Disquiet Junto Project 0549: Sidelines

Junto participants have been doing a great job recently of including at least a short description of their efforts when posting project tracks, which has been super — not only helpful to your fellow Junto members, but also just a good practice in general. You won’t necessarily, down the road, remember everything you did. Notating it a bit for future reference is a good habit. In fact, just noting it in the first place gets it in your brain in a way it wouldn’t otherwise, even if you never subsequently choose to look back.

This post popped up at disquiet.com/0549 (powers of automation in full effect) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on July 7, and then at twitter.com/disquiet a little further along. (I was asleep at the time.) The email containing those instructions went via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto after I woke up. Then I posted it all here.

. . .

Disquiet Junto Project 0549: Sidelines
The Assignment: Get intentional with stereo.

Step 1: Think about stereo for a moment.

Step 2: Now think about it a bit more — specifically, think less about using stereo as a means to give a sense of a physical space to a recording, and more about using stereo as a compositional tool.

Step 3: Record a piece of music in which you engage with stereo based on the ideas you formulated in Step 1 and Step 2.

Also: When posting the track, describe a bit of your thinking and process.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0549” (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 “disquiet0549” (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-0549-sidelines/

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

Length: The length is up to you. One channel may end before the other.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0549” 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 549th weekly Disquiet Junto project – Sidelines (The Assignment: Get intentional with stereo) – at: https://disquiet.com/0549/

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-0549-sidelines/

3 Likes

And the project is now live.

I have the afternoon off for once and was just thinking about making something :slight_smile: so I did this

I setup 4 separate patches - two on the modular - one panned left the other right and made two patches on the iridium, using the kernel mode on two oscillators (kernel mode on the iridium is mental - basically three fully features synths per voice) again one panned left the other right. Added reverb and delays (inevitably Valhalla stuff - pretty much all I use these days). So two entirely separate sound worlds - left and right but all related and controlled from the same places

and then I just went with it and improvised.

Post processing it was a bit obviously left and right so I added a bit of panning in Ableton

13 Likes

I finally managed to find some time and this is my first time participating! I worked fast and efficient. I thought of stereo as two channels that can include 2 different compositions who have nothing in common whatsoever. Panned hard left/right, I didn’t make any effort trying to join this two worlds in any way. Sounds come from a complicated modular patch where I’ve chosen 4 audio outputs in order to use for this composition. The main concept is how certain sound-objects can become symbiotic only inside of our brain, without any connection with the physical world. Something that can be very alien in comparison with our everyday experience with sound, which always is spatial and our brain is there to create an environment that makes sense for our presence and useful for our survival and communication.

The patch is based on feedback signal processing which i’m working now for years, pushing the possibilities of my instruments above their limits, just to see how unruly they can behave and if they can give me something interesting I can use. Headphone use is not recommended as it can be very disorienting but for people who want to fully experience how our brain doesn’t fully comprehend this sound-world, go ahead. Cheers.

12 Likes

the concept for this work is to take two abstract rhythmic sections both panned hard left & right, each with their own rhythm and tones but together, when combined creating something “other”

sounds are effected drumracks in ableton on the left with field recordings of me bashing stuff in the garden on the right

Some randomized autopan is applied for movement in the mix and i manually tweeked the pan for extra balance

11 Likes

Two guitar recordings of the same idea panned hard left and right in the Blackbox. Felt lucky to grab a weather advisory in one of the guitar recordings. Granulated rain with lots of random pan and some light drums.

I was drawn to this prompt and may revisit it before the weekend is up :honeybee:

9 Likes

And the playlist is now rolling:

2 Likes

disquiet0549 - Sidelines Pinball
I created several guitar tracks using an Epiphone Les Paul Junior chained into a Zoom Bass Pedal B1 using the A8 patch, chained to a room 506II Bass Pedal using the A4 patch, fed into a Mac Pro into GarageBand. First track using the Cascade Experimental Guitar patch with a TC Electric AEON String Sustainer. Second track using the Echo Studio, Track 3 again using the Cascade, hard-panned left, 4th track Cascade hard-panned right, 5th track using Condensator hard-panned left, 6th track using GarageBand keyboard Reversal of Fortune hard-panned right, 7th track using Star Arp synth layer hard-panned left, 8th track using Enchanted Soundscape hard-panned right. It was great fun creating this. I attempted to follow the guide notes to create a stereo soundscape and try for the effect of being inside an ethereal pinball machine. I hope you enjoy the ride!

10 Likes

Its been quite a while since I did one of these - just life getting the way I guess … but it was such a glorious sunrise over York this morning I couldn’t help but create this track.

I’ve been working on some Euclidean polyrhythmic sequences lately so I though one of these would be ideal.

There are 3 identical, 6-note step sequences, Left, Centre and Right. Each is driven by an almost identical polyrhythm. Centre is the original, Left is one rhythmic event shorter, Right is one rhythmic event longer. The result is that the sequences phase in and out with each other giving a sense of movement across the stereo field.

8 Likes

I like to think of stereo as splitting your brain in two hemispheres listening to distinct voices.

Here 4 voices hard panned on L and R.
An old exercise on counterpoint from my student years (this was a Fugue really) , first time I take this from ink and paper to sound and the speakers.
Recorded 4 voices on piano
Voices I + III on the left
Voices II + IV on the right
Recorded Friday July 8th in the morning.

4 pianos, reverbs and delays for the glitchy background track (the actual piano tracks on a wet FX bus)

18 Likes

I’ve been listening to J. M. Bernstein’s Kant lectures for what must be the tenth time. They are very difficult, but incredibly rich and rewarding. Here is a heavily revised quote from his discussion of spatial awareness:

Consider the experience of coming out of the subway station at a stop that we are familiar with, but we don’t know which corner we have come up on. We get a feeling of vertigo. We temporarily can’t figure out where we are.

