Disquiet Junto Project 0586: Chance the Eraser

These instructions popped up at disquiet.com/0586 (thanks, powers of automation) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on Thursday, March 23. (I was asleep at the time.) The email containing those instructions went out via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto later in the morning (around 7:56am Pacific, after I woke up and was alert enough to not entirely mess things up), and then I posted them here, on the Junto Slack, and my Mastodon account, and Instagram, etc. (I’m taking a Twitter break at the moment.) And if you’re on a platform, like Mastodon or Instagram, that uses hashtags, please use the #DisquietJunto tag. Much appreciated.

Disquiet Junto Project 0586: Chance the Eraser

The Assignment: Use probability to remove material from a track.

Step 1: Record a piece of multitrack music with at least three separate tracks. If you already have a multitrack recording of your own in mind for this project, feel free to use it.

Step 2: Go back and erase various parts of the recording from Step 1 by utilizing chance techniques. (For example, you might roll dice: once to determine which of the multitrack parts, once to determine the starting point in the track of the erasure, and once to determine the length of the erasure.)

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0586” (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 “disquiet0586” (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.

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:

Length: The length is up to you. You could leave it to chance.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, March 27, 2023, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 23, 2023.

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 586th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Chance the Eraser (The Assignment: Use probability to remove material from a track), at: https://disquiet.com/0586/

About the Disquiet Junto: https://disquiet.com/junto/

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

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0586-chance-the-eraser/


And the project is now live. Thanks, folks.

HA … great challenge. Found a track I recorded about 4 years ago - not exactly the original multitrack but the stems of each voice derived from a five part string ensemble programmed using the brilliant VSL VI library - super-dry samples you can basically do whatever you like with rather than being pre-set in a sonic environment.

I used gates on each track triggered by a random noise generator controlling the volume of a simple tone which activated the gates every time it exceeded a specified level. Really enjoyed doing this - and worked hard to just leave it be … The only faffing I did was to leave the gate set very low on the cello so that there was at least one voice playing all the time as otherwise the piece sounded too broken to follow.


for this project i quickly jammed three voices in ableton, simple motifs, each sequence then used chance functionality (57%, 77% & 70%) to randomly gate the inputted midi. Heavy use of the phenomenal Cycles and some OTT compression. some panning, delay and reverb.


And the playlist is now rolling:

1 Like


This was a very intriguing and fascinating project, thank you @disquiet for this great inspiration.

I selected my most recent track, consisting of a fieldrecording, a PaulXStretched version, and 6 instrument tracks (there are two piano tracks separating the low from the high notes as you may notice in the new version).

I didn’t want to use a method like Marc suggested, but to do it more technically. I am still not very convinced by the options Cubase offers for randomness and for using signals to control processes (how could I map Midi-CC to the Cubase QuickControls), but I still stick to it.

I found the following crazy method to randomly fade in and out the tracks in Cubase:
I used the free plugin CCStepper for randomly generating Midi-CC values every 6.5 s (8 in parallel). Then I added 8 synths to the project, playing a constant sound. I mapped each CC to the volume of a synth. I adapted a gate to block the sound for a volume less than the half (identical for all synths).
I added a compressor to the 8 tracks side-chained to the respective synth (pre-fader), with minimal threshold and maximal compression.
So if a CC-value is over 64, the synth-sound passes the gate, and the compressor mutes the instrument.

By this construction every track should be audible approximately 50% of the time.

I am totally happy with the result. This leaves much more space in the composition, single elements get much more prominent. And it was done fast, because I didn’t alter anything - neither in the original track, nor in the randomisation.
A great learning success: Leave space!


At first I used a (way longer) track I am working on and added the erasers. First eraser is the virtual modular Mirack as a FX: The rubbers are two filters, the randomness comes from a pair of probability driven sequencer CVs with divided semi-randomnized clocks. The second eraser is simply Audiomodern Gatelab, which has a mode in which at the end of the loop a new gate pattern is created. The third eraser is Cherry Audio Voltage Modular as FX with a panner, that is gating with a sequencers input; the sequencer is just an on/off pattern (erasing lefts and rights), but the clock is probability driven (and the probability amount is CVed by another probability module).

