Generative Ambient Music With Cassette Tapes & Digitone

Sunday Synth Jam: This video, via Blicero, captures ‘cost’, a haunting generative ambient work, created with cassette audio tapes and an Elektron Digitone synthesizer.

The music is inspired by the HBO series Chernobyl and its musical score:

“What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth; the real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognise the truth at all.“

‘cost’ is based around four separate recordings of generative tracks from the Digitone, each going to its own track on the 4-Track cassette recorder.

12 thoughts on “Generative Ambient Music With Cassette Tapes & Digitone

    1. Spooky! Now post your own address so we can all stop by when you’re not home… jk. This is doxxing and should be deleted.

    1. seems a bit of a harsh response! there’s a LOT of compositions that that have been inspired by Chernobyl (both the event and the tv series).. and many of them are drifty decayed ambient pieces

    2. I think you’re right. There are lots of moments between the two works that are way to similar to be coincidence. Listen to 6:50 to 7:25 in both tracks for example.

  1. First of all we all know Tape is cool to work with

    I get that this is a difficult task as is

    What i dont get is why it is always seeming to be only “ambient results” that comes from this process and these tools

    Nice job though

    1. I assume because it’s easier to do music that isn’t as tied to a beat with tape, because you don’t have to get the timing perfect.

      1. I think its more intention – the slowing down of tape reveals all these new, beautiful textures that make a very satisfying listening experience. That is why ambient artists are drawn to it.
        In my live sets I combine tape with beats, using all kinds of roundabout ways to give the appearance of tape and synths playing in time. here is a piece indicative of that process: https://youtu.be/YWs-U_qB1cU
        It is not dance by any means, but using LPGs to trigger the tape loop in time with the modular makes it all come together while retaining the drift of tape and character.

  2. “Ambient” music isn’t new, there are compositions from the 1400s that are simply drone string with a solo signer. Really, when the string instrument is playing one note for the duration, and the singer’s tempo is quite slow, what else could it be called but ambient?

    As stated in the description, the piece is four tracks of self-generating patches. When I see the term, “self-generating,” I think, “wind chimes.” Any label can be applied when you listen.

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