Vocal Cuts (Disquiet Junto Project 0266)

Placeholder until the project goes live. Advance notice: project requires that you sing. A little.


Disquiet Junto Project 0266: Vocal Cuts
Use segments of your own held vowel to make music.

Step 1: Set up a recording device to properly capture in detail your singing — more specifically, you holding a single vowel for an extended period of time.

Step 2: Practice holding a vowel for a long time, until your voice starts to give a little and the vowel disintegrates. Try “ah” and “oo” and “uh,” in particular. Maybe avoid “ee,” as it can be harsh. Don’t hurt yourself, don’t stress the end — just let it fade out naturally. This isn’t about pushing it until you have to breathe. It’s just about holding it until the vowel comes to a sense of closure.

Step 3: Listen back to the recording. Think about distinct segments within it, moments with differing qualities.

Step 4: Extract those segments and label them accordingly.

Step 5: Record a short piece of music consisting only of the segments from Step 4. You can cut and paste them, and certainly layer them. Try to not do anything to them — filters, effects, etc. — other than occasionally altering volume, as need be. A mono recording is best, too — no stereoscopic play.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If you hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0266″ (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In this following discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track.

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 6, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, February 2, 2017.

Length: The length is up to you, but two to three minutes sounds about right.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0266″ in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and 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 preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 266th weekly Disquiet Junto project, “Vocal Cuts: Use segments of your own held vowel to make music”:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

Image associated with this track is by Dean Shareski and used thanks to a Creative Commons license:




Very nice. I love how the long stretch at the end brings it to a close.


there’s a lot of work going on outside the house. really noisy. i recorded a nice drone from drilling a patio next door. converted this to midi and cut out the notes below c3. used this to trigger the vocals

recorded me going ah oh uh. cut out noise. pulled into protoplasm added an arpeggiator so its less cacophonous. recorded while playing around with the octaves… i like that it goes from that clear sound of my voice to utterly transformed and flutelike. still, its pretty annoying and normally i would’ve slathered in fx to hide that.

bit of mastering in audition


The playlist has gotten rolling:



The Roaches were on my mind for this week’s Junto, and Natalia Kamia’s piece is eerily where my head was at. (She is kamikuma on SoundCloud.)

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Hey Juntonians,
Oh, Not Again(disquiet0266)
This project was quite painful to finish, hence the name. Started with a very annoying oh sound recorded on the Zoom H2 and chopped it to little bits. Made various rhythm patterns and started stacking in Cubasis and progressively bounced while adding parts. Ended up with a dry and dull mix :-/ Then I reversed it and it sounded almost the same but that led me stacking a forward and a reverse. At least it had minimal texture now. By this time I had all I could stand of this dry, dull abomination of sound. Sorry for the assault to auditory senses. I’m done and outa here…




Vocal Cuts [disquiet0266]

Disquiet Junto Project 0266: Vocal Cuts
Use segments of your own held vowel to make music.

I used the sound “urrr” as the source. Recorded a few seconds onto magnetic tape creating a tape strip about 3 feet long. Identified 3 distinct sounds on the tape: beginning attack, middle sustained sound, and ending aspiration. I manually moved the tape across the playback head pulling out bits of the different sounds. I controlled the amplitude and timbre by moving the tape closer or further from the playback head. Ran the tape machine through a long delay with feedback to build up layers of sound.

There are 4 parts to the track: the opening attack sound; long, low sustained sounds and fast fragments (the later created by pulling the tape quickly with no hold-back tension so the tape randomly contacts the head); a fast “scratch” of the opening sound; and the final aspiration. Sounds like feral cats.

Vowel sound recorded on an Otari MX55. Tape strip played on an Ampex 601. Recorded with Audacity.

Ampex image thanks to Jordan Audio Consultants.


As the instructions said to hold a vowel but didn’t specify holding pitch, I experimented with a few notes in the key of Eb.

These were recorded using a Rode K2 microphone. In Ableton Live I layered up five segments and added a couple of busses with reverbs, as well as some subtle panning.


Good evening everybody and welcome to the show,

At first, I wanted to skip this project… but in the afternoon, I thought…let me just record the A(without a number)… and in the evening, it became fun! I had to stop myself from going into an hour session of “AAAA”
I realized I liked myself singing the letter A… maybe next step will be a B and I’m on the way to become a singer-songwriter



I started by recording a rather lacklustre “Ah”, a bit like being at the doctors. I wanted the voice to naturally decay and crack towards the end. I then processed the sample in Sound Forge, cutting small snippets and normalising them. No other processing was done. I imported these into AcidPro, and set about creating a track with them, layering and pitch shifting the samples, occasionally reversing them. I wanted to have a lot of tension building, so I used some close intervals. One of the samples was quite rhythmic, so I was careful to overlay the different copies so that the rhythm was shifted in each layer for more interest. I added a tiny amount of reverb to help carry over as the totally dry track was too brittle.



Perhaps “Om” should be next. Very meditative!

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I wanted to end the song with… llah akbar

I already apologize to everyone who thinks this is a bad joke :frowning:

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Kamikuma for the win - that track is amazing! Makes me think of Ligeti’s Atmospheres.

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Oooo, I like this. Plenty of looping going on here with some pitch change. At the halfway point I put the whole thing into reserve and backed out of here.


Hi everybody, here’s my track :slight_smile:
‘fere’ - As you know, ‘A’ in french is ‘R’ in english.
Well, well…


my track mobilephone rec + reverb



I love how a lot of these tracks remind me of the eerie score from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

EDIT: Turns out that score is is “Ligeti’s Atmospheres” as mentioned by @ikjoyce!

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Glad to hear the drums because I had to resist the urge to add them at every step.

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