Noisy improv videos on YouTube

I've been experimenting with a couple of things lately and decided to start uploading some rough results to YouTube. One thing is improvising with a synthesizer and then using that as "raw material" for a composition; the other is techniques for making raw, non-tonal noise using a fairly traditional synthesiser.

Here's the first one:

The sound that comes in at about 3:20 is the kind of thing I've been after. Partly this is led by musical things I was reaching for on The Crystal Pavillions. But it's also partly just an intellectual challenge: something like the ASM Hydrasynth is often approached with the question of whether it can make traditional analogue-sounding patches, whether it's "warm" enough and so on. And anyone who's messed about with it for a while knows it can do very elegant digital wavetable-scanning sounds. But can it sound like an old shortwave radio?

Of course the trick to these sounds is feedback. In particular, I'm using FM and cross-modulation: usually Osc 1 receives FM from Osc 2, and Osc 2 receives FM from Osc 1. I learned from this Sarah Belle Reid video that the way to make this really work is to turn the depth down very low while the feedback is cranked. You don't have to use FM for this, the Hydra has other "modulators" as well. I wish it allowed you to just make one of the oscillators a modulation source instead of (or as well as!) an audio source would be nice, but I've never seen that feature in a desktop synth; I think that belongs more in modular territory.

So I'm going to do some more experiments like this in the coming months. The plan is to push myself out of my comfort zone in terms of sound design on the instruments I have, while also homing a process of using improvisations as raw material for compositions. I like the idea of putting these out in a rough-and-ready form on YouTube rather than trying to make them into an album, which I like to put a lot more compositional work into.

Don't worry, I won't post them all here; sub to my YouTube channel if you want a notification when a new one appears. [UPDATE: I've started adding them to a playlist you can access here.]