ICM / nmc fall 2008
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final projects 2008

Objective:
To create a 3 movement work, of approximately 8 - 10+ minutes total duration, that springs from a robust use of the sound design, creation, sculpting and composition capabilities in Metasynth.

larson

mvts. 1-3 (continuous)

program notes:

No program notes submitted.

 

mitchel

mvt. 1

mvt. 2

mvt. 3

program notes:

The main motivation behind all three of these movements was to do so using only one sound file for each movement. In each, I varied the approach taken to alter the sound files and create unique voices/timbres within the piece.

MVT1: This was the clock movement. I wanted to sort of announce the clock sound early and clutter the soundscape with ticks. However as the piece progresses, I morph the sound into a spectrum analysis of the image synth and I make tonal adjustments for color like adding lower notes.

MVT2: This is the phone movement. I based this one around the spectrum synth and its ability to give rhythmic value to a solid tone by changing interpolation. I also gave the tones color by variating pitch and using effects and distortion to my advantage.

MVT3: This is the airplane movement. I tried to bring a distinct pitch out of the plane with the spectrum synth. Then I used picture filters (of planes!) to color the engine noise. I then experimented with the image synth and filter to gain musical pitches from the noise and created a bassline with it that variates. Finally, the movement climaxes with a loud crash at the end.

 

rosen

mvt. 1

mvt. 2

mvt. 3

program notes:

For this final project I decided to use three separate tracks from my friends band in Baltimore, The Owls Go. In my Advanced Audio Production class our final assignment was to find three pieces of music and master them. I just thought it would be pretty cool to not only give them back three mastered tracks, but also versions that have been sent through MetaSynth. While completing this final assignment, I tried to keep a healthy balance of MetaSynth techniques and a recognizable amount of their original music.

Movement One - "Beard"
This song is a personal favorite of mine, so I tried to keep the effects minimal. I wanted to add a lot of warmth and tone without taking from the melody and/or lyrics of the piece. The original track runs through the entire "remixed" version, and is accompanied by many aspects of MetaSynth. I ran an entire spectral analysis of the piece because I love the warmth that it can add when combined with it's parent. Granted, some harsh sounds had to be eliminated from the analysis, but when they sync up and disperse they create a wonderful chorus effect and an opportunity for melodic highlights. Examples of this can be heard in the first verse, chorus, and bridge. I also added on pulsed bits in certain sections to add a needed texture.

Movement Two - "New"
This piece was entirely inspired by the lyrics and idea of building a space. It moves slowly at first, but hints of the melody are still audible creating a reflective surface. I also used a lot of spectral analysis in this piece, but in juxtaposition with the effects room (for reverb, pitch, and shuffling). I wanted to start and end this piece with fragments that aren't highly processed, but allow for the feel of movement between. I used some pitch transposing and different wave shapes in hopes to achieve that goal.

Movement Three - "Directions"
In respect to the flow of the previous "movements," I wanted this to fall next in line. It is more scattered than the previous pieces. It doesn't follow the natural flow of the song and is a lot more leisurely. It is however, more bit processed than the first two pieces with less emphasis on lyrics and melody. I used a lot of reverb for a feeling of distance, and of course, spectral analysis. I did not pulse any clips in this piece, but I did use the shuffler instead for when I thought some texture was needed. When compiling tracks in the Montage Room I experimented with mixing selections to memory, and then throwing those files through pan filters and effects.

 

rumrill

mvt. 1

mvt. 2

mvt. 3

program notes:

The unifying idea behind my final project is marrying the very old and the very new. My entire project is comprised of sounds sculpted from old 78 rpm records. Creating soundscapes from these crackly old tunes from the dawn of mainstream recording was a very interesting task to do in metasynth.

Movement I was created using clips of a song about a boy and his new-fangled automobile. I used a ton of the spectrum synth and awful lot of the effects room to get those now ghostly voices to sound the way I wanted them to. It’s like they’re warning us from beyond the grave! (“He’d Have to Get Out and Get Under (To Fix Up His Automobile)” Billy Murray, 1914)

Movement II is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and is something along the line of a banjo frenzy. One might notice that I was a bit heavy on the shuffler, this is because I wanted to keep multiple pulses at any given time. Kinda makes ya seasick. (“Lonesome Mama Blues” Fred Van Eps, 1922)

Movement III is taken from a tune about somebody’s mother. I kept an unaltered voice in this movement, to keep the surrounding noise from eating up the aural space. This movement used a lot of image synth, most noticeably to mutilate the “here comes the bride” breakdown the song has. (“Do, Do, Do What Your Mother Did” The Serling Trio, 1916).

 

seaver

mvts. 1-3 (continuous)

program notes:

I chose to create a continuous piece which is composed of three distinct sections, with some overlap for continuity. I decided to do this because I wanted to take advantage of the time I had to work on this project and produce something of a longer duration (which I feel like is what the noises I chose usually lend themselves to). The connecting of the three movements also encouraged more continuity and relationship between movements.

I chose to work with the parts of Metasynth that I find the easiest and most inspiring for the initial section of my project. Until approximately 3’, all of the samples were composed in the Image Synth using the grain synth output, with very minimal use of the Effects Room to add reverb when needed. The one exception is the first of two ‘main’ samples, which is related to the second through the ‘filter fundamental’ tool in the Spectrum Synth, but I did this more to relate the first and last movements than as an important element in the first movement. I tried to be more aware of my use of distortion (I’m trying to not go the ‘more is better’ route so often!) and to explore different settings on the grain synth itself. I realized that almost all of the electronic music I’ve been trying to emulate is live electronic music (Cluster and a lot of modern noise artists), so I really wanted to take advantage of the fact that I’m not manipulating sounds live. I actually have an relatively huge amount of time to find the ideal sound I’m looking for and to discover new sounds and this is the movement I tried to do this in. I closed this section some interesting percussive sounds which I used as a transition between the first and second section.

The second section, which lasts until about 6’49”, was composed using only the aforementioned percussive Image Synth sounds and white noise, filtered and processed in the Effects Room and Image Filter. The series of percussive sounds are slightly altered with more extreme reverb, flange and the graphic equalizer. I filtered the white noise with two images I had derived from some samples from the first section, and came up with a squeaky rhythmic sample and a whooshing wind sort of sample. These two sounds and the dissonances between the original sounds and the resonant frequency as assigned by the Spectrum Synth are the center piece of the movement. I also played with the ring modulator and harmonics to give some pitch to the white noise and used these sounds layered to transition into the final movement.

For the final movement, I didn’t want to produce a whole batch of new material so I focused on picking out small segments from previously used files and creating a new sound with them. I layered small samples over extended versions of them rendered in the Spectrum Synth. I let my fixation on the filter fundamental tool take over in this final movement. Each of the three main sounds I used morph using this tool into a pure tone, which resolves all of the complex noise that had been going on up to this point.

 

spooner

mvt. 1

mvt. 2

mvt. 3

program notes:

Each movement of the piece has a different musical focus: the first is ambient sounds, the second is rhythm, and the third is melody.

While each movement of the piece could stand on its own as a song, the piece as a whole reflects back to my Project 7 “storm.” While there are only two sounds borrowed from that actual piece (used in movement 3), the entire piece has a sense of rising and falling tension. It starts off dramatic, with the first movement consisting of an alien or robot-like conversation between four or five different voices. It is a dissonant, ambient soundscape that serves as an introduction to the larger piece.

As the piece progresses, it not only becomes more melodic, but also more peaceful and natural sounding. The second movement starts similar to how the first ended, but quickly morphs into a bass-heavy, rhythmic loop, complete with heavily modified drum sounds and a reoccurring voice sample, with quieter sections that again bring to mind a rain or thunderstorm.

As this movement fades away, the third movement fades in with a harmonically pleasing ambiance, brings in a bongo drum-like rhythm, and slowly introduces an electronic flute-like melody line, soaked in reverb and delay. The storm theme can again be heard here with several samples of distant thunder modified by the Image Filter. The piece ends with a calming fade.

 

stolz

mvt. 1

mvt. 2

mvt. 3

program notes:

Can be found here as a PDF.

 

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