Initial Audio Outcomes

I wanted 4 audio ideas to begin with but have ended up with 2 and rather than polish these any further or create another 2, I am keen to move on to examining visual ideas. Also – rather than creating the audio and then creating the visual dimension, I can see that an iterative back-and-forth approach to developing both is a more holistic way of working. This is an approach to animation and sound composition that visiting animator and RCA lecturer, Joe King, talked about in a recent presentation to NUCA students.

Both studies are stereo at present although have the ability to be quadraphonic. They’re different in mood, tempo and timbre but they both have a modulating element of distortion/dissonance that essentially interferes with the musicality of each piece. The distortion/dissonance element is a manifestation of the noise idea I am currently developing.

idea #1  Bell Study

Takes the nice bell sound that the Access can produce and applies a number of modulation parameters to it as well as polyphonic arpeggiation. I have 3 sets of note triggers running in Ableton Live, 1 for bass notes and 2 for upper register notes. Only blacknotes are used, which limits the melody to a pentatonic scale and means that most notes will sound pleasing together. The bass notes and upper register notes will never be the same, but the 2 upper register notes might co-incide which introduces an interesting nuance into the arpeggiator polyphony. This will mainly be a 3 note pattern but will sometimes be a 2 note pattern. There is a fixed delay applied to the master output which I will most likely modulate too in a future iteration.

For me the key words are peaceful, magical, meditative, rhythmic, sometimes discordant and distorted.

idea #2 Ascending Study

A simple ascending pattern composed of root and fifth notes which is split across a number of trigger clips.  It feels like the pattern is perpetually trying to ascend but only occasionally does. Another 2 sets of control clips contain MIDI controller information which is applied to oscillator balance and LFO speed (LFO controls filter cut off among other things). The LFO cuts the sound up much of the time although sometimes the notes get a ‘clear run’. Reverb is applied across the study.

For me the key words are staccato, static, tuning in/out, attempting, sometimes succeeding completion.

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