Helios-1

Image from the NASA solar observatory project.
See NASA for copyright details.

Ambient is often associated with gentle, drifting sounds and excessive use of piano + strings. Helios 1 is none of these things. 

Harsh metallic sounds mixed with disturbing filtered white noise are driven using a long running generative algorithm to produce a complex, unstable sound which creates patterns which constantly shift but can be hypnotic.

The images are from the NASA sun observatory program showing the Sun rotating over several months.


This piece uses a large amount of subtractive synthesis. It starts from quite simple sounds and then works with them using filters. Metallic sounds are formed from frequency modulation post filtering and, naturally, there is quite a bit of resonance thrown in to give depth and richness. I created it using the generative engine from Further Into The Caverns with some tweaking and different sound sources. The bigest change other than the sound sources is harsh rapid transitions with smoothness taken out.

Helios-1 scared my dogs!

However, after a while it does become relaxing and almost meditational  This is not only my view - my daughter just said the same thing unprompted :)