My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

“Six-String Buddha”

A looped ambient guitar track I recorded for the 189th weekly Disquiet Junto project

I set out to make my own version of a Buddha Machine loop: a short phrase that loops over and over, yet is “ambient” enough that it can settle into the background. This one-minute track was recorded on my electric guitar, with no effects except for a little delay that’s built into my amplifier. I used the guitar’s volume knob to remove any sense of the attack when I hit the string: I hit the string with the volume at 0, and only then began to turn the knob up slowly to 10. I also nudged the volume control from 10 back down to 0 to accelerate the end of the tone, but sometimes I let it fade out on its own. The whole thing is comprised entirely of single extended notes, probably 20 separate instances in total. I lost count. There is no evidence of the accrual process in this recording. That is, no notes are added as it proceeds. I didn’t hit “record” until the full set was layered and complete, and then I just let it play on repeat. The looper is the introductory-level Ditto from TC Electronics. The amp is a Roland Micro Bass Cube. I used a Zoom H4N to record it, with the mic about a foot from the amp. I edited it in Audacity simply to trim the length and introduce a gentle fade-in and fade-out at the beginning and end. The guitar is a 2005 Fender Stratocaster (made in Corona, California) that I bought for myself last week as a birthday present, after playing ukulele for five years.

Thanks to Disquiet Junto regular Rupert Lally for advice on the volume control, advice that contributed to the development of this project.

This was recorded for the 189th weekly Disquiet Junto project. Though I created the Junto series and moderate the projects each week, this is only, I believe, the second or third project I’ve actually contributed a track to.

More on this 189th Disquiet Junto project (“Create a dense stack of attack-free tonal material from one audio source”) at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0189: Tone Layer

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

https://disquiet.com/forums/

By Marc Weidenbaum

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