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The 2 Second Sample Challenge Using Ableton

UPDATE: the white noise samples can be found here:

Hi everyone

I run a music degree course. Some of the students are having tutorials with me centred around using Ableton.

One of the tasks I've set them is to make a piece of music where all of the sounds are made from the same source, which is a two second sample of white noise. As you can probably imagine this is quite an involved task and one of the stipulations that we have is that the sounds' genesis/creation is entirely documented i.e. repeatable by anyone of us. It's probably not so important that the piece of music is 'stellar', though it would be nice, but that the processes become a part of the students' growing toolbox of available processes and 'thinking'.

Anyway, to cut a very long story short, we're going to have a presentation of our work, there are only three of us, with an event in the Music department of the University of Westminster. The event is scheduled for Wednesday 22nd January 2014 starting at about about 6:30PM.

It would be really good if you could come along. I know it's a time that doesn't work for everyone but at least it's better than the current level of activity!If you do come along it would be really good if you bring a laptop with Ableton, so that you can work along with the presenters making/reconstructing the sound(s) or just trying ideas out. There should be enough time for Q&A's and for people to mingle. Chucking out time is probably about 9PM, hence the earlier start. If this goes well then I'd like to hold some other sessions for Ableton users via this group.

More About The Challenge

The challenge is to use only native plugins and processes to the DAW of your choice. The main proviso is that all presenters must use the same two second sample of white noise and that all plugins used are native to the DAW application.

So the challenge is to create/generate all sounds and parts for a piece of music using a 2 second sample of white noise in Ableton (or your own DAW) using only native processes/plugins to your DAW at every stage. By doing this we ensure that processes and concepts are replicable by anyone using the same DAW and, more importantly, this is a way of communicating best practice amongst other users of the software.

The music should not be too long, between 3-4 minutes at best and can be any style. Presentations should be about 20 minutes in total, with some time for questions from the audience. If you do decide to present then it’s probably best to just focus on a couple of sounds and how they were made and used them in the piece.

For more information, the white noise sample, or to express an interest in presenting, then email Hussein: [masked]

Directions are here:
Nearest tube: Northwick Park on the Metropolitan line

Hussein Boon

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  • Hussein B.

    Great to see everyone. The varied music and presentations on show confirmed that we should be doing this more often and look forward to future presentations and themes.

    January 23, 2014

  • Valentin

    Great meeting you, guys! Looking forward to the next meetups.

    January 23, 2014

  • Olly K.

    really great to meet everyone that came. if anyone wants to chat further about music then feel free to get in touch via email - oliverdavidking at gmail dot com

    January 23, 2014

  • Raúl T. A.

    Cool! Nice people different aproaches and a lot of love for sharing and making music!!!

    January 22, 2014

  • Andrew D.

    I saw Tim Exile have a go at this... he called it 'the white noise challenge'.
    He got a full track going on the fly using filter resonance on the noise to create melodies...

    December 12, 2013

    • Raúl T. A.

      Hi Hussein! Very excited to go! Can the people going participate? I mean, can I try the challenge? and I am not saying presenting it but have at least a feedback from you guys? it will be very helpful to my production skills and I think to others as well to do the same

      January 19, 2014

    • Hussein B.

      Hi Raul, it's going to be fun. As many people can do the challenge and we'll try and incorporate feedback into the event. However, you must know that we're proceeding from the position of practitioners and not like we're the ex[erts. It'll be a really nice exchange and it seems that we've got a bit of a group now. So, see you on Wednesday for some fun!!

      January 20, 2014

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