 2, ddly, podfarm2.
created simple midi file: sections with short/held notes.
midi thru random, chord, arpeggio modules
lots of automation on everything
tempo decreases and arp rate increasese throughout

part 2 i did a kind of coda/overture where i improvised to bring out a humanized element but also so the machine sounds were more obvious.



Time was short this week. Whilst my inclination would be to synthesise a load of mechanical type sounds or field recordings and sequence them together to create some steampunk style aggro, this wasn’t compatible with my travel plans for the weekend.

So I thought about what ‘rude mechanicals’ might mean in the digital realm and this led me to investigate the Byte Beat equations in the Ornament and Crime module. These are pretty brute force ways of creating digital oscillations, so I grabbed a few of these, stuck into a sequence, added a few bits here and there, and there you go.



It’s been a tough week.

I wanted to create a mechanical rhythm track and then put a rough sound over it - I chose a Mosh Pit guitar patch - which devolves into chaos as the track continues.

The Neville Chamberlain “Appeasement” speech came at the end - it seemed appropriate. Like I said, tough week.

Hope you are all safe and sound. xo


This week’s prompt title immediately brought to mind some things I’ve been reading and thinking about recently. First, there was Marc’s This Week In Sound email that mentioned “always listening” devices like Alexa and Interpol’s speaker identification system. This, of course, reminded me of all the verified and unverified spying techniques - that, I think, we’re all justifiably paranoid about - which have arisen with digital technology and the “Internet of Things.” Last, I made a mental connection to some short online doc’s I’ve watched about undersea communications cables, their land termination points, and all of the very physical infrastructure that really makes up “the cloud.” This led me back to “rude mechanicals” and the idea that this noisy infrastructure is constantly eavesdropping on all of us. There are two seemingly contrary ideas that both ring true to me - we’ve created an “invisible” worldwide communication network which we all rely on (and take for granted) that is actually extremely real, fragile, and vulnerable; we’ve created a monstrous living system beyond any one person or group’s control, which is now constantly surveilling its creators.

So, with all this in mind, I decided to attempt to represent the system with sound in some small way. The sound of the system, the sound of the listeners (human and machine), and the sound of those being listened to. Rather than a genre, “rude mechanicals” became for me the idea of our own technology rudely listening in on our lives.

Mundane details: I’m away from any gear besides my laptop, so I relied on samples from Freesound.org (listed in the SoundCloud description) arranged and manipulated in Ableton Live along with Ableton’s Analog synth for a drone.



Due to Ethan Hein’s track description last week, ran into the technique of resampling. Tried that out quite a bit for the track. Also tried the thing where you reverse the track add reverb and then reverse the track again (probably there’s a name for that). Vocorder and other standard effects (various delays, autopan?, reverb etc). Somehow at the start I was motivated by the 2-adic metric. mathworld.wolfram.com/p-adicNorm.html

Oh I also cut to a drum track and mixed in that.



Went back to my vaults, all the metals and household objects I recorded for my CD “Musique Mecanique” back in 2010. An album that could be filed under the “Rude Mechanicals” genre.
Also recorded some fresh tracks, mostly metallic objects and instruments:

Trash lid (Ikea)
Thermos (inox)
Electric Bass
Chris Watson’s “Wire” samples (field recording)
Bowed upright bass noises
Metal box (percussion)



I’ve also gone back to my vault and revisited the video Youtube took down earlier this year for being too rude.

It’s been remixed to sound more mechanical.

My most popular Disquiet video was a remixed smack, the Three Of A Kind prompt three years ago.


Thinking about this, I envisioned a group of misfits, probably devotees of Harry Partch’s music, taking over an abandoned factory and making musical instruments from the machines that inhabited the space. They occasionally get together to engage in organized chaos.

Rude Mechanicals was written for Timpani, Drum Set, Anvil, Bass Drum, Maracas, Gong, Tambourine, Tom-toms, Triangle, Whistle, Whip, Tubular Bells, Cello and two String Bases.

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


“copper and lead”.

approached this pretty loosely… several “metallic” synths and sounds… chaotic lines.


Hi All,


Morphagene-ic music box …

Have a lovely week!

h u :slight_smile:

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