Disquiet Junto Project 0521: Cannon Canon

Instructions went out, as always, via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto.

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, December 27, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, December 23, 2021.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0521: Cannon Canon
The Assignment: Make a martial round.

Step 1: Let’s get our definitions straight:

A “cannon” is a “large, heavy gun usually mounted on a carriage.”

Whereas in a “canon,” an “an initial melody is imitated at a specified time interval by one or more parts, either at the unison (i.e., the same pitch) or at some other pitch.” (A simple version of a canon is a round.)

Step 2: Locate (or produce a facsimile of) the sound of a cannon. (One place would be freesound.org.)

Step 3: Record a canon using the sound of a cannon.

Definition sources: “cannon” from Merriam-Webster, “canon” from Britannica.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0521” (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 “disquiet0521” (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 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.

Note: Please post one track for this weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, December 27, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, December 23, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you. Canons can feel like they go on forever.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0521” 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 521st weekly Disquiet Junto project – Cannon Canon (The Assignment: Make a martial round) – at: https://disquiet.com/0521/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0521-cannon-canon/

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


The project is now live. I’m trying to get these out earlier. An early New Year’s resolution.


I wrote a simple canon in two voices. Then I dropped a cannon sound into a sampler. I doubled each of the voices with an organ.


Small_Pulse_Cannon_Fire.wav by Lambich


Hi everyone! (My bad with my first version of this post. Now I know that just dropping the soundcloud link is fine!)

  1. Started with the “uncompressed cannon.aif” sound from baefild at freesound.
  2. Dropped the sample into Ableton Sampler, made a midi clip (A) to make a short melody.
  3. Slapped on an arpeggiator; automated the rate and gate settings so the attacks and rhythms were more varied. Recorded a second clip (B)
  4. Created three layers of Clips A and B. Automated arpeggiator rate, gate, made some other automation squigglies…
  5. Sent it all into a bus channel with some compression and reverb (sort of 80s gated reverb)

For this piece, I based it on a cannon sound from qubodup @ freesounds. I used the original sound as the first “cannon” in canon, then overlaid the same cannon manipulated by different audio effects in Ableton. So I Heard You Liked Cannons:

  • Deconstruct [beat repeater]
  • Robo Voice [beat repeater]
  • Up and Down Pitch
  • Up and Down Pitch + Stun Echo
  • Up and Down Pitch + Echo Grain

Also, have a lovely and safe festive season everyone!


The playlist is rolling:


Hi all,
So first I found a midi file online and then a cannon-like sound. Try as I might pushing the cannon sound to be musical using polygon 2 wasn’t working. However the supporting dystopian sounds I was making around the idea didn’t sound too bad. I ended up just having the faulty cannon sound at the begining and end of the track. The best part was discovering a recording from SDR responded well to the midi file.
Added some broken beats with SR-88 vst and UA Dent 2. Some melody from UA Lion to mix in with the SDR sample.

Happy holidays to all.


The idea of producing a facsimile of a cannon appealed to me, so I looked to see what was handy and found a pack of party poppers.

This was also my first experiment with changing the frame rate on a new camera.


All sounds made from cannon sample, on an Ipad. Loop made in Garagband, pad and bass growl in Samplr, compiled and mixed in Auria.

Merry xmas everyone!


In the spirit of a Bach canon I started with a simple motif D-A-F-Bb-E-G that is repeated and reversed in two registers throughout the piece. The cannon are a series of foley impacts and drum samples that carry the rhythm. It could be the soundtrack to a modern Russian war movie.


Pachelbel’s Canon, accompanied by Pachelbel’s Cannon

Pachelbel’s Canon in D is a beautiful, timeless canon. Some might agree it is overplayed in film, at weddings, and other venues. Perhaps an accompaniment by a cannon would make it fresher and more interesting?

Since I have almost zero keyboard skills, I found a public domain MIDI version of the canon. As is, it was quite cheesy, as many free General MIDI files tend to be, too fast and robotic. I adapted it with sampled piano and cello instruments, slowed it down to a more natural tempo, removed some parts, and added a touch of reverb. I then made some beats from cannon fire using a clip from a public domain sound from freesound.org, and placed the beats occasionally throughout. You may or may not agree that the cannon added some of the cheese factor back.

