Feedback February (compilation finished!)

I’ve been stewing around this idea in my head of a project I want to take on, and I’d like to open it up to the community to see if y’all would like to participate.

I’m gonna try to make daily* experiments of different feedback paths of musical equipment I have access to, in an effort to find interesting sounds and music/art making processes. I’m defining feedback as output fed back into input. The type of signal could be audio, control voltage, code. The process doesn’t have to be musical, it could be visual, poetic, etc. as well.

Some interesting uses for feedback are self-oscillating filters, no-input mixer feedback noise, and 3-head tape echos (cool video explaining how to do this by hainbach). I’ve had some interesting experiments running the tides module at audio rate, doing other stuff to the sound, and then running that signal back into the clock input. Through this project, I’m hoping to find other paths like this, that are a bit “off the beaten path”. I’m also hoping that it encourages me to use the tools at my disposal in new ways, as I think that might help me get out of some creative ruts I’ve been having.

I’m planning on posting videos of the processes I get up to on instagram, and then sharing them here with more detailed explanation and conversation. If you’d like to participate, and you plan on sharing your process on social media, please use the hashtag #feedbackfeb so that I can find it. Or post here!

In this thread, you’re also welcome to post ideas for interesting feedback paths and things you have made in the past that use feedback as part of the compositional process.

*I’m fairly certain life stuff is going to get in the way for me, and I’m probably not going to get time to find something interesting to share every single day. And if you are interested in participating, you are definitely welcome to just do so once, weekly, daily, every hour (lol), however you’d like!


Also, if you’re interested in participating in a compilation (thanks for the idea @AudioObscura) , feel free to upload completed/mixed tracks to the google drive folder here. Some details:

  • the deadline for uploading your mixed track is midnight (your timezone) February 29th.
  • the compilation will be released digitally on bandcamp, hopefully sometime in march.
  • name your track “artist name - track title (your lines username).wav”
  • save in wav 48kHz/24-bit if possible
  • try to keep your track under 10 minutes. 1 track per participant (the track be a mix of different ideas).
  • the tracks will be mastered so that there is a good level match between them when listening through the compilation, so don’t worry about sending a loud mix…the mastering other than that will be a very light touch, so please be happy with your mix! any questions about this or any sort of technical questions feel free to reach out to me, either in the thread, or through a private message!
  • the track should be based around feedback (and hopefully the result of exploring new ideas and processes)…what that means is totally up to you! don’t worry about if something “counts” as feedback.
  • it’s always nice to hear how things are made. feel free to add a comment in this thread explaining your ideas, process, and any other information about your track you’d like to share, either after you upload it, or after the compilation is released.

Currently working on mastering and getting the album art completed.

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I like this! Here are two software-based feedback techniques I’ve used a lot:

Cycling 74’s free Pluggo for Live contains the excellent Feedback Network device. You can get lots of great sounds out of it.

Native Instruments’ Molekular allows you to put a feedback point anywhere in the effect chain. You can set feedback delay as well as filtering in the feedback loop to keep things from getting too out of control. For some reason this wasn’t underlined as a big feature in Molekular but I think it’s one of the best aspects.

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I’ve never messed around with any of the pluggo devices even though I have had access to them for years (there is so much in ableton suite, it’s hard to explore it all). Will definitely be using this one as one of my experiments


Also reminded me of a really cool app for norns based around feedback…haven.

Rings is my overall favorite module to put into a feedback loop. Preferably two of them :slight_smile:

Patching feedback through a VCA can drive and saturate signals nicely, though it seems to depend a lot on the individual VCA characteristics. I don’t think I’ve tried it with Tallin yet, but it worked very well with Zlob Dual VCA and not so well with STG .VCA.

A neat feedback trick I found with Shades:
– sine oscillator into input 1.
– monitor output 3 but mult it into input 2. Turn up knob 2 to clip the signal into a square.
– an LFO into input 3, to offset and thus PWM it as it clips

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Maybe we can all do a track using feedback and take part in Feedback February! It can be a lines thing, everyybody who wants creates a track using feedback and we can release on bandcamp like we did the Long formm ambient thing a year or so ago…
(We can all comment on each others work and erm, provide feedback!)

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Sounds like a cool plan @AudioObscura!

I would like to encourage people to explore and share their experiments (even if you don’t deem it release-worthy). but I think also having some sort of release would be cool in addition to that!

