Duet for Synthesizer and the Washing

This piece is a test recording for an upcoming project. I recorded nine minutes of sound while doing the washing. Both the dryer and the washing machine were going at once. Several of the laundry cycles were captured including the fill cycle and the spin cycle. Accidentally some coins got into the dryer (I swear it was an accident) creating some nice high-frequency, stumbling rhythms.

Afterward I tried a few sessions of Pro-One along side the laundry sounds. I wasn’t satisfied with the first few attempts that I made where I was purposefully avoiding musical results. The effects were interesting, but seemed disjointed from the ambiance. For the last attempt I decided to try a drone in fifths developing into a simple sequence in six that finally degrades into filter effects and textures. Toward the end there’s a section where it’s difficult to tell what is an environmental sound and what is the synthesizer, which signifies a success of sorts for me.

I processed the washing sounds with a little bit of compression. The Pro-One was going through the Electro-Harmonix Memory Man analog delay that I manipulated throughout the recording. I recorded the synth and delay onto separate tracks. This made it possible to run the delay through an auto-pan effect while keeping the dry synth track in mono. This produced a nice sweeping stereo effect on the synth while maintaining a thick dry synth sound in the center, something that I’ve wanted to try for a long time.

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