Category Archives: Sound Clips

Na_Al_Pro_Mo

I imagine that most people by now are familiar with NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month – the idea being that you sit down, write somewhere around 2000 or so words a day, and try to put together a complete novel in November. I have participated in NaNoWriMo before (in fact, you can find the story that I wrote for it elsewhere on my collection of sites), and have tried some of the various offshoots. I had no idea if this was actually a thing for music (I didn’t actually look it up until just now, but there are apparently some established challenges like this, including the RPM Challenge, February Album Writing Month, and National Solo Album Month).

I did not participate in any of these directly, but the challenge was roughly the same: work on and produce… some kind of sound just about every day, and create an album’s worth of stuff by the end of the month, while at the same time learning more techniques and doing further experimentation and familiarization with my collection of usual (and especially unusual) sound design tools and plugins.  So, I worked on it through the month of November 2018, and now that the month is in the books, I am hereby releasing my NaAlProMo album.

If you want to just jump straight to the music, you can click on the link below to grab a ~100MB zip file containing the music files for the entire album.

Download the NaAlProMo Album

The album itself is definitely in the experimental genre, and contains over 60 tracks of… sound, or music if you’re feeling generous with the term.  It contains everything from quick clips and sequences to full(ish)-length tracks.  The album is focused in part on algorithmic generation, and features pseudo-randomly generated sequences for the underlying melodies.  It also features techniques such as granular and spectral synthesis, among others.

Some of the plugins and program used in the project include:  Dune 2, Z3TA2+, Hourglass, Quanta, Granulizer 2, Grainspace, Reaktor 6, MUnison, Microtonic, Drum Pro, Battery, BYOME, and many more…

While you can grab the archive and check out all of the audio files that way, I wanted to put some of my favorite tracks from the album in this post to stream directly:

aeeeyaww

aosdma

drumloop

audio test project

audio test projectt

braaaap

crubadb

fxtesting Edit 1 Export 2

fxtesting Edit 2 Export 1

kolllasua

ljbjb

ogihaoighidrone

sdfj

sdfjb

sdfjc

spac

spac_e_l

spac_e_l_f

tarsis_f

ullaricos_velo

 

 

Some new clips

It probably comes as no surprise to my listeners that the pace of new music released here has slowed considerably the past several years.  Part of this has to do with the fact that I am no longer a student slinging electronics part-time, and am instead a financial professional building up skills, clients, and my own private practice in the next phase of developing my career.  That isn’t to say that I’m apart from music altogether; along with my paid work, one of my other major projects is being part of a team that’s trying to start up a new community radio station from scratch (you can check it out at https://ksqd.org, a website which I’m quite involved in, as I’m the station’s web coordinator).  Put both of those together, and my time for working on other creative projects has been… fragmented, at best.  I’m still making music, still picking up new and interesting experimental tools to play around with here and there, but mostly I’ve ended up working on small, quick experiments rather than the sorts of full-on tracks I’ve worked on in the past.

So, for your listening… “enjoyment,” the following is a selection of the (more interesting) sound clips I’ve whipped up in 2018:

First up, a potential ringtone that you’re definitely not going to miss hearing when it rings:

ringit

Then, an experiment with creating a… different type of noise:

noisetrack

A crinking experimental… something that may or may not be a tribute to Iannis Xenakis:

crinle

Some experimentation involving radically effectizing the same basic pattern:

asojhafabcd

asojhafab

asojhafa

And some slightly eerie tonal granularization:

ambi ent

new year, new sounds

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:

A Sequence

And just for fun, here’s a version of it accompanied by some effected drums:

A Sequence (Drums)

Collected Clips

So, no surprise, I’m still busy with a dozen different things, which means that it’s been a good long while since I’ve actually sat down with my DAW and really worked extensively on a comprehensive new track.  That’s not to say, though, that I haven’t still been involved with music.  It’s just been a different process, more quickly playing around with stuff on my phone or tablet when I’m on the go, or pulling up a program and trying out a quick idea in a spare minute.  Or, for example, singing random weirdness into the new Music Notes program and seeing how surreal the accompaniment can get:

My Idea 2

What that means is that while I don’t have a ton of really cohesive songs to post, I do have a whole bunch of myriad random sound clips, that nonetheless have some very interesting sounds to them.

Such as this quick improvisation in iKaosscilator:

iK

Or a couple of really quick clips of how the same underlying sound can be dramatically different just by tweaking a few effects:

Climb

Scrub

Speaking of which, I’ve been playing around with a lot of new experimental effects, which can do quite a lot with even a very simple two-note sequence:

Kablang

Karanga

And then, um, there are these…

UTF-7

recording-21-10-15_07-22-23

Gobsh

Skremm

General Pasteboard

gringy

So, yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to music-wise recently.  Admittedly, among some of these various tracks are some other clips that I think have some promise as the basis of a more extensive work, which will be heading for my DAW likely at some point in this next year (assuming the US isn’t swallowed up in a ravenous vortex of vicious politics).  I’m still playing around with sound, still making music, even if it is a little bit more… bite-size at the moment.  (Oh, actually, I did come up with a more complete track recently… trouble is, it’s another one for the NSFAE album, which means I can’t exactly release it here.)

In other news, while I haven’t really had a chance to utilize it a whole lot yet, I finally, after years of delay, made the jump to Logic Pro X.  Which does, admittedly, have some nice features, although it killed off all of my 32-bit plugins, some of which I do miss dearly, although some of the replacements are even more promising (for example, CamelSpace, from the Apple-devoured Camel Audio, was a nice and extensive trancegate plugin, but Tantra takes it to a whole other level).  And, in the interim, I have to admit that my musical style and technique have changed quite a bit, so while I miss some of the old sounds, a lot of the newer instruments that still work are more directly applicable to the things I’ve been wanting to work on, including some phenomenal granular synthesis instruments I’ve been having fun with.  Between that and the rather impressive mini-studios I’ve managed to get going on my tablet, there are more opportunities than ever to explore the boundaries of sonic character, and I already have some fascinating ideas about what I want to try next…