Disquiet Junto Project 0588: Swell Time

These instructions popped up at disquiet.com/0588 (thanks, powers of automation) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on Thursday, April 6. (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), 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 0588: Swell Time

The Assignment: Make some surf music

Step 1: We’re going to make some surf music. Think about the word “surf” separate from the word “music.”

Step 2: Make some surf music inspired by the thoughts that arose in Step 1.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0588” (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 “disquiet0588” (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. How long until the tide changes?

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, April 10, 2023, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, April 6, 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 588th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Swell Time (The Assignment: Make some surf music), at: https://disquiet.com/0588/

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-0588-swell-time/


The project is now live

Hello, here is my contribution to the new assignment : like a dance or swing on the wave, without fall under the wave… Moog and modular synthes.


And the playlist is now rolling:

1 Like

Hey All.
I used the CS_80 plug in to make wave sounds and added some synths to it. When I finished I needed to add some vocals. The vocal was very influenced by last weeks junto about detunedness.
Hope all are well.

Peace, Hugh


Multiple noise tracks individually modulated and then all fed through FKFX’s Obvious Filter.

( I had to work hard not to be thinking of most of the tracks on The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy for this one :smile: )


After a number of years absence I have started participating again in the Disquiet Junto.

My process was as follows: simulating waves using filters and white noise, then using envelope followers, resonators and effects to generate musical materials from this, and then adding a background field recording. So fairly simple but easing myself back in…



P.oceanica is a slow-growing species of Posidonia, a global seagrass that provides food and shelter to marine organisms, protect coasts against erosion, and purifies natural water resources. P.oceanica covers the entire coastline of the Mediterranean Sea with its network of roots and rhizomes. One colony discovered off the coast of Ibiza is believed to be nearly two-hundred thousand years old, which would make it the oldest living plant in the world.

Marta Solé, a research scientist in environmental engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona Tech (UPC), has spent her career studying the impact of noise pollution on marine biology. Solé’s previous research demonstrated that cephalopods hear sound through small sensory organs, which become damaged when noise exceeds a certain volume and frequency. P.oceanica have exhibited similarly adverse effects to noise, compromising the plants’ ability to connect to root systems and gather nutrients from the ocean.

Suss Müsik considered the metaphorical duality of sound waves and ocean currents as a framework for this Junto project. Three “waves” of synthetic material were treated with various distortion effects and allowed to pass over each other. A cyclical pattern simulates the gently modulating seagrass that lies beneath the surf, insulating its tender blades from the harsher noise just above the crashing waves.

The piece is titled P.oceanica and was recorded live to Tascam 8-track. Those who wish to learn more about Solé’s work are encouraged to read The Sounds of Life by Karen Bakker.


When I think of surf, two things immediately come to mind - the sound of water lapping the shore and the Beach Boys. So after setting up a simple filter/lfo to simulate the sound of the waves, I hauled out my theremin. My first thought was to try and recreate the “Good Vibrations” theremin solo, but I’m afraid I’m not that skilled. So I ended up with whale sounds, which is good enough and in keeping with the theme. I added a melange of “drippy” sounds from the Wing Pinger and tamed the theremin with the granular setting in the Cosmos. The result is a moody, slightly trippy trip into the depths of the wide open sea…


Here’s mine, created in a single take with the Korg Opsix.


Thinking about the word „surf“ separate from the word „music“ brought up:

  • Waves, pelicans, seagulls (obviously)
  • The novel „The Sellout“ by Paul Beatty where the protagonist, Bonbon, often goes surfing, mostly alone and in dawn or dusk (if I remember it correctly).
  • The movie „Point Break“.

So I set out to make music with sounds of the sea, someone surfing alone - mostly waiting for waves - and some dark turning point approaching. It’s mostly freestyling with synths.


What can be surfed? A wavetable synth. How can it be surfed? By the sound of sea waves. This was the starting point for this patch with the virtual modular system miRack.

The wavetable module “Seven Seas” gets modulated by CVs generated from the field recording inputs (that you can hear parallel). The pitch is generated by the seawaves cv, mixed with a LFO for more variety (and the LFOs speed, too, is slightly modulated by the waves cv).

