Disquiet Junto Project 0398: Rauschen Bern

This piece is based around the infamous 18-minute gap in the Watergate Tapes (from the Watergate scandal of the Nixon Administration: see here for an excellent discussion and analysis: www.forensicmag.com/article/2011/02…8-12-minute-gap)
President Nixon regularly taped White House Oval Office conversations, and the gap is the part of one tape that was mysteriously erased right around the time of the Watergate investigation. The gap is a really interesting piece of audio–it’s not really silence; it’s full of clicks and buzzes and hisses. It’s also interesting for what it tells. It’s quite clear it was deliberately erased, and in more than one session, so the cover story that it was accidentally deleted is obviously false. In that way, the gap speaks pretty loudly.

The piece is coded in ChucK, and I first wrote a program that picks a random spot on a loop of the gap audio, then plays it through a low-pass filter and a volume (ADSR) envelope at random speed (I coded a switch to link the filter to the envelope, too). I liked what I heard when I altered the filter cutoff while playing with it–sounds a bit like robot cello or something. But it needed some background accompaniment.

So, I decided that during lunch today I would record the sounds as I walked from the Watergate Hotel to the White House-the two locations most associated with the scandal. Upon arriving at the Watergate, I came upon a waterfall that I hadn’t seen before (shown in the picture), so I started my recording there. I walked to the White House, recording the whole way. Walking into the park across from the White House, I spied a fountain, so I thought a recording of the fountain would make a nice sonic bookend. I created a “backing track” that starts with the Watergate waterfall and ends with the White House fountain. I panned it from right to left to give a sense of travel and the historical arc from one location to the other.

To make the submission, I had one ChucK program run the backing track while I launched versions of the 18-minute gap program mentioned above, altering the filter cutoff, the duration of the code, and the filter-envelope switch with each version.

The ChucK code is available in my Github:



The audio is too big to upload to Github but I’m happy to send it to you if you like–just message me.


Fairly simple one for me this week.
I decided to work entirely within the Digitakt (with very slight tweaking + filtering in Ableton).

In the factory samples there is a section called Toolbox/Noise - so I had a look in there for stuff to use. Other samples come from a random assortment of stuff that was already lying around on the 'takt gathering digital dust.

Good fun to make. Sometimes I had to sit back, laugh and question what I was doing. But it got me reading into the theoretical / philosophical aspects of noise and damn what an interesting subject!

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I took some recordings of rain and wind and messed around with time stretching and delays. I also mixed in a reaktorblocks patch which added some random squalls and thuds. I liked the spattery texture of one of the loops, it reminded me of bacon frying and spitting out hot gobbets of fat.

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Hi there! I’ve long been an admirer of the disquiet project but this is my first true foray into the group. I haven’t shared music publicly in a long time but when I saw this week’s prompt I could hardly believe the synchronicity: I’d literally been in the middle of making collages of shortwave radio sounds and looking a book of Rauschenberg’s silkscreens, so it kind of all came together in a way I couldn’t resist.

This piece is made of samples grabbed from a web-controlled shortwave radio receiver. I then distorted and amplified those samples in Adobe Audition’s waveform editor, and collaged them in Audition’s multitrack environment. On my afternoon walk to the grocery store I gathered up some sand and gravel, brought it home, and dumped it into an iron pan and recorded it sliding and grinding around, then collaged that in too. The finished product felt a bit too tidy so I ran two versions of it into AudioMulch (out of sync with one another) and I faded between them, aiming for a dense, unpredictable mix of collaged textures. The title comes from a Rauschenberg piece (1962).

Thanks to Marc for encouraging me when I was on the fence about participating!


For this week’s challenge I decided to continue some explorations of the cycle~ object in Max where I’ve been using it (at very low rates) to control float values which oscillate back and forth; and subsequently transpose this float value to wider ranges to control things like frequency, amplitude and panning.

When thinking about the idea of ‘rauschen’, a lingering poetic over the past week had been a line from the song ‘I Remember Me’ by the SilverJews (aka, David Berman):

The tape hiss of the trees

There’s always been something so striking and evocative about that line, and for me it does a wonderful thing of bridging the tricky gaps in (the English) language when it comes to accurately describing sounds. Sure, I guess imagining ‘tape hiss’ is pretty subjective and experiential, but for me it’s such a strong (albeit, slightly surreal) poetic expression.

The objective for this week’s challenge was for me to evoke the sound of wind through the trees using the hiss of a blank cassette tape.

I set about building a little Max patch of four noise modules ,with the noise source derived from a hiss of a blank cassette played back on my old Tascam 424 Portastudio. The tape hiss recordings are routed to a bandpass filter, whose frequency range and amplitude are constantly moving. These (along with the panning) are all controlled with cycle~ objects set a different rates. When the four modules play back simultaneously, this creates a pretty dense noise texture which is constantly shifting - evoking the wind shearing through trees at varying intensities and trajectory.

I’ve uploaded a breakdown of the Max patch on YouTube if anyone wants to explore the finer details of the process: youtu.be/5G59iszqXWw


So glad you could join in!


Been too long! Had a frantic month so couldn’t join in, but now that things have calmed down for now, I’m back :slight_smile:

Thanks for posting this, was really helpful!

