Category Archives: Algorithmic

eLog A

I listen to a significant amount of chiptune music, but it’s been a while since I’ve tried working on any.  However, I’ve recently been playing with a small synth called MiniBit that I picked up during holiday sales.  It’s devoted entirely to that chiptune/lo-fi sound, and has some quite intriguing tones, including a mini-“additive” waveform editor.   I’ve been throwing some algorithmic rhythms at it and the results are far more intriguing than I anticipated.

The following tracks feature a couple of randomly-generated and subsequently edited waveforms, along with some default drum patches, with some processing by BYOME to get the “squishy” sort of extra ambient drum bed.  These are more demo loops than full songs, but the second one seems like it could have served as the background music in a rudimentary platformer back in the day…

elog

eloga

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

 

 

Kaban

I’m not sure why, but I wanted to make something both painfully chaotic and relatively synchronized.  Luckily, there happens to be an app for that, and it’s called BitWiz, a unusual program that essentially lets you program in a mathematical formula, and it will turn it into very intense digital-sounding noises.  The underlying sound in the track was generated from a modification to one of the preset sequences, further disassembled with some Sonic Charge effects, accompanied by some of my favorite Reaktor ensembles until I got the level of sound I was looking for.

The result is… marginally listenable, but for some reason I really like it.  Listening to it makes me feel… synchronized, somehow, especially when I put it on loop.  Although I can’t listen to it for too long because then my ears start to hurt…

Also, the title was originally going to be Kabang for some arbitrary reason, but then I removed the G for an even more arbitrary reason.  The removal, however, does not appear to objectively affect the sound quality.

Kaban

Father’s Day 2015

As you may have noticed from glancing through my catalog, my family has been an inspiration for my music in various ways.  Music has always been a large part of my family’s experience, and we’re all involved with it in one way or another: my father is an expert at manipulating song lyrics to create pitch-perfect parodies, my mother is an excellent vocalist who performs in multiple choirs, my brother is also a great vocalist and player of reed instruments (clarinet, saxophone, etc), and like me was also a radio DJ for a time.  And as for me…  well, I do all of this craziness that from time to time I like to call music.

My family has also been the driving force behind some of the music I actually create.  I may have mentioned it before, but some of my earliest tracks created to add a little bit of original flair to the mix CDs I created for family members (at the time, my computer was the only one with a CD burner).  Over time, that tradition continued, and for several Mother’s and Father’s Days, I used music to do something interesting.

For my mom, it was mainly about doing something unique and interesting, but for my dad, there was usually another layer involved.  Another hobby that the two of us share is that of cryptology: of making and breaking codes.  So, for Father’s Day, instead of just a card, I’d create something that had an encoded message in it for my father to decode.  Over the years, I’ve done all sorts of things for it, from abstract color patterns to choose-your-own-adventure games, to painstakingly hand-drawing my own particular adaptation of the classic Dancing Men cipher from Sherlock Holmes.  And, in several cases, it’s involved music and sound (in fact, there’s another coded musical message posted somewhere on this site, if you’re so inclined to track it down).

This particular one is the latest iteration, and thus far has remained uncracked, if for some reason you’re interested in trying your hand at it…  (this particular one contains a more generic rather than personal message, so I’m okay with posting it publicly).

Father’s Day 2015