Disquiet Junto Project 0383: Interstellar Ambience

Disquiet Junto Project 0383: Interstellar Ambience
The Assignment: Record the sound of an apartment on a large interstellar ship.

Step 1: The goal is to record an artificial rendering of background ambient sound. The inspiration is, if you’re familiar with them, those YouTube videos in which people have stitched together loops of ambience extracted from movies like Blade Runner , anime like Ghost in a Shell , and TV shows like Star Trek . The issue to consider is that many (though not all) of those YouTube future-ambience videos consist of short tight loops that repeat for hours, which isn’t how actual ambient sound generally proceeds. There are elements to a given place’s soundscape that ebb and flow, shift and morph, as time proceeds, and many of the YouTube sci-fi film-ambience videos lack that quality.

Step 2: Create and record the sound of a future interior space, specifically an apartment on a large interstellar ship. Make the recording fairly long, half an hour if possible. Imagine it will be played on loop for a longer period of time. (The word “apartment” is being used instead of “compartment” to make it clear this is a personal space.)

Bonus Option: You needn’t create your work as a fixed recording. If you have the means to code a generative system, that is certainly an option.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0383” (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 “disquiet0383” (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: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #disquietjunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, May 6, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you. The longer the better, in this case (a rarity for a Junto project).

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0383” 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: 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).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 383rd weekly Disquiet Junto project — Interstellar Ambience / The Assignment: Record the sound of an apartment in a large interstellar ship — 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.

Image associated with this project adapted (cropped, colors changed, text added, cut’n’paste) thanks to a Creative Commons license from a photo credited to Pedro Moura Pinheiro:




The project is now live. See you in orbit. Or en route …

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Woah, I was just thinking about doing a series of Starship Ambience. I guess that means I’ll have to participate this week. I was considering short Instagrammable bites instead of 30 minutes, so I guess I’ll have to up my game…:grinning:

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Have a good night. Weak connection, loaded small part, good trip.


I received a Doepfer Dark Energy II yesterday. I was just letting it warm up when this week’s Disquiet Junto project arrived. Seemed a shame to waste the mood…

My spacecraft is — of course — abandoned. Perhaps the sole occupant has awoken from some hibernation? (you know the score)

Equipment used:

Dark Energy II (DE2)
Boss DR-220A

DR-220A is triggering the DE2’s envelope once every bar (40bm), whilst LFOs modulate what they can on the oscillator/filter. A little manual assistance was also given in this regard. The only sound source is the DE2.

Recorded through a Behringer UFX1604; desk delay and reverb recorded separately into Logic Pro X. Final stereo output had a couple of instances of Native Instruments’ Replika followed by the Solid-bus compressor.




The Holtzman Effect

Space Age Bachelor Pad music? Hehe. I guess spacy ambience is kinda part of my sound (if one influenced by old sci fi movies, the radiophonic workshop and their ilk), so it kinda fell firmly in my ball park. i have various pieces on my hard-drive that could have qualified for this weeks assignment but i prefer to create something fresh from my own perspective.

When i was picturing the spacecraft of the future i kinda see it more like how its depicted in Dune than in Star Wars, passing through another dimension, a more abstract space, a folding of space and time

I went through a lot of processes in this assignment - the initial sections involved using the new Audiobulb Ambient 4 and creating some evolving soundscapes, then i took that into ableton, blending those parts with FX and various new layers, lots of filtering, blah. Generative layers where developed in keeping with the brief, using chance procedure to generate the melodic drone and audio events.

Finally i used Rokvid (a M4L visual software available on the ableton website) to create audio-reactive visuals from an old documentary. Theres a few technical glitches where it freezes for a few seconds, but i’m kinda new to this and very much still learning


Wow, cool - Enjoyed this one.

I know Marc suggested a long track, but 2:16 is pretty long for me.
(40 seconds is good average)

Here’s the interior of the Community Space Station doing its daily orbit over the city.


I would upgrade my cabin if this was the noise I had to live with. Through film we - know - the space ship background noise. A freighter or a battleship - more noise. Enemy ship even more and strange… My noise is from a budget cabin. This is just a background noise. Listen at low volume. This kind of sound is sensitive to the medium (headphones, speakers)!


