Disquiet Junto Project 0414: Mod Cons

Disquiet Junto Project 0414: Mod Cons
The Assignment: Compose one or more sounds for an appliance/device/gadget of your own choosing.

Thanks to Junto member Iain Holmes for having proposed this project.

Step 1. You’re going to create sound for an appliance. Choose the appliance. Maybe it’s something you own, maybe something you don’t, maybe something that doesn’t exist and you made up. A washer, a game console, a microwave, an electric skateboard, a jetpack, whatever you’d like.

Step 2. Decide what sound or sounds you’re going to compose. Maybe it’s the start-up tone, or an alert, or maybe you want to come up with a whole suite of related sounds.

Step 3. Consider the environment in which the device from Step 1 is employed.

Step 4. Compose one or more sounds for the device you decided upon in Step 1, taking into consideration the context of Step 2.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0414” (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 “disquiet0414” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of 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, December 9, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, December 5, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0414” 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 414th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Mod Cons / The Assignment: Compose one or more sounds for an appliance/device/gadget of your own choosing:


Thanks to Junto member Iain Holmes for having proposed this project.

More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:


There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this track is by Dan Machold, and is used (image cropped, text added) via Flickr thanks to a Creative Commons license:




The project is now live.

Thanks to Iain and Marc for this week’s prompt!

This year we replaced our old microwave with a sleek black thing manufactured by LG. It looks like a cross between a hotel safe and small flatscreen monitor. Aesthetically, it’s quite imposing and seems to always be judging us when we walk into the kitchen. My partner and I utterly loathe the upbeat melody it plays whenever it finishes a cycle. It sounds like dystopian whimsy of the most depressing kind.

For a while we’ve - quite honestly - thought of attempting to hack its IC and integrate something a little easier on the ears/heart/soul. The outcome of this week’s assignment I suppose, could be regarded as a potential prototype.

Now before you get excited, I haven’t wired up an Arduino to the microwave. Rather, I’ve taken an impressionistic approach to imagine a new voice for the microwave.

I made a recording of its wretched melody on my phone, then isolated each of the notes. In Max, I used a polybuffer~ object called by a random object to create a sequence of the notes (w/ original durations). In order to bevel the harshness off the square wave tones, the signal is routed through a pitch/delay object, so that the notes cascade a little over each other, whilst sounding like they’re decaying a little.

In the audio clip, I’ve presented the microwave’s original melody, followed by five variations created in Max. The fifth one is probably my favourite. My partner Lauren is convinced the first four variations sound ‘Christmas-sy’, which I suppose is appropriate at this time of year.


Nice idea this week, give me a chance to play with some sounds of an electric saw I recorded over the summer.


The exercise was to make music for a device, including one which hasn’t been invented, and suggested a jetpack. Well jetpack got me thinking about a future with commercial teleportation. On the one hand, your body is ripped atom from atom and beamed across the ether in some combination of energy and information which you hope arrives; on the other hand you don’t have to go to LaGuardia any more.

But of course there would be teleportation stations. And they would have bars. And that got me thinking, you are the jazz trio in the back of a teleportation bar 70 years from now, it’s the end of the night, you’ve had a drink or two, and you try out something original. With that idea in mind I turned to the piano, jotted down a theme over some chords, and then ran logic with the metronome off and improvised a bit of music based on that sort of e-flat to sort of d to sort of g minor sort of progression I had drafted.

Technical details: I used the Arturia Piano V2 plugin, the bass was me playing on my Hagstrom into the Logic Pro bass amps, and the drums are the garritan jazz orchestra brush set. Everything played live basically, with piano first than me following the others. Couple of teensy edits and voila. “Last Call at the Teleportation Station (disquiet0414)”


Recently, I’ve been exploring ways to convert text into sound. This week, I tried the following:

Downloaded a .txt file (I used Leibniz’s early modern philosophical work ‘Monadology’).
Replaced every letter and number with a space.
Replaced all of the remaining grammatical symbols (, . - ? " etc.) with an asterisk (*).
Took a screenshot of the resulting pattern and rotated it ninety degrees to the left. I got this:

Fed this image into PIXELSYNTH, recording the resulting audio in Audacity. This gave me an sonic rendition of the image, as if the asterisks represented notes on sheet music.
Imported the audio into Ableton and used “Convert Harmony to MIDI”.
Added a scale MIDI effect so that everything was playing in A minor.
Panned the lower octave notes to the left channel.
Panned the higher octave notes to the right channel.
Added delay and return tracks to taste.

