Disquiet Junto Project 0409: Spooky 3.0

The playlist is now rolling:

Hey All, Ain’t it the truth.
I had been making a lot of spooky tracks this week so I used the synth sound a mucked about and found the vocal from freesound and pitched it around.

Peace, Hugh


VCVRack, Geodesics, Elements, Plaits, Octasource, Rampage, Rings, Plateau. Lots of self patching and feedback for rhythmic noisiness. I wanted to impart more of rhythm and musicality then I have the last few submissions. Not sure that I got what I wanted, could’ve been a little scarier, however I feel like there are definite elements of suspense. There have been so many great prompts lately and I enjoyed this one as well.

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I’ve started a new job recently which involves me having to commute 3 hours per day… which I quickly realised was not good for my sanity, so in order to try to tackle the problem I bought an OP-1 to jam away with during those hours. So far its working great :slight_smile: but I’ve stuck to rather conventional grid based beat oriented music so far. Thought this would be a great opportunity to push it into some weirder directions - so I decided to do everything within the OP-1 for this project.

I started with using the built in recorder to capture a couple of plucks of the high E string on an acoustic guitar.
I also used the line in to record a cassette of BBC Radio Collection of “Just William” read by Richmal Crompton. I picked this up while visiting the UK recently to see some extended family near St Anne’s on the sea, I’m going to try and make it a habit to find a couple of old cassettes wherever I visit.
And used one of the built in synths and percussion for some extra sounds.
I got quite caught up in the reverse and stutter tape tricks - too much so maybe :smiley:
I think it starts out sounding quite creepy, but eventually just gets odd!

Had a blast making it though. Happy Halloween everyone.

There’s a moment where I can swear I hear my girlfriend say “baby are you cold?” somewhere buried in the mix - I asked her if she remembers saying it, but she doesn’t. But I’m not convinced, maybe the microphone was still listening while I was recording something else. In any case it creeped me out.

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This is too long, but it probably has to be. Mostly hands off patch on the modular that I gave up on, but came back several hours later and it had evolved… Recorded into ProTools and added a bit of reverb.

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Dark World. OP-1. Koma Field Kit FX. Tape.

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It’s been a few weeks (months even !!!) since I last submitted something for the weekly challenge but I couldn’t resist this one…

It should be pretty self explanitory hopefully - it starts spooky and gets spookier… made using Spitfire Audio’s British Drama Toolkit and LABS Amplified Cello Quartet, Native Instruments Straylight and Sonic Couture’s Glassworks.

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This one is based on a loop of a breathing sample which was pitched and slowed down and treated with Abyss free doom effect. Fading in is the orchestra drone first from the right with AM radio sound, slowly speading and getting clearer to the anotal final chord.

Orchestra samples are from Ableton standard library.

Recorded two long sessions, one with VCVRack & Orca’s Heart, the second with Vidiot and a VHS tape called, “Jack Van Impe Presents: The Occult World”.

Cut them both up into bits, combined and published. I’m not sure how spooky it turned out. The music was more nice and tonal than I wanted (Orca’s Heart is just too good). The preacher is pretty creepy.

Happy Halloween! :jack_o_lantern:

Oh - to answer the question, “what makes music spooky?” - that’s been scientifically proven as “reverb.” Lots of reverb. 20 cc’s of reverb, stat.


Hello all, here is my contribution:

Thinking & making:
The main difficulty with this assignment was the question: how to outdo an idea or image in my mind, which is always of unrealistic perfection, I’d say by definition. Anything that outdoes my imagination must have been generated by chance, otherwise I had thought of it. hmmm.
Maybe that was not what is meant. In any case, let’s think how spooky is different from scary or creepy. The main feature of spookiness is the unknown and uncontrollable, but still reminding us of something real, that just behaves somehow wrongly. Making music wrongly quickly results in noise. hmmm. Just make strange noises you hear in a room results in an audioplay. So I combined several recordings into a scene, which contains knocking on a door by an unknown entitiy and very strange singing and ambience to a strange, wrongly performed drumloop to return to the music. At least I expanded my techniques to make strange singing. phew. The result, in order to outdo my ideas, has to be not so pleasant to listen to in the dark. sorry.

