Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

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Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by Niveous »

Almost there!

Submit an original song by June 26th at 11:59 PM (EDT) that fits the following criteria

Title: Novel
Non-optional Challenge: Create samples from a non-musical recording and make them integral to the song

Send your MP3 to nurein.sidefight@gmail.com

Good luck!
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by gizo »

Okay. I’m going to ask the question, so nobody else has to:

Judges, is the intention to hear us use pre-existing recordings (such as TV show, audiobook, etc) as distinct from our own field recordings?
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by owl »

Hey gizo! No, the intent with the phrasing was to exclude pre-existing audio libraries or sample-based virtual instruments/VSTs. Please take careful note of the "non-musical" recording part of this--the intent is not to have you chop out the hook from a Motown classic and build a song around it, but to use unusual sounds in your song in an interesting and musical way. These could be sounds you record yourself or sounds you take from someone else's field recordings. We'd like them to be integral to the music, rather than just a single field recording dropped in for ambience.

A note about what I was hoping to see with this challenge: I was pushing heavily for us to make a rule that everything in the song except vocals would have to be constructed from samples, to try and force an approach to samples as instruments. Luckily for you all, the other judges talked me down from that particular ledge to allow a bit more flexibility. However, now that you know that, I personally will award bonus points for creativity and extent of sample usage. I know it's easy to play it a bit safer and make it sound good. I would love to hear songs that sound a bit more weird and a bit less glossy; I'd love to hear everyone play around with arrangement and how the samples are processed and used, in the musique concrète tradition.



I would find it helpful and interesting if you want to add liner notes about your sample usage--can't guarantee all the judges will read them, but I will in addition to listening to how your song stands on its own. Does that clarify things? Hope that helps!
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by jb »

@owl would my "New Planet" have fulfilled this brief?
Bass and arpeggios were constructed from sampled 2-liter bottles blown
Other noises include the old goblet rim, a hard drive clip tapped on a desk, some kind of crunchy thing, and other various non-instrument instruments.

Basically, are we allowed to grab a random sound from somewhere and manipulate it into pitches and rhythms via DAW tools?
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by owl »

@jb yes, that’s exactly the kind of thing I’d like to hear.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by BenKrieger »

I don't think I'll have time to work on this over the next week/end, so I'm submitting early.

Snare: contact mic, tapping on laptop
Rhythm: contact mics on metal bowl, light bulb, aluminum foil through distortion pedal
played through an Elektron Digitakt

Field Recording: M & A Krieger during a card game
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by crumpart »

This is such a cool challenge. I might have to submit a shadow. We shall see.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by gizo »

Thank you, Owl.

That is a fantastic explanation, and I'm really grateful you've shared that with us. So glad I hadn't wandered off down the wrong path on that!
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by mo »

Clarification requested: we are allowed to manipulate, edit, and effect the samples we take in any way we like? If the samples are manipulated enough not to be recognizable as the original sound anymore, is that acceptable to all, some, or none of the judges?
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by owl »

I would find that totally acceptable (but again, would love an explanation in your liner notes). I’ll let the other judges weigh in if they feel differently.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by mo »

That’s what I thought, awesome. Thanks, I’m sure the liner notes this time will be plentiful hahahaha
Last edited by mo on Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by Evermind »

I will also chime in and say that the samples do not need to be recognizable after processing, but if you choose to process your samples in such a way that they are unrecognizable such as turning samples into synths using something like a wavetable synth (e.g. Vital), please tell us what you did in your liner notes!
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by glennny »

If you make the samples too good you're just making a New Ugly.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by grumpymike »

glennny wrote:
Tue Jun 21, 2022 11:24 am
If you make the samples too good you're just making a New Ugly.
I will not autofail anyone for the challenge. Largely because Jon’s already out.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by BenKrieger »

I have to admit still liking my original misunderstanding of the challenge, which was that the sound would need to be integral to the songwriting. Like “hells bells,” “maxwell’s silver hammer,” or “leader of the pack.”

So I also wrote my song like that.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by Lunkhead »

I'm honestly not looking for a loophole or trying to play gotcha here, but I wanted to check about one idea that I had while brainstorming. If I used samples from public domain audio books and incorporated them into my song as part of the main vocals/lyrics, would that meet the challenge? They are non-musical and they would be integral to the song. It sounds like thought that's not what folks are actually looking for even though it seems to fit with the challenge as worded?
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by vowlvom »

Sounds totally legitimate to me, and I don't see anything above that contradicts that.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by BenKrieger »

I resubmitted my shadow. The first version was a sappy ballad with harmonies, but I was listening to the Mekons this week and decided the song needed to be amped up, so it's yet another rock song from me. The field recordings have been reduced to an intro from my kids, some percussion using contact mics, and an aluminum foil solo through a Boss Metal Zone pedal.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by gizo »

It's done. Stacking Theory is submitted.

Good luck, everyone!
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by Future Boy »

Elks are in with fountain pens, page flipping, book dropping, and espresso making and drinking.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by mo »

I sacrificed myself to so much espresso drinking for this; I hope you’re all happy


Also we have typewriter samples, and owl hooting samples that were made into synth instruments. Another synth instrument was made from the book drops and fountain pen scratching samples
Last edited by mo on Sun Jun 26, 2022 5:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Five "Novel"

Post by gizo »

mo wrote:
Sun Jun 26, 2022 5:00 pm
I sacrificed myself to so much espresso drinking for this; I hope you’re all happy
Yes. Very happy. Thank you.
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