I envisage an appliance (like a Kindle?) in which the grammatical features of the text you are reading trigger an ambient soundscape that plays while you read. No doubt something like this already exists, but I am having great fun piecing together these long winded and arbitrary processes to generate music from text.

This is an extract from the final half of Leibniz’s text. I hope he would have liked it, and I hope you like it too.


I work in heavy industry and in many cases we use sound to alert people. When machines are starting, when vehicles are moving, when they are about to move, when they shut down, etc, etc…

Last night I was playing with this marble madness toy with my daughter. I recorded the sound the marbles were making going through the toy with my iphone because I thought it sounded cool. I wasn’t sure where I was going with it but I was messing around in VCV Rack with NYSTHI Simpliciter. I decided that my device would be the factory whistle. The marble sounds I decided would be my heavy machinery and so I patched up elements to be my factory whistle.

At first, I was thinking something like three blasts on elements to start the machine, two to stop, one for breaktime. Earlier in the day I had listened to @tristan_louth_robins submission with the melody of his microwave. So I have co-opted the idea of the “wretched melody” of “dystopian whimsy” into the starting, break time and shut down noises of my factory floor. Sorry and thanks @tristan_louth_robins.

As the day wanes on in the marble factory rhythms begin to emerge amongst the factory noise.

Using VCV Rack, Plaits x3, NYSTHI Simpliciter, NYSTHI Master recorder, BOG Audio MIX8 and ADDR-SEQ, Elements, IMPROMPTU Twelve key and Clocked, and clouds.


The playlist is now rolling:

1 Like

Ode to a bug zapper in a bell tower

Rings/Plaits/field recordings processed using tunnels on the norns


Sometimes life is hard and running in circles, anyway push the little smile machine button.

Recorded with Mellotron XL.

Have fun


Hi everybody!
So for this weeks assignment, I choose to create a new sound for my super annoying alarm clock which wakes me up, not every morning but some mornings, way to early!
This one is a free downloade, so if anybody else are in need of a new alarm with a “today is gonna be beautiful” message in the morning, feel free to use it.
For this project I used Omnisphere, Massive and recordings of my own voice and breathing which I pitched, stretched and warped. Adding filters, reverb and grain delay.
And it is of course mixet, so it sounds best on a phone :wink:
Wish you all a lovely day!


“Singularity”, is the point in time at which AI assumes dominance which I was trying to capture in this piece. The first sounds are those of explosions to signify that critical singularity point followed by the “howling” of the victorious devices that made it happen. With the exception of the explosions, all other sounds are derived from the simple phrase of electromagnetic glitches heard at the beginning. Multiple copies of this glitch pattern (each of which being slightly modified for rate of playback, pitch and amplitude) were then layered onto each other to form the chorus. The overtones generated by stacking many copies of the glitch together form a surprising orchestral texture in the background (at least it was surprising to me!). Thanks to Marc for the challenges and to those who dare share time to listen.





I was fiddling with a piece of code to simulate rotation in space–imagine swinging a speaker around your head. I thought maybe this would work if I mapped pan and filter cutoff into the x and y coordinates related to movement around a circle, like this:

So then I put a bar ugen and a noise ugen through this and it sounds a bit like a washing machine. Launched a bunch of instances with different timing. Enjoy the swirl! Code is linked in the text to the audio.


Bug 281c2cb8-f50e-4965-885e-30f0dc5360ee: startup chime doesn’t stop (open)

User reports that “since the last update”, the startup chime keeps playing continuously during operation. (Audio engine of course hasn’t actually been touched for a long time.) User declined offer to replace with new device, reporting existential panic at thought of separation from device. Hence, have not been able to examine it directly. User has not responded to requests for more information about circumstances around behavior’s first occurence.

