How to make "MicroSampling" music.

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UncleBibby
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How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by UncleBibby » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:18 pm

So, I've been listening to the music made by this guy named Akufen from Montreal, who pioneered this great music-making technique called MicroSampling. It's where you record extremely short bits of sound from somewhere (the radio, a tv show, a song) and arrange them together as if they were drum hits and musical notes, to make a song. Then you add any additional flourishes you want to, to make it sound a little less empty.

Here's one of his songs:




I thought I'd take a stab at this technique, and here's what I got:
http://soundcloud.com/unclebibby/cant-s ... rosampling

Here's how I did it:

I downloaded an an hour or so of Sesame Street footage, then I imported it into an audio-editing software. I found short bits that I liked, either because they sounded like an instrument, a drum hit, or a voice. I saved them all as individual .wav files, then I put them all into a VST drum kit together using a VST sound sampler. I set up this drum kit as a midi track in the audio-editing software so I could arrange the sound clips pianoroll-style. Then I made a fairly complicated beat with the sound clips, put it together with a bass line, a brass line and a real drum track, and played with the whole thing until it sounded like a real song!

You could do this however you wanted, but I recommend you follow my strategy, except you might not want to use Sesame Street footage. I chose Sesame Street because they've got tons of weird sound effects and weird voices.

Is anyone willing to give it a try?
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Syscrusher
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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by Syscrusher » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:17 pm

Hmmmm. Microsampling eh? I hope that Akufen, talented though he may be, really doesn't think he's actually pioneered anything. This kind of thing has been done since the advent of digital samplers and before that - from the 1950's on - in "music concrete" primarily by way of tape manipulation.

Here is an example from 1955 called "Dripsody" by the Canadian (pioneering) electronic composer Hugh Le Caine. Here Mr. Le Caine takes a single recorded drop of water (a sample so to speak) and through tape manipulation (speeding up, slowing down,splicing etc...) creates a compelling piece of music full of melodic and rhythmic variation. The amount of work that must have gone into this is staggering. He and other composers also created sound collages using different "found sounds" to create melody and rhythm. Of course with a digital sampler this kind of thing becomes a lot simpler so in a sense I think the creative bar is raised.

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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:44 pm

I love how Akufen does it.
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UncleBibby
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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by UncleBibby » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:02 am

Syscrusher wrote:Hmmmm. Microsampling eh? I hope that Akufen, talented though he may be, really doesn't think he's actually pioneered anything.
I guess "pioneered" is the wrong word. What I meant was that he took it in a new direction that I really, really like. I'm sure that there's tons of music from the 1950s until today that uses sound samples, but Akufen uses extremely small bits of sound, and he turns it into really funky, really danceable House music.

Somebody here needs to make some "microsampling" music that completely blows mine out of the water. That would be awesome.
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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:22 am

Murcof's music is ambient/rhythmic and mostly based on stretched and pitched samples (not really micro though), hardly any synths. He's my favorite composer.
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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by WarpToken » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:05 am

Your song turned out pretty cool! Good job.
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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by Syscrusher » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:15 am

@ UncleBibby - Sorry, I didn't mean to sound negative. I actually like both your tune and Akufen's. However I still don't see what's so new about this so called "microsampling". I don't find the samples that "micro" in fact I easily recognized a lot of them in Akufen's tune. It just sounds like regular (but interesting) sample based music. Public Enemy were creating grooves with samples of this length in the late '80's. I feel I just have to call a spade a spade here.

@DS-10 Dominator - I'll definitely check out Murcof.

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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by UncleBibby » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:29 am

Syscrusher wrote:I actually like both your tune and Akufen's. However I still don't see what's so new about this so called "microsampling". I don't find the samples that "micro" in fact I easily recognized a lot of them in Akufen's tune.
Thank you for liking my song! I appreciate that. Now onto business:
I can concede that it's not really micro and that it's not really new, but look at what Wikipedia says:
His 2002 release entitled My Way introduced his concept of "microsampling", which was essentially a way of using extremely small and short clips of samples he had randomly recorded off of FM radio broadcasts as a key musical element.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akufen

So I assumed he invented "MicroSampling" because Wikipedia said that he "introduced" it. But I guess that's not what they mean when they say "introduced". I also assumed that the bits were "micro" because Wikipedia said they were "extremely small", and I had personally never heard any sound clips that were smaller.