Field recordings: binaural recording of knocking on doors in several rooms, geese, buddhist monk chant loop, someone singing strangely.

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Du bist der Zweufel.

At the moment I’m setting up an ambient / noise / noinput / feedback installation that fits in a suitcase.
It’s not ready yet (the mixer will be replaced by a matrix mixer).
Recording was made “live” in one take, just a bit of normalizing in audacity.

Have fun!


Thinking about what makes music Spooky, I decided to consciously avoid the classic culturally-conditioned, received notions of musical spookiness that I could easily fall into, e.g.: Tolling bells, pipe organ, theremin, harmonic and Hungarian minor scales, etc.

I tried thinking of recent films that had spooky soundtracks, and the first recent one that came to mind was The Favourite. Its soundtrack falls into a kind of “uncanny valley” between music and not-music. I read a bit about it and the film’s sound designer, Johnnie Burn, has said basically that: “There was no composer on this film; we were working a lot in that space between music and sound…”

I also recalled another recent-but-not-quite-recent film with a spooky soundtrack: Under the Skin. Turns out Johnnie Burn was also the sound designer on it! I guess I am now officially a fan. (Though I still consider myself an “Elfmaniac”.)

I wanted to make sounds that could resemble something familiar, but not quite.

To make this track, I started with a public domain recording of a Sedge Warbler: https://freesound.org/people/SiliconeSound/sounds/475048/
I reversed it, applied a gliding stretch so it starts out at full speed and slows to 1/8 speed by the end (i.e. down 3 octaves). I chopped it up into 7 pieces and made the pieces overlap at tail to head. Automated pans make each piece move gradually toward the center.

Additional tracks:

I played two analog synth tracks (on Prophet Rev2) using bespoke patches. The tonal patch is using a 7-limit just tuning that repeats every septimal tritone (not-octave-repeating).

I applied distortion to the kick drum part I played (using puffy legato mallet) for “I am the Sweeper” by Diane Marie Kloba: https://music.dianemariekloba.com/track/i-am-the-sweeper

Everything was mixed with multi-tap delay and nonlinear reverb.


I used the “Bruk Foot” reggae riddim. “Haunted Houses” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The sound effects were from a record I had when I was a kid, “Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House.” The introductory narration is by Laura Olsher.

I did this in Ableton Live.

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Thank you - glad it had a good outcome!

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Hello, happy day! Using the drum patterns and my distorted vocals to create a loop in Ableton. I then played the Midi fighter thru a drum rack in Ableton with a looper grouped with Korg to create additional layers in Ableton thru the Roland DJ808. I then looped in a ROLI Block. I took the sample and then played it thru the 1 and 2 in Serato while recording into Ableton thru the Resampling track. Enjoy!


I initially wanted to try exploring the genre of Dungeon Synth but this transformed into something else. At some point this track began to sound a bit too pleasant for being scary but then it struck me that could be a metaphor for a real life horror, addiction. Drugs can appear so cool and enticing on the surface but the evil lies underneath.

The main melody line comes from the generative app xynthesier as well as some clock samples played in samplr and a boatload of effects.

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Just tongue in cheek stuff: I was imagining myself as one of the hapless victims in various Lovecraft stories, especially one–whose name I don’t recall–which has the narrator coming across midnight worship of Lovecraft’s alien gods in the wooded hills west of Boston… [it might be ‘Whisperer in Darkness’]

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@Bach-y-nal Good idea and a great track. You now have your first part for a complete soundtrack to the story!!


The Junto instructions brought to mind the breathing sounds in Doom and how much atmosphere they added to the game.

So I’ve added that to a track built from bowed cymbals and things that might go bump in the night (except it was Friday afternoon when I started).

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I probably spent too much time watching Hammer House of Horror as a kid.

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