I worked in a microtonal tuning called 33ed4 https://en.xen.wiki/w/33ed4

There are several loops, constisting of only one note at a dedicated pitch.

The loop lengths are prime numbers to generate new melodies and chords over time.


Hello everyone. I missed a couple of weeks unfortunately because life got in the way (I had family visiting in Amsterdam and then I moved from the Netherlands to France :open_mouth: )

I had a blast with this weeks project. I don’t know how closely I stuck to the theme because I took quite a conceptual approach. I imagined the loneliness that one might feel on an apartment on board an interstellar ship and I wondered what might comfort me if I was voyaging alone through the emptiness of space. The answer was simple, the familiar sounds of my home planet ringing into my ears continuously and forever. Having a radio on board means I might be able to pick up the sounds we’ve been continuously broadcasting out into the universe.

Interstellar travel over vast distances means that the sounds that reach me are like a time capsule to a past life I lived on Earth. I’m hearing sounds as they were broadcast aeons ago, when the planet as we knew it was still habitable… just about. The only problem is my radio was not able to lock onto a specific frequency and instead jumped around the spectrum of waves being emitted from all over the Earth. The result is a kaleidoscopic vision of the sounds being broadcast into the vast emptiness of space on Friday 3rd of May 2019. The colossal distances involved means that the signal that reaches me is often distorted and mangled in ways that makes the original recording almost unrecognisable.

My process was as follows: I visited https://radio.garden/ and selected stations at random from across the world and then recorded little snippets of shows. I ended up with 39 recordings, of various lengths, all of less than 1 minute. I tried to go for a mixture of talkshow, adverts and music.
I made a vcv rack patch with some turing machine modules to create a low synth drone and some other oscillations. I didn’t do much with these sounds because I got distracted by the idea of the radio station sweeping.
Radio Music from modular80 provided the backbone of the patch, to cycle through the radio stations using a S&H module as the cv input to the tuning knob. As well as the dry radio signal, I’m also feeding it into separate channels which add distortion, delay and reverb to the transmissions.

I recorded about 25 minutes of this into Ableton and then exported it. I couldn’t get the tuning knob to sweep in a satisfying way that covered all the sounds as I’d hoped. So, rather than being fully generative, it did have a performative aspect as I occasionally messed with knobs and volume sliders myself.

Here is a link to the vcv rack patch: interstellar_ambience.vcv (24.0 KB)

If anyone is interested in the radio sounds I recorded I have zipped them and uploaded them here (I’m not sure all the sounds made it into the final composition).


I have been working on this piece for quite some time and this gave me the push to finish it. Temporary Existence works not just as background ambient music, but can be listened to in the context of themes, development, and direction. This piece started as one for solo alto flute and ended up in a completely different direction. Funny what happens when one allows creation to take its own direction.

This piece is a little over half an hour long, but I would invite you to sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy.


In his classic book The Design of Future Things, Donald A. Norman described how engineers once programmed what they called “comfort noise” into telephones.

In the old days, the phone’s clicks and buzzes were necessary to process long-distance calls. As technology improved and circuitry became quieter, people were concerned that they no longer had implicit auditory clues to signify progress. (“I don’t hear anything, it must not be working.”) Hence the introduction of fake sounds designed solely for the purpose of giving phone customers the impression that something was actually happening.

Sound is important for providing informative feedback, and we live in a noisy world. Still, the lack of sound can also be a distraction. We hear the slight buzz of a refrigerator, the gentle hum of an air conditioning system, the purr of an automobile engine. While much effort has gone into developing quieter devices for our environments, there is something unnerving about the abyss of absolute silence. It might be mere “comfort noise” to an engineer, but naturalistic sounds tell us that the products we use are working efficiently.

For this piece, Suss Müsik examined both the utilitarian and utopian characteristics of ambient sound. A living environment was imagined in which the polyphony of auditory spaces was something that could be “tuned” according to mood, texture or biometric response. The pulsating waves of synthetic fields create a privatized envelope of mechanically reproduced life systems.

The piece is titled Sensorium. The end abruptly cuts off in order to join at the beginning as a perfect loop. The image is an audio speaker from a hotel lobby in Washington DC, whence a lot of non-comfort noise seems to originate.


