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NEMO 027
year: 2008

project coordinator:Krispen Hartung
mastering: Krispen Hartung
artwork:Krispen Hartung

CT-Bugs is a collection of compositions based on a set of sample recordings of a various insects from around the world. No other sound sources were used other than the insects. The artists, all members of (CT) Collective, manipulated these sample recordings with various effects and audio software, in order to produce their final work of musical art.

The copyright to each song belongs to the respective artist.
Right-click audio player and then click "save as" to download a track

1 Krispen Hartung The Ambient Wasp
  A friend of mine was able to capture a wasp in its nest before they hive went dormant for the winter. I put the wasp in a small ceramic jar and covered it with GLAD "Press and Seal",a stretchy Saran wrap like substance. I then punctured holes in the Saran wrap with a needle so that the wasp could breath and I could capture its sound with a microphone.

I then proceeded to severely irritate the wasp by shaking the ceramic jar and then placing a SURE SM57 mic just a few millimeters from the top of the Saran wrap. I repeated this and recorded the output into an RME Fireface 400 and my laptop computer until I had several minutes of recorded material.

After this, I mastered the wav file with Steinberg's Wavelab and WAVES, bringing it up to a reasonable level, and added some compression to eliminate major spikes, and also used some parametric EQ to reduce some of the extreme frequencies. This file became my raw material for processing in max-msp and Reaktor.

The interesting thing about my recording of the wasp was that I captured many more interesting sounds than just the irritated wasp. The wasp spent a fair amount of time clinging to and crawling along the underside of the Saran wrap. This produced some fascinating percussive, clicking sounds, which added a whole new dimension to the sound of the insect.

I created two separate processed file from the above raw recording of the wasp. In both cases, I played the file inside max-msp and processed the sounds. The first file was processed Reaktor and the ensemble called "Blackbird." It added layers of octaves, delay, and panning to the sound that yielded very rich and large ambient textures. I also manipulated some of the effect parameters in real-time while processing and recording the file. When I mastered and dithered the file, I also added some 3-D spacialization effects with WAVES.

The second file was processed with my own max-msp patches, various modulation, reverse delay, pitch, granular, and random effects. I processed the file in real-time as it was playing, and recorded the output to disk.

After the two separate files were processed and mastered, I mixed them together into the final master file.
2 Jeffrey Letterly (the cricket marries)
  "(the cricket marries)" consists of two bug samples: distress signals emitted by a single black fire ant with caught antenna (http://home.olemiss.edu/~hickling, courtesy of R. Hickling) and a cricket (http://freesound.iua.upf.edu, courtesy of monterey2000). The piece relies heavily on pitch and speed shifting the ant's distress signals to create sounds that imitate string instruments, brass instruments, and electronic blips and bleeps. The sound scape of these is then contrasted with the cricket sounds, which sing the Hungarian folk song "The Cricket Marries."
3 Rinus van Alebeek Rock 'n Roll
4 Steven Guerrero Martyrs and Saints
  The crickets used for this project were purchased as food for my tree frog Darwin and therefore are no longer with us. There were 36 of these particular crickets in a plastic bag which were dumped into Darwin's terrarium and recorded direct into my Fostex VF160... before he did away with them. I then ran the sound source through the live set up used with my bass for solo shows. A Bass Pod XT Live, Korg Toneworks AX3B and Electro Harmonix Holy Stain using various features of each and looped through a Line 6 DL4 and Boss RC-20XL. Edited and mastered in Adobe Audition with the help of Joe Koziarski of The Track Shack in Toledo, Ohio. An unedited version exists. Darwin enjoyed his meal and thanked the crickets. We should too...
5 Peter Gambles Metamorphosis
  Composed entirely within Ableton Live, using two sound clips of bugs’ courtship songs, sampled and manipulated in various ways.

Sounds used:
Tritomegas bicolor and Sehirus luctuosus courtship songs courtesy of Prof. Dr. Matija Gogala, Natural History Museum of Slovenia (http://www2.arnes.si/%7eljprirodm3/okvir.html). Many thanks to Professor Matija for his permission to use his recordings.

Pied Shield Bug (Tritomegas bicolor) by ‘nutmeg66’ on Flikr website
(Creative Commons License Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic)

Sehirus luctuosus by Keith Edkins on http://www.gwydir.demon.co.uk/insects/index.htm
(Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike2.5 License.

