Music of Fog and Steam (Disquiet Junto Project 0254)

Yeah, what he said. Misreading is part of the artistic process.

Put the tracks into a number of instances of sampler in Abelton. Made some sections, then pasted them together. I found this weeks exercise very useful for me. I tried to maintain the sound of the samples and not manipulate them too much. One section is supposed to sound like a train.

Anyway thanks to Marc Weidenbaum for organizing all this.

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Here in Suss Müsik studio, we often talk about “sculpting the fog.” We aren’t interested in hazy ambience for its own sake; the ability to manipulate and layer atmospheric noise is an essential part of our compositional process.

For this short piece, Suss Müsik thought in terms of shorts and longs: how much aural value can be extracted from a tiny portion of a sound, yet still retain the essence of character that renders something recognizable? Can those blips of information be extended to create additional sub-context, not unlike a 1960‘s drone experiment with strings and wood instruments, where the listener seems to hear other voices and timbres that aren’t actually being played?

We sampled, we stretched, we clipped, we layered. We ran it through a wind-controlled midi device to preserve the quality of breath. We created a metronomic tick to keep time. We scrambled the voices and randomized the sequence. We played it live and recorded it quickly.

The piece is titled Pokuskulp, a verbal mashup of the Icelandic words for “fog” and “sculpture.”


Hi everybody! Here is:


best with earphones

there are five component lines in this remix of the samples below. working in Ableton Live.

two of them are instances of Izotope Iris 2 with a portion train sample selected and modified to slow the attack and extend the tail of the sample. A short midi phrase was improvised, then inverted and doubled. one instance is 2x the first and they play looped against each other varying the pattern heard. a formant filter was used in the Iris app to emphasize the whistle variations. the result is passed through a compressor.

one track is the Fog Horn passing through ‘Zebrify’ a versions of U-He Zebra midi instrument available as an audio filter. Starting from the preset “thick wire” I listened to a loop of the sample and modified the preset to make self oscillation related to the level in the sample. this plays in the background of the mix at a slow level.
one track is a resampled instance of this effect at a boosted level stretched over the length of composition and mixed in and out with level changes in other tracks.
one track is a sample of the foghorn passed through Valhalla DSP “valhalla shimmer”


I had trouble putting this description into the Soundcloud description as I normally do along with the junto announcement.

kept going over the 4000 character limit. snipped a few paragraphs from the Junto bit to fit my bit in.

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I used 2 instances of the train - both were run through
multibandgranular to try to achieve a gritty, slightly glitchy/scratchy
effect. The samples were chopped & stretched to achieve (imo) the
best results.
I also used 2 instances of the Foghorn using the same sound bending techniques as mentioned above.
Then EQ’d & mastered (to the best of my ability as I am no mastering expert by a long shot).


I decided to start with each sound untouched, then shift into a very heavily processed and tightly sequenced track. It might be a bit perverse to make it all sound like drums and synths, but that was a good time IMO. And pretty fun to have a kind of dancehall feel to the bass and drums. The beats are from the clicking sound at the end of the train whistle sample, but obviously with a lot of tweaks.

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End of the Line(disquiet0254) A piece from two sounds.

While the two sounds were promising, it was not easy making a track out of them! I decided on a foundation with some type of stretched or looped sample of the foghorn, so I turned to iDensity and loaded both tracks into two lanes. With some wide jittering and octave change I had a nice low pulsing drone. I also created a higher octave version as well, to sample and run throughout. The whistle was used complete, slowed for rhythm samples and used with some distortion for the steam sound. The rest was a matter of finding percussive moments in the tweaked sounds and adding more layers to the underlying drone. All of this was done in Cubasis including all the effects. Also tried a slight remix in SilQ, but my efforts killed the atmosphere. Not sure if this is the end of a train line, factory line or THE LINE, but it could work for all ;-D

Thanks to the makers of this weeks sounds!
Fog Horn:
Train Whistle:


Needed something bleak, distorted, numbed. Sliced the train whistle a few times to make the Ableton drum rack. Looped the clicking sound at the end of the train whistle sample and added some resonator and delay to get a somewhat dubby drone. Turned the sound of tracks at the beginning of the train whistle sample into another distorted loop. Used the complete train whistle itself (at different octaves), because every train whistle is evocative; it’s a sound to which I am tremendously connected. Used the foghorns as low-end drones with amp effects and distortion.