I kept the cannon beats infrequent and the overall piece short to relieve the tedium of the cannon and allow the beauty of the canon to be appreciated. Or depending on your preference, relieve the tedium of the canon and allow the beauty of the cannon to be appreciated.


More on this 521st weekly Disquiet Junto project — Cannon Canon (The Assignment: Make a martial round) — at: Disquiet Junto Project 0521: Cannon Canon


After Christmas with some family (including a surprise visit from someone who had been locked-down in Australia for nearly two years), we drove to Paris for a few days. I had spotted some recording of a cannonball which was pitched nicely. In the hotel this morning I created a small canon with 2 balls and some pads. The title comes from something I read a while ago when I visited our friend in Australia back in 2019.


Hi everyone, for this canon I used only samples and a pad

  • started with the “Salute_Cannons.MP3”
    Freesound - "Salute_Cannons.MP3" by nofeedbak
  • mixed it and added a bass line loop in Am
  • added the “jazz brushes” sample from Ableton
  • recorded an atmospheric pad sound in Am
  • added the “FallFX Wasted” sample from Slooply

Happy holidays!


Long story short, I wrote a canon where the second enters a perfect fifth above the first voice. I also tried to make the tempo of the second voice proportionally faster (like when you pitch-shift without correcting the timing). The instrument sound comes from layers of gunshots, cannons, 8-bit explosions, and a sample of my baritone horn.

The LONG explanation:

I love writing canons, and I wanted to experiment with having the second voice of the canon enter on a different note (“a canon at the fifth.”). I also love mensural (tempo) canons, so I thought why not combine the two in a tribute to old school pitch-shfiting to make the second voice a fifth higher and tempo-shifted accordingly.

A neat idea, but it complicated the canon-writing process. The trick to writing a canon is actually to write the echo in the second voice and then the complimentary continuation of the main melody in the first voice (unless you’re a contrapuntal genius and somehow visualize the whole thing at once). In this case, this was difficult because I had a lot of trouble figuring out how the second voice would line up with the first voice, because the second voice was essentially at a different tempo.

I tried making a chart of what a particular note duration in Tempo A would translate to in Implied Tempo B. It worked well until the rhythms in the first voice got slightly more complicated.

My solution ended up being writing a measure at a time, recording it and then pitch-shifting it Ableton to see what it would the echo would sound like, notating the echo, then adding the next non-shifted measure. This was a little laborious but it worked…for the first half of the piece!

The fun part is that, given that the second voice is at a slightly faster tempo than the first, it will ultimately catch up with the first voice and overtake it!

When the echoing voice caught up with the first and was ready to overtake it, I added an improvised, canon-free section in the middle. This section also has a low organ drone (a tribute to the Baroque pedal point).

The piece ends with the higher voice leading and lower voice following it at a perfect fifth below and (you guessed it) a “fifth” slower.

This is pretty long already, so a brief note on sound design and mixing: I used some 8-bit “booms” made with Bfxr combined with some freesound samples. The lower voice used cannons, the higher voice used gunshot samples (good thing I’ve hoarded all those trap-music samplepacks…)

For mixing, I ducked the bass voice explosions to be quiet during the melody. There’s some reverb and widenizer on the bass explosions to make them sound like they’re in a big field. I also used a bit of tape emulator to boost the low frequencies. On the melody, I used some slap echo on the melody to make it stick out a bit more, and a reverb with a longer decay time actually made the notes “ring out” a bit longer and strengthen the harmonies. Some reversed cannon shots provide the transition sounds.

So, a lot of work and words for just over a minute of music. But, the important things is that I had fun getting comfortable with a couple of new ideas.


Maybe not so much a canon but hopefully makes up for it in the cannon department. I used the cannon sound from qubodup on freesound.org with Caustic as the sampler on ipad. Fairly raw except for some light delay and eq. Somewhat based on a song that got stuck in my head.


The musical piece starts with two sparkler samples meant to indicate the lighting of a cannon. Once the fiery sizzling subsides, the song breaks into an industrial beat with some cannon shot accents. The sounds of broken glass, thunder, and bombs come from my electronic drum kit.