Provided recording, attached, demonstrates startup chime overlapping the config screen idle music. Logs indicate it’s genuinely from the audio engine (no external inputs). Code integrity looks OK.

Could not reproduce on production or any dev branch.

I KNOW QA’s not supposed to talk about hyperlocalized timelike loops and I’ll probably get pushback for this but we have to take seriously the possibility this is a regression of ebb6139b-8a94-4018-b8b5-b5a152abd772.

nonsmeddy rated priority: low.
nonsmeddy removed tag triage and added tags could not reproduce, more information needed, user uncooperative.
nonsmeddy removed assignment to nonsmeddy.


Stop cultivating your garden and chart a course for the best of all possible worlds – for you! Extremely proprietary SQUID-Pro-Quo Array simultaneously scans your local multiverse to determine the optimal tunnel-drift vector for your desired change(s) in the state of the universe. Reshaping the world in your own image? Turns out it’s just an eigenvalue problem. Natural Encephalograph Processing ensures you don’t even have to articulate what you want to change – you’ll get it (whether or not you deserve it).

Side effects and other unintended consequences may include: anything. Literally anything. Expect the unexpected.
Do not operate while drowsy or under the influence of anything. Literally anything. Do not leave unattended while in operation; do not exceed a radius of 10 meters from the device for more than 60 seconds or device may become untethered from user. Warranty service will not be granted if device leaves user’s timeline.
Some terms or symbols in this manual may become meaningless in your local universe. If this happens, please contact your local office to exchange for a localized manual.


Startup chime is E augmented played by two Kontakt instruments, a grand piano (The Grandeur) and a tonewheel organ (C3, modified “Space Celesta” preset); plus Surge softsynth (modified “Burden” preset).
Idle music is layered from several excerpts from some aimless improvisation on E Mixolydian b6. Fretless bass played through Red Panda Tensor and Eventide Space (Reverse algorithm). Then fed through Quad Delay and Resochord in Guitar Rig.

Frame story possibly more than slightly inspired by @baconpaul’s frame story :smiley:


I love this soothing jazz music - it reminds me a bit of music of some of the bars in Grim Fandango

Really lovely sound. I really had no idea how this would sound beforehand, what a treat and a great idea for an immersive reading experience :slight_smile:


The idea of short sci-fi as an administratively inconvenient semi-dystopian github issue stream has made my evening better. I also really love the sound you got.


It’s been a while since I’ve lived in the UK - and I understand the voice has actually changed now - but I’m sure I was not the only one to be haunted by these voices. I’ve lived in the Netherlands and France since and they have similarly nightmare inducing, ear worm-ish self-checkout voices.

I thought it would be nice if shoppers could be treated to a soothing melody while going about bagging up and paying for their groceries. @Elisa-room237 played a well known piece of music on the piano and I used the Ableton vocoder to attempt to pitch the voice to the melody… its not always quite as obviously following it as I imagined in my head, but its amusing enough


Broken climate warning machine.

I got to this via a roundabout route. Since the project was announced I had an alert or warning in mind but couldn’t think of anything but straightforward alert sounds. Driving home from work tonight I heard a programme on the BBC World Service about the high-speed telegraphy competitions held in the Eastern Bloc during the 1980s and thought it might be an interesting angle to have a broken morse machine sending out a warning about the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I then created a warning message, converted it to morse, converted the morse to midi then randomised notes in C Minor to play the message through a cassette simulation (with plenty of wear, wow and flutter). Then, just for good measure and because half speed is the best speed (thanks Hainbach) I slowed the message down to half speed.

(No actual tape was harmed in this process!)


so i didnt exactly follow the brief.
was going through some old music from last year and this track came on. my partner thought that it was the sound of the washing machine (some of the hi freq arp stuff has the same tone)
thought it was serendipitous to use this. remixed a little bit in audition

initially i was just gonna record the silent kitchen, i really hate appliance beeps. whenver possible i turn them off. ive turned off any sounds on my phone, and only have vibrate notifications where essential. likewise at self serve checkout i mute all the notifications ‘unexpected item in bagging area’ : nope.

i sort of like the idea of appliances just playing music and carrying off where they left off so that the length of the sound doesnt matter