Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 239: Mixed Roles

Today's piece is another that is a Disquiet Junto assignment.  These three simple tasks are deceptive:

You will make the beat with an oscillator.
You will make the background sound bed with a drum machine.
You will make the melody with a field recording.
Yes, I can do all those things.  

Where I threw myself a loop was my field recording.  It's not very "melodic".  I ended up making it into an instrument, then processing that instrument with milliseconds-long delay.  By playing with the delay you can create pitch - basically it's just an oscillator, only less precise.  

The actual oscillator I used for the beat was VERY basic.  The primary beat is a stair step wave pattern on 1,2,3,and 4, then in my "B" section I threw in a hemiola square wave to create more tension.  Rather than use the oscillator to create any tones I chose to just use the "clicks" of a very slow oscillator as a metronome of sorts.

  Finally, the sound bed created by a drum machine.  I have umpteen-thousand different kinds of drum machine (patches) and could have easily "cheated" and made this part simple.  To be fair I used a 606 drum machine and turned it into an ambient pad.  Washing it out with the right amount of reverb and other effects I came to what I felt was an appropriate sounding pad.  The key here was to focus on the only things with decent tone - the toms.

In the "C" section of the piece I turn the roles on their heads and allow everything to fall into it's right place for just a moment.  The oscillator creates a tone, the drums play rhythm, the field recording is noise.  Oddly, it doesn't really feel right to me.  The new roles they have been assigned are their proper roles... if there is such a thing.

More on this 85th Disquiet Junto project, in which a song is made with three simple parts (oscillator, drum machine, field recording), at:
More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

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