For this research project, I decided to continue work on a patch that Nick Fredericksen designed for our group in Project 2 (the MIDI violin) and subsequently wrote a piece for loop violin and grain synthesizer. With some help, I attached a loop patch to the end of the grain synthesizer in Max, and utilized a hardware Boss RX-30 Loop pedal as a convenience looper to make the piece a little more seamless (less starting and stopping). Since my presentation didn’t go according to plan, (the connection in my violin was faulty), here is another recording of what I intended to do.
Here is the loop patch I used within the grain synthesis patch
For this project I decided to revisit something I was working on previously and spice it up with some field recordings from freesound.org, some EQing, and heaps of convolution reverb. I originally made this piece as I was watching the sunrise and tried to capture that feeling.
For this short excerpt I began with a half-second clip of an old Microsoft mouse click, paired together as sixteenth notes. I laid this over both a distorted and reverberated low machine hum from outside of CFA, and the ticking of a stove igniter. In order to really fill the distortion of the low machine hum, I added some wind noise to add stress to the environment. To add ambience after the build, I used an excerpt from a Bach piano concerto, reversed it, expanded it slightly, and added reverb!
Last semester I recorded myself reading the first page of my favorite book ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien. I recorded myself a few times so that I was able to change my inflection. I thought that it would be interesting to recreate the the song ‘Concerning Hobbits’ by Howard Shore using only generative processing of my voice. After a few hours of work, I realized this was a much larger task than what I anticipated and the outcome was very abstracted from the original music. I was still very excited with the amount of experience I gained in experimenting in both LogicX and Protools. After the first 30 seconds of the song were abstracted I overlaid my voice recording and added in the underlay of the original song to be compared. It was interesting how abstracted everything became and I hope to edit this project much further in order to create the entire song.
For this piece, I tried to recreate some of the noise music that I’ve listened to based on some of the techniques Alexander showed us last week. I took two recordings from freesound, one of a man screaming and the other of soda being poured into a cup. I used the soda sound for a base rumble underneath the piece. This was mainly done by pitching the sound downward and adding reverb. I then distorted the scream in order to create the static on top. I edited this sound through time stretching and different filters. I used ableton live and also used a Noise Vocoder to distort the sound even further.
For this project, I used a ton of different samples and sounds. My main samples are from Peter Gabriel’s Big Time, and Huey Lewis & The News’ Hip to be Square. I also took some samples from the movie American Psycho of Christian Bale speaking.
The program I used is called MuLab, and also causes occasional white noise over the rest of the audio, as it is a free program. I paulstretched both songs to around 69.6 bpm, and then pitch shifted them both down 6 semitones. I then added some EQ’d drums over Big Time. The drum samples I got mostly from Alex’s sounds. I automated a distortion to ramp up from the beginning. I added some effect called a “spiral echo” on the vocal sample of Christian Bale saying “I’m just a happy camper”, and automated the pitch direction of that echo. There is a grain synthesis module for MuLab, but it is difficult to use. I recorded myself messing with the grain synthesis to start with a really low grain rate then increasing towards the middle of Big Time, then decrease playback speed by a ton. I used a comb bass filter hit, pitched it a bunch after the grain synthesis on Bit Time and added a really low noise over Christian Bale freaking out over Paul Allen’s business card. I really liked how this turned out, it sounds way different and much more personal than the rest of the track. The final section includes a slowed down version of Hip to be Square that has the “Happy Camper” sample again.
Everything has EQ on it, the master output has compression running.
The general concept to this piece follows the facade of Patrick Bateman’s seemingly perfect life, but he can’t cope with being perceived as normal for that long. As in the movie, Bateman then has a moment where he loses it slightly in the business card scene, then continues with his attempt at fitting in for the rest of the piece.
In this short experiment, my goal was to create an atmosphere with some elements of a familiar setting, and other elements that would cause the listener to question the environment. I exclusively used field recordings, but processed each sample to varying degrees, allowing some elements to remain recognizable and other elements to be transformed into curious effects.
Throughout this semester, I’ve tried to tackle a bit more of the electronic / tech-augmented genre of music. I’m not sure that I even really understand it yet, but what I do understand is that there is so much to learn. I enjoy the idea of soundscape design, so I attempted something along the lines of a strange, insect-y kinda percussive little diddy.