Bolster is a funny word - *Last month I posted about a typo on the website of a regional newspaper. * It was one of my occasional postings about errors but I observed recently that ...
Remix number eight this month is Bloody Good Time by What Would Iggy Do?, which I found listed as part of a remix competition. My version channels some Sigue Sigue Sputnik, who were an '80s cyberpunk sorta electronic rock band. They may have looked like a Blade Runner dress-up party but their music is sometimes cool. It was refreshing to have so many tracks of great performances, as well as many percussion sounds. The bass sound here is mostly Reactive once again and I've edited the vocal because there were lines I liked better than the chorus but I struggled with the backing vocals a bit too.
Just occurred to me that the dubstep direction of that wristwatch remix was probably the result of this remix I've been working on. Above is the track Green Orbits by Dubtherapy, who are holding a remix competition at present. Here is my second attempt at remixing the track. I liked the piano and reverb decays but thought it lacked the dubstep of the original. Below is my third attempt at remixing the track. You can guess I was trying to put the dubstep into the remix. Tried editing different parts from different remixes together but in the end this just jumps out as it is. Could've edited it a bit more but it's time to move onto another remix.
Disquiet Junto Project 0056: Matter of Time This week's project requires you to make a field recording to serve as the source audio. These are the steps: Step 1: Locate a clock that has an audible, even if very quiet, tick to its second hand. A watch or other timepiece is also appropriate to the task. Step 2: Record the sound of the clock for at least 30 seconds, and do so in a manner captures the sound in the greatest detail. A contact mic is highly recommended. Step 3: Adjust and otherwise filter the recording to reveal the various noises that make up its tick. The goal is to get at the nuance of its internal mechanism. Step 4: Create an original piece of music employing only layered loops of that sound. These layered loops can individually be transformed in any manner you choose, but at least one unaltered version of the original recording should be included in your piece. Deadline: Monday, January 28, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are. Length: Your finished work should be between 2 and 5 minutes long. [...] More on this 56th Disquiet Junto project at: http://disquiet.com/2013/01/24/disquiet0056-matteroftime/ More details on the Disquiet Junto at: http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/Project account Before I could begin remixing, I had to search for a timepiece. This Fisher Price clock was the only thing I could think of in our house. Luckily my son had been given a wristwatch recently, so it still had a battery. I experimented with different positions on my best contact microphone, settling on direct application with the clock mechanism. There were two really good recordings in the end. I put the following one on Soundcloud and began remixing the other one, which sounded a little deeper. I can't really hear much of the mechanism but it does seem like the seconds tick with a subtle modulation that I imagine sounds like the turning wheel. Often I'll be remixing a track and evolving the samples in a certain direction and find I get tired of it, so I'll begin again with a clearer idea of what sounds I can get from the samples. Today was one of those occasions. The kick drum took a little bit of time to adjust the pitch and compression to get a suitable thump and then adjust Ableton Live's beatrepeat effect to get the rhythm right. Then I adjusted loops, setting their speed to varying sizes and adding beatrepeat and other modulations, reverbs and echoes. The shape and structure was largely done when I realised I wanted a bassline to counterpoint the kick. After adjusting a short loop so two clicks sat over the beginning and end of the sample, I experimented with the Ohmboyz delay I often use for bass sounds. Then I remembered the Sinevibes plug-ins I'd bought before Christmas, settling on Reactive. That bassline isn't just that one effect though, there are saturation and distortion effects before beatrepeat, as well as limiting, compression, delay and another filter. Anyway, once I heard that I knew the track needed more of a dubstep sorta flavour, so I mucked around with more beatrepeat and Reactive to get minor note changes and added more glitchy sorta effects, including some made by Audio Damage. Yohng's W1 Limiter is used on tracks and the master buss.
