Disquiet Junto Project 0366: Ice Breaker

Disquiet Junto Project 0366: Ice Breaker
The Assignment: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it.

Welcome to a new year of Disquiet Junto projects. This week’s project is as follows. It’s the same project we’ve begun each year with since the very first Junto project, way back in January 2012. The project is, per tradition, just this one sentence:

Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it.

Background: Longtime participants in, and observers of, the Disquiet Junto series will recognize this single-sentence assignment — “Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it” — as the very first Disquiet Junto project, the same one that launched the series back on the first Thursday of January 2012. Revisiting it at the start of each year since has provided a fitting way to begin the new year. At the start of the eighth (!) year of the Disquiet Junto, it is a tradition. A weekly project series can come to overemphasize novelty, and it’s helpful to revisit old projects as much as it is to engage with new ones. Also, by its very nature, the Disquiet Junto suggests itself as a fast pace: a four-day production window, a regular if not weekly habit. It can be beneficial to step back and see things from a longer perspective.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0366" (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 “disquiet0366” (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.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, January 7, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, January 3, 2019.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0366" 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: Please consider setting your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

Context: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 366th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Ice Breaker / The Assignment: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it — 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 adapted (cropped, text added, etc.) from a Flickr photo by Brandon Heyer, thanks to a Creative Commons license:



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The project is now live.

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First time I made something for the Junto with ice in a glass I used a contact mic and drew a comic.

This year it’s the third time I’ve used the glasses I recorded at my parents-outlaws’ house.

They were recorded using a Rode NT4 stereo mic and Zoom H4, later exported with the video from a Nikon D5100.

I began by opening the video in Ableton Live and finding loops, up to a few bars for rhythms and shorter for tones.

The rhythms were gated and layered.

You’ll see I’ve deleted some tracks where they’re not playing to edit the video, so what you see above is some of what you hear – as you’ll only see one loop at a time.

The kick is pitched down nearly four octaves and heavily compressed.

Those tone loops mentioned earlier have been repitched as descending notes, then I’ve duplicated the track and changed it around a bit (the light blue ones above).

The first track is playing through a reverb for the higher-pitched part (up about 11 steps), the second is creating a distorted and side-chained bassline through a Sinevibes effect.

This is the seventh time I’ve made something with ice in a glass and the process I’ve outlined isn’t so different to 2014, 2015 and 2017.

In 2013 I used a contact mic and ended up with a more ambient style of piece, then in 2016 and 2018 I used additional instruments – but that often felt difficult to create a cohesive sound, as ice in a glass is quite harsh and distinct.

Those qualities, particularly the transients, make the project a challenge each time and I try to get better but still think my 2015 piece was my best.

This year was good but maybe I’ll do even better next year.


Hey All, Happy 2019! I went with some freesound files(see sc). Taking short loops and pitching a few. I then went with some guitar rig on them but I liked it dry better. I am posting the other if anyone is curious but submitting the dry -just how I take my martinis. Peace, Hugh


Happy new year everyone!!

I’ve been meaning to learn how to make custom drum racks in Ableton, so this was the perfect opportunity. I made my own recordings of ice cubes, cut them up in Audacity, imported them an into an Ableton drum rack and transposed them. I tapped out the basic beat live, then looped and copied it to three separate channels. Then it was a free-for-all: beat repeats, delays, reverb, pitch-shifting, etc. It took a while to emphasize the random elements without destroying the beat I was working with. The resulting track sounds nothing like the sounds I recorded in my kitchen, so - as a reminder to myself - I count in at the beginning of the track using the four ice samples from the drum rack. I think this 1-2-3-4 count in sounds comical, somehow …

The title “Hot ice and wondrous strange snow” is from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Yeah, I had exactly the same issue!! I tried to make a drone-like synth by paulstretching an ice sample, but it just wouldn’t sit with the drums.

How long does it take you to create your videos? They look very time-intensive!!


Maybe granular synthesis would work better? I might try that next year!

Yes, it takes Ableton Live a little while to export video but it’s good that it’ll do that.


Does anyone know how to block false listeners / followers / plays on soundcloud?

