Music Salad

POSTED BY on Apr 3, 2009

Randomness can sometimes produce interesting results. Kind of like the "word salad" styling's of William Burroughs or David Bowie, I presented the attendees of this week's interactive lunch with 4 diagrams and asked them to follow the directions on the page.

They didn't know that what they were filling out were patterns and sounds for the TR-808 drum machine, TR-909 drum machine, TB-303 bass, and various effect pedals. All of which can be manipulated/duplicated/fuzzed out/etc. on the web at Hobnox.

Here is what I got back.

TR-808 drum machine - Kick and Snare.

TR-909 drum machine - Kick, Snare, and High Hat.

TB-303 Bass - the numbers represent the notes on the scale

Various knob settings for the effect pedals

The thinking here is that sometimes when we have a blank slate in front of us, it's ok to take our creative tools and do something random. Then use that as the launch pad to a more thought out approach.

Something else interesting is how subtle details can really effect the overall feel of things. For example, take a listen to the 2 versions of the track below. Neither will be winning a Grammy anytime soon but notice how a couple of effect pedals (distortion, flanger, etc.) can really help create a more cohesive feel. I guess next time a designer asks me to move some text over 2 pixels, I will try to understand.

Interactive Song (without effects)

Interactive Song (with effects)

Yes, I can smell snakes.

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