Ambient Noise Experiment 1

I have been conducting sound experiments to see the effects of ambient noises and sounds. This particular experiment was conducted with a guitar being played through a tremolo effects pedal, recorded with a hand held camera.

During the experiment I varied the rate of the tremolo effect, the velocity of the note and switched between random note playing and sequenced notes.

After recording the experiment I played it back to myself late at night whilst working on the computer. My conclusion is as follows.

Volume
Whilst varying the volume of the playback, I found a very low, almost inaudible volume to be best suited for an ambient atmosphere.

Velocity
Even with a low volume, the velocity the note played still has effect. A strong note can disrupt the ambience and some times causes distortion, causing the listener to flick from ambient to attention.

Tremolo
The slower rate of tremolo gives a more relaxed atmosphere and allows longer room between notes. The faster rate turns the relaxed echo into a short stab with a haunting after effect. It also means the note doesn’t hold as long and causes a sort of expectation for the next note.

Note sequence
Whilst listening to the random note sequences I cant help but feel the need to turn and face the speaker, the randomness in the notation and timing causes an uneasy tension, where as a simple note sequence with loose timing allows the listener to relax into a groove.

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