Disquiet Junto Project 0531: Noise Sculpt

These instructions first popped up at disquiet.com/0531 (powers of automation willing) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on March 3, and then at twitter.com/disquiet a little further along. (I was asleep at the time.) The email containing those instructions went out via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto later in the morning (after I woke up).

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 7, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0531: Noise Sculpt

The Assignment: Listen for a mirage of your music within white noise.

Step 1: You’ll be listening closely, intently to white noise (or some other noise type: pink, brown, the ocean, wind, etc.) for this project. Select a noise source.

Step 2: Listen closely for an extended period of time to the noise source you selected in Step 1. Try to get lost in it.

Step 3: Listen for music in the noise you selected in Step 1. Listen for some hint of — a mirage of — pattern or melody.

Step 4: Create an original piece of music that builds on the melody or pattern or other mirage of music you heard in Step 3.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0531” (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 “disquiet0531” (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:

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0531-noise-sculpt/

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.

Step 8: Also join in the discussion on the Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to marc@disquiet.com for Slack inclusion.

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, March 7, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you. What do you picture in the noise?

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0531” 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 531st weekly Disquiet Junto project – Noise Sculpt (The Assignment: Listen for a mirage of your music within white noise) – at: https://disquiet.com/0531/

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-0531-noise-sculpt/

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And the project is now live. Thanks, folks.

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https://soundcloud.com/user-507251108/noise-pollution-disquiet0531

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‘A dreamy improvisation over the top of a gentle perlin, pink and brown noise bed.’

For this one I made a modular patch using brown and pink noise as left and right audio inputs for Befaco Lich. These inputs control X and Y lookups for 2d Perlin noise. After some attenuation it sounded a bit like a pot of food simmering on a gas stove. I listened this for a while and heard a couple of snippets of human voice but was unable to decipher what was said so I decided to record this bed of noise and then improvise over the top with the Roli block and Equator 2.
Some minor editing in post including the reversal of one small clip and some plugin help from unfiltered audio. That’s it. Hope everyone is well :slight_smile:

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I’ve heard voices in white noise. Scared the hell out of me once when I was studying alone in the basement of a building and the air conditioner was going. I knew it was all just a ‘mirage’ in my head, but, still, I had to run out of there. Go somewhere that was more populated.

So I tried to recreate that, plus added a melody I wrote. The voice is the “Russian lady” from the Conet Project. I mixed the melody and the voice way, way down. I wanted to make it so that you couldn’t be sure if they were really there or you are imagining them. Part of me is worried that I mixed the Russian lady down to the point of being inaudible and I was just imagining hearing her when I was mixing it.

By the way, this week’s project is the sort of thing I tried to do many years ago in a collection of pieces I called “Ghost”.


Credits

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I listened to an audio recording I made at a beach recently. Unfortunately, it was breezy, so I got bad wind noise occasionally on my phone’s mic… But there’s nothing more soothing to the soul than the sound of the North Atlantic’s waves rolling to shore; an immersive sound in late evening.

Thought of putting it thru some bitcrushing - heavy aliasing and digital quantisation errors cause little “pins and needles” appear in the sound.

So I took my partially-complete disquiet0353 piece (Warp & Weft / The Assignment: Read loom-woven fabric as a musical composition - Disquiet Junto Project 0353: Warp & Weft) - stretched my half-baked piece in Paul Stretch, then thru D16 Decimort, into alot of effect layers across 8 busses, playing alongside a Reaktor Prism patch, and an Arturia SEM track into a nice delay (PSP StompDelay).

Hope you enjoy. Thanks for listening!

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Reading the prompt, my first thought was to take things literally and use the noise to drive the music. White noise is too busy, so I stretched out a sample quite a bit using Paulstretch and then used that as the driver. Noise plus musical elements complementing and mimicking.

Using VCV Rack, loaded sample into Simpliciter and let it pick slice points. Peak output used to trigger several musical voices. Also used a comparator to drive the violin line to add more activity in the quiet bits.

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Searched “white noise” on freesound (sort by relevance). Resulted in 67 sides with sounds. Each side 15 sounds. With a random number generator i selected 4 of these sounds.

The sounds are (type the numbers in search on freesound.org)
Sound nr - my impression - assigned intrument
63875 - full spectrum - piano
249964 - mid range - clarinets
618557 - high pitch - piccolos
370020 - bassy - cello

Used an online wav-to-midi service. Noise-to-midi… :blush:
In DAW I applied a scale (D minor natural (aeolian)) and limited the range
Deleted overlapping notes
Removed random notes
etc…

The “intro” is all the 4 noise sounds at the same time. Did not result in true white noise.

