Disquiet Junto Project 0544: Feedback Loop

Hey All,
Great concept.
Trying to make something that creates a meditative state.
DFAM, Ongaku, CD4046, piezo mic percussion and some Phase Plant.
Does it?

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Great idea, thank you Marc!

I had several generative piano pieces that I somehow did not like much and I’m now turning them into synth pieces; just trying different sounds and letting the process take me somewhere interesting. This is a small part of a track I’m working on and it’s in an early stage so there’ll be more variation, effects, and mixing. Things may change drastically, I don’t know yet. I’m seeking overall feedback and feedback on tone and timbre.

I’m trying to let the pieces come across as a bit strange and confusing. Here, the time signature of synth MIDI doesn’t really fit the rhythm. I’m hoping practicing this makes me grow as a musician and that it helps the pieces stay more interesting and unique.

This is not a style of music I’m very experienced or good at, so feedback is very valuable; thank you all in advance.

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I like the time sig differences. And it is only very slight. Not distracting. Eno-ish really.

Going towards that Eno, I myself would try on an older set of drum sounds. This is close though and I could be wrong. I am thinking specifically of those 60s-70s ones with the pink noise sounds with more release, (thinking “Frankie Teardrop” by Suicide, who used a Seeburg Select-A-Rhythm). I would try it. I am not sure that it would work.

I really like the synth sounds that are dancing around. Which one did you end up using?
I think the organ sound (the chords) grounds this along with the drums and that allows the synth part to really stand out. I like it.

Also, I might try a bass sound. Maybe something less frequent than the chords. So maybe only one bass note per three chord changes. Again, I am not sure if that would really work. Just encouraging some experimentation.

I might also try to add some gradual add or removal of another effect or release time on that synth. Just to see what it would sound like.

Or maybe a hard pause or two in the middle to shake it up a bit? Let the synth keep going during the pauses?

Even if you don’t change anything, I still really like this. @tetkik.ve.tedavi

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@ffsanton there seems to be a beat but i was totally unable to count it - i like that sense of being disorientated. if this was my track, i’d try something like adjusting a filter or an eq as the track progresses, just to give it a bit more movement… oh, and welcome to the junto!!

@bassling the loops feel a little loose, but in a good way - almost like they slide over / into each other. it never feels like they will fall apart. another nice track!!

@juhbuba i love this track. it made me imagine someone playing a gramophone in the next apartment. becuase of this, i’d be tempted to try mixing this in with samples or extracts from sampled 78s (archive.org has lots to explore). i’d be tempted to extract the static / surface noise from several different 78s (i use Acon Digital DeNoise 2) and then overlay them on your piece. you could make a mini-EP containing three versions of your track - the first being almost crushed under the weight of the layers of static, the second sounding lightly damaged, and the third and final track being completely untouched so that it can finally shine.

@DeDe a playful track that suggests lots of possible directions - the first half of the song sounded a bit more open, and suggested loose polyrhythmic (almost glitchy?) drums, but then the second half felt tighter (due to the synths) and got me imagining kosmische / motorik beats. you could even slowly transition between the different styles of drumming. (that would also be a nice play on the title, “time-lapse”). lots to think about!!

@kterauch i absolutely love the idea behind your composition - our ability to describe, and therefore discriminate between, the natural and the human-made. this is the theme of wallace stevens’ magnificent poem the idea of order at key west, which explores our ability to distinguish natural / human-made sounds:

The sea was not a mask. No more was she.
The song and water were not medleyed sound
Even if what she sang was what she heard,
Since what she sang was uttered word by word.
It may be that in all her phrases stirred
The grinding water and the gasping wind;
But it was she and not the sea we heard.

in terms of your composition (which is lovely) i’d think about integrating some natural field recordings, perhaps around the three minute mark when the rhythm starts to unravel a little. the recordings could be worked in very quietly, but would provide another way of highlighting the natural / human-made distinction that you are exploring.

