Drones, drones, drones

posted by on 2014.07.05, under Supercollider

Who doesn’t like ambient drones? Ok, I guess some people might not like them.
Here’s a little code in SuperCollider to generate a kind of feedbacky ambient atmosphere. It does look involved, but it isn’t. The main thing is using Wavetable synthesis : what the method .sine1Msg does is to fill the buffer b with a sinewave (of 512 sample “period”), and its harmonics, whose number and amplitudes are specified in the array parameter of the method. Then we can “play” the wavetable with Osc.ar, which is a wavetable oscillator. Moreover, for added noisyness and ambience, I have added a bitcrusher with randomly varying samplerate and bit depth, and also a sample player playing the buffer c, which is not too loud, and just contributes to textures. You could modify it easily to load multiple samples, and choose between them. The last part involves a nice trick I learned here : basically, you stack a certain number of short time delays, and use a feedback line to simulate a reverberation effect. In particular, if the feedback parameter is 1, you get an “infinite reverb”. Very cool. Be careful not to keep feeding input in this situation, otherwise you will get the usual feedback headache! 😀


b = Buffer.alloc(s,512,1,{|z|z.sine1Msg(1.0/[1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17])});
c = Buffer.read(s, "/pathtothesample");

~sound = {
    var sig;
    var local;
    var f = [30,60,15]*Lag.kr(TChoose.kr(Impulse.kr(0.05),[0.75, 0.5, 1]), 8);
    sig = Mix(COsc.ar(b.bufnum,f + SinOsc.ar(f*25, 0, LFTri.kr(0.01).range(0, 10)), [0.1, 0.1001, 0.2], 0.2))*0.1;
sig = sig;
sig = LeakDC.ar(Ringz.ar(sig, TChoose.kr(Impulse.kr(0.1),[88, 97, 99, 100].midicps), LFTri.kr([0.05, 0.051]).range(0.2, 0.5)));
sig = sig + Decimator.ar(sig, 48000*LFNoise0.kr(1).range(0.25, 1), TChoose.kr(Impulse.kr(4), [8, 12, 16, 24]), 0.4);
    sig = LPF.ar(sig, 3000*LFTri.kr(0.01).range(0.1, 1));
    sig = sig + (Splay.ar(Array.fill(4, {PlayBuf.ar(2, c, rrand(-0.8, 0.8), loop: 2)*0.01}), 0.5));
    sig = CombC.ar(sig, 1.0, [0.1, 0.2], LFTri.kr(0.05).range(5, 9));
    local = sig + LocalIn.ar(2);
            local = AllpassN.ar(local, 0.06, Rand(0.001, 0.06), 3)
    Out.ar(0, Limiter.ar(LPF.ar(local, 4000), 0.8)*EnvGen.kr(Env([0, 1, 1, 0],[3, 100, 10])));


You can listen to the result here

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