I was going through my collection of random royalty-free sample bits and bobs that I’ve accumulated over the years, and came across this one particular random 25-second-or-so snippet of something relentlessly upbeat and “pop”-y, and I decided that I had to see what would happen if I effectively mangled it beyond all recognition.
First, I took the snippet and put it through Hourglass, stretching and glitching it through a couple of different randomizations, making the results the two “main” channels of the track, processed through various effects. To that I added an instance of Cataract performing a random walk through a selection of the original clip, both stretched versions and another sound source I happened to have on my desktop. There’s also an instance of the track processed through Granulizer to create the underlying noise bed, and an instance of Lancinantes to provide the additional central drone that ties it all together. It took a while to balance all of the different tracks, but I think it comes together into a reasonably focused and meditative soundscape (well, meditative for me, at least).
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…
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:
audio test project
audio test projectt
fxtesting Edit 2 Export 1