Thanks to ‘angstrom’ of the Ableton Live forum for the tutorial and example racks for making generative music in Ableton Live
6 David Cooper Orton The Fruit Fly's Lament
  "The Fruit Fly's lament: what Katy did's not just Cricket(s)" - David Cooper Orton

Three bugs - fruit fly, katydids and crickets.
I sourced these from the Bug Bytes website: http://www.ars.usda.gov/sp2UserFiles/person/3559/soundlibrary.html

Although they have been quite radically changed in the process of composition, the ideas for the somewhat melancholy melodies were suggested by a snippette of sound from a male fruit fly which couldn't itself be used, but provided the inspiration for this piece, such as it is.
Much editing and ACIDification occurred, and quite a few liberties taken, including re-tuning of samples etc.
comment Jul 14, 2008: Michael Peters (www.michaelpeters.de)
  another wonderful track by DCO - what a nice little melody and magical atmosphere ! for some reason this tune reminds me of 1) the movie Liquid Sky and 2) of the first Henry Cow album
comment Aug 30, 2008: nick (www.looping.me.uk)
  I always check your track first and am never disappointed. All praise to CT for inspiring tracks like this.
comment Aug 30, 2008: nick (www.looping.me.uk)
  I always check your track first and am never disappointed. All praise to CT for inspiring tracks like this.
7 Rick Williamson Pterygota
  13533_BumbleBee & 20797_FlyLoop Courtesy of acclivity
35089_bee_colony Courtesy of Erdie
All Samples Taken from http://freesound.iua.upf.edu

Improvisation recorded and performed in Max/Msp
8 Ronny Waernes Flight of the Grasshopper Bees
  This track is made out of two sound clips I found on the internet:
A 10 seconds long clip of a swam of bees: http://www.grsites.com/archive/sounds/view/1772/
A one minute sound clip of grasshoppers, which I only took out a 3 second loop from: http://www.soundsnap.com/taxonomy/term/88?page=1
I used them as loops, took out smaller bits of them, added effects, reversed, changed pitch, etc and mixed it all together into this 6 minute track. No other sound sources where used.
9 Jim Goodin Up in the Trees
  Source: Cricket - Enma-Koorogi obtained from
which appeared to be public domain from all I could

The inspiration in the spirit of the BUGS project was to
take the 'chirp' from the cricket and manipulate it to
create a soundscape somewhat dark, minimalist yet
maintaining a sense of visual in the piece.

I used Soundforge v 4.5 to alter the sample. I did pitch variations largely, some reverb and some panning effx to
create my samples which for Up in the Trees was about
10 different Soundforge created files.

I then used Audacity 1.3 Beta WinXP version for creating
the song using 11 stereo tracks. I exported the WAV and MP3
mix files from Audacity. I did some final leveling and tweaking
of the WAV in Soundforge.
10 Stephen Scott Tiger Mosquito and Fruit Flies
  Insect sound sources were obtained from US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, and used with informed permission of Richard Mankin, Research Entomologist, Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research Unit, on 21st November 2007


The piece consists ONLY of the sound of 3 insects:

(1) Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) male in flight. recorded by Everett Foreman with Bruel and Kjaer microphone
(2) Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly) adult male courtship song recorded by Everett Foreman with Bruel and Kjaer microphone and
(3) Bactrocera tyroni (Queensland fruit fly) adult male calling song recorded with Phil Taylor at Macquarie University, Sydney Australia.

Soundclips were heavily edited using Goldwave and assembled and further edited using Audacity.
11 Adam J Wimbush Midnight Moves with the Moth Man
  Injured Moth
Captured Fly

My approach to the sounds was to interpret the life cycle of these insects
i.e. egg, caterpillars, maggots, pupae, chrysalis, moth, fly
metamorphosis was interpreted by editing and effects etc… hatching into a moth/fly the resulting sound files

the text below describes rudimentarily the path each insect (sound) travelled

Input-Moth&Fly>StereoMic>Minidisk>Sound Studio2.0.7>
Live 6.0.3 OS X(demo)>Portastudio414mkII>Sound Studio2.0.7>Forester v1.2>Portastudio414mkII> Sound Studio2.0.7>Mixing>Cut & Paste Editing>>Output
12 andy butler Cicadas and Crickets

Day time cicada, Turkey.
Day time cricket, Turkey.
Night time cicadas, Turkey.
Night time cricket chorus, Crete.

Sennheiser MKE-66 stereo mic.
Vivanco EM216 stereo mic.
Sony MZ-35 MD Recorder.
Kenwood DMF20 destop MD Player(for digital transfer to pc)
PC with Adobe Audition.

All sounds are derived from recordings I made of the insects.

Slowing down the insect sounds brings them into a more musically useful octave range,
and reveals hidden structural details which would otherwise pass un-noticed.

Composition method is essentially improvisational, I select sounds in the Audition editor and, after any necessary clean-up work on the audio, use Audition to alter the sounds until they seem ready for use. Typical processes are resampling at slower speed, and filtering, although occasionally other treatments are used.
Sometimes sections are submixed to a new file for further treatment.
The sounds are added to the Audition multitrack layout for accurate positioning, with the option for automated volume control, filtering and panning.

In this piece, typically the treated sounds are heard first, in variation, before the original insect sound is revealed.
The last section is an unedited, untreated recording of massed crickets, all singing a prolonged 3kHz tone.

Copyright 2007 Andy Butler

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