Disquiet Junto Project 0479: Truck Radio Rain

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, March 8, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0479: Truck Radio Rain

The Assignment: Locate three sound sources and make something with them.

Step 1: Locate online (freesound.org, for example) or record by yourself the following three sounds: a vehicle driving speedily, static between radio stations, and rain.

Step 2: Make an original piece of music using those three sounds. Do what you want with them, but only use those three sounds.

Background: “Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating,” John Cage said in his 1937 lecture, “The Future of Music: Credo.” He continued: “The sound of a truck at fifty miles per hour. Static between the stations. Rain. We want to capture and control these sounds, to use them, not as sound effects, but as musical instruments.” In this week’s Disquiet Junto project, we take the proposition literally.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0479” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0479” (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 tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your tracks in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:


Step 5: Annotate your tracks 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 the end of the day Monday, March 8, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

Length: The length is up to you. Yes, 4’33" is a not inappropriate length.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0479” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, 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: It is always best to set 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 479th weekly Disquiet Junto project – Truck Radio Rain (The Assignment: Locate three sound sources and make something with them) – at:


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.

Image associated with this project is by janwillemsen, and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:




The project is now live. This week’s Disquiet Junto project will explore everyday sound, taking as a cue a John Cage statement from 1937 that was virtually science fiction in its time and is, today, standard practice. To a degree, this is an extension of the collage work we did last week, but collage is by no means the only avenue of approach.


My track picks up on Cage’s ingredients but also retains a noisy flavour.

Click here to see the video and hear my response.

I’ve used Ableton Live to make loops, which take on effects as the track progresses.

There’s a variety of saturation, a resonator on one part and some Sinevibes plug-ins to push the sounds.

I recorded the radio static today and found a couple of rainy recordings from 2016, including the traffic at the intersection which was used for Junto 0231.


i used recordings id made of rain and lorries, couldnt find radio static in my poorly organized samples so used something from freesound https://freesound.org/people/metrostock99/sounds/147062/

rain hitting a water butt, looped, slowed down in live8, supermassive, slowed down further in audacity
lorry sounds at a service station paulstretched and reverb
radio static played through vital, more supermassive added


RADIO: the intro and outro are short wave static recorded from “websdr” in the netherlands, sent into neural-dsp cory wong vst for some thicker tones.

RAIN: recorded rain falling outside my apartment at 2am. turned it into an ableton drum rack.

TRUCK: return track #1 (slowly decreases as track proceeds) - use the sound of accelerating traffic (reversed) as an impulse response for hybrid reverb.

ALSO: return track #2 (slowly increases as track proceeds) - aas objeq delay controlled by random LFO for some chiming patterns.

BONUS: drum rack triggered by midi of a famous progressive rock song. i hope you can recognize it!!

best wishes, as always, htnc

EDIT: @bassling i love how noisy your piece is. i also like your video - are you putting it all together in ableton?

@sevenism very suggestive piece - it almost sounds like someone is trying to speak (e.g. for example, just after the 50s mark.) is that a trace from the radio static?


Made with three 30 second samples and cheat codes 2

First 30 seconds grabbed from a ghostbox scanning radio frequencies by an Eagle telephone pickup coil > Audio interface.

Second 30 seconds consists of metallaphone sounds.

Third 30 seconds is some electronic piano melody from a VST with Midi from Patchwork

These were then loaded as clips into cheat codes two. Loop points were set, rates of play etc for some pads and then I attempt to performance play the setup with Grid.

Some light mastering in the box and some reverb added to file grabbed from Norns ‘Tape’.

Really enjoyed making this. Thanks Marc, hope all are well :slight_smile:


I like the way your rhythm emerges and those ghostly chimes in your track.

Ableton exports video and I’ve rendered each sample separately, then placed them together in Motion. Motion is Apple’s software for video graphics and helps with layout but other video editing software will work too.

It is possible to edit video in Ableton if you keep in mind the lowest track in arrangement view is the one that’ll be visible when the piece is rendered. So sometimes it’s necessary to cut gaps in tracks to allow the one underneath to peek through.


When I was planting trees in Northern Ontario (over 20 years ago now!) those of us in the red van crew would sometimes sing a song that went “Hooray for red van, hooray for red van, someone in the crowd is singing hooray for red van!” That van smelled of dust, deet, and duct tape - and was both horrible and awesome. Inspired by this week’s prompt, this track is an approximation of riding in that van searching for the one radio station we could occasionally pick up that played the hits of the 50s and 60s hoping to hear Gordon Lightfoot sing ‘Black Day In July’ one more time, but settling for “Early Morning Rain” if we didn’t - and also not getting run off the road by logging trucks.
I made this by messing around on a radio and then throwing some other samples together in Audacity - a logging truck, some duct tape, and of course a dash of Gord’s Gold. Radio static sounds an awful lot like insects buzzing.
Thanks for the prompt! There’s not much musical about this track, but it was fun to make.


Woo, I’ve wanted to participate in this community for years now and I finally had the space/time to make it happen!