Maybe because the original track (a) was generative/euclidian with a lot of changes in itself, the result didn’t convince me. So I looked for stems with less movement. I added stems from “Eternal Trancemissions 01 [disquiet0576]” to the existing track framework with the defined FXs. Because the bass stem fell into the track with the Mirack modular filter there was this part murky, part screaming result I instantly liked as a fundament for the remaining stems of what became (b).


I decided to use a recent project I had started with some Jon Hassell inspired loops. There were 4 tracks with loops- 2 percussion, 1 synth and 1 trumpet. I looped these for the duration of the track, and put a random LFO on each track modulating a gain plugin going from silent to 0db (I played around with these adjusting the rate for each one differently). This gives an effect like each track is ‘erased’ at random times. The trumpet track had 1 difference in that I put the gain modulation before the effects, so the grain delay (Other Desert Cities) would still ring out even when the trumpet was cut.

To complete this, I decided to do a one take jam with a 5th track containing a SWAM Sax, and I just recorded the audio right from master to preserve the random modulations of the other tracks, since I was trying to react to the changes as I played.


hello everyone, i hope you are all well.

i used each line of poetry from this week’s naviar haiku (“travel home / even the air / has changed”) to generate three separate morse code messages. each morse code message was then used to trigger its own instance of trackspacer, which ruptured either the sub, guitar or string channels of my naviar composition. in this way, my original track even the air has changed became “uneven, the air has changed.”

take care,

hecuba rising


Hey everyone! Here’s my track this week:

This song is comprised of 4 parts - 2 guitar parts, a bass and synth all improvised. I built each layer trying to make it as busy as possible, going for a kind of “wall-of-sound” thing. Then I selected words at random from the book I’m reading right now (La Batarde by Violet Leduc) and used them to choose which sections to eliminate from each track. I counted along each track by the number of letters in the randomly selected word, with one word equating to one measure. Wherever I landed I subtracted as many measures as syllables in that word.

I was surprised at the anxiety this process caused! I found myself wanting to break from the process I had laid out because I was afraid it would “ruin” something. It was kind of therapeutic to relinquish control and have faith in a process, so I think that’s why I ended up calling the track ‘Devotion’.

Doing this for every track I hoped to poke some holes in the wall of sound and let the different parts breathe and be seen a bit.

Here are the words I used if you’re curious:
For the Guitars: would, my, to, my moving, insisted, custard, devotion, shoes, will, through, half-past, complete, men, disloyal

For the Bass and Synth: ground, luxuries, pound, mistaken, turn, cloth, hands, me, melting, corpse, what, anything, sweetness, us, young

In a way, it’s kind of like the song has lyrics in negative or inverse


“How would a conqueror AI eliminate human life?” Max Tegmark cheerfully asks in his book Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. “Probably by a method we wouldn’t even understand, at least not until it was too late.” Tegmark goes on to hypothesize that although we might view AI as being sophisticated beyond our comprehension, it’s equally possible that AI intentions may be as banal as maximizing the production of paper clips.

Suss Müsik foresees a slightly different scenario, one in which our relationship with technology diverts from the transactional to the ouroborostic. Perhaps our downfall will be caused not by AI directly, but rather how AI influences our behavior. One imagines the human species succumbing to a series of random imperfections, perhaps the very sort that machines were designed to eliminate. Like a coughing fit that comes from nowhere and develops into chronic emphysema.

With that sunny backstory, Suss Müsik sought to imagine the parallelism between digital and biological glitches. A simple, repetitive song was performed using facsimile presets of a 1990’s Casio keyboard: organ, bass, synth. Each voice, apart from the rhythm beat, was randomly erased by activating a DIY disruption filter and muting a given track at various points. The coughs were sampled from what was likely a very boring webinar.

