As you may know, one of the things I like to do are field recordings and sampling of unusual potential instruments. While it’s true that the standard plastic fidget spinners don’t make a whole lot of interesting sounds (unless you like slightly clattering plastic), metal fidget spinners can spin fast enough to create some interesting wind/propeller effects, along with interesting metal ringing sounds as the spinning metal part tends to resonate at a certain frequency (this is especially true of stainless steel ones, which create an effect not entirely unlike a tuning fork or a singing bowl). Also the metal ones provide enough inertia that they can produce interesting audio with a loose or dirty bearing, allowing for some interesting mechanical grinding and wobbling timbres.
I’m considering doing another free sample pack using some metal spinners that I’ve come across here and there (recorded with my field recorder, so probably not studio quality, but useful to do things with in experimental music nonetheless). In the meantime, though, here’s a track that’s basically recordings of a few different metal spinners, processed through some glitch and granular effects to create an interesting little sonic noise-scape:
So, over the holidays, one of my gifts to myself was to take advantage of holiday sales to flesh out my library of instrument and effect plug-ins, on computer and on mobile (especially to take advantage of the AUv3 instrument integration into iOS mobile DAWs). On the computer side, though, I picked up a couple of interesting effects (Glitchmachines Quadrant and Illformed Glitch 2), and a couple of synths that were different from my standard repertoire, including Wiggle, which I’m not sure I can even quite describe yet, and the most recent synth designed by Dmitry Sches, Thorn.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m more experienced with different types of synthesis now, or the fact that the instrument really is quite intuitive to program, but I’ve actually been getting into some sound design with it. Aside from the now-defunct Vanguard, which had few enough parameters that I felt like I could tackle them all, for the most part I’ve mainly done tweaks to existing synth patches. Something about Thorn, though, makes me really want to just dive right in and see what I can create. I haven’t even tried any of the presets that it came with yet, just starting from a blank preset and going from there, and I’ve already created some interesting stuff, like the following clip, which is just one of my synth programs applied to a simple set of notes:
And just for fun, here’s a version of it accompanied by some effected drums:
A Sequence (Drums)
Another one in my audio composition card series, this one for my mom’s birthday. Based on… algorithmic something or other.
/ Tags: Techno
A quick experimental sketch, sort of a techno-themed piece. I wanted to do something playing off of some atmospheric noise sounds generated by Noisetar, which is a fascinating synth based entirely around digitally-generated noise rather than traditional oscillators (it’s available for free, in case you’re interested in playing around with it yourself). I used it to create the sort of noise background that the other sounds rise up from. Ultimately, I like the way it sounds as is (I like sticking it in my music player and playing it on continuous loop while I’m working on stuff, with the noise intro/outro it loops quite well), but I’m still thinking about adding in a few things to it and making it into more of a feature-length track.
So, it’s… 2017 somehow, close to a full year without posting here. Suffice it to say, I’ve been working on many other projects, which were not particularly music-related.
One thing I did work on, recently, was another alarm clock project. These days, like a lot of people, I use my cellphone as my alarm clock. However, the default ringtones all kick in immediately when the alarm triggers, creating an abrupt sort of sound that jolts me awake. I wanted to create a custom sound, the kind that’s pleasant (to me) and eases in gradually, but eventually gets loud enough to make sure the alarm is effective.
This track is the result. I’ve also included the download for the iOS ringtone version of it (sorry, I don’t have an android device, so if you want to use it for one you’ll need to convert the MP3 version yourself).