As a result the playing of the wavetable synth follows mostly the sea waves – it’s surfing it. (Interspersed additional recordings of an internet surfer and a theremin (only for some good vibrations…).) It’s a generative patch based on the stereo input of a beach field recording.

I did so many version and was never satisfied with the modulation of the wavetables itself, but this day is over. Whether all the effort was worth it? I have no idea, but I think I learned a lot. Anyway, there’s a more traditional first version that I discarded, here.

Special credit: the used recording of sea waves is simply great.


Groovy Moment
• Key: F minor BPM: 119 Time signature: 4/4 DAW: Reaper
• Instruments: Bass, Drums, Saxophone, Pipa, Ocean waves
• Plug-ins: Ozone 9, Neutron 4, Izotope Visual Mixer, Expose 2
• IDEA: Use a the sound of ocean waves and instrument sounds use in surf music but not exactly played or sounding exactly like surf music
• PROCESS; downloaded the sound of waves from Freesound. Added a sub bass sound, drums, saxophone, and an Asian Pipa



made something this week. my first thought on seeing the term “surf” was the ambient, white noise sound of waves. my second thought was surf rock from the 50s and 60s. my third thought, which led to this piece, was “what if i somehow combined those two things?”

i went looking on freesound for wave sounds (of which there were many) and surf rock sounds (of which not so much). i downloaded the ones i liked the most and thought would be most musical; in total i ended up with 5 wave sounds and 7 surf rock ones.

i started making an arrangement in bitwig, but after a while it felt too busy, so i vastly reduced the number of surf rock samples i used: it went from using pretty much all 7 at some point to only using two. (i still used all the wave samples.) i had initially planned to manipulate the guitar riffs more, to have them something barely recognisable that blended into the ambience, but that turned out to be more difficult than i expected and i couldn’t really get it to work how i wanted.

nonetheless i’m reasonably pleased with what i’ve come up with. it might be a bit too long (more or less the same arrangement occurs twice in the track, and i could maybe have just gone through it once) but still. title from word association, art from nightcafe studio.

i did at one point think about making some kind of vaporwave piece instead (along the lines of ‘surfing the internet’) but by then i’d already done a fair bit of work on this track. maybe another time.


Hey all,
Hope you well.
Like some others I started by creating sea like watery sounds using a variety of different techniques.
I wanted to be a bit more abstract this time as well. Not so literal so this reflected in my selection of what I got. PD gave me the drips and the Grandmother gave me the sea. I then used these to create some other sounds in Tidal and Forester. DFAM gave me some extra beats.
I didn’t have a guitar handy so I took my bass up an octave. Gave an unusual feel.
Edited in Logic with some Raum and Fresh Air.

Video here…TouchDesigner Jam - 33per - Surf City - YouTube


Surf music to me is about the ambient sound of the ocean and waves, as well as reverb heavy guitar rock that evolved here in California during the 1960s. I tried to create a more chill and meditative mood with this piece.

This was created using soft synths in Ableton Live mixed with a Fender Stratocaster played through a Strymon El Capistan V1 delay pedal. Additional effects include: Baby Audio Spaced Out, Arturia Rev INTENSITY and Rev LX-24 reverb plugins. Happy surfing.


So I went with a water theme. Made a recording of the River Kelvin near where I live, ran it through Velvet Machine (among other things) - then I wanted sounds to seem like they were “emerging” from the water, so used a couple of LABS sounds, including Gaelic Voices (also used Surge). Also, used a PaulStretched version of the original field recording the Kelvin and got some nice harmonics happening, think of the birds tweeting.


And honestly, my process was to remember a track I did in the past that made me think of water and surf (Low Tide | Jazzaria), and set out to do a similarish track. So specifically that meant (1) getting a ~2 minute environmental coast recording, (2) picking some synthesizers and instruments to layer over it, (3) doing that.

I suppose (2) is the most artistic part, and for that my thought process centered on instruments that flowed but also felt effervescent (basically like a foamy ocean - a coast, not a beach) - so, synths, harp, vox.