I’m down to master it, would anyone be interested in doing art based on a feedback process? Also maybe someone has ideas of a text-based feedback process to output some sort of written blurb we could share on the releases bandcamp page?

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Lovely idea! Could be great to find some new approaches to working with feedback too…

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Synchronicity! I actually came here now to revive my old (No-input guitar pedals) about feedback through guitar pedals, since I’m still playing around with that at times.

This is a Boss GT-6, a big and dumb multifx board, originally intended for people who like Dream Theater or whatever. I just plug the phones out into the input and the one of the main outs into a recorder, one take free improv.

Tinnitus is a genre, isn’t it?

I made some other recordings with mainly analog pedals (there’s more on my page). I feel like the GT-6 is quite weedy in its tone in comparison. I don’t know if that’s because it does more filtering, or if its just the nature of its algorithms, but it doesn’t do that overwhelming bass that I got out of some of the previous chains I tried. I can’t really decide if I like the tone of it just as a sound, if it would work with accompanying instruments maybe, but it’s a bit thin on its own.

On the other hand, I’m very fascinated by taking this object that’s so infused with… guitarism (I could use a lot more colourful language here) and squeezing nonmusic robot torture noises out of it.

I won’t be doing anything like a track or recording every day for February, but I’m happy to hear what everyone else is doing. Distortion is truth!

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this is cool. I like the almost pink-noise, swatches that come in and out every once in a while. Is that turning the “distortion” on and off in the multi-effect unit?

Also reminded me to clarify something about the “rules”. It’s cool to do things that are part of a closed feedback loop, but it need not be “pure”–it’s cool to take creative direction and use the feedback part along with other sounds, as a base. The way I’m gonna approach it is to make what the feedback is doing either obvious through prominence “in the mix”, or through augmenting with explanation.

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A lot of those noise bursts are from switching between the different distortion and amp models, I think. There’s a lot of variety there. It’s got a bunch of them and rotary switches on the front to switch directly. That’s one of the reasons I picked this model over the newer ones, more knobs.

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This is a great idea and super up my alley, I’m doing a lot of feedback patching these days and will be happy to share some findings. As @Starthief already mentioned rings feedback is really rewarding, also in combination with a matrix mixer and feeding it back through distortion pedals!

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Totally interested in participating in this. I’ve been really inspired by Eliane Radigue’s feedback stuff and just think it’s a really fertile ground in terms of process and concept.

Been amassing a rather extensive collection of entirely feedback-oriented works and am super compelled to do more. Here’s a couple examples… I’m so fascinated in the way that emergent rhythmic and even melodic content can create very complex compositions, almost like a supernatural intervention. If you listen to the first one at about 0:45, an ominous string-like melody surfaces. I have no idea what created that. Spooky action!


oh! And to @jlmitch5, I’d be thrilled to make some feedback-based artwork for a compilation.

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Really amazing sounds, here!

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This is a super interesting topic, I find feedback is such an intriguing concept. The chaos, unpredictability and strangeness of feedback systems is what keeps me going back to them, I feel like exploring them, wether acoustic, electronic, analog and/or digital is always like going on an adventure and having only a vague idea of what you might discover. Often times what you discover is very rich, beautiful and organic timbre and sounds.

I’d love making a track for a small collaborative lines project!

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awesome! I remember seeing your artwork for the newaxeyes project you do/did and really liked it! Super excited to see what you come up with. Also excited to check out these audio clips you shared when I get a chance.

@simondemeule I remember seeing the like augmented reality video thing you shared on instagram you had worked on. Just curious if feedback was part of the process there?

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Oh rad thanks! A lot of the Newaxeyes artwork is all about recursion/generative composition/copies-of-copies so I have a lot of ideas and techniques in that territory.

If anyone else is interested this is a selection of my work.

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I love feedback and I am all in on feedback February. Can’t wait to start!

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Yes! Feedback was part of it, more specifically it was what created the drifting, liquid-like trails from the point clouds. That is done by applying feedback on an image, where at each iteration the new geometry is drawn on top of a slightly distorted version of the previous image. When repeatedly applied, the process of distortion creates movements, and the evolution of that distortion through time creates changing directions in the « liquid » flow.

Video for those curious to know what this is referring to:

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Awesome, thanks for the explanation, I had a hunch it was something like that. Sounds like it’s almost like a video-version of a mod delay (and it kind of looks like that too), so cool!

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That’s really lovely. Is it a video piece then?

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