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a little noise from iVCS3
a little quanta from audiodamage
merged into aum
reverb from Eventide Blackhole

That’s it

peace

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monsoon + trackspacer

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Among the themes Don DeLillo explores in his excellent novel White Noise is the miasma of uncertainty: a deep foreboding that eclipses human existence like a noxious cloud. The genius of the novel, which some argue to be DeLillo’s best work, is represented by moments of dry humor and domestic banality that poke through its chemically worrisome haze. Consider this passage by the story’s narrator:

“I opened the refrigerator door, peered into the freezer compartment. A strange crackling sound came off the plastic food wrap, the snug covering for half eaten things, the Ziploc sacks of livers and ribs, all gleaming with sleety crystals. A cold dry sizzle. A sound like some element breaking down, resolving itself into Freon vapors. An eerie static, insistent but near subliminal, that made me think of wintering souls, some form of dormant life approaching the threshold of perception.”

This is the intention Suss Müsik took with this week’s Junto assignment. The goal was to create a “cold dry sizzle … insistent but near subliminal, approaching the threshold of perception.” A disquieting yet enveloping calm. Various forms of white noise were recorded and altered using VCV Rack modules, with an external Chase Bliss Dark Worlds pedal adding extra tones.

The piece, titled DeLillo, was recorded live to 8-track and mastered quickly.

It must be mentioned that, as of this writing, the world is undergoing significant trauma. Suss Müsik is reminded of another passage from White Noise that feels oddly appropriate: “War is the form nostalgia takes when men are hard-pressed to say something good about their country.”

May peace be with us all.

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I’ve revisited the beautiful Valla Beach and found a melody among the crashing waves.

Tried Ableton Live’s MIDI, which can be heard in the background.

Ended up recording two takes on the M-Tron’s piano and bass.

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And the playlist is rolling:

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Hey all,
What a brilliant concept. I must like noise because it made me very happy doing this. The sea on a rainy day.
I sat there as prompted and teased out some sort of thing which I then expanded on a bit so it was a bit more musical. Slowed it down and replayed it on a synth from memory.
I then spent quite a while noodling with the noise on a Grandmother. I didn’t realise how much you could do with it. Pushed record and used it to create my drums and percussion and general noise.
I needed a bass to balance it all of so I used the default sound on the Deluge for that and treated it.
Peace.
Jeff

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I used only Novation Peak for this exercise.

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There is a sluice gate near where I live in Hackney which makes constant white noise so I started and finished with a recording of this. I’m slowly reading through Maryanne Amacher’s Selected Writing and Interviews, and particularly like her concept of mixing multiple disparate recordings into a single piece. Thinking about how I could approach this week I thought this could be something good to try.

I took other field recordings from the local area (a canal boat engine, a radio someone was listening to while painting their boat, a hydrophone recording in the canal) plus a drone created with the OP-1 and passed through Beads, Mimeophon and QPAS, and mixed them all into this piece.

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Very cool assignment, thank you Marc!

I started searching for noise sources and ended up with an ambient Japanese Garden soundtrack here: Japanese Garden • Relaxing Ambience Player. First, I used Audacity to capture ~12 minutes of this and listened to different versions (time-stretched).

It was not as inspiring so I changed strategy and used that link directly because one can isolate each element contributing to the ambience and I thought I could move forward more easily if I (loosely) mapped each element to music based on what I perceived. For instance, the “water stream” element felt like it could be some instrument playing random notes rapidly. I took such notes going through each element in isolation. I also hummed along to some of the elements (especially bird sounds) to try to capture melodic content.

I then closed the browser and switched to the DAW. I tried to implement the suggestions in my notes. I also listened back to my hums and tried to play them on the keyboard. This resulted in the main piano tune, which I detected to be in B Minor scale. I used this scale to create generative MIDI (with CodeFN42’s Transition) for some other sounds (strings, etc.). The thought here was that there seems to be a lot of random fluctuation in such sound sources so I wanted to mimic that a little.

I kept such a process going until I had several tracks and did a mild arrangement, then some mixing and automation. It’s mostly LABS instruments and there is one public domain sound from freesound.org which was a wooden creak that I wanted to use to map a frog in the original ambience. A compressor and tape emulation in the master bus for some coloring.

I had initially recorded a shaker to mimic the cicadas but then I removed this. Hence, I called my piece “No Cicadas.”

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