I’m relatively new to the sample / field recording / processing side of electronic music beyond super simple tape loops & delay, really only in the last year have I truly experimented at all in this vein, but I’ve become mildly obsessed with Tarkovsky & the sound design in his movies so I’ve been thinking more and more about this kind of work.

I don’t have any of my own recordings at this point, so I used three samples from Freesound:

  • truck_driving by jbertuka14
  • short_wave_radio_noise_2 by zmobie
  • rain_drips by thegloomworker

I set up each sample in a copy of Grain (a sample manipulator/granular tool in Reason), and then set up the 16n to control various parameters across all three samplers. The truck & rain samplers were triggered by ORCA (you’ll hear some euclidean things happening) and the radio sampler was held looping by a sustained gate. Then I live-processed / worked the faders and recorded the output. Some eq & “mastering” and done.

This was really satisfying and I’m excited to do more!


Looking for simplicity, I used just the three ingredients without any panning or sweetening.


Fun prompt :slight_smile: I spent most of the pre-composition time thinking about how I wanted to balance mangling the samples and maintaining the integrity of the prompt. I only ended up using two samples, a car and some rain, as those where what I had on hand. I intended to add a static sample but didn’t get around to it. Plus, my samples contained a few background sounds; I had an abundance.

I used my sounds as such, all done on the Deluge:

– car screech (with ambient noises and a train coming)
– simple rain sample, looped for rhythmic effect
– single cycle wave, grabbed from some thunder, to make a kick
– car screech for a “snare” sound
– the big one: rain going through a HPF with lots of resonance

The output of the Deluge was sent through FX loop with env filter, overdrive, and delay which was mixed in parallel.


This was pretty straight-forward. I downloaded rain, a car, and static sounds from freesound. The static had music in it, so I didn’t feel I needed to add more music.

I also added the sound of an MRI scanner. It fitted in with the story I was telling.


My entry this week is rather rough and that’s okay. This track is my first exploration of Cheat Codes on Norns Shield with Grid and while my track is odd (and not in a pleasant way), it was a great excuse to explore the script. I just set the samples I downloaded from freesound.org into the three clips and started fumbling in the dark and recorded. Afterwards, I ran it through Cassette and Shimmer and trimmed a bit off the end.


homemade car, radio and rain samples manipulated in ChucK–successively slowed with pitch shocks and beat shortened. Thanks Marc for the prompt! github.com/charliekramer/ChucK…ter/disquiet0479.ck


industrial park traffic, contact mic’d rain gutter, panasonic fm-dx noise. arrangement totally aleatory, just like the field recordings themselves.


Love the prompt this week. Had just bought the M4L device Iota from Dillon Bastan, so took a bike sample into it and stretched it. Also used the same sample on its own with some reverb, but also applied the new vector delay effect until I got a satisfyingly distorted reverby sound. The radio sample I mixed in with a little bit of slow stereo panning and separately took it filtered to a narrow band into Ableton’s simpler, added a filter with cutoff sequenced to the tempo of the track, giving some small sense of a rhythm.


I loved the field recording/sample nature of this one. Straight away I knew I wanted to record all of the sounds myself, having a few in the sample archive already, but also needing to record some vehicle sounds on the day. During the morning’s errands I drove my stupid hairdresser’s car like a berk, with the iPhone positioned inside the car. I few laps of town later and I had two recordings which I emailed back to the mainframe. In the PC I edited the iPhone recordings down to just the peak acceleration moments, and spilt them into individual files that I added to an SD card for the SP404 and again for the Music Thing Modular Radio Music eurorack module.

I then set about searching my archives for rain sounds. Finding an old one I chopped it into granular parts in Cool Edit Pro, and modulated them individually. These were then EQed and sent to both SD cards again.
I also recorded this original rain recording to a tape loop that ended up plugged into a sample and hold module in the eurorack.

Finally I wanted to use some recordings I’d made of SDR radio, plenty included words/music, so I was cautious to avoid that, as per the brief (You are welcome to them here if that is your sort of thing). SDR is great because the listening filters can be very musical when used out of focus from major transmissions. There are all sorts of odd tones, pulses and drones to be found.

I played the piece as one take into Reaper, with the mixer spitting out separate feeds of MTM Radio Music and 2HP Play, both sent to Clouds and Phonic Taxidermist respectively. The heartbeat clock was set by a Korg SQ1, which sent random midi triggers to the SP404 for the rhythm and also to Marbles for the distribution of gates and cv to the other modules involved.

Great fun, a noisy and claustrophobic glitchcore sounding outcome, but one that kept me out of trouble on a Saturday afternoon!


I used two snippets recorded in Mallorca on a shortwave radio, these were mostly used for the Kick, the percussive sounds and some noise parts in the middle.

Hihats were made from a rain recording, which you can hear throughout the whole piece.

Finally, I found a lorry driving past on freesound.org and used them as a pitch base for the whole track.

Applied a ton of EQ, delays, reverbs, and transient designers.

Again: That was fun!



I like how scattered and unruly your samples were. Did you cut and paste by hand or use some kind of automated process? I’d like to try something similar myself. (I use Ableton.) if you’re too busy to reply, don’t worry!!

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It was VCV Rack! I’ll give you a snapshot tomorrow of the modules involved.