Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

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rghvdberg
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Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by rghvdberg »

tl;dr
Make a "muzak" track with only free (libre) audio software
Submit before midnight (0:00) 1-10-2020 (GMT)
Hello all,

The Libre Music Challenge is an event that originated in the chat server run by producer/musician/youtuber Unfa.
In this challenge we use only free audio software and some general rules apply (check viewtopic.php?p=120524#p120524)

First of all, I want to change the monthly timetable.
Up until now the challenge starts on the 1st sunday of the month, in sync with unfa's livestream.
I'm gonna change that and set the challenge start and end times and the voting date/time as follows (it mimics timetable the One Synth Challenge on kvraudio.com).
The new challenge starts 1st of the month, and ends on the last day of the current month. Submissions must be in before midnight of the last day, GMT time.
I know that because of the change we have a late start.

This months challenge is inspired by this lovely thread on mastondon https://sonomu.club/web/statuses/104704050852730672
Indeed, you are asked to make ... muzak ...
Yes, the bland, soulless, tasteless music you hear in elevators, shopping streets etc, etc.
Please note that the original toot is about covers, which we can't do, it has to be an original composition.

Submit your work before midnight 1-10-2020 (GMT time)
You can submit tracks by posting links to your work in this thread. Make sure the audio is downloadable as all tracks will be posted on archive.org. (link will follow)

Good luck and if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.

jdfight
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by jdfight »

Here is my submission. I named it "Stimulus Consumption" as a nod to Muzak's original "Stimulus Progression". It is a post-apocalyptic mall soundscape. Everyone is trying to go back to a normal life, but not all is quite right... It was interesting to try to write Muzak and I actually enjoyed composing it. It gave me an excuse to get out my arch-top and play some jazz too! 8)

Here is the link to the track:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Mj7Huv ... EunifHKVjV

Here is the Ardour Project:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PSbfZw ... 49v8--r6QI


I used sFizz and Virtual Playing Orchestra for the strings and flute and Fluidr3_GM soundfont for general midi drums and bass.

I also used a few sound effects from Freesound:

Shopping Mall ambience: https://freesound.org/people/190129_Tri ... ds/492477/

Nuclear Alarm Siren - https://freesound.org/people/jrmlh/sounds/441089/

Huge Explosion - https://freesound.org/people/unfa/sounds/259300/

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MyLoFy
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by MyLoFy »

Hello fellow Muzaktorians!

This is my submission for this beautiful assignment:
https://soundcloud.com/mylofymusic/on-hold

Feel free to listen to this while shopping, riding the elevator or holding the line :wink:

Cheers!

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cabsi
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by cabsi »

Here's my submission. This month's theme was a stroke of luck for me :) This track had mostly come together and I was literally thinking "It sounds like muzak, the melody is naive, the chords are too simple - what can I do?". The answer, I guess is to leave it as it is and submit it here :D

Like many of my songs, it's in the structure ABCBCA.

Monte Covideo by Go Back Wrong Wayne:
https://soundcloud.com/gobackww/monte-covideo

Can I suggest that in a few months we sorta-revisit this with the theme of "Lounge Music". I tried composing some when I was just starting out (on Windows, so I'll spare you the listen hah) -- and I'd like another go.
i5 9600K - Kubuntu 20.04 - Ardour 6.2 - Rakarrack - Calf plugins
https://gobackwrongwayne.bandcamp.com/ - https://soundcloud.com/gobackww

AnyThreeWords
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by AnyThreeWords »

Here's my submission. I call it: Stay
Here's a link to a drive folder where you can find audio files and two Ardour Sessions one for the initial development and one for mixing and mastering. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

Here's what I used to create this:

Operating system: Manjaro
Daw: Ardour
Percussion: Hydrogen

Plugins
a-Delay
Calf: Compressor, Sidchain Compressor, Deesser, transient designer.
Dragonfly Reverb
EQ10Q
Guitarix team: GxCreamMachine and GxBlueAmp
Helm Synth
LSP: Gate, Compressor, Limiter and Slapback Delay
SetBfree Organ
x42: Insterment Tuner and Autotune
YK Chorus

I think it's worth noting that both the bass and guitar part were recorded by direct input so all the effects you're hearing are open source.

All audio was recorded by me. I'm lucky to have a talented singer who is currently staying at my place who was willing to record some vocals for my silly project. Thank you Kaz!!!
Last edited by AnyThreeWords on Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jesse
They/them

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zwenny
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by zwenny »

Hi,

after a long time I came across this forum by a local open source audio meeting (OSAMC) and decided to contribute a song from my eleven piece mosaic album released on Jamendo back in 2018:

Silent Struggle

I always felt like this could be played in malls, elevators and waiting rooms. Although the lyrics are rather personal, it's time to reinterpret that time span of my life.