@Glitcher i’m a huge fan of both tim hecker and sunn o))), both of whom do beautiful things without any kind of hook. your piece is great. it starts to feel a little unnerving around the two minute mark. i’d be tempted to push this a little further - some rumbling subs or bass tones could really drive that section into a darker space (if that’s what you want…)

@Hugh_G_Twatt oh, this version is all kindsa greasy and sinister - excellent. your delivery of “we mean it, man” sounds perfectly sarcastic, which leads me to ask the inevitable question: sex pistols = band or brand? get well soon mate

@blisterpop i can’t really mix or master, so take this with a grain of salt - i’d pull the ride cymbal back a little bit (it sounds a touch brittle) and possibly find a slightly louder but softer sounding kick drum (felt beater?) this is a lovely track, perhaps the drums can help make it sound a bit more ‘fuzzy’ and ‘warm’? (if that’s the sound you’re after.) also, thanks for sending me to the lester bangs article - what a great read…

@gis_sweden i love this. it sounds like some illegal radio broadcast from pink floyd, circa 1968. the droning keys are just beautiful - i wanted them a touch louder, and the vocals already sound very clear in the mix. i’m also looking for a good free text-to-speech program. please let me know if you find anything…

@lazenbeeindustries @DeDe is right - that ebow is lush… this track works as is, and sounds like it might be a loving tribute to vangelis…

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Thanks for the kind words and feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed the material.

I really like the idea of playing with noise. Layering and uncovering parts of the music.

An old techno-head friend got obsessed with fabricating synthetic noise floors to put under his ITB productions. The idea was to make the stuff sound more like hardware.

For a while, I was CC/NRPN/Sysex-ing the heck out of generic Yamaha XG MIDI voices to synthesize that effect under beats I programmed on my QY70. It raised the noise floor in a pleasant way that sounded like record surface noise or old preset pattern drum machines. Felt more “comfortable” and atmospheric.

…Might be time to revisit this technique.

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@juhbuba it would be fun to sample the static from different continents, perhaps allowing the ghosts of voices to momentarily arise. the wonderful excavated shellac site has 78s searchable by country…

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Thank you for the kind words, the grains of salt and the reasonable advice. I may try to mix the percussion a bit differently. When I first released in 2014, I felt that I pulled the cymbals back too much and maybe I overcompensated here. I may split the difference and allow some parts to be lower than they are here, perhaps during the quieter parts. The kick I will have to think about a bit more, I think it is just getting masked by something else.

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Thanks for the comment, didn’t think about adding drums (the pitch for this project was without drums) but now that the track is returned to me I could do that. I might try something like that, perhaps splitting the track in 2 sections and glue both with some drumming in different styles. Have a lot to think about, thanks!

@ffsanton thanks for such a nice comment.
It was supposed to be a finished piece for visual media , but I think is too full of stuff for it (that’s why it wasn’t chosen I guess) but on a kinetic time-lapse video? it could work. I will probably rework it after reading the feedback here; it will be fun. Thanks!!

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@tetkik.ve.tedavi

I like the chord progression and how it’s expressed through various synths, with those great hats too.

Have you considered side-chaining the bass to the kick? It might give some more movement to the progression. I also like adding a distorted bus for lower frequencies to help them stand out, but this piece seems nice that it’s not so overbearing like that.

@33per

Wonderful stereo field. Probably too interesting to let me meditate, but I enjoyed the distractions in the various parts. Seems complete to me.

@ray_cobley

I like the squelchy percussion and the depth provided with the reverb. Have you considered a droning part or field recording to hold it all together?

@lazenbeeindustries

Lots of nice sounds here. Maybe they could be paced a bit to give the listener more opportunity to appreciate each by coming in at different times.

@gis_sweden

The pace of the speech feels too fast to me and it all seems a bit too upfront, like maybe some reverb would help it sit back in the mix.

@howthenightcame

This feels too short but maybe I’m too slow for Descartes!