Apparently my Disquiet and Naviar tracks for this week had over over a thousand listens today, which is obviously nonsense. I’m lucky to get 15 listens per day!!

Thanks in advance.

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I don’t think that these are false listeners. There are a lot of people listening to music tagged with “disquiet” or “naviar”.

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I used granular synthesis and lots of delay. It’s a one-shot-improvisation.


Using two samples of ice hitting glass, I created the first layer of what turned out to be a nice little dance song.

Funk Boogie Kit drums, piano, strings, my favorite Dirty Planet bass patch, percussion.

A Happy New Year to all <3


The playlist is rolling:

This year I did something a little different, which was to use the sound of an iceberg calving and make something of it. My source audio was recorded in Alaska’s Glacier Bay by CCCanary: freesound.org/people/CCCanary/sounds/266719/

I used no additional sounds, just sampling, vocoder, saturation, compression and reverb.


• Shook a glass containing 2 ice cubes for approx. 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
• Used a Tascam DR-07 mkII handheld compact recorder in stereo mode for recording.
• Moved the glass from left to right and forward and backwards while recording.
• Imported the .wav file into Reaper and used a Reaktor 6 reverb FX called spring tank to process the .wav file.
• Mixed and mastered with Izotope vst’s.


Recorded sample of ice in glass (or various glasses), processed with granular sampler in Reaktor, added Valhalla reverb, mastered in Ozone. Was feeling very Kurosawan

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the only sound source is a cube of ice swirled and clattered in a milk frother jug

got some tonal elements with reverb, tempo change, echo, pitch change. left in some of my working in the first 30 seconds, pulled my fave sound into iris 2 and hit some keys in there. bit of preverb and eqing back in audacity


After a few weeks of getting the email every week and feeling bad I wasn’t getting it done (I know I shouldn’t), here’s my first Disquiet :slight_smile:

Happy to join the community.

I recorded some ice cubes dropped into different glasses and a mug with a Zoom H1, looped them with SooperLooper, played around with speed and levels thanks to a mapped Xone:K1 controller, and further edited the output and other samples + mixed it all into Audacity.

As always, repetitive and a bit spooky – the mark of someone who doesn’t know much! I have to stop using that paulstretch, it always sounds the bloody same!

Yakhchals are (mainly Persian) evaporative coolers that were already in use around 400 BC.


Over the years I’ve played around with the same sample of ice cubes and explored different methods of sound production. This year I just went back to basics and chopped, looped and distorted the same old sample, no other sound sources used. Headphones recommended.


Congratulations on your 1st disquiet.


Hey everyone,

First time poster and first time Junto participator :slight_smile:

I’ll make a brief introduction: I’m a 29 year old male from Wales currently living and working as a software developer in Amsterdam. I’ve been into making music for about a year now, primarily towards electronic (+ esp. dance music recently) but have always been way too fearful and full of imposter syndrome to go anywhere near posting anything I’ve recorded. But I decided to try to change that this year.

So I discovered Junto via lines, which I’d been lurking on for a while and decided that with the new year I’d give it a go and post my attempt at the projects regardless of the ultimate quality, just to get something out there and document the process.

For my first attempt I wanted to stick entirely to sounds derived from samples I recorded in my apartment. To do so I used a Zoom H1 recorder and took 4 recordings (wav; 44.1 kHz / 24 bit depth) of ice cubes in two different glasses: one tall and small in radius, one short and wider in radius. Both with and without water in.

I sliced the sounds up in Reaper, normalised them a bit, but otherwise didn’t touch them. I loaded the sounds onto my Digitakt (which I’ve had for about a month now and decided to use it as the sole instrument for this project), so I messed with the samples in various ways (cutting, looping, filtering, adding decay / reverb etc) and did a one shot recording in Reaper which I’ve uploaded :slight_smile:

I tried to imagine an alien civilisation dancing on an icy moon of distant a planet… but in the end I think the result came out a bit more woody and mystical sounding.

This is my first time listening to the entries in a junto project too and I’ve heard some really interesting stuff, so I’m really happy to take part and hopefully get more and more comfortable with manipulating sounds and sharing stuff :smiley:

Great to meet you all!