In one sense we know exactly where we are. We got off the train at 14th Street. But coming out onto 14th Street, I can’t figure out which corner I am on, which way I am facing.

The point is that even in vertigo, I encounter objects as spatially related to one another, and also as ordered in time. But I can’t quite figure out how everything fits together.

I took two live guitar loops of unequal length and ran them through various channels and return tracks, all with LFOs randomly controlling their positions in the stereo field.

LOOP = repetition = familiarity = orientation //////// PANNING = random = unfamiliar = disorientation.

10 Likes

9 Likes

This piece is - longer than usually - is put together with many experiments of pan’ing, rhythmical and otherwise, through different LFO’s, copy of tracks, rhythmical gating of synth VST’s and effects - and this is what I ended up with. I wonder, if anyone else can hear, how the concept of stereo influenced this piece?

Tools used include Valhalla SuperMassive, MaxForLive LFO and LFO Cluster, Sinevibes Switch and U-He’s DIva for synth lead and SpitFires “Hammer” for percussion.

Great prompt…

11 Likes

Hey All, I hard panned left and right different drums, bass, keys and vocals and used a crossfader to go between the two creating some new drums, bass, keys and vocals with heavy panning going on. On the vocals I also faded in delay fxs that alternate left and right also. Hope all are well. I am off to the beach tomorrow for some r and r. I will also gaze at the horizon on the sea and have really deep thoughts.

Peace, Hugh

7 Likes

The band Stereolab is an all-time favorite of mine. On their last albums they use a technique they called „Dual Mono“, which lets you listen to two tracks in full stereo separation. So you get two extremely clever interwoven arrangements of one song that fit snugly together in a stereo mix. That’s super clever and, god, so hard to achieve.

Everything in my short track is panned hard left or right, with no exception. I split melodies to go either left or right; the drums are more consistent and don’t move too much in the „dual mono“ field. There are some melodies oscillating fast from side to side to give a stereo impression. If you just listen to one channel, it should sound different from the other.

Musically, sound- and production-wise, it’s a bit a train wreck. I doesn’t sound very consistent, way too fluttery, and definitely on the easy listening side, but all this trying, panning and mixing took a lot of time. Also interesting to see that my bread and butter sounds don’t work in mono.

9 Likes

In his excellent book The New Analog, Damon Krukowski suggests that listening to a quadraphonic recording is a simulacrum of the geocentric model proposed by Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy in 150 (CE). Ptolemaic cosmology assumed that the Earth was a stationary object situated at the center of the universe, and that other heavenly bodies traveled uniformly in a perfectly circular motion around it.

A different stereophonic geometry can be observed in “gandy dancers,” a nickname given to African American railroad workers in the 1920’s. Their job was to maintain and repair miles of railways in the segregated US south: replacing rotted cross-ties, refilling ballast, locking pieces of track into place, and straightening and leveling the lines to ensure safe train passage. The workers were known for their synchronized, graceful ballet that required strength and agility.

An important aspect of railway work was the transport and installation of heavy steel rails lining both sides of the track, a process called “dogging” in which a lead workman served as the “caller” or “call man.” The caller would sing a four-beat song to mark time, and the rest of the crew would follow in rhythm, working shoulder-to-shoulder in pairs. As they tamped the ballast under ties raised with square-ended picks, the workers engaged in call-and-response to ensure that all tasks were executed safely and correctly.

For this week’s project, Suss Müsik took inspiration from a 1939 field recording* of Zora Neale Hurston singing a traditional railroad “spiking” tune. A pair of percussion “lines” represent two sides of railroad track, each treated with glitched stereo delay in opposite left-right channels. A synthesized melody accompanies the lyric, which was passed down from a Jacksonville caller named Max Ford. The hammers heard in the original were intended to replicate the sound of spikes being driven into cross-ties, and they’re faithfully included here with bidirectional panning.

The piece is titled Gandy Dancing and is presented in honor of those who risked physical safety to produce not only infrastructure, but also a rich cultural legacy. May we celebrate their voices heard softly in the thick southern humidity, the kudzu creeping slowly onto the railway edges.

Learn more about gandy dancers from this fascinating Folkstreams documentary.

*Citation: Kennedy, Stetson, Herbert Halpert, Zora Neale Hurston, Herbert Halpert, and Zora Neale Hurston. Dat Old Black Gal. Jacksonville, Florida, 1939. Audio. https://www.loc.gov/item/flwpa000005/.

7 Likes

The greatest person in my life has left this world. These sessions were recorded at the lonely times of night when all possible care had already been given and I could do no more to help.
I have used soma ROAT, dear vr music and puremagnetik plugins to capture my feelings and meet the requirements for this Junto. Thanks to everyone on lines and the community here, you are the very best. Much love,
Glitcher.

20 Likes

@Glitcher today you wrote music for the void, and it is very very beautiful. do not stop.

6 Likes

Usually I make a habit of putting all voices in my pieces purposefully on a position in the stereo spectrum or let them move around in a useful way. For this assignment I took this to a higher level. The kick and the snare are jumping from side to side. The hihat is happily hopping around. The bass just wobbles a bit. There are two melodies in which the stereoposition is connected to the pitch. There is a low melody on the left and a high melody on the right and they meet somewhere in the center.

7 Likes

Ok, not sure about this…tried to make a call and response thing here. Started with a few notes on a fretless bass, and added guitar and then a Dexed and Vital synth. Added lots of delay, reverb and Augustus Loops. When I put it in Audacity, it was very heavily in the left channel, so I adjusted, and this is what I got. Don’t really know if it worked.

6 Likes