The piece is titled Casiocide and was recorded live to TASCAM eight-track. The image is by a talented artist named Kirill Cherezov and used under a paid license.


Four track music composed with a Torso T1, Yamaha FSR1 and the Future Restro Zillion.
The Zillion sends Midpulses into the T1. T1 rearranges Zillion–Midi in FX Mode.
Used this music to erase by chance. Marimba theme comes from the Zillion.
To achive the goal of deleting notes by chance, I red an iranian carpet with pattern constantly repeating itself. But with slight changes. Whenever a change happens, I pulled a note out of one of the three tracks (flute, harp, kick). The marimba track remains untouched as a stable base.


During the week I had been trying to build a muted, synthy, chord progression, adding a bit of H910 to the overall sound. It had a basic drum track and bell arp sound as well. I added LFOs set to random with different phases to each track’s volume, then added gates to each with different envelopes.


I took a chamber piece I studied back in high school (Grand Flute Quartet, Op.103 (Kuhlau, Friedrich) - IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download) and recorded all the parts in Audacity. I then rolled my d20 to determine how many bars I would leave intact, then a d4 to choose which part to get rid of (using Audacity’s silence function), and the d20 again to see how many bars that would last. I repeated the process to end up with alternating sections of all the parts together and sections with one part missing. (It’s very obvious when the first part drops out. The others…slightly less so.)

I meant to export an mp3 of the full version and upload that separately for comparison before I started doctoring it, but forgot. Oh well.

And here is a photo of my equipment ( :wink: ):


I made a 3 track piece specifically for this idea instead of using something I already had because I figured it should be done with tracks that always have something happening so the silence is more noticeable/dramatic. I think the moments where everything cuts out are the most dramatic. Silence is sort of the 4th track in that sense (or what ever is going on around you when listening). The piece itself used a fair bit of aleatory. “Dr Chaos” is a max for live instrument I used with the drum kit. It plays random samples at a regular beat division (1/8th, 1/16th, etc.). The 2 other tracks are just moving through different interval cycles (minor 3rds and perfect 4ths) at different paces so they create different unpredictable harmonies. I used Random.org to decide where to cut and how long the cut should be (1-8 beats). I figured cutting on beats instead of seconds would give the breaks a rhythmic quality. i also got a chance to use the drum kit I made with a field recording I took last summer of a drippy shower in a hotel I stayed in.

Reading some people’s descriptions, it seems like a lot of people used built in tools for the probability. Now I’m wondering if there was something I could have used that was less tedious that would have made the cuts for me.


I really liked the idea for this one and will use it again, but in this case, I don’t think I got much else from it. I used a song I really don’t like that I’ve been working on for a while. I think it sounds creepy, might work for a horror movie, but it frustrates me cos I was going for something different. Anyways, I used dice and removed several bits, but wasn’t much happier with it. I messed with the pitch in Audacity, and now I like it better. Sort of.


I used a deck of cards to determine what I would erase from the four tracks, each track was assigned a suit, and the cards determined how much would be erased and how much would be played. The first joker to come up changed the assignment of the track, the second stopped the process.

Of course I found myself wantitng to cheat, and hoping and praying that the second joker wouldn t come up too soon.

I then halved the track speed, added FX and some volume adjustments. Listening now, it seems that things came up which I should have used on the original track,which can be heard here :


I recycled a four track sketch that was created in Ableton Live a few months ago for this assignment. Using Audiomodern’s free gate sequencer plugin, Gatelab, I was able to randomly turn on/off, chop up and modulate notes in three of the tracks. I also used their motion filter plugin, Filterstep, on the fourth track for additional effects. This setup worked great until it came time to render the final mix. Ableton froze and crashed multiple times no matter what I tried. Not sure, but could be these plugins weren’t happy with the recently installed OS Ventura on my M1 MacBook Pro, or some other strange voodoo. Finally ended up recording the completed audio on a Tascam digital recorder. Despite the technical headaches, I had a lot of fun with this project.


subtle and very beautiful !