Ice in a glass

This week the Junto returned to the direction of its first project:

Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it.

Last year I tackled this one in extreme heat but it was a bit milder today, low to mid 30s.

Remembering the lesson of experimenting with different glasses, this year I decided against using a contact microphone -- which had captured detail in thawing ice.

I decided to work with video again too, as I filmed this project last time but didn't edit it together. In the year since I've developed a good workflow for remixing video this way.

The only drawback to editing video with Ableton Live is the reduced resolution exported, which I then composite. Otherwise I'm finding that the virtual analogue flavour I add while mangling the audio covers the reduced quality of the sound imported.

Today I was impatient to begin, so I asked my neighbour for ice cubes rather than wait for my tray to freeze. Once the files were in Live I sought short loops that sounded interesting and repitched them to sound more harmonically interesting.

Gating is a key part of the sound. You can hear it increase during the opening loop and then each of the six loops have varying degrees of gating.

The main progression is eight bars long and is supported by a similar progression an octave or so higher, but this one is four bars in length. These are looped and have reverb and delay effects respectively, as well as widening and EQ. For some reason Live wouldn't export video for these two tracks, maybe because they were made from a very short loop? Dunno.

The rhythm is created through gating and also Live's Beatrepeat effect. The drum sounds have been given a studio-style reverb and then compression.

Overall, I think I could have given this track better structure but the sounds began to grate on me after while so I wrapped it up. It might've been better to ease into the Beatrepeated kick a bit but I like that there's something about the percussion that makes me think of Flying Lotus.

Ny recordings can also be heard in Kelp's first track for the Junto. It's great to have him involved as we've nearly finished our next remix chain.