Monday, August 21, 2023

700円 Breakfast Outing in Japan: Ambient Soundscape

This ambient piece is all about the recorded environment sounds, as I left home, walked to the station, catch the train, walk to the café in the local Mall, and then the reverse. A real "time machine" for me. First thing I have made to place such importance on the environmental recorded sounds, even if the previous project lead to this.  

Use my Zoom H1 recorder set to auto level, usually with the low cut filter on and with a "dead cat" wind shield.  I found the wind shield is vital to any outdoor recording. For most of the walking outside the recorder is held in my right hand and I just walk normally, just not swinging my right arm. The H1 is all I have ever needed in a portable recorder.  

The 24bit WAV file were copied via USB from the H1 to the project directory, and were dropped on a track in Reaper, then sections selected, cut, fade in/out and level adjusted together. Color coding some clips helps with keeping track of things.

The first quarter is basically the sound of me walking to the station from home, with birds, insects, distant traffic noise and the sound of passing other people. It does set up a kind of rhythm and tempo. The sound of the train pulling into my local station, then cuts to outside the destination station walking past the bus stands, past some apartment building construction, up the café steps, then the sound of the coffee machine grinding the coffee beans and espresso steam. Then the café serving robot saying take the tray with your order and thank you in an anime style voice.

Some sounds in the Mall, then the sound of the train leaving after I arrived at my home station and the beep of the station exit gate as I pay with my contactless travel card. Then the walk home and close the front door. 

Will anyone else find it interesting? No idea at all, except some outside Japan may find a breakfast that good and cheap an impossibility.

It uses the VST synths with the addition of an ARP 2600 this time similar to the last few Ambient Music tracks. 

The music is not the focus at all. Just all adlibbed one take parts, not recorded to a grid at all.   

Have previously considered getting Roland Binaural Earphones with Microphone CS-10EM to use with the Zoom H1, for this kind of environmental sound. They probably aren't any good if there is any wind though.

This GUSTO café has the best value Morning Sets around and a Bellabot server robot. For that price you also have unlimited use of the drink bar, but a freshly ground hot or ice coffee is all I ever have.  Same breakfast without the sausage and beacon is 550円, and that is what I actually had yesterday. In all cases I get 5% off for being over 60, as are most in GUSTO having breakfast.  
The hip young things are over in Starbucks paying more for a sugar loaded Frappuccino.

I did a little 1 page comic on the Bellabot here: 

The image is a photo of the breakfast, and is slowly warped using the MOHO Pro 12 Bone method.

The track is also in our "pay what you want" (even 0円)  Spirograph Album on Bandcamp.

We can be found at ArtAndTechnology

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