Credits:
Electric guitar: Mischo

Technical details:
  • OS: Arch Linux
  • DAW: ardour
  • Plugins:
    Calf Mono Compressor on vocals
    Invada Compressor on acoustic and electric guitar
    Calf Vintage Delay on electric guitar
    Calf Reverb on all tracks
    EQ10Q on all tracks
Composition:
Tools: TuxGuitar

I can't remember the main riff anymore, but it may be figured it out by listening and guitar licks were improvised by Mischo so there's no transcription. You can find tabs of all my other tracks at Ultimate Guitar, if you're interested.
Looking forward to look back what happens now

Listen to my music at:
https://www.jamendo.com/artist/373939/zwenny

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dr4co
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by dr4co »

Hello and sorry for jumping in at the last minute :)

But since I said "Sign me up" on Mastodon, here's my little ditty. It's called "Elevator Pitch" and heavily inspired by this video.

Here is the piece in two formats:
Elevator Pitch - flac
Elevator Pitch - mp3

Made with:
  • Ardour 5.12
  • Surge
  • avldrums
  • a-Compressor
  • Dragonfly Plate Reverb
  • Dragonfly Hall Reverb
  • CloudSeed Algorithmic Reverb
I had a hard time not using interesting or unique synth patches! I hope it is appropriately boring, bland, soulless, repetitive and forgettable.

rghvdberg
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by rghvdberg »

zwenny wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:10 am
Silent Struggle
Thanks for the submission,
can you please provide a download url which doesn't need an account to download a file?

tia

Rob

rghvdberg
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by rghvdberg »

Here's the submission page on archive.org

https://archive.org/details/libre-music-challenge-4

The track by @zwenny isn't there yet, I'll add it when I have the audio file :-)

Here's the super hi-tech scoring sheet.
Give each track a score from 1 to 5, where 5 is the best. You can give away multiple 5s , 4s etc. So if you think all tracks deserve a 5, go ahead!
Your can't score your own track.

Paste the result here in this thread. It would be super nice to @tag me so I get notified.
Of course you can PM me the score too.

The 15th(-ish) I'll post the results.

Code: Select all

+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
|   | Artist              | Track                | Score |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 1 | Any Three Words     | Stay                 |       |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 2 | Draco               | Elevator Pitch       |       |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 3 | Go Back Wrong Wayne | Monte Covideo        |       |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 4 | jdfight             | Stimulus Consumption |       |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 5 | MyLoFy              | On Hold              |       |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 6 | rghvdberg           | Listen to the Muzak  |       |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 7 | StrangeAnimals      | On Hold, Hold On     |       |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 8 | Zwenny              | Silent Struggle      |       |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+

cmdor
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by cmdor »

Hi everyone, I hope my submission isn't too late!
I have written a Bossa Nova inspired beat written in a 13 tone bohlen-pierce scale. I am still relatively new to electronic music composition so I would really appreciate any feedback.

https://archive.org/details/shopping-in ... -dimension

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turbidh20
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by turbidh20 »

@rghvdberg

I've judged these solely on the brief that's it's supposed to be "Muzak", although I have also given extra consideration to the tracks I consider better compositions :mrgreen: I've added some comments this time.

I'm enjoying these challenges and as always, a great standard, some really good stuff here, well done everyone :D

When I get the time I'll try and have a go myself!

Code: Select all

+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
|   | Artist              | Track                | Score |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 1 | Any Three Words     | Stay                 |   4   | - Not tedious enough!
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 2 | Draco               | Elevator Pitch       |   3   | - Too upbeat!
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 3 | Go Back Wrong Wayne | Monte Covideo        |   3   | - Duller... nearly there!
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 4 | jdfight             | Stimulus Consumption |   4   | - Would have been perfect (5) without the vocal!
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 5 | MyLoFy              | On Hold              |   4   | - Far, far too jolly!
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 6 | rghvdberg           | Listen to the Muzak  |   5   | - Spot on. Please don't break down between floors!
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 7 | StrangeAnimals      | On Hold, Hold On     |   3   | - Not really "Muzak", sorry!
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 8 | Zwenny              | Silent Struggle      |   3   | - Too interesting!
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
Honorary mention -

Code: Select all

| 9 | cmdory              | Shopping In The 13th Dimension |   3   | - Quite bizarre!
Arch Linux (i7-4790k/GTX970); UMC204HD; MPK Mini MKII; Jack2 (QjackCtl) & Ardour/Mixbus

jdfight
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by jdfight »

Here are my votes and comments. I voted based on how I felt they fit into the Muzak style. I also gave the consideration to how much of a hypnotic effect the pieces had. I also gave consideration to the creative context of the Muzak.

