Ambient / Electroacoustic / IDM-ish Album made with VCV Rack (1)

Hi everybody !

I wanted to share this album here since all but one (n°8) tracks were made in VCV Rack, with sometimes some editing / montage in Live. I’d say it is a bit ambient, electroacoustic, some chill IDM, a bit of noise, dark at times…

Here is the link .

And some notes for the entire album, and then track per track :

Loooong notes

Source - Détour Détail

This album is the result of a journey, exploring the idea of balance.

With life always coming up with new ways of disturbing one’s idea of what « kind » of balance works, I had to look for ways to take that into those pieces, explore it that way.

It is about movement and stillness, consonance and dissonance, message and noise, and really it is about how any of those idea is nothing in itself, without the intent of the person feeling it, watching it, seeing it. So really it is about trying to walk the arbitrary line between all of that with sound, and make that a journey.

It was made between February and December 2021 using almost only VCV Rack 1, only free modules (not that it matters, but I am cheap it seems), a bit of montage on Live 10, and all recording, listening, mixing and mastering was done on a flimsy 2019 MacBook Pro with Sony MDR7506 headphones.

Artwork was made by Lisa Gervassi, from one of her photos.

  • Ombre portée

Intention :

I am walking with my dog in the woods behind the house. It is early, the sun barely makes it through the leaves, but I feel its heat coming down the really abrupt hill, colliding with the cold coming from the small stream at the bottom of the valley. We find small prints of all kind of animals, and we scare one, a hare. It goes away running. My dog kind of wants me to believe she is going to go after, but she’s too old for that, she enjoys the walk at a slower pace these days.

Technic :

It is a single VCV patch with samples and FM, plus a VCO/VCF voice, a lot of edit for volume variations.

  • Après réflexion

Intention :

Looking at the city I am working in right now, thinking of my family, that stayed home.

The buildings also have a sort of beauty, although I am still trying to adjust to it. I miss the colors and smells, but sill it makes me want to build the missing peace with sound.

Technic :

A single VCV patch again, using Orca’s heart and FM-OPs, trying to look for delicate and moving dissonance, staying light and kind of melodic.

  • J’observe le renard qui ne me voit pas

Intention :

A walk with the dog, again ! This time we found ourselves facing a fox, it had not seen us, it was smelling something in some bushes. My dog did not see it either, I was just waiting for the moment one of the two would break this magical moment, we were a few meters away. After that we walked for an hour, I was remembering the encounter, looking for more.

Technic :

For this one I had to do it in three patches as my computer does not permit that big patches. So I built it with same keys and tempo, one focusing on melodic stuffs (FM again, I love how it allows for a bit of dissonance in a really beautifully simple sound), one on the rhythm (clics and noise mostly, a lot of the Neuron module !), and one on the samples (filed recording of house objects, some more « concrète » sounds.

  • Quand viendra le printemps

Intention :

A journey through winter, this one had been particularly long and hard on the moral (covid and all, away from the family a lot, and to much work in general). So this is an exploration of the fight between hope and fatigue, trying to see the good side in the end.

Technic :

This one has a lot, recorded improvs with 4 different VCV patches (generative patches using FM and granular mostly… Those ones I do to synth myself to sleep when I am away), one that was then fully turned into a « song » in Live (with added drums, Operator for a bass, and VCV with experimental routing for the lead).

  • En suivant les méandres

Intention :

I follow those small bubbles, containing memories, when they explode it all comes out : the good, the bad, the smells, the ideas and feelings of the past… Sometimes a few of them arrange themselves into a story, but it always ends up dissolving itself. So I watch them arise, elevate until they can’t anymore, and then let everything out, falling to the sea. On their way back, they interact with today’s me, making new memories for future me.

Technic :

A lot of sounds have been processed with Argeïphontes Lyre, for which I am so grateful as it spits out happy accidents a lot, while totally inspiring me to stay in a creative zone where technicality stays ashore for a while.

I then imported them in VCV for more mangling (sequenced effects, granular…) Something I realize I did a lot in this album is using the out of the mixer as the FM source for a stereo voice (Bogaudio FM-OPs), I like how it makes the whole patch interact with said voice, itself included, and can go wild at times, it makes for a bumpy ride but really alive.

Then there is this part where a lot of sounds come from FM (again ??) sequenced by Orca’s Heart. I love this little sequencer, it is so inspiring, easy to stir and yet surprising !

  • Lenteur et précipitation

Intention :

The idea for the patch came while driving, the sun was coming a bit through the thick fog, at about 6 am, last spring.

Technic : A single VCV patch with tuned FM percussions, and noise, looking for balance between something smooth, and a bit of uncertainty and discomfort, yet a soothing one.

  • Tapis dans l’ombre

Intention :

Thinking about family secrets, and stuffs that are not a secret but we won’t talk about it because it does not help when spending time together, and how we try to let the beauty of some moments happen through all that.

Technic :

This one is really simple, 2 FM OPs feed backing into each other with delay in the path, the time and feedback of the delay being modulated to create those screams. Then 3 « Stages » doing weird rhythms with a few more FM-OPs being modulated by the master out, a bit of reverb.

  • Pente raide et soleil froid

Intention :

An other walk with the dog, but it’s winter. It is really cold, the sun is keeping me from fully opening my eyes, and the hill feels even harder to beat than usual. But slowly I start to take pleasure from the repetition, and we then arrive at the top, where the view makes the pain go away in a moment of contemplation. Going back feels easy, the sun is higher, melting the thin ice that took on the grass during the night, it is quiet and beautiful.

Technic :

This one is the Lyra8, a delay pedal and some no input feedback on the mixer.

  • Contrechant

Intention :

It is a procession. We are all walking in silence. Some animals try to communicate with us, but what is there left to say ? We go on, until we all stop, one by one, and leave it to the animals, they’ll manage where we failed.

Technic :

A single VCV patch, with a big FM voice (modulating itself through the « Spectral Blur » module), and other small ones responding. Everything is modulated by everything (FM wise) as to create a bond between sounds. A small loop try to come and go, (« simpliciter » with random gates to modulate reading speed). All timings are from a slowly slowing down clock, each voice regularly triggered but time divisions are weird (17, 19, 23…).

Thanks a lot in advance to anybody who would take the time to listen to some of it, and feedback is of course very welcome !


Very nice!

Thank you !

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Sooo, this is quite possibly the most interesting - as in wow! - release I’ve seen posted on here! Super nice!

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Wow, thank you very much !