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JWM - Make Music Day 2022 (Dark Ambient live performance)

This is the piece of Dark Ambient I made for Make Music Day 2022. I used AUM as my main sonic playground like usual.

There are four elements in this piece - two samples I found from Freesound.org, and two instances of Bleass' new Monolit looped in Gauss. Here's how it all breaks down.

The first sample is a 6-second sample of a woman screaming, but the audio was stretched out to 20 minutes long and pitched down in PaulXStretch. I played it back at 62% speed in AUM's file player and processed it through K-Devices' Shaper 2 and Chow Tape with some EQing.

Next is a 3-second sample of "dripping blood" stretched out to about a minute and a half and pitched down in PaulXStretch. This was processed through KoalaFX with Dub and Reverb turned on as well as Dirty, VibroFlange, and Crush tweaked to taste. A little bit of the low-end was high passed. This also is played back via AUM's file player at 62% speed.

Then I recorded a drone created in Bleass' Monolit synth into Gauss and slowed that down to 25% (although at one point in the performance I sped it up to 50% and then slowed it back down to 25%). This was processed through Chow Tape. No EQing as I wanted that deep bass to come through.

After that are the FM chimes created in Bleass' Monolit synth and recorded into Gauss and slowed down to 25%. No processing other than a bit of high passing.

Finally, I bussed all of this into a master buss and processed the signal through Alteza (the pitch knobs of the feedback section of which I tweaked during the performance) and Reelbus. Of course I had AUM's default limiter after that to prevent the signal from surpassing absolute zero and clipping in an undesirable manner. (If I wanted hard clipping, I'd add it in myself, lol.)

Here's a screenshot of the session...

Everything was normalised in TwistedWave audio editor before uploading to SoundCloud! Cheers and enjoy!

Comments

  • Hi JWM,
    Some very interesting and truly incredible sample sounds, transformed into such different and incredible sounds. Now, this is a work of an artist, with technical capability, and wide imagination.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Rene

  • Nice to hear your use of Freesound.org; it's such an amazing resource!

  • It’s a trip to another planet. I enjoy the sinister bass vibrations and cavernous reverb. It is beautifully menacing as well as educational for me. When do you normalize a master track?always?just on a sample-based ambient piece like this?Thank you very much

  • @ReneAsologuitar said:
    Hi JWM,
    Some very interesting and truly incredible sample sounds, transformed into such different and incredible sounds. Now, this is a work of an artist, with technical capability, and wide imagination.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Rene

    Thank you so much for your kind words mate. :) I appreciate it a lot. It was a lot of fun to hunt for the samples on Freesound, to record some stuff into Gauss, to set everything up, and then to record my live performance.

    @Stochastically said:
    Nice to hear your use of Freesound.org; it's such an amazing resource!

    Freesound.org has saved my arse multiple times in uni back 15-16 years ago I'll tell you that much. Some music assignments required using found sounds, and there was no such thing as an iPhone (let alone Audioshare) back then to record sounds with. It was either rent a field recorder, or find some other way to acquire found sounds, and honestly I was juggling 6-7 other classes and didn't have time to go out to record sounds to transfer to one of the classroom Macs.

    (Even worse is we were required to use MOTU's Digital Performer, one of the most convoluted DAWs I've ever had the displeasure of working with, instead of Cubase or Logic, so trying to wiggle my way around that DAW took up a lot of my time. :lol: )

    So I "cheated" a little and used freesound.org to acquire my sounds, lol. Been using that ever since.

    And usually when I want to produce Ambient, I see what the random sound of the day is. Today I was unlucky since today's random sound was somebody else's Ambient soundscape. 😲 That's when I decided to search for my own sounds to see what I can do with.

    @myapologies said:
    It’s a trip to another planet. I enjoy the sinister bass vibrations and cavernous reverb. It is beautifully menacing as well as educational for me. When do you normalize a master track?always?just on a sample-based ambient piece like this?Thank you very much

    Hi. :) Thank you so much mate. SO, when I produce EDM or any beat-based genre, I always master it with MagicDeathEyeStereo, BarkFilter Tripleband preset, and TB Barricade. But when it's Ambient, I want my track to freely breathe rather than be slammed hard against a brickwall limiter, more expressive than constantly in your face.

    When I normalise in TwistedwaveAudio, I can choose what dB to normalise to. SO, I usually normalise to -3dB (not -0.3dB, -3dB) so the track doesn't sound shite when uploaded to SoundCloud (as SoundCloud applies its own lossy compression to the upload). And if I ever made a video meant to be uploaded to Youtube or Facebook, then the audio is normalised to -7dB as the lossy audio compression (video compression that is) is worse than SoundCloud's. 😬

  • Properly dark. Properly ambient. I liked it! It’s the benefit of this long form approach to slow evolutions that is pushing me to YouTube, away from SoundCloud, as long form is really where ambient (should be) at, imho. Trouble is, then you gotta make a video too… :)

  • hey, @Svetlovska and @jwmmakerofmusic
    After reading the wikipedia entry on Fête de la Musique, described as a celebration in which:
    “citizens and residents are urged to play music outside in their neighborhoods or in public spaces and parks.”
    But I thought: yes, it’s a dark ambient time now alright; how can it not be? But the solstice is a brief time of maximum daylight before we must fade back to winter darkness.

    I couldn’t help thinking that maybe the “dark ambient” people might step outside a little. ;)

  • edited June 22

    @Stochastically : outside? In the daylight?? Are you insane??!? Don’t you know what is out there????? ;)

  • @Svetlovska said:
    Properly dark. Properly ambient. I liked it! It’s the benefit of this long form approach to slow evolutions that is pushing me to YouTube, away from SoundCloud, as long form is really where ambient (should be) at, imho. Trouble is, then you gotta make a video too… :)

    I'm too damn lazy to make a video, hence why I pay $16/month for Soundcloud Pro. :lol: I can upload as much as I want so long as I stay subscribed, and I write it off as a business expense since music IS my business. ;)

    @Stochastically said:
    hey, @Svetlovska and @jwmmakerofmusic
    After reading the wikipedia entry on Fête de la Musique, described as a celebration in which:
    “citizens and residents are urged to play music outside in their neighborhoods or in public spaces and parks.”
    But I thought: yes, it’s a dark ambient time now alright; how can it not be? But the solstice is a brief time of maximum daylight before we must fade back to winter darkness.

    I couldn’t help thinking that maybe the “dark ambient” people might step outside a little. ;)

    While I downloaded the two audio samples from freesound.org while in my apartment, I went to my apartment's rooftop to set up the two instances of Gauss and live performed the piece while baking out in the hot weather. :lol:

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