Disquiet Junto Project 0444: Bot Ensemble

hi, is there a way of participating that doesn’t require the use of twitter of fakebook ??

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Hi, you don’t need a twitter account to read the instrument bot’s tweets for this project. I don’t have one either. :slight_smile:

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Hey All, I used the good side internet and went to freesound to construct my instruments. I am not really into twittering but this was a cool idea. Hope all are well and I will spare y’all the rant I want to go on. Happy Independence Day 'murica!

Peace, Hugh


Hi. There’s no Facebook involved. If you don’t wanna check out the Twitter feed, I can select a couple cues for you at random. Just lemme know.

Fun challenge!

This small piece is composed of 24 samples of ping-pong balls (created a while ago, for another project), bouncing off of different materials. Also added to the mix, are samples of Explosions from old Amiga games - all in all, combined to create “an Instrument of ping-pong balls and tiny explosions” as suggested by the InstrumentBot…

A few extra touches added, mainly mangling by the new iZotope Stutter 2 VST.

(oh, and thank you all and especially Mark for this community… just wanted to get that out :smile: )


I started off with a jazz melody that was generated from a bunch of other jazz melodies by an LSTM Network I wrote in Python. That created a MIDI file. I then went on Freesound.org and found sound samples that were similar to three InstrumentBot tweets. I dragged each sample on to Simpler in Ableton Live with each in its own track. The MIDI file was the input for each of these tracks. I slowed the tempi on the tracks way down so that more of each sample would be played.

Here is information on each of the three InstrumentBot tweets and the corresponding Freesound samples.

an instrument made out of thimbles and gelatin

Washboard » Washboard.wav

an instrument made out of chandelier prisms and a tin box

Sonidos animaciom » 36.Chandelier_trembling.wav

an instrument made out of fishing line and a modified See 'n Say

the cow says.wav


As I looked over the Bot’s tweets, I took in the repetition of terms and started to formulate an idea.

Language like “tiny explosions” and “metronome” led me to think about recording drums, while the metallic descriptions reminded me that I’d been meaning to record various things in town.


And the playlist is rolling:

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Track Notes:
I used a random number generator to pick two tweets at random, and got the following:

  1. an instrument made out of knitting instructions and array of bug zappers
  2. an instrument made out of fishing line and a modified See 'N Say

I collected a few short samples of bug zappers, a See 'N Say, and recorded short strumming patterns on a fishing line strung over a board between two nails. The samples were loaded into a Radio Music eurorack module.

I converted the first knitting pattern I found on google images (called ‘Flying Geese’ - there is a link on my soundcloud) to gates and control voltage - I used an arbitrary method to do so: knit = gate, purl = no gate and since the pattern at the bottom right of the image had a sort of ‘bar chart’ look I split it down the middle and converted these to 24 steps of control voltage (one box = 10v/6 = 1.66v, two boxes = 3.33v, etc). I then programmed the gates and control voltage into a sequencer to trigger the samples and modulate the station and start parameters of radio music to create a granular loop for each sample source. The gates and control voltages were also used to modulate the parameters of mutable instruments clouds and chronoblob 2 delay. I had added a simple four step sequence to form a leading melody for the strummed fishing line and I played with attenuation of the control voltage until I was happy with the results. Each loop was recorded to cassette and a simple arrangement of the loops made in ableton. The exported stereo track was once again passed through clouds and chronoblob for further granulation, this time with the modulated parameters augmented live by me, before being recorded to cassette.



A recording of an instrument made of ball bearings and a tin can.

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“An instrument made out of chess algorithms and a fog machine.”

I screenshot the TryMove method from Apple’s open source Chess application’s MBCMoveGenerator class and passed it through Photosounder to create a 116 bpm audio file. I then duplicated it and sent one copy through a bitcrusher and the other pitched down an octave. A little bit of automated Blackhole reverb was brought in later in the track.

In another track I added a public domain fog-horn noise and grouped it with the other two tracks. The group was then sent through a filter with automation on the cutoff and resonance to simulate fogginess.


For this track, I used the prompt, “An instrument made out of rain and dirt.”

Field recordings by me:

Footsteps walking on a dirt track

Field recording by andersmmg (freesound.org/people/andersmmg/)::slight_smile:

Shovel in dirt


Hey All, A little sampling fest of the junto. Thanks to paul.reiners, Vonna Wolf and PopGoblin for making their tracks available. It was a cool happy accident that Paul’s track sounds like a crow. I did not realize til I was done with the track.

Peace, Hugh

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Hi, you asked about the hydrophone used in my track.
It was made by Jez riley french and can be found here


Since your into Euro it can also be used with the MTM Mikrophonie module via a jack adaptor.


From the Instrument Bot, I was assigned to make, “an instrument made out of biological data and a fire truck”. For the biological data, I took the primary protein sequence of the TRPV1 receptor which responds to capsaicin as well as heat (why spicy food tastes “hot”). I thought it would go well with the fire truck. I took the amino acid sequence and used MatLab to convert each amino acid to an integer (1 through 20 for the 20 amino acids). I then converted the sequence of numbers into midi using Supercollider which I used to control a piano from OPW from Spitfire. So the piano that you are hearing is a direct representation of the Capsaicin receptor amino acid sequence. The fire truck track was derived from field recordings I licensed from SoundSnap. The sounds of the fire truck (and some of the piano phrasings)remind me of the great Keith Jarrett (with apologies, it is not me playing, it is the protein sequence ).



An instrument made from a tin can and a ceramic bowl, pretty simple and straight to the point composed with yellofier on ipad.


I chose “an instrument made out of thimbles and gelatin”. I cooked up some unflavored gelatin (colored with hibiscus flowers) and cut it into strips to form a sort of sticky keyboard with 8 keys on an old porcelain plate. I wired the gelatin keys to 8 digital-out pins on a Teensy 3.2 microcontroller (similar to Arduino). The microcontroller injects 3 volt square waves into each of the gelatin keys, each at a different frequency, roughly corresponding to a blues scale in Just Intonation. Each of these notes becomes audible only when I touch the corresponding gelatin key with a thimble - the square wave is conducted through the thimble into my skin, and from there across to my other hand which is touching the gold rim on the plate, which in turn is wired to a crazily sensitive Radio Shack amplifier, which duly plays the notes that are passing through my fingers in a sometimes painful way. The thimbles are not strictly necessary, but they keep my fingers from getting sticky as the gelatin melts in the summer heat - I had to turn off my air conditioner to make this acoustic recording.

The tune itself is a quick improvisation - I had to get it finished before everything melted. It helped to choose a hexatonic blues scale (more or less).

Please take a look at the video!


Incredible. Thank you so much for this.

My mixing bowls are glass, and ring nicely when struck with a metal spoon. The standard ratio between bowl sizes used for cooking would seem to define familiar intervals of octaves, fifths etc. (Un)fortunately, the tolerances used in manufacturing my bowl set don’t seem to have taken western tonality into account.

A refrigerator door structures the composition in the following way. The pressure balance in our basement freezer is a little off, so once you close the door, it is extremely difficult to open again for ~5 minutes. Here, that means that notes and phrases are repeated only sparsely. The bowls define three notes, and with a rest I maximize the distance between repeats by rotating the sequence of four like so: 123R.23R1.3R12.R123. Then the whole phrase is repeated along-side a pitched up/down copy.

I loved the process, but the final product was, for me, not much fun to listen to. So, I identified a pleasing segment spanning about 6 seconds and paulstretched it 20x for an eerie drone-ified ode to my kitchen.