Thank you so much!
Stereo: I'm always uncomfortable knowing that I only have my own headphones (Senn HD 558s) and my current phone's (Galaxy S8 right now) sound capabilities to judge a soundscape with… I might be unaware of what to listen for, we might be hearing different things, or we're just used to different things in general. On my end, I'mmm pretty happy about how the washes come at my head. I don't have much knowledge about the technical problems I could run into screwing with width or anything, so I'm not sure exactly how movement might be *restricted*, or how low end actually works in stereo. If you want to clarify anything, make it public via edit, of course!
I will say that I probably neglect dynamic adjustments to width too much… part of that is that it seems to create ugly artifacts I have to fight with without the finest level of control. But now that I'm focusing on the edges, the outer limits feel like they sit stationary too long, and are rather contained. Some spots in the intro bear too much relative weight, too.
Sound design: SunVox is a tracker-like program with no VST support, but a collection of modules that serve as simple building blocks for more complex designs. One cool feature is that another instance of SunVox itself can be loaded as a "meta"-module. That instance can be used as a processing chain or synth, and even nested within another metamodule.
A couple of the metamodules I made and now overuse are 1. a chain of filter peaks that serve as a resonator, and 2. a double-layered band-pass/reject filter, with band edges similar to devil horns. A synth metamodule I made last May, but never completed anything with until this track, was the stringy thing. It's basically a few rough finger-drawn waveforms with filter envelopes, reverb, and a very imprecise keytracked flanger delay with some touchy feedback. A couple iterations on that over time, more filters, more reverb, a triangle tagalong, and it sounds like it does here. Glide, spot-pitchbend/vibrato, slight timing/volume offsets, etc. were used for bits of character like the sharper-sounding plucks, and the twangs at 4:33 and 4:51.
Originally, this was just going to be a short thing with the looped-ish melody adopted by the stringy thing. I realized as I was playing around that the melody was similar to something I doodled in Renoise a while back, so I made it closer to that original melody.
After looping it a bit, I thought it would benefit from a wash of ambience at the start. I decided to take another metamodule I made for granular synthesis and feed it my old Renoise project, ripped from YouTube. It was just a similar melody on a simple chimey sound, and some simple reverby pad chords with distortion and a bandpass. Densely layered, played at different pitches, with random offsets to controlled sample playback offsets, it sounds like it does at the start… oddly human at times. (I LOVE ambiguously human vocal sounds, by the way. That little nook in the uncanny valley transcends Earth.) Suddenly, instead of adding a wash of ambience, I was working on the drone half of my new longest track. cuz dang, I wasn't expecting it to sound that good.
Going into it, I thought I was going to have occasional little kicks and glitches wherever they could be slipped in neatly, but after putting off designing the percussion too long and getting the drone stuff in, it didn't feel right anymore. I added 6:04 as a weak suggestion/reminder of the percussive presence there could have been, which doesn't fit as well as I envisioned such percussion in general could have. Probably would've been a tad bolder.
5:13 after the chugging drum-like sound is some granulated throat noise, with a butt-ton of modules shaping it. It is *super* convoluted.
The high-pitched clicky glitchy fizzles are a granulated sample of a noise generator I made. Similarly convoluted.
… beyond that, I don't think there's much else of note.
what's even the character limit on this thing