The Metronomic Society (Disquiet Junto Project 0267)

I recorded a mechanical metronome that once belonged to my late aunt. I layered that with patch variations from Sonic Charge’s Microtonic, and ended with a delay effect from u-he’s MFM2. Some limiting and normalization was done in Audacity.


Unfortunately my crazy week is preventing me from participating in this one, the results so far are great and I can’t wait to listen to them all.



While I was listening back through some old recordings for inspiration, I found a file titled “CS70M - Needs Metronome”. Seemed like a serendipitous find so I decided that I had to use it as the basis for the project irrespective of what it sounded like. It was horrible. It was a few random notes played into the CS70M’s sequencer, looping over and over while I was fiddling with the ring mod and filter controls. After a bit I also started playing a few random notes on the upper split, pitch bending and doing some other rubbish. Anyway it sounded pretty naff but I’d decide to use it, so I had to make something of it.

The original file was imported into Logic Pro X, tempo adjusted to match the file (60.6990BPM). The audio was fed into two separate buses, each with a different processing chain consisting of vocoders, reverbs, eq’s, delays and dynamics. This created a kind of drone scape based around Eb.

I started to jam around with a bass part, with variations in different sections to try out different ideas. Metronome like analog drum beats for rhythm and various other instruments added. I came up with 6 ideas that seemed to flow into each other. Rather than focus on one idea I kept them all together, ending up with more of a “suite” rather than a theme for the Metronomic Society. :smiley:

If anyones feeling particularly self loathing and wants to endure the original CS70M recording you can hear snippets of the original and how it sounded after being processed here:


Happy Sunday!
Metronomadic (disquiet0267)
This week was even more rushed than usual, results may vary! Started with a recording of my inherited German made metronome(pictured). This particular model also has a bell that adjusts to various measures but it recorded so bright I left those recordings out. Made a loop in Audioshare and used that in three slots of Samplr. Two of those were pitch shifted up and down then all were played together and recorded again in Audioshare. The resulting track was played through AUFX:Space four times with vastly differing patches. The now five recordings were taken to Cubasis for panning and volume automation. I was trying to convey a sense of too much measured time morphing into something consuming and dark, a sort of theme for The Metronomic Society.


I’ve been following the Disquiet Junto project for about a year or so now and this is my first time participating. I couldn’t resist such a wonderful prompt for a piece and as an avid percussionist and fan of minimalism I have spent a fair amount of time deeply considering inter onset intervals and the nature of time.

The notion of a “Metronomic Society” and Michael Young’s book are fascinating, but I couldn’t help but turn to another book with a very similar subject. A few years ago I came across a strange book under strange circumstances called Music of the Temporalists (see the picture below). It is a tough one to explain, but essentially it describes a society whose music is not organized “vertically” by frequency as we primarily do with ours (tonality, harmony, melody, etc) but rather “horizontally” by time. The imaginary instruments make a form of clicking sound and listeners find recognizable patterns in the rapid clicks just as we recognize chords or intervals (an interesting story in the book describes a game the people play where they listen to the pitter-patter of rain on the ceiling and try to identify the “words” that the patterns sound out).

In creating this piece, I sought to blend the two ideas and make a sort of “Temporalist” work that could be a theme for a group in that society. Every sound in the piece is derived from two samples, one tap on each of the woodblocks in the Soundcloud image. I used Logic to do all of the editing, arranging, filtering, and EQ magic, and Max/MSP to speed up the rate of repeated phrases in order to build the chords. Admittedly, I spent way too much time on this, but it was a rewarding exercise.


Very glad you could join in.

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Oh look! There’s a metronome sitting two feet away from me… next to a bubblejet printer. Done. I knew what I wanted to do pretty quickly and decided to see it through as that. A couple listens later I think I should have brought the noise in later and edited those midi drums near the end a bit. Otherwise pretty happy with it. Accidentally uploaded a bounce that was about 30 times too long. Hopefully this works out fine making it to the playlist. I’m a big fan of corporate anthems.


Metronome Society Concertina disquiet0269

a song for a special society
playground Disquiet Junto Project 0267
Metronome > AI > Music
of course we started to record the metronome to have the the positions of those notes
then we made that MIDI and changed the order of the notes in a kind of random why - not too academic - just as it felt
MIDI notes have 16 bars in the song theme - its the start of it all
the theme needed some Artificial Intelligence to become a jazzy song
and here it is the Metronome Society Concertina in 7 parts:
:black_small_square: The Metronome
:black_small_square: Contrariness
:black_small_square: The Overture
:black_small_square: Secundo Patti (Second Court)
:black_small_square: Quartetto (Fourth)
:black_small_square: Finally
:black_small_square: Close Down
more details of this Concertina at Audio Log


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Thanks a lot Paul !!!