Transcontinental shudder. American shudder. Global shudder. Historical shudder.

had some pictures in mind by listening to the samples,it has to be a dark misty night, just the sounds of far away ships, out of sight,gives you a vague
perception of the line.
used only the two samples to develop all sounds for this Junto.
the voice like sounds were made with the Density Instrument.
the drone is made in CatStretch 1 with M4L Real Time Texture. the result is a more or less randomly appearing sound.
looped the nebelhorn and the distant train.
put the nebelhorn in Abletons Sampler only for a pitched version.
as FX there are Convolution Reverb, M4L Rvb, JN Grain Reverb Send,
Ableton Delay and Dub Mashines Magnetic.

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Those rails; they have the memory of all the trains that have travelled along them. Put your ear to the rail, and if you’re quiet enough you’ll hear them too.

  • We started by stretching the two samples to 99 hours long and took some minute-long clips and looped them to make eight tracks.
  • Next we chopped-up the real-time source samples to make some new one-shots which were used in a soundfont to make three rhythmical (generative) sequenced tracks (120bpm) to add movement.
  • We further chopped and screwed some of one-shots to make a couple of screeches and and a final horn blast.
  • Next, we added some harmony and tension, with a ghost-drop-of-melody at 80.5 BPM to add a ‘poly rhythm’ feel.

i really didn’t think i was going to be able to post this week. just so sick and sad and angry and disappointed and fearful for the world. gave up my best friend as he and i feel a lot differently about all this stuff and i cannot sit back. i just cannot sit back and watch.

i started this track and it was a mess and i broke the rules and i felt bad and it sounded bad. so i just gave it a few days and focused on other stuff (that all felt bad too). even my coffee is tasting bad.

so i came back today (sunday 11/13/16) and gave a it a final shot figuring if i could give it a couple more hours and wrestle something i liked than that would be the best i could do.

i in the end followed the rules and feel good about that. thank you marc for the rules and your devotion!!!

this piece is squarely an emotional response to this week. no instruments played. just edit and program/process of the 2 samples.

love and safety to all!!!

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Hello all, been awhile. Day-job’s been nuts (‘Praise the Company!’). But a Junto project was long overdue…

Downloaded the two samples, used these to create five stems:

-A ‘sad piano chord’ loop
-Each of the two sounds turned into a playable MIDI instrument with Sampler (Ableton).
-A ‘wavy static’ sound for background
-The foghorn itself, barely treated.

Set up the 3 loops, ‘played’ the two sampler tracks over that (with Push), some cleanup/mixing afterwards.

Photo is mine: Moon over Marblehead (view from front porch), April 2016.

(Not sure if I got the embed right… let’s see.)

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Very quick and simple one, details in the track notes :slight_smile:


I call this Barge Calm(version)not because it is a version of Dome’s
Barge Calm, but because I didn’t want to outright steal the title. I
guess I should hope Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis don’t come after me
for this. Let’s just call it a respectful homage.

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I made a 4-channel WAV file using the 2 stereo channels from each source sample. Then I loaded that file into the granulator section of Madrona Labs’ Kaivo and created a few different custom patches that produced sound I liked. Those were further processed with Kombinat Dva, SDRR, and Subvert, and arranged in Reaper.



Mostly Permut8 and Turnado, plus a lot of cutting and pasting, delay, reverb, compression, distortion, etc.


Train whistle: time stretched (1,2 & 3 minutes) & pitch shifted in Max. (0ve, -8ve, +5th)
additional sounds created from some of those sounds in Metasynth
Ship’s Horn: used Iris to remove one of the horns to create a more lear pitch, and then made an fictional version a fourth lower.
Assembled & mixed in Harrison Mixbus. Extra pitches created using ValhallaShimmer (which I’m going to have to be careful not to overuse!)


Nice piece!
Yeah, I’ve been loving Iris for some years now.
What MIDI guitar do you use?