Using this list, I thought about a recent experience when I was climbing Carn Mor in Glenshee, Scotland. The land was criss-crossed with small streams and water dripping through peat and accompanied with a strong wind. This wind became increasingly prominent as we approached the summit, and if we listened carefully there were ghostly, shadowy notes. Whispers from the fairies that reportedly called Glenshee home and whose presence gave the place its name?

For this track, I layered multiple versions of wind recordings alongside a recording of a stream and of dripping water through the peat.


Hi All,

Noise fun:

My non-tip container made some noise for us with hot tea, which I supplemented with some tELHARMONIC noise accompaniment …

Have a great week!

h u :slight_smile:


Crikey - this is seriously excellent work. That mid-to-low end is phenomenal!


I know we were supposed to make a collage out of diffuse background-type noise, but I have more than enough diffuse background noise in my life. So I thought I would take something with a groove to it and turn it into diffuse noise using the Ableton vocoder with its noise carrier. I nevertheless ended up with more groove than noise.

The breakbeat is from “Hunk o’ Funk” by Brother Jack McDuff and the “cymbal crash” is the World’s Longest Echo (www.theverge.com/2014/1/19/532489…ding-112-seconds). All other sounds are sampled from Miles Okazaki’s recording of Thelonious Monk’s “Shuffle Boil” (okazakiwork.bandcamp.com/track/shuffle-boil-2). In addition to direct sampling, I also made a Simpler instrument out of the final note in the track and played a bunch of riffs with it. The “shuffle” in the title refers both to the Okazaki track, and to the fact that I created the structure using randomized Ableton Follow Actions that I then edited down to the best parts.



thank you! :slight_smile:

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I updated the playlist this morning. Sometimes people inquire about their tracks, and I explain that I update the playing list each day of the project, generally in the morning. If your track doesn’t show up in the playlist within 24 hours of when you post it, first check that you have the correct tag in the title of your track (in this case disquiet0398) and then shoot me an email (marc@disquiet.com). Thanks!

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A study of the complementarity of noise generated by water and electromagnetic field recordings. All sounds generated are derived from nine different field recordings of EMF sources or drops of water which were then processed in Supercollider.


Seven years ago I made this thunderstorm in SuperCollider ( https://soundcloud.com/henklasschuit/discovering-supercollider02 )and ever since I discovered VCV Rack, I’ve been contempleting the idea of doing the same thing in the virtual modular system. This week’s Disquiet Junto gave me the perfect oppurtunity to realize this plan, so here it is!


Sounds: a book, bike pump, water bottle, guitar taps and knocks, a tin of mints, and just a liiiitle bit of actual guitar for some melody.


The base is a recording of Hemlock Falls outside of Williamstown, MA. I tried to construct a sound image for [Rauschenberg’s Canyon] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Robert_Rauschenberg’s_‘Canyon’,_1959.jpg). MIxed with AUM


Rauschenberg seemed to be a fan of Dadaist Kurt Schwitters (as do I), hence the idea of a collage. A collage needs to have “cut outs” on a “picture frame”.

A websdr recording from websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ is the frame, starting getting from narrow band to wide band and back to get some variation and acoustic frame borders.

As cut-outs, I used different field recordings of rauschen-like noises (rain, wind, park, water, electronics), destroyed them by cutting them and collaged them back on the frame. Plus some FX, mostly reverb, just to place the sounds in a virtual room and to enhance the feeling of a scrap artwork.

(All this destroys the idea of “avoiding short individual non-tonal sounds by using rauschen” and I felt subversive for a few seconds. :wink: )

As natural rauschen does seldom come without none-noise, you may hear a couple having fun and a woodpecker (the latter recorded in the english garden in Munich, Germany)


My submission contains laundry noises, and a recording of this crazy sandblasting machine used to clean the metal of a ships deck and create texture for the paint and deck sealer to stick to. It is one of the loudest and most harmonically rich noises I have ever heard. noises manipulated in audacity.
Fun project!
Can’t wait to dive in to the other submissions.


i mean this - “rauschen” is noise in the sense of white noise, waterfall noise, background noise, static, wind in trees, rain, etc. The blurred, diffuse, continuous kind of noise, not short individual non-tonal sounds. - is almost exactly my shit. Line hum, shortwave radio, rustle [etymologically related to ‘rauschen’?], hiss and fizz. All the good things. & that’s before Marc even gets around to invoking Robert Rauschenberg, somebody whose work has captivated me since i was an arty little brat in high school. His works density and elegance, the strange utopian gleanings in the collage work,the comfort with mess and scrabble; the ability to find strange trash-inflected grace in the available shambles…

So yeah, for good or ill, this project appealed d e e p l y and i have hours and hours of recordings to chop and blend, overlay, crash, paste. So yeah, there’s not much method beyond digging through my memory cards looking for the suitable muted crackles, rumbles and clicks. There’s a lot of rain here - it’s been wet & i have this vague fantasy of starting a podcast of rain recordings - but also vending machines, basement ventilation outlets, pumpkin seeds (yeah, i know, always with the pumpkin seeds), a waterfall, freshly recorded radio static and wear rumble. I made a point of minimising interventions beyond chopping, layering, rearranging; one sample is slowed down but in the main the only effects applied are tweaking the eq levels on some of the recordings and some forced panning here and there.