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I know I’m late… and it’s not even finished. But let me post this anyway.

In 2008 the British-Romanian Filmmaker Robert Popescu set out to shoot the first documentary film of one of history’s most debated and mysterious companies: the Metronomic Society.
When they first appeared in 1983, they were unanimously praised as being great innovators and visionaries. Indeed they conceptualized the first self-improvement method, a topic which went mainstream only a few years ago. The society offered various types of courses and workshops to help businessmen and managers to be more organized and achieve more, in less time. The basic idea behind the Metronomic Society’s approach to productivity was that everybody had an inner rhythm – their “inner metronome”, as they called it – and that by syncing to that rhythm you could be in a constant flow of productivity. You’d never get tired, distracted, unfocused.
As time went by, the structure became increasingly similar to a cult, with a preoccupying tendency to “lock in” people, getting them to go from one improvement course to the next, putting huge pressure on those who wanted to get out. A couple of years later 3 dead bodies were found after one of the Metronomic’s courses and Albert Marchand, the founder of the society disappeared.
An investigation on the matter uncovered several possible ties to secret societies, the Vatican and the Sicilian Mafia, but nothing was ever proven.
Interestingly Robert Popescu’s film was never finished. I started to work on a soundtrack for the film… but only ever produced this short sketch… it’s as if unproductivity would strike anybody who’d attempt to dig deeper into the history of the society, as if they could dismantle your inner rhythm and take you to a path of failure.

Technical notes: this short musical sketch is mostly made with fragments of field recordings (clocks, skipping vinyls, alarm clock beeps, old printers, etc.), looped and arranged in Ableton Live.


I tried out a lot of things I thought that might work with a metronome; but then I discovered - after several years - that my korg synth has a audio in in the vocoder section, so I let the metronome run thru that and started playing…this is what I came up with; the metronome can be heard as the jingling in the chords of the basic track


Nobody is completely sure what the society does, but they do underwriting in the arts. This is an ad theme of theirs.


Two candidates for the jingle-logo of the M society which could stand for “metronome”, and we don’t know them personally so we shall most likely not find out, but they are terribly secret with respect to their rituals although they probably are nice men like Shriners who run small engine shops. Composed by my laptop, using a renaissance counterpoint algorithm over open time then output to an Eno piano sample.


Pretty sure if there was a real Metronomic Society, they would be my arch-enemies.

Had grand dreams of 4-part barbershop harmonies and recording this on a saloon-worthy upright, but no time. This will have to do!

Have you got an employee
who can’t get the job done?
Can’t tell if he’s behind or if
he hasn’t begun

We’ve got your solution
give us time and you’ll see
We’re the Metronomic Society!

If someone dawdles
or if they make haste,
the result’s all the same:
chronological waste.

We’ll fix his gears good
give us a minute and see
the Metronomic Society!

I used to talk long walks in the park…
[not anymore!]
I used to sleep in
[oh what a bore!]
I used to hang out with my friends
[gee, what for?]
I used to take the road less travelled, even though my GPS said it might add 3 minutes to my ETA.
[Oh the hor-ror!]

So if you’ve got employees
wrapped up in their life,
treat that second hand
like an emotionless scythe.

We’ll help you cull the herd,
we give you our word.
We’re the Metronomic Society.


played some improvisations on guitar,non metric.
put the recording into Density Instument to get some atmospheric
sounds. used reverb and graindelay for more deepness.
one copy of the guitar track was running in Simpler, but only for
short bass sounds. only sounds used from the improvisation,
there are no synth.


@Ethan_Cayko: great minimal piece! And thanks for pointing at the “temporalists” book, very inspiring!
@infovore: this made my day! Well, actually my evening :slight_smile: Please make a fake trailer for the tv-series!
@ruperL: great minimal piece, love how you played with subtle tempo changes!
@SussMusik: So you didn’t just use a delay line to make this? I really like the richness of detail in your piece.

@papernoise : Nope, we do things the hard way around here. Although we admit to a certain reliance on the Boss RV-3 :slight_smile:

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Haha, yes the hard way is often the more satisfying on the long run… and then there’s times where you just need to get eh job done I guess

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