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I’ve been playing around with Reaper and decided to try mixing an old track of mine called Timepiece. The original has this lofi, boxy, dry quality that I dig, but it’s a bit flat sounding, so I’ve tried to make it a bit more “dimensional” without loosing the basic vibe. So, any mixing feedback is most welcome!

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My track for feedback

My feedback

@bassling - if you’re going for a soundtrack vibe where the main topic of interest is elsewhere, this is a great track for that. Good vibe, creates a mood. The first 40 seconds are a slow start. At 2:20 you’re fiddling with the drums and from then on the most interesting things happen in the track. This could start sooner, and then a comeback to the initial structure for a finale would make this track a winner. Now it disintegrates which isn’t entirely satisfying.

@DeDe - this needs little feedback as it’s interesting already. I’d put some larger reverb on this to tie it together, now the sound’s pretty dry despite the delays. The bass seems to lag behind the guitars and arps. That’s probably because of its slower attack. I’d compensate. Finally, this sounds like it needs another minute where you take what you built up and go crazy with it, like with some heavier drums.

@Glitcher - nice atmospherics in the beginning. I would put them behind in the mix once you add more elements (i.e. after 2:20). The tension built from 1:00 to 2:00 was very cool but finds no resolution, some hit, sound, or drumming, would fit in that space. The R2D2 lead doesn’t really fit the rest of the sounds you employ IMO. The track is otherwise pretty seriously sounding and those sweeps sound playful. Would work well as a soundtrack where this sound would reveal something new in the scene.

@apanmusic - good idea with the clock glitches. I’d replace the ones that have short gates since they don’t fit with the full gate ones because the track is otherwise pretty relaxed. To be sure, I don’t mean glitches changing fast, that’s okay. I mean the repeats being pretty short with periods of silence. It’s that silence I find somewhat distracting. The track needs some counterpoint instead of tapering off at 1:40. Add another 30 seconds around 1:30 with a different motif, you can use the harmonica solo for instance with the guitar reversed, then return to the base with full drums and regular guitar.

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In the last months my main musical activity is participating in the Disquiet Junto Projects. I am totally content with creating very different tracks with limited effort - but that’s why there is no work in progress at the moment for this project…

Therefore I would love to have advice on technique more then music. I have the impression to be rather limited as Cubase-user reading what Ableton-users in the Junto do…

I started a new track inspired by the technique presented by @AlvaroDeCampos in the last project. I wanted to build a loop pitching down with every repetition.

The problem: I don’t know if audio-feedback loops can be realized in Cubase… (QUESTION 1)

So I set up 4 effects channels with delay and pitch down, and sent the audio from one channel to the next. Thus I made a serial chain instead of a feedback. On every channel I employ a post-sent Multi-Tape Delay to get more variations.

I added 7 other effects-channels from different Disquiet projects and connnected the 8 send-levels of the main track to the faders of my Korg nanoKONTROL2.
As only instrument I chose a simple piano and let it be played by my favourite random generator transition, employing 4 groups of bots. I reused a configuration of a former Disquiet project, slightly altered.

Then I recorded the track live, switching the bot-groups on and off and mixing the send-levels. I am pleased with the result I obtained with rather limited effort…

I would love to let a random generator control the send-levels, but I don’t know how to do that in Cubase (QUESTION 2).

It would be great to get hints to audio-feedback and on randomizing any controls accessible by Quick-Controls or hardware-controller in Cubase. Thank you all for all the things I learn from your contributions in technical and musical aspects !

Kind regards
Klaus

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Very cool. Has a sense of organic development that I associate with listening to Steve Reich et al. Really enjoyed the sounds at the very end. Perhaps that could be the basis of a mellow mid section? Or not: it’s nice as is!

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feedback Junto

I tried to also put these comments on Soundcloud/YouTube/wherever too.

@ffsanton This is really very interesting. There are tons of folks out there that work years to get such restraint. It’s like I am on the edge of my seat the whole time! I would love to hear what you were thinking when you did this.

@bassling - yes, I think it sustains interest and part of it is because of the shimmery sense of time between the bass and drum sounds. You bring in different parts gradually and the piece builds nicely.

