Author Topic: Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)  (Read 1762 times)

darkenedsoul

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Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)
« on: February 17, 2010, 06:26:58 PM »
Hi,

I'd like to hear ideas on how folks come up with their drones, what they do to manipulate them (and programs you use for this including built-in effects of the program, say Ableton Live and resonator or something along those lines).  I have yet to really come to terms with this and want to get a better handle on it so I can start doing more of my own in regards to drones. For compositions I just use the piano editor and flesh out progressions and try to remember to save them for future re-use/re-arrangement. But mainly this is for Drones, if there is another thread, link it to this one or vice versa if you would.

Thanks,

Mike

False Mirror

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Re: Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 06:34:57 PM »
I often use a self-invented (at least never seen it before) combination of granular synthesis and convolution that controls the spectrum of the convoluted signal by deliberately generating lots of side-bands from the granular windowing and by modulating those side-bands (e.g. by modulating the grain size).
But of course there are much more common approaches also...

darkenedsoul

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Re: Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 08:42:45 PM »
What would you use for that? Kontakt 3 and its convolution section? I never looked into that because I use SIR and IR's I purchased from Spectral Canyon (I think that's the maker of them) for 3 discs a couple years ago. They haven't put anything else out since then as I checked in on them last year. To me convolution is mega reverb in a sense, at least how I understand it. Maybe I should read up on it in the Kontakt manual one of these days lol. I don't recall if I ever printed that one out at work.


False Mirror

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Re: Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2010, 06:05:38 AM »
I make that using own software (unreleased). If you'd like to try out that idea, I'd suggest using MaxMSP (which is awesome for doing stuff in the frequency domain) or PD (which is not that awesome, but free).

Using any "finished" products like SIR most probably won't give you enough freedom in terms of parameters you could alter.
There's a lot more to convolution than just reverb...


But well this is only my idea, there are plenty of other, simpler ideas out there. E.g. extreme time-stretching/downpitching/etc of recorded material. Or granularization.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 06:17:36 AM by False Mirror »

mystified

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Re: Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 06:54:28 AM »
I could tell you, but I then would have to kill you.
Thomas Park
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jkn

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Re: Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 07:52:24 AM »
Have we had a thread on this?  Maybe, probably embedded in another topic.  In general - we're good at tangents.  :-)

I love drones - and they appear in most of my music going back to the 80's - even the more four on the floor industrial disco tracks I used to make ( and still may once in a while...  ;-)

Is there one tried and true way for me?  No - but there is a sort of formula or technique that I relate to and connect with - and it involves feedback loops.  

In the 80's I had a Peavey XR600 (I think that was model) powered PA head... it had 6 inputs and a spring reverb.   I would route the output of the spring reverb back into a channel on the front.   Controlling how much of the other instruments went into the reverb - and then how much of the reverb fed back on itself created layers of sound.   Smacking the top of the amp would get the spring rattling... lovely sound.  


In more recent years I had two effects loops on my mixer - so could really divide up sounds into a delay and into a reverb - and then cross polinate those feedback loops into each other...  a lot of possibilities - and keeping it controlled keeps it out of the Einsturzende/Merzbow range and in the more musical range for me.

I've fed synths, bass, guitar, and trumpet into my feedback process - as well as field recordings or entire tracks recorded previously.  

I always "play live" in the sense that it's never just a static let it go thing...  I'm always riding the knobs on the effects, on the mixer, on the synths, etc...    I'll often play through and record several times - with about the 3rd or 4th time tending to be the best blend of improv vs. planned changes.

I've also created drones by processing a recorded track through Sound Forge - dropping the pitch, gapper snipper, reverb, effects, flipping it around, etc...  and layering those together - using multiple tracks to create the drone.  

Anyway - that's what works for me.  ;-)

John
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

SunDummy

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Re: Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2010, 11:03:12 AM »
I'm in the "no software" camp.  It's been a long time, but I used to do it like this:

Play a chord or note on my Telecaster or 12-string; sample it into my TimeMachine delay, then slow it waaaay down to drop the pitch.  Replay it into a D12 sampler, and sample it again, making a 5 or 6-second loop.  Do this again, with a different note, and add a second loop in the D12, with a slightly different length.  Play both loops at once - the different lengths ensure that they play out-of-sync - and play it through a reverb, then sample the result into my SP200, making a loop of around 30 seconds.

Repeat this procedure, with different sounds and reverb settings, until I have anywhere from 2 to 6 (or more) loops on the SP200 (each composed of several loops from the D12).  Then, play all of them at once, adjusting the mix levels, until I get something I like.  The odd loop lengths ensure that the whole mess stays very organic.  By adjusting the reverb cutoff for the SP200 output, I can create a great drone that stays in a specific part of the frequency spectrum.  After creating several loops like this (and recording them into my multitracker), I can fill the sound spectrum, without it getting too muddy.

By ensuring that nothing plays in sync (thus no MIDI), I can make drones that 'flicker' (sorry, that's the best way I can describe it), instead of just sounding like a brick on a keyboard.

Hmm, now you've got me thinking...  maybe it's time to record something...   :)

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jkn

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Re: Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2010, 01:07:24 PM »

Hmm, now you've got me thinking...  maybe it's time to record something...   :)


That's the best thing that could have happened with a thread like this... go go go.
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

michael sandler

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Re: Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2010, 05:27:04 PM »
Sounds like I'm more low-tech than you guys. (And in reference to the mastering debates, I'm not bragging about that  ;)). I have resorted to a paper clip holding down a key on my synth. I have also recorded things and lowered the pitch and added effects. One happy surprise has been the Buzz virtual synth. It's a tracker that at first seems more suitable to techo beats or Berlin school chugalongs, but you can also get nice drones out of it.

darkenedsoul

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Re: Making a drone (do we have a thread on this?)
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2010, 06:27:38 PM »
I could tell you, but I then would have to kill you.

Umm, I'm still alive. I may putz around a bit tomorrow after I get done at the doctors and the market while backing up this PC (non-DAW box). I'll try out some of the stuff mentioned and see if it gets me anywhere lol.