Disquiet Junto Project 0055: Two Screws This week's project involves a shared set of source material. The source audio is the free solo piano album 'Screws' by Nils Frahm. Frahm, who's based in Germany, posted the nine-track album of short solo works for free download while he was recuperating from busting one of his thumbs. He subsequently created a site to house all the remixed/reworked versions that admirers sent to him, as well as the videos and other responses that he received. For this project you will take two of the source tracks — "Do" and "Re" — and create a new track from them, in the process creating a work for two pianos. Source Audio: You can download the files as sets of MP3 or AIF audio: http://public.erasedtapes.com/screws/ERATP046_Nils_Frahm_Screws_mp3.zip http://public.erasedtapes.com/screws/ERATP046_Nils_Frahm_Screws_aif.zip Or download the individual file directly from their links here: https://soundcloud.com/erasedtapes/sets/nils-frahm-screws You can only use those two Frahm tracks as audio source material for your track, and you cannot add anything other sounds, but you can transform the two Frahm tracks as you please. In the end, though, the sound of a piano should be evident. Deadline: Monday, January 21, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are. Length: Your finished work should be between 2 and 5 minutes long. Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term "disquiet0055-twoscrews" in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track. Also: Be sure to share the track to the Reworked site, here: http://reworked.nilsfrahm.com/submit/ Linking: When posting the track, be sure to include this information: More on this 55th Disquiet Junto project at: http://disquiet.com/2013/01/17/disquiet0055-twoscrews/ More details on the Disquiet Junto at: http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/ More on the Frahm project at: http://reworked.nilsfrahm.com/For this project I explored the 'follow' function in Ableton Live, setting short loops to play 'any' following and sat back to enjoy the random harmonic collisions that ensued. After limiting myself to samples from the track 'Do' and not finding a satisfying combination, I experimented with 'Re' -- which is a really lovely tune and I didn't think I could add anything to it. Inspiration for this remix comes from Susumu Yokota, whose loop-based work I've enjoyed. Brian Eno also for the interesting phasing that results from the few pitched loops that I've used. The phrases I've used were about seven semitones apart and one is slightly short. Aside from the reverbs, effects include Ableton Live's Beatrepeat to isolate notes from the piano playing. It's cool to see Nils Frahm encouraging people to re-work his material. While looking for his version of Re to share here I found the following video using it.
As well as challenging me, the Disquiet Junto has introduced me to a wide variety of musicians and producers. Schemawound is one such artist and, when I saw he was soliciting remixes, I put my hand up to rework one of the tracks on his album They Want To Make Your Body Move. I Want To Hold You Perfectly Still. The track Dawn above caught my attention while listening to this album, something about the tones and textures reminded me of 'The Wires' and made me think about phenomena related to sunrise. I've called this a dub rather than a remix because I haven't edited it at all. What I have done is reverse the track, duplicate it and put one version up a couple of octaves and the other version down a couple, then gate both using Ableton Live's Beatrepeat and add a bunch of delays and reverbs and glitchy effects as well as a very simple kick and snare rhythm. There's a click-y sorta percussion that's the result of compressing the gates and normally I'd try to avoid this but thought it worked. Edit: Out now on Schemawound's Body Movements remix album with a great variety of artists bringing their sounds and interpretations.
Fascinating talk from a colour-blind guy who uses technology to hear colours and has explored a variety of ways in which to represent sound through colour based on his experience of substituting sound for colour.
Disquiet Junto Project 0053: Ice for 2013 Happy new year! This week's project is as follows: Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it. Background: Longtime participants in, and observers of, the Disquiet Junto series will recognize this single sentence as the very first Disquiet Junto project, the same one that launched the series on the first Thursday of 2012. Revisiting it a year later provides a fitting way to begin the new year. A weekly project series can come to overemphasize novelty, and it's helpful to revisit old projects as much as it is to engage with new ones. Also, by its very nature, the Disquiet Junto suggests itself as a fast pace: a four-day production window, a weekly habit. It's beneficial to step back and see things from a longer perspective. Deadline: Monday, January 7, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are. Length: Your finished work should be between 2 and 4 minutes in length. [...] Linking: When posting the track, be sure to include this information: More on this 53rd Disquiet Junto project at: http://disquiet.com/2013/01/03/disquiet0053-ice2013/ More details on the Disquiet Junto at: http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/I wasn't looking forward to turning off the airconditioning so that I could record an ice cube with a forecast maximum of 42C (it reached 44.8C). The cube itself was larger than normal, which helped but was the result of not being able to locate the ice cube tray. It's becoming something of a habit for me to misinterpret the instructions for the Disquiet Junto projects and for this one I initially set about recording the ice cube in different cups using a contact microphone. I was amazed that I could still hear the kids playing outside in these recordings. Four different cups were used, one plastic and the others glass -- including a nice crystal wine glass. After realising I was drifting away from the instructions, I set up my stereo mic and made recordings of the ice rattling in three different glasses. I also recorded video with a view to making a clip to accompany the track but I think that might be another project. Once I opened the files in Ableton Live I made a few different tracks before settling on one to submit. This was also my experience remixing playgrounds. I found I'd make one or two very loop-y rhythm sorta tracks before getting the ideas to make something more harmonically interesting. (Not that this track is particularly harmonically interesting but it's got a couple more chords than the earlier drafts.) The track Solitary was titled because I could imagine it as the soundtrack to solitary confinement in a freezing cell. It uses four samples, one of the plastic cup with the contact mic and two other cups recorded with the stereo cardioid mic. The chime-like sound comes from the wine glass. The kick drum sound is a drip from the ice hitting the bottom of the plastic cup, pitched down two octaves. The other samples were ice rattling in a glass, pitched down between half to two octaves. Gating and EQ were used to bring out the sounds I wanted and remove hiss. The kick sound has a springy sorta reverb, other samples have bigger decays. P.S. My sketchbook diary entry shows a little of this project.