@juhbuba - it would be hard for me to suggest adding more complexity other than to introduce elements to fade in and out. If this is a multi-track recording that’s one thing but let’s say that I just had this 2+ minute section to develop as a stereo audio file. I often work with older recordings of my own as digital audio files to discover new things. There are a series of standard things that can be done - speed, distort, reverb, tremolo, transpose, etc - that can produce a good 6-8 variations. I am sure that these are known to you and others. I would then use those results to create a collage of sorts and see what I thought of that.

@DeDe - I like the movement here and would perhaps find an additional element to tie both sections together. Percussion was suggested and I think that is a wonderful idea. Another idea would be a simple sustained and slowly changing note - guitar or synth - that builds throughout the piece.

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Nice sounds! One thing I like to do is create new “instruments” from a ready baked recording: load a short section into a sampler to make a keyboard sound, do some extreme time stretching to generate pad and bass sounds, cut short sound bursts to make percussive sounds and so on.

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Hey, Everyone! I’ve been going through a phase of releasing cover songs for nearly two years now, and got bitten by the bug on this onethe present project I’m working on.

I seek blatant and honest feedback for this early work-in-progress concerning the following:

1] How do the vocals sound?

2] What do You think needs to be changed, added, or subtracted?

3] In which genres would You allocate this work-in-progress, or for what genre would YOU push it toward?

•-•

Thank You VERY much ahead of time for Your time and opinions!

Best,

Your Peer,

Michael [Ash Sharbaugh]

•-•

https://soundcloud.com/michael-ash-sharbaugh/undun-vox-wip/s-PRRnW2Uh5I6?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

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@RPLKTR @blisterpop thanks, excellent feedback, very useful. I will definitely rework this track sooner than expected, thanks to you all guys, really nice ideas.

@apanmusic love the rhythmic cut out groovy bites. And that naive melodica/toy accordion, really lovely track. Mix sounds good to me

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@DeDe First of all thanks for the feedback on my track it’s much appreciated. :slight_smile:

I listened your track and I think the bass sounds muddy or too much in the background. At 1.06 it’s like I was hearing a kick drum that’s been placed at the back of the mix which is unusual to hear. Maybe there’s already a lot of energy going on in the track and the bass could drop out altogether or maybe something else could be lessened to allow the bass to punch through more. First noticed at six seconds in though and something isn’t right since you say there’s no drums in the track. Hope that helps, it’s a great track anyway IMO.

@RPLKTR Great track. The only thing I noticed is that the fluttery flute synth sound is too much. There are parts (1.26) where the synth strings are singing so beautifully and the fluttery sound detracts from it. Thanks for your feedback on my track they are all good points :slight_smile:

@howthenightcame I really like what you have created here, more length with a suitable lead sound would be how I might enrich it.

@krakenkraft Great piece. It has the kind of pace where I feel brief pauses of some layers and then resuming to emphasize note changes or other elements coming in (possibly more low end) would enhance an already great track.

Going to try update this post as I listen more peoples tracks

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You’re right, I said there’s no drums but there is a low, filtered kick I used as sort of a metronome.
I guess I should remove it or crank it up and make it properly present.
There’s still no bass but that “kick” is tuned so around 1:0 that sound plays some melodic stuff.
I definitely have to work more on this track, but globally your comment

…there’s already a lot of energy going on in the track and the bass could drop out altogether or maybe something else could be lessened to allow the bass to punch through more.

Is how I feel, I would like more clarity in general and room for more aggressive and focused druming & bass.

Thanks for your feedback!

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Back in December, I was tasked with creating some percussion tracks for a calypso song. Over time, my original tracks and the calypso song diverged into distinct entities, so I used my contributions as the groundwork for a brand new song.

Up until recently, I wanted to keep this exclusively as a percussion groove for other people to sample, but “Butter Boil Beach” could become a standalone song with the right ideas, perhaps with a bass groove to provide forward momentum.

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