WTF is this?

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ubertar
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WTF is this?

Post by ubertar » Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:07 pm

Here is something I've been working on the past couple days. It's pretty far out there, I'd say.

It goes back and forth between two microtonal scales-- 15 tone equal temperament (tet) and 10 tet. The main melody is in 5 tet, so it fits into both the others (lowest common denominator).

All the melodic instruments are stuff I've built, and I'm playing everything on this.

Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing any comments-- since I rarely gig any more, it sometimes feels like I make music into a vacuum-- I'm sure others here can relate.
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Post by Phiz » Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:18 pm

About of the third of the way through it, there is some instrument that comes in with lots of sustain. I get this sort of neat swirling feeling in that section.

The lack or shortness of the reverb on the electric guitar is a tad jarring for me.

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Post by ubertar » Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:36 pm

Yeah, I just put a subtle reverb over the whole thing. A little verb on the guitar might be nice. I'll try that.

The sustaining thing you're hearing, if I'm interpreting you right, is a guitar playing a couple chords-- the amp was doing something weird, and it sounds sort of choked, but I liked it so I kept it in. The swirling is from a track I did by playing back the whole mix with a gong in front of the speaker with a piezo pickup on the gong. I did this for each side of the mix (L/R) then auto-panned each gong track. It starts out all the way down and gradually gets louder, then cuts out at the end. About a third of the way in is probably when it starts to be noticable.
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
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Post by ubertar » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:02 pm

Just added some reverb to the guitar, and brought the "gongverb" up a little. Same link above.
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

Album!
https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

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Post by Phiz » Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:37 pm

It sounds much more coherent to me now and it is sucking me in. I must have listened to this thing at least 15 times.

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Post by jayf » Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:58 pm

I like it--very cool!

Especially the first time I listened to it, I felt caught off guard by the way the instruments come in after the initial playing of the scale. But then, I felt like it all really gel'd when it went into the first "B" section.

I was thinking it might be interesting if, in the first section, some of the instruments were more distant sounding, so that their complete introduction would be more gradual. But, on subsequent listens, I just really like it--that's the main comment :-)
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Post by TomS » Thu Dec 28, 2006 6:02 pm

S'funny - gotta comment on this - I never quite know what to think of microtonal stuff - including gamelan inspired stuff, like yours, or this guy's:

http://www.patrickgrant.net/

Do you hear the melody "sing" the way most folks hear something that is in a more familiar tuning sing? I really am asking that question sincerely. As a set of sounds I find the composition very attractive. But I am very unhappy that I don't hear it sing the way it seems folks who get the stuff hear it. :(

Then again, it took me years to "get" "Beauty in the Beast"...

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Post by Knights Who Say Neve » Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:29 pm

I probably shouldn't tell you this. I don't want to be a dick. But honestly, I found it incredibly painful to listen to. The way those two marimba-type sounds clash rhythmically, along with the dissonant harmonies- it was way too much. The guitar was cool, and I love gamelan music, drum polyrhythms, and Carlos's microtonal stuff, but this I couldn't get into, even after 4 tries. Sorry. Mabye if it was tighter rhythmically, or had a bit of consonance for contrast...
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Post by RodC » Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:43 pm

Good sounds, I personaly liked the version before you added the verb to the guitar. But again I always felt that too many guitarists lean on verb and delay like a crutch too much. I liked the natural sound of the room. Still sounds good and different with the verb.

Is there a kick drum?
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Post by ubertar » Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:47 pm

Knights Who Say Neve wrote:I probably shouldn't tell you this. I don't want to be a dick. But honestly, I found it incredibly painful to listen to. The way those two marimba-type sounds clash rhythmically, along with the dissonant harmonies- it was way too much. The guitar was cool, and I love gamelan music, drum polyrhythms, and Carlos's microtonal stuff, but this I couldn't get into, even after 4 tries. Sorry. Mabye if it was tighter rhythmically, or had a bit of consonance for contrast...
Oh man, don't feel bad about it at all. I'm not interested in anything but honest opinions, and I don't expect everyone to like this. Thanks for posting.
Last edited by ubertar on Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

Album!
https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

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Post by ubertar » Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:51 pm

RodC wrote:Good sounds, I personaly liked the version before you added the verb to the guitar. But again I always felt that too many guitarists lean on verb and delay like a crutch too much. I liked the natural sound of the room. Still sounds good and different with the verb.

Is there a kick drum?
I'm happy with it either way. The verb does kind of soften the blow of all the dissonance a bit. There's not an actual kick, but there's a boomy frame drum that plays where you'd expect a kick.
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

Album!
https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

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Post by ubertar » Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:53 pm

TomS wrote:Do you hear the melody "sing" the way most folks hear something that is in a more familiar tuning sing?
Yes. I don't think I'd be able to come up with it otherwise.
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

Album!
https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

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Post by Isolation » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:27 pm

dude, i am loving this ube...good stuff...i love how it starts off, it sounds so nice and tiny...like an idea of an offshoot album i had the idea for a week ago...
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Post by TomS » Fri Dec 29, 2006 6:43 am

ubertar wrote:
TomS wrote:Do you hear the melody "sing" the way most folks hear something that is in a more familiar tuning sing?
Yes. I don't think I'd be able to come up with it otherwise.
Has it always been that way for you?

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Post by ubertar » Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:43 am

TomS wrote:
ubertar wrote:
TomS wrote:Do you hear the melody "sing" the way most folks hear something that is in a more familiar tuning sing?
Yes. I don't think I'd be able to come up with it otherwise.
Has it always been that way for you?
I guess so. I mean, say you take a melody that's in a major scale, like "twinkle, twinkle, little star" and transpose it into a different mode, phrygian for example... it still sounds like a melody, right? Let's just take the first part. In terms of intervals, we've got: 1 1 5 5 6 6 5, 4 4 3 3 2 2 1. When you play it in phyrgian, the 2, 3, 6 and 7 (but there's no 7 in the melody) change from major to minor. Play both versions on guitar or whatever-- it doesn't matter what key. The phrygian version is still recognizable as the same melody, isn't it? It just has a different flavor. You could transpose it into any of the modes and give it another flavor-- the 7 modes of major, or harmonic minor modes, melodic minor modes, and there are others, all within 12 tet tuning. Each one can be used for the same melodic pattern, lending it a different character. The more different the new scale is from the original, the less recognizable the melody will be, but it should still sound melodic.

Imagine you are a painter (the art kind, not the house kind) and someone had divided up the spectrum into 12 definite shades of color, and you could only use those shades. You could add black or white, you could put the colors anywhere on the canvass you wanted, but you couldn't blend the colors. Wouldn't you want to explore some other color scheme at some point? 12 notes per octave wasn't handed down by the gods-- it's a compromise that's only been popular for a few hundred years. Anyway, you probably know this stuff already... I'll get off my soapbox. Basically what's going on for me is that weird intervals will generally serve a melodic function that fits into a 7 note concept... this note functions as a 3 in this scale... this note is some kind of 2. Sometimes they're ambiguous and depend on context. A lot of it is about just exploring a scale through improvisation to find what can lead to what, what strengthens a sense of tonic, what weakens it... or you could play atonally-- but some would argue that's not microtonal music, but micro-atonal music, and they're probably right, but it can be a blurry line, especially in more dissonant scales. I don't know if I've answered your question at all...
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

Album!
https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

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