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Conceptual Sound: Early Sketches I

Here’s some quick sound sketches I put together for our Conceptual Sound unit, as early experiments. All were created using Reaper, a fantastic DAW [digital audio workstation] program available for a ridiculously low price and an insanely generous unrestricted trial. I’ve not used that many DAWs recently but I find it much more intuitive to use than Cubase. These pieces involve a lot of routing audio and MIDI to different tracks, which Reaper makes incredibly easy.

1: VerdantScape

This is based around a snippet of a sermon I found online- the full version is over an hour long. The main voice track uses a MIDI trigger to send a MIDI note to the synths, one of which has a built in sequencer for the rhythmic pulses. The opening synth pulses are triggered in the same way as the rest even when the vocals are faded out. Here’s a screen grab of the Reaper window showing the track layout, the routing matrix and the effects windows for each track:


2: Senseless Violence

This one is based around a repeated loop of a man speaking with additional sounds dropped on top. There’s a sweeping filter on the loop, and there are also a couple of instances of Reaper’s bundled Avocado glitch generator plugin, which is frankly awesome, and some ping-pong delay to make it a bit more disorientating. Again, some synths are triggered by a MIDI trigger on the glitch tracks. Here’s a screen grab:


3: Crash

Part of the brief for this unit is to use the nine words mentioned in a previous post as inspiration for sound pieces. I took this a bit literally and based this around a loop of a crash cymbal which has been pitch shifted down and slowed down. Again, this triggers some synths and feeds a glitch generator. Obligatory screenshot:


And there you have it. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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