Code: Select all


+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
|   | Artist              | Track                          | Score |
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 1 | Any Three Words     | Stay                           |   3   |  Would have been more like Muzak if the melody was instrumental.
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 2 | Draco               | Elevator Pitch                 |   4   |  very repetive - hypnotic, Muzak success
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 3 | Go Back Wrong Wayne | Monte Covideo                  |   3   |  A very fun electronic piece - could be in a casual video game menu screen. But, I felt it was not quite Muzakal enough.
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 4 | jdfight             | Stimulus Consumption           |  ---  |  N/A
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 5 | MyLoFy              | On Hold                        |   4   |  Loved the guitar.  Very well composed and produced . The music ending on a busy signal was funny - Trapped on permanent hold...the perfect ending.
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 6 | rghvdberg           | Listen to the Muzak            |   5   |  Cute and calming.  Put me in a relaxed state and made me feel more productive.  Muzak success!
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 7 | StrangeAnimals      | On Hold, Hold On               |   3   |  An interesting piece,  but not much like Muzak.
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 8 | Zwenny              | Silent Struggle                |   3   |  It was a good song,  and I enjoyed it...  but it was not Muzak. 
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 9 | cmdory              | Shopping In The 13th Dimension |   4   |  13 tone scale made this jarring and dissonant.  Like a Muzak malfunction - Interesting
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+ 
This was a fun and interesting challenge. Once again, it was difficult to judge.

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MyLoFy
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by MyLoFy »

@rghvdberg
Well that was fun; I really enjoyed listening to all entries!
Here's my vote and comments:

Code: Select all

 
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
|   | Artist              | Track                          | Score |
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 1 | Any Three Words     | Stay                           |   3   | Nice song, no Muzak though. The mix could use some work (compression, vocal levels, low end). 
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 2 | Draco               | Elevator Pitch                 |   4   | I was bored: Excellent! 
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 3 | Go Back Wrong Wayne | Monte Covideo                  |   3   | Cool track, I'd mono the freq below 100 Hz, it'd sound better on headphones. A bit too much tension for an elevator ride...
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 4 | jdfight             | Stimulus Consumption           |   4   | Buy now, regret later? Will do!
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 5 | MyLoFy              | On Hold                        |  N/A  |  
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 6 | rghvdberg           | Listen to the Muzak            |   5   | Perfect Muzak piece, made me feel like standing in a mall immediately! Arrangement, melody (uurgh!), chord progression, all spot on. The guiro gave me the rest...
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 7 | StrangeAnimals      | On Hold, Hold On               |   4   | Only 14 trillion calls before it is my turn? That's even better than my ISP...
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 8 | Zwenny              | Silent Struggle                |   3   | Good song, no Muzak. Acoustic guitar sounds a bit roomy, I like the vocal performance and recording!
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+
| 9 | cmdory              | Shopping In The 13th Dimension |   3   | Microtunal experience made my teeth fall out; perfect for dental shopping malls ;) 
+---+---------------------+--------------------------------+-------+ 
Looking forward to the next challenge submissions!

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cabsi
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by cabsi »

Hope I'm not too late, been offline for a couple of days. Some interesting tracks, here's how I scored them. I didn't score a couple as I can't see them ... ?

Code: Select all

+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
|   | Artist              | Track                | Score |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 1 | Any Three Words     | Stay                 |    3  |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 2 | Draco               | Elevator Pitch       |   3   |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 3 | Go Back Wrong Wayne | Monte Covideo        |   -   |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 4 | jdfight             | Stimulus Consumption |    5  |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 5 | MyLoFy              | On Hold              |   4   |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 6 | rghvdberg           | Listen to the Muzak  |       |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 7 | StrangeAnimals      | On Hold, Hold On     |       |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 8 | Zwenny              | Silent Struggle      |    4  |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
i5 9600K - Kubuntu 20.04 - Ardour 6.2 - Rakarrack - Calf plugins
https://gobackwrongwayne.bandcamp.com/ - https://soundcloud.com/gobackww

cmdor
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Re: Libre Music Challenge #4: Listen to the muzak

Post by cmdor »

Code: Select all

+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
|   | Artist              | Track                | Score |
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 1 | Any Three Words     | Stay                 |   4    |  I wouldn't mind listening to this as hold music, and the lyrics are full of subliminal messages.
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 2 | Draco               | Elevator Pitch       |     3  |  It feels more like a slow jam than muzak
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 3 | Go Back Wrong Wayne | Monte Covideo        |    3   | It reminds me of TRON, very hypnotic
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 4 | jdfight             | Stimulus Consumption |    5   |  Cockroach... the new milk! Feels like an 80's version of Fallout. Also, I like the way it ends.
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 5 | MyLoFy              | On Hold              |    5   |   Layers upon layers of cliche, when I thought it couldn't get any more basic, but still very fun to listen to.
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 6 | rghvdberg           | Listen to the Muzak  |  3     |   This sounds kind of like a nintendo menu screen
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 7 | StrangeAnimals      | On Hold, Hold On     |    4   | It sounds very spooky and hollow. I'm a huge fan of the texture and way it slowly drags along without being boring with the guitars in the background.
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 8 | Zwenny              | Silent Struggle      |   3    | It sounds good, but doesn't feel like muzak.
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+
| 9 | cmdor               | Shopping In The 13th Dimension |   X   |  I'd like to play around with more acoustic sounding instruments and samples next time
+---+---------------------+----------------------+-------+

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