For this intersteller ambience, I used a Gechologic Loopsynth. It’s patch picks a random position within first 100,000 digits of π and starts generating chord progressions from there. I set it in the morning window with it’s internal microphones and IR sensors activated, next to my phone which was playing an ASMR video of vegetable chewing. I ran it through the Tunnels patch on Norns into my iPad for recording.


Love this idea - reminds me a little of scanning the MW band as a kid, lying in bed listening to Radio Luxembourg from across the English Channel as it dips in and out through the interference!



Here is my Interstellar Ambience. It is a generative patch on eurorack.


The playlist is now rolling:


It’s space noise that’s made out of a pedal steel run through a z vex ring modulator and then i’m playing some ukulele bass on top with the idea that I’m a lonesome spaceperson playing alone in my apartment to the ambient sounds of ordinary interstellar life.


Cheers everyone!

LƐgion 38Ɛ (disquiet0383)
Sad fact. I may have a friend, hypothetically speaking, who would take dvd menu sounds from a certain popular science fiction show, whose name starts with “S”, and turn them into hour long loops playable in any format.
So thank you Marc for this weeks Junto, now my hypothetical friend will have many hours of legal ship sounds to enjoy!
This weeks piece is a combination of fourteen separate elements.
The first two were played live in iVCS3 for close to 30 minutes. For those not familiar, this is an iOS recreation of the “Putney”, a cable less semi-modular synth developed by Peter Zinovieff and EMS. If a record had synth sounds in the 70’s, it likely used this at least once.
This session is the center point of my piece. The cycling oscillators and filters are so much fun to manipulate here, with really fine range and tuning. It also has an excellent independent noise generator, exactly what’s needed for space! The next two elements came from the Micrologue, one an almost perfect slow sine cycling 1 cent out of tune, and the other for some busy electrical sounds.
The remaining ten elements are combinations of my various field recordings. A freezer, electrical hum, 20 hp variable vane pitch fan, fluorescent light, etc. One of the few advantages to working in a mechanical environment, the source material is abundant, albeit potentially deafening.
My thought was a large long term transport vessel. The trips last a year traveling their circular route. Depending on your destination, you could be there for a month or more. They’re called apartments to keep the marketing department happy. While they are self contained, the smaller levels closer to the engine do share some facilities, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry etc… You can pay for everything and relax or work off some money during the route. All depends on your means. My piece is like most things, somewhere in the middle grey area, you still get some ship and traffic noise but have everything in your own apartment. It’s not the nicer, more expensive noiseless section but livable for a few months and just enough to finish this detail.
I.S. Legion, apartment 383.


I figure it might be kind of noisy in a typical spacecraft apartment–noise abatement = weight and cost. The apartment depicted here is in the cheap part of the spacecraft–buried deep in a warren of vents, pipes and driveshafts. But it’s cozy and the price is right!

The ambience here comes from:

–5 separate noise generators, each run through a low-pass filter featuring a different cutoff frequency and modulated at a different rate by a LFO. The high-frequency filters used fast modulation (up to 10 hz) while the lower ones were low (down to 0.001 hz!).
-a ‘struck bar’ generator (randomly chosen preset)
-a ‘shaker’ generator (randomly chosen preset)
-background sounds; I ran the microphone through a 10-second delay and reverb

except for the background sound (which is always on), everything is triggered at random for random lengths, with a bit of randomness in stereo panning, reverb and volume. The background sound is pretty random too; I stuck the laptop in the basement and went about doing housework and so on. My only interventions: at one point I played a Nixon speech on my phone, and then played “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by the Portsmouth Sinfonia (a wink to “2001” ).

I ran the main bit for 30 minutes but in principle it could run any arbitrary length (in the main loop in the code change “30::minute” to “1::week” or “1000::week” as you wish).

It gets quite loud at points and very soft at others. I didn’t do any post-processing; I don’t know how Ableton would deal with a file this length.

If I had world and time I’d probably think of some correlation structure for the noises (human behavior tends to be positively autocorrelated at short horizons, I suppose) and add some 60 cycle hum.

here’s the code: