Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by hussey » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:48 pm

I was looking if someone could help me regarding this type of sound. My setup is pretty solid (for a beginner), but I feel i'm lacking a quality sound generator. I'm looking for something that could make really unusual, visceral sounds. I just picked up a zoom h2 (field recorder) so I have sounds from my enviroment covered, but want something I can turn to, to make really morbid, atmospheric, sounds. I have a couple of guitar pedals for taking manipulating sound, but I was just wondering has anyone got any advice, recommendations, or any other information.


Here are some samples of the sounds i'm looking to make:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-BYNx_JZf8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZXGOLZmSkw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAU55AYSATg

I understand it's not a simple process, that it takes time, but I was wondering is there a synth (soft or hard) that will help me to create abstract tones. I've been looking at some software e.g. camel audio alchemy, omnisphere, absynth etc.. but i fell they are too polished. Maybe it's a process of taking sounds from the synths I just mentioned, and manipulating it to death. I recently saw that Robert Henke made "Silence" completely in Live, with some field recordings. I was pretty amazed when I heard that.

Some artists I enjoy are: Yellow Swans, Vladislav Delay, Fennesz, Simon Scott, Thomas Koner, Wolf Eyes etc..

My setup is : Logic Studio, Live Suite 8, Max 4 live, Audiomulch, Zoom h2 field recorder, nocturn 25, behringer bcf 2000, nio 2/4, rokit 5's.

I just wanna create sounds with grit, noise, lo -fi characteristics.


Thanks guys.

fx23
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:23 pm

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by fx23 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:35 pm

the sounds are overall more organic than synthesis sources, more real samples,
but as you point messing and higly processing synth would bring them to another closer direction.
if you have enough cpu just trip chaining lots of effects, change orders, experiment.

for a 'source' i would re-try with alchemy, or advanced 'rom' synths/ grain samplers rather than pure electro classic ones, but maybe feed them with your own reced samples, that will get an extra dimension if "synthified" with ie granular synthesis.

so maybe the one you mention Alchemy, Absynth, or omnispher, but i would also look at kontakt/reaktor or some
other grain samplers, then experiment with grains/pitch settings, reverbs, delays and distortions, or grain delay too.

hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by hussey » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:51 pm

Thanks for the reply. Can you load your own samples into Reaktor? I just purchased a zoom h2 last night, for field recordings, so what you recommended, plus some of my samples, could make the difference.

fx23
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:23 pm

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by fx23 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:06 pm

yeah you can load your own samples in either alchemy, absynth or there are grain samplers in reaktor (mind you im not a reaktor expert) but even in alch/abs, if you choose granular synthesis, booth have an option to load a Wav.
once your sample is loaded you can get interessant results by stretching them and experiment with grain settings.

you can also get some similar strething effects simply droping your samples as clips, and extreme warp them adding markers and
moving them, stretching slices (generally longer, moving to the right)while choosing one of the algoritms: texture, Tones, complex, or default beat and play with the avaible settings,if one top of that you add some delay/reverbs, you can quick get strange semi organic ambiances.

andrewbrewer
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Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by andrewbrewer » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:09 pm

effects are really important for this kind of music. i would invest as much time as you can tolerate into all of the ableton effects, basically just playing around, but enough to get your own understanding of what the effects do. you would be amazed what can happen if you just take a single loop and run it through a bunch of effects ... add to that the ability to control virtually all of the effects parameters with automation and clip envelopes and the sonic frontier is seemingly endless

hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by hussey » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:18 pm

andrewbrewer wrote:effects are really important for this kind of music. i would invest as much time as you can tolerate into all of the ableton effects, basically just playing around, but enough to get your own understanding of what the effects do. you would be amazed what can happen if you just take a single loop and run it through a bunch of effects ... add to that the ability to control virtually all of the effects parameters with automation and clip envelopes and the sonic frontier is seemingly endless
Yeah, I'm going to sit down and really work on making chains of effects. I was thinking of getting some guitar pedals, as well. Send audio from Live, to the pedals, and back in again. I'm sure this can be done, right? Are you making similar stuff?



yeah you can load your own samples in either alchemy, absynth or there are grain samplers in reaktor (mind you im not a reaktor expert) but even in alch/abs, if you choose granular synthesis, booth have an option to load a Wav.
once your sample is loaded you can get interessant results by stretching them and experiment with grain settings.

you can also get some similar strething effects simply droping your samples as clips, and extreme warp them adding markers and
moving them, stretching slices (generally longer, moving to the right)while choosing one of the algoritms: texture, Tones, complex, or default beat and play with the avaible settings,if one top of that you add some delay/reverbs, you can quick get strange semi organic ambiances.


Yeah, this is great advice, as well. I just got My studio recently, so I'll have to really sit down and learn. Alchemy does look like a beast. Are you using it yourself?

hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by hussey » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:20 pm

Sorry fx23, i forgot to quote your last reply.
fx23 wrote:yeah you can load your own samples in either alchemy, absynth or there are grain samplers in reaktor (mind you im not a reaktor expert) but even in alch/abs, if you choose granular synthesis, booth have an option to load a Wav.
once your sample is loaded you can get interessant results by stretching them and experiment with grain settings.

you can also get some similar strething effects simply droping your samples as clips, and extreme warp them adding markers and
moving them, stretching slices (generally longer, moving to the right)while choosing one of the algoritms: texture, Tones, complex, or default beat and play with the avaible settings,if one top of that you add some delay/reverbs, you can quick get strange semi organic ambiances.

Yeah, this is great advice, as well. I just got My studio recently, so I'll have to really sit down and learn. Alchemy does look like a beast. Are you using it yourself?

fx23
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:23 pm

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by fx23 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:39 pm

no worries ;)
yeah im using it, especially for this ability to load custom samples and tweak them, i like it. granular is quite smooth, but can
be harsh if want too. try the load audio mode on an oscilator, then on the oscillator youve got lot of settingz to trip with like
stretch, grain size, offset ect. those parameters are automatables so you can animate them.
take your time and makes some basis sound with alchemy, then some intensive fxs tests, as andrew sugg, that's the very first thing to do, to give yourself a reference of what does what, wich fx for wich results ect. slowly but surely you will get much quicker to the kind of sounds you are after.

hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by hussey » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:44 pm

Good advice. The harsher the better. I was looking to invest in some pedals. Create a more lo - fi edge to it. Can you create sounds from scratch with Alchemy?

oblique strategies
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Location: Another Green World

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by oblique strategies » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:50 pm

Much of the music I make fits with your general aesthetic, though I utilize a wider sound palette than the examples you posted.

One technique I utilize is "maximalism" rather than minimalism. In other words, I make complex, dense, multi-layered mixes of sounds. Then I use these as building blocks for even more complex mixes. But the trick is to mix these elements into a fog of sound rather than as distinct “instruments”. It’s all about mood & mystery.

I like to mix these multiple blends rather quietly, so it sounds like there is this vast sound world away on the horizon. Sounds well up & die down, but there is always a broiling sea of ominous dread lurking in the distance…

These blends can be the sound-worlds that other more prominent sounds & instruments can live in. They can also be brought to the foreground for an onslaught. Dynamics are key.

Your field recorder will be an invaluable tool. The remarkable soundtrack to David Lynch’s Eraserhead was primarily found sound rather than synths. Use the H2 to record you & your friends playing out in the field in unique acoustic places, as well as for capturing environmental sounds. I plan on getting the Zoom H2 because I work in Quad.

I also use a lot of tape recordings, primarily done on cassette tape, which imparts a nice quality to the sounds.

I prefer using long recordings to short looped samples as building blocks –these longer sounds provide more variety to the overall sound. Route the sound from a DVD of full-length movies into your computer/hardware signal processors & mutate them mercilessly!

Trying to create all the motion in the ocean that I’m after with synths would take too much work for a negligible result. I find it far more productive to process found sound.

Hope some of this nonsense is useful! I know I’m not recommending a specific synth, so perhaps I am not really answering your question. On that front you might try these:
-Noatikl – a generative music/sound application.
-SynPlant – “grows” sounds from seeds.

Oh, & thanks for taking up making morbid, atmospheric sound music.

fx23
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:23 pm

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by fx23 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:03 pm

@Hussey
yeah you can create sound from scratch, in alchemy, layering severals oscillators and experiment the various possible syntesis,
just start from an empty preset in the user library, then replace the saw initial wavform oscillator that is on part A by something
more raw like switching to granular sythesis and loading one of the factory samples using 'load audio' or one of your own sample
using 'import audio' when cliquing on the oscillator name. then just tweak the knobs to experiment.

but oblique strategies is totally right that using longer pieces of audio, and mix,process together several of them to create a 'fog'
can bring more easily to the results you are after for longer sequences.

hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by hussey » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:26 pm

oblique strategies wrote:Much of the music I make fits with your general aesthetic, though I utilize a wider sound palette than the examples you posted.

One technique I utilize is "maximalism" rather than minimalism. In other words, I make complex, dense, multi-layered mixes of sounds. Then I use these as building blocks for even more complex mixes. But the trick is to mix these elements into a fog of sound rather than as distinct “instruments”. It’s all about mood & mystery.

I like to mix these multiple blends rather quietly, so it sounds like there is this vast sound world away on the horizon. Sounds well up & die down, but there is always a broiling sea of ominous dread lurking in the distance…

These blends can be the sound-worlds that other more prominent sounds & instruments can live in. They can also be brought to the foreground for an onslaught. Dynamics are key.

Your field recorder will be an invaluable tool. The remarkable soundtrack to David Lynch’s Eraserhead was primarily found sound rather than synths. Use the H2 to record you & your friends playing out in the field in unique acoustic places, as well as for capturing environmental sounds. I plan on getting the Zoom H2 because I work in Quad.

I also use a lot of tape recordings, primarily done on cassette tape, which imparts a nice quality to the sounds.

I prefer using long recordings to short looped samples as building blocks –these longer sounds provide more variety to the overall sound. Route the sound from a DVD of full-length movies into your computer/hardware signal processors & mutate them mercilessly!

Trying to create all the motion in the ocean that I’m after with synths would take too much work for a negligible result. I find it far more productive to process found sound.

Hope some of this nonsense is useful! I know I’m not recommending a specific synth, so perhaps I am not really answering your question. On that front you might try these:
-Noatikl – a generative music/sound application.
-SynPlant – “grows” sounds from seeds.

Oh, & thanks for taking up making morbid, atmospheric sound music.

Some excellent advice. I guess should have explained better what i'm actually looking for. I guess i've been asking the wrong questions. It came across that i'm looking to pick up something, and that will be it. Like you said yourself, i'm completely engrossed in the idea of a "wall of sound". I guess it's not actually about where your sounds are coming from, but more about how you use them. I ordered the zoom H2 because I really want organic sounds in concepts. The reason I asked for ideas on a application, would be so that I wouldn't be limited in terms of sound generating. I don't wanna feel limited, if you know what i mean? But that's kind of ridiculous, is it not? I mean I can record anything from my environment. :) I hope I don't come across lazy, to both you and fx23. I'm not looking for a quick fix, i.e. amazing synth, add effects, and there you go, a compelling piece of work. I guess i have this abundance parodox mindset ; I need 200 plug-ins, 30 hardware synths etc.. It's just when you hear the artist's output that you really engage with, you think he made it with a complex setup. I just wanted to see was there any applications that people were using, that gave them some half-decent sounds, to which they could manipulate and ultimately, create complex, engaging pieces of work. I'm really sorry if I have annoyed you guys. I'm not looking for a quick fix. I didn't mean for this to be a which synth for this sound.... kinda thread, it's just when your starting off, you think you need everything. Is it really possible to create complex, dense work, with little equipment? Are you guys using much? Maybe you can talk some sense into me :)

My setup is pretty decent for a beginner, live 8 suite, audiomulch, logic studio, max 4 live, zoom h2, midi keyboard, midi controller, rokit 5's, imac 21-inch.



p.s. : oblique strategies: that Noatikl appllication seems really interesting. Is it a Daw, or some sound sort of sound generator? Can it be integrated into Live, as a vst? (Again, i'm not looking for something that will do the hard work for me, but something to which I can use sounds from, and from there, create layers of sound, enriched with manipulation, and like you say, create a "fog of sound".

oblique strategies
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Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by oblique strategies » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:05 pm

Fret not, you didn't come off in any negative way. :)

I'll let Noatikl speak for itself:
"Noatikl is a generative (MIDI) music engine. Using various algorithms and rules it creates musical information in the form of MIDI notes, and can also generate and send MIDI controller information to generatively control settings of your favourite synths, FX units and samplers."

It can be used as a plugin or in stand alone mode. The website gives detailed instructions on how to use it with Live.

It grew out of Koan, which Eno championed, & if it's good enough for Eno it's good enough for me!

One of my primary goals with sound-music is for it to create the same emotional resonance that traditional music does in the listener. So for me the bottom line is how does this make me feel?

hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by hussey » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:19 pm

I had a look on the site, looks really interesting. I don't think it can generate sound itself, can it? Is your work completely made up of field recordings?

oblique strategies
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:57 pm
Location: Another Green World

Re: Avant garde, abstract, noise, drone

Post by oblique strategies » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:40 pm

No, it sends out MIDI to control other sound sources. I have it, but haven't gotten around to using it yet. I'll start working with it & let you know how I get on.

In the meantime, you can listen to this artist using Noatikl:
http://www.youtube.com/user/uncertainmusiccorps

Heliocentric - All The Time
From: UncertainMusicCorps

All the "instruments" in this piece are created from sounds that were broadcast in the Jodrell Bank podcast of August 2008 "The Sounds of Space".

That podcast is available at http://www.jodcast.net/archive/200808Extra/ and is very well worth listening to.

In no particular order, the instruments are:
Proton Whistlers
Jovian S-burst
Solar doppler images
Solar energetic particles from the HELIOS mission

Plus the fine Lancastrian burr of Tim O'Brian.

All instruments were created in Kontakt, hosted in Logic Studio and driven by noatikl.
Last edited by oblique strategies on Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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