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How to start making musique concrète?

Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:16 pm
by Mudpuppy
This is probably one of the more obscure music styles, and some of you may not even consider it as a style of music. Music or not music, it is a form of art that I am interested in making.

I am a rock musician and only know very few good examples of avant-garde music and musique concrète, such as The Beatles' Revolution 9. My brother and I both like how this kind of music sounds, and after having played music with more convenient instruments for over a decade, we've been wanting to try things with tape recorders and sound samples instead. Note that, as my brother said, we are not looking to create bad music and call it avant-garde; we want to make actual, half-decent musique concrète (or at least have a good time trying). Specifically we want to compose and record music, but later on we may also want to try performing it live.

Are there any good tips on how to start out completely from scratch? The do's and don'ts, maybe even some articles that take you by the hand and guide you through the steps of creating a concept and successfully conveying that through musique concrète... anything that could be helpful to a musician who is completely uneducated about this kind of music.

Re: How to start making musique concrète?

Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:32 pm
by Trebor
If you want to simulate tape recordings in Audacity ... viewtopic.php?p=414412#p414412

Re: How to start making musique concrète?

Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:32 pm
by steve
Personal opinion:

As with creating any kind of music or art, the blank page is daunting.
Give yourself some kind of focus - an idea, or theme, or concept, or feeling, or mood, or environment - anything will do so long as you have some kind of focus rather than just a blank canvas.

Next comes the materials - collect lots and lots of materials - lots of sounds that relate to the "focus" in some way. The more the better.
Listen to them repeatedly so that you are familiar with them. Unlike physical object you can't just cast your eye over them to pick one out, you need to know them.

Once you know what your focus is, and what materials you have, putting them together becomes obvious. You will know which sounds belong alongside which others, which ones create tension by association, which ones flow and which ones jar.

Get to know your tools thoroughly (especially Audacity). This comes from using the tools.

Don't aim for perfection. Make many rough mixes and gradually refine.

Most importantly, love what you're doing. It can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. Don't care if others don't like it - most people probably won't :D