I don't mean to continue the argument (I realize you're right and I'm wrong), I'm just showing you why I thought what I thought.
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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by Syscrusher » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:52 am

@UncleBibby - I hope I didn't come across as being too "heavy" or pedantic. I'd prefer to call our exchange a discussion rather than an argument.
The great thing about Wikipedia is that it is written by people like you and me and, of course, that is also it's problem. I think an artist has a responsibility to be aware of the history of the type of art they are engaged in so as not to make the embarrassing mistake of claiming innovation when one is actually engaged in (perfectly valid) exploration. Just to make a point: Bach was not an innovator, in fact his style of composing was old hat and not considered "on the cutting edge" by the time he was in his prime; he just happened to compose in that style far better than anybody else ever had. Innovation, while often a component of great art, is not necessary to make great art.

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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by Decktonic » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:56 am

One of these days I'll make a song like this. I'll add it to the bucket list.
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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by soultron » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:49 pm

Reminds me of this song. Alot.

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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by Infininja » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:59 am

Decktonic wrote:One of these days I'll make a song like this. I'll add it to the bucket list.
Story of my past year.

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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by UncleBibby » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:25 pm

http://soundcloud.com/unclebibby/dome-i ... rosampling

I made another microsampling song, this time using sound-samples from Tim Allen's sitcom "Home Improvement". It's pretty funny in parts, but it has some good beats and melodies too!

UUUUAAAGH!
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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by Cfgk24 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:57 pm

My favourite bit of Micro sampling was the Theme tune to the very first series of 'Dr Who'
I was fascinated to find that this entire piece of music was created by PHYSICALLY CUTTING BITS OF RECORDED SOUNDS ON AUDIO TAPE AND STICKING THEM TOGETHER!!!!!!!!! splicing! Must ahve taken an awful lot of work!!

(edit: to embed you only need the video code)

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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by Syscrusher » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:46 am

Cfgk24 wrote:My favourite bit of Micro sampling was the Theme tune to the very first series of 'Dr Who'
I was fascinated to find that this entire piece of music was created by PHYSICALLY CUTTING BITS OF RECORDED SOUNDS ON AUDIO TAPE AND STICKING THEM TOGETHER!!!!!!!!! splicing! Must ahve taken an awful lot of work!!

(edit: to embed you only need the video code)
Delia Derbishire is one of my heroes. The original Dr. Who theme was created without synthesizers! Most of the theme is tape manipulated piano!

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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by Pandurris » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:55 pm

Syscrusher wrote:
Cfgk24 wrote:My favourite bit of Micro sampling was the Theme tune to the very first series of 'Dr Who'
I was fascinated to find that this entire piece of music was created by PHYSICALLY CUTTING BITS OF RECORDED SOUNDS ON AUDIO TAPE AND STICKING THEM TOGETHER!!!!!!!!! splicing! Must ahve taken an awful lot of work!!

(edit: to embed you only need the video code)
Delia Derbishire is one of my heroes. The original Dr. Who theme was created without synthesizers! Most of the theme is tape manipulated piano!
Delia is awesome, her work in "White Noise" is a must listen. When i discovered this track I was mindfucked for the next 3 days ahahaha...


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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by UncleBibby » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:09 pm

http://soundcloud.com/unclebibby/friends-for-never

I made another microsampling song! This one uses samples from the radio. It's definitely one of my best in quite a while! I hope you like it. Constructive criticism is welcome.

It's called "Friends For Never".
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Re: How to make "MicroSampling" music.

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:17 am

Nice Bibby!

The beginning and a few other parts are a bit soft though.

Keep em coming!
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