Tag Archives: earbleed


As you may know, one of the things I like to do are field recordings and sampling of unusual potential instruments.  While it’s true that the standard plastic fidget spinners don’t make a whole lot of interesting sounds (unless you like slightly clattering plastic), metal fidget spinners can spin fast enough to create some interesting wind/propeller effects, along with interesting metal ringing sounds as the spinning metal part tends to resonate at a certain frequency (this is especially true of stainless steel ones, which create an effect not entirely unlike a tuning fork or a singing bowl).  Also the metal ones provide enough inertia that they can produce interesting audio with a loose or dirty bearing, allowing for some interesting mechanical grinding and wobbling timbres.

I’m considering doing another free sample pack using some metal spinners that I’ve come across here and there (recorded with my field recorder, so probably not studio quality, but useful to do things with in experimental music nonetheless).  In the meantime, though, here’s a track that’s basically recordings of a few different metal spinners, processed through some glitch and granular effects to create an interesting little sonic noise-scape:



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.


Wobble Grind

Step 1: Take the glass top to a corningware dish and spin it upside-down on a tile countertop.

Step 2: Record the oscillating glass noise.

Step 3: Experiment with the clip using various forms of granular synthesis, gating, extreme filter and delay warping, hyper-driven amps, and other fun stuff.

Step 4: Wobble Grind (Maximal)  Wobble Grind (Minimal)

Oh yeah, warning: there’s a reason this one’s tagged “earbleed.”  Some of the extreme driving produced some unusual side effects that are very shrill in pitch, so you may want to carefully moderate your volume when listening (or listen to the “minimal” version on the right, which has less of the especially hard programming).

Crazy Demos

Sometimes, when I’m testing out a synth and trying to learn it, I just hook up my keyboard and start playing around with them live, tweaking every knob I can get my hands on and seeing what happens.  Sometimes, if something interesting happens, I record it.  The following are some of the results.  Warning: some of these amp up unpredictably – make sure your speakers are set at a safe volume before continuing.

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This is actually a visual pattern exercise rendered into musical form. Each of the notes start out playing in sequence, then slowly move, one by one, into different phases in relation to each other’s positions. The first iteration of this track was rendered using a bunch of loud bells, but it didn’t seem quite… interesting enough. This version switches over to Logic’s venerable EFM1 synth, and adds slowly varying modulation amounts to the mix. The result is a track that I find both intriguing, and at times almost unbearable to listen to all the way. If you are able to listen to this track all the way through, you have my full permission to remove the letter F from the title should you so desire.


3 Arp Experiment/Insanity

Essentially, this piece started off as three seperately played live arpeggiations – one focusing on a sort of standard synth sound, one “playing” a preset not unlike a military ship’s warning klaxon, and one of a glistening crescendo loaded with piercingly high frequencies. The first piece contains all the sequences, one after the other. The second piece, Insanity, mixed all 3 of them together… simultaneously. The result is an absolute sonic cacophony of insane noise – which, surprisingly enough, I actually like listening to (at least until it makes my ears start bleeding and I have to reach for the volume off control in desperation). Be forewarned – not for the faint of heart.




This song is basically indicative of my love/hate relationship with Christmas carols. Well, okay, maybe not so much love, but you have to admit that some of the traditional Christmas songs have a very nice sound to them – until you’ve heard them over the radio, the television, the supermarket PA system, and quite possibly your own atonal co-workers. So, in all honesty, this song is more about my hate of Christmas carols, coupled with my love of the pure, unadulterated sounds of basic sine waves.

As you can probably tell, the main melody is played live, by me, and is partially – but not entirely – corrected via post-processing. This, in fact, is partly intentional, as the goal of this song is to be interesting, while being just annoying and out-of-sync enough to drive you absolutely crazy! Of course, that wasn’t my intent when I began this piece – I had been playing around with different sounds on my keyboard, and listening to pure sine tones, when I tried out various melodies, including the classic Noel. So, I decided to play it into my sequencer and mess around with it a bit. However, after playing it over and over and over and over again in the sequencer, I decided that there is no way I’m going to make a Christmas carol that does not somehow embody the sheer annoyance that they seem to spawn in most people about this proximity to the holidays – and so you have this piece.

Don’t let that description turn you off, though – it’s still an interesting piece. It does follow my tendency to like building tones onto melodies over continually varying instrumentation, but I think that it has some very intriguing layering to it, as it goes from the simplest tones possible, to frenetic insanity, and back again. If you like Christmas music, or if you hate Christmas music, or if you just want to annoy your co-worker with more of the musical holiday spirit, then this is the track for you!

Production Notes: The track was, of course, produced and sequenced in Logic. The main melody line is created by the AirySynth, which is one of the best synths for creating simple, pure tones (not to mention the fact that it’s free, if you’re interested in playing around with it). Bells with EFM-1, weird detune thing with Buzzer, gliding synth lead by Crystal, and everything else by Vanguard. Yes, I know there’s a very slight glitch at the front of the track – I think this has something to do with the way the synth activates, so you’ll just have to live with it until I can figure out a workaround.

Also note that I have nothing against Christmas as a holiday, religious or otherwise – I just have something against the overwhelming commercialism and trite musical drivel that accompanies it.