Cirobiq & Random Reasons MP3s

Sunday, January 15th, 2006 | 11:14 am and filed in Music, peff.

I have these two MP3 files online for a few weeks, but haven’t had the chance to explain what these tracks are all about. Cirobiq is something that took me months to work on. I started working on it while writing back in July 2005. I had the idea of coming up with a strange melodic track that I would mangle using an Oval-ish CD skipping technique. First I tried destroying the CD-R with a magic marker, but the results would cause the error correction to shut the cd player down. I found an old CD player that I was experimenting with and located a few contact points that would induce skipping. I also tweaked with the tracking fine tune controls which led to some interesting results, but nothing was consistent. In the end it was a fun distraction, but led nowhere. Eventually i rendered the clean version and processed it with some analog stuff, but it was not what i had in mind.

Right after I finished writing the Discovering Reason article (on the props site), I started toying with a method of fading between a dry mix of the track and a processed signal. I incorporated an old combi effect patch (that I contributed to Factory Soundbank 3.0) called “Freeze Stutter”, and customized the settings to match the tempo. This added a some but not all of the effect ornaments that I originally had in mind. Then I added yet another effect layer which was also blended using the equal power crossfade technique using a sample and hold combinator patch i devised. The effect is nothing new or spectacular. If one were working in Pro Tools, you would simply copy and paste the audio for several adjacent beats, but with the fader and combi effect, this beat repeating effect is applied in real-time.

Random Reasons also uses the beat repeating effect, but the entire track, including the effect is driven by a series of random LFO curves. For even more tweakhead results, I bumped up the tempo to 480 BPM so the repetitive artifacts shaped into new timbres themselves. This experiment only took a few hours to finish ;-)

Both tracks also use special self-modulating equalizer effects that change the frequency response of passing signals to boost the low frequencies and add some warmth and character. These patches are based around the MClass equalizer, and work in a manner similar to the Vintage RDK with input signal levels inducing subtle changes to the eq center frequencies for an inconsistent/unpredictable “analogish” sound.


Random Reasons.mp3

I’m going to work on these patches a bit more and eventually post them.

9 Responses to “Cirobiq & Random Reasons MP3s”

  1. Trukadero Says:

    Nice, Cirobiq makes me think of Prefuse 73…and that’s a good thing.

  2. Marco Raaphorst Says:

    Cool stuff Kurt. No need to use Live’s beat repeat I guess ;)

  3. Click OK to Continue Says:


    Can you post those Reason files as .rps files for us to study the technique? I’ve been trying to get this sound many different ways, and it sounds like you found an ingenious way to accomplish this.

    I’d also like to see how you set up the random adjustments to EQ center frequencies.

  4. Ludwing Diaz Says:

    Artificial intelligence of an ubiquotously musical world.

    I had the idea of the skipping CD player in my mind for a long time. This is a great example.

    Random Reasons:
    A good starting point to create a self-contained evolutive track.

  5. lagowski Says:

    Cirobiq reminded us here at Lagowski HQ of cyber Arabic music and we were expecting a veiled robot dancing woman to spring from the computer and entertain us holographically like Princess Leah. Don’t worry - I haven’t slept much lately!

    Random Reasons, as Ludwing Diaz mentioned, is a great starting point for some experimental outings….thanks for pushing the envelope further and further and giving us inspiration! Looking forward to examining the patches when they get posted :-)

  6. Peff Says:

    I swear I’ve been sober… well except for the cold medicines! Once i get the patches perfected, i will make them available, and eventually put out the RPS files.

  7. Ludwing Diaz Says:

    Hi Peff,

    Do you Have the RPS files available? I have some Ideas and I could use yours in my own style. By the way, I have created my own web site for my Project Zero. I invite you to pass by and listen to some of the songs i am creating, like GalactiK or revisiting.
    It’s not electronic or techno music, but gets a lof of ideas from it.

    Ludwing Diaz

  8. Mike K. Says:

    Any word on the rps file for this effect Kurt? Fantastic work - thank you for the explanation, and just the stutter effect I was trying to figure out last night, strangely enough. Got lost amongst too many cv’s and compressors however :)

    Would love to see how you did it.

    Take care mate.

  9. deprogrammed Says:

    Hey Kurt - just wanted to touch base on this one - I don’t suppose this patch is hiding somewhere on your site by chance?

    Thanks man -

    - Deprogrammed

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.