Intro To Electronic Music

Here's the presentation from our first session this term, with the relevant videos below it:

Copy of Hack Sounds by Hacked Sound

Some related videos:
Tracklisting from the video creator (TBH don't totally agree with some of the genres!):
1970 - Kluster - Kluster (Experimental Krautrock)
1971 - Claude Denjean - Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (Synthpop)
1972 - Hot Butter - Popcorn (Synthpop)
1973 - Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (Progressive Rock)
1974 - Kraftwerk - Autobahn (Krautrock)
1975 - Tangerine Dream - Rubycon (Ambient)
1976 - Michael Rother - Feuerland (Ambient Krautrock)
1977 - Donna Summer - I Feel Love (Hi-NRG Disco)
1978 - Giorgio Moroder - The Chase (Synth Disco)
1979 - Roots - What Are You Doing in Casablanca (Disco)
1980 - Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime (New Wave)
1981 - Patrick Cowley - Menergy (Hi-NRG)
1982 - Steel Mind - Lionel (Italo Disco)
1983 - Tyrone Brunson - The Smurf (Electro Funk)
1984 - Harold Faltermayer - Axel F (Synthpop)
1985 - Serious Intention - You Don't Know (Garage House)
1986 - Marshall Jefferson - Move Your Body (House)
1987 - 49ers - Touch Me (Italo House) (Fact check: Actually released in 1989)
1988 - Jungle Brothers - I'll House You (Hip-House)
1989 - Hit House - Everybody (Acid House)
1990 - Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence (Dance-Pop)
1991 - Dance 2 Trance - We Came in Peace (Trance)
1992 - The Prodigy - Out of Space (Hardcore Jungle)
1993 - P. P. Orange - My Feelings (Breakbeat)
1994 - Raver's Choice - Raver's Choice 3 (Happy Hardcore)
1995 - Faithless - Insomnia (Euro House)
1996 - Chemical Brothers - Electronic Battle Weapon 1 (Big Beat)
1997 - Aphex Twin - Come to Daddy (Drum n Bass, Breakcore)
1998 - Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You (French House)
1999 - Max Coveri - Running in the 90's (Eurobeat)
2000 - Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice (Big Beat)
2001 - Modjo - Chillin (French House)
2002 - High Voltage - Bombs Away (Hardstyle)
2003 - Interphace - Dr. Feelgood (Trance, Euro House)
2004 - Alex Neri - Club Element (Progressive House)
2005 - Daft Punk - Human After All (Electronic Rock)
2006 - Basshunter - DotA (Eurodance)
2007 - Justice - DVNO (Nu Disco)
2008 - Deadmau5 - Faxing Berlin (Progressive House)
2009 - Parov Stelar - Catgroove (Electro Swing)
2010 - Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand (Nu Disco)
2011 - Skrillex - Bangarang (Moombahcore, Dubstep, Brostep)
2012 - Tiësto - We Own the Night (Progressive House)
2013 - Armin van Buuren - This Is What It Feels Like (Progressive House)


Hack Beats

We've had a few strictly beat-making sessions, and here's some of the resulting tunes, in rough demo form:

AirSticks with Alon

HackSound members were in for a treat tonight with Alon Ilsar coming in to demonstrate the AirSticks! Alon has been a drummer for over 25 years, and has come up with an innovative and intuitive way to perform by triggering sounds (any sound or sample track, not just drums!) through the air using motion-sensing hand controllers.

Many of us were keen to try it as it looks fun and akin to playing a motion-controlled video game.

The AirSticks require you to stand in front of the magnetic sensor and trigger sounds by moving the hand controllers in a striking and slashing fashion. The movement feels quite natural and unrestricted, so you can go for broke and dance too if you like.The buttons on the controllers can also be used to add a sound, such as high hats, or add sound effects. Not only that, you can bring in your feet too by using the Keith McMillen 10 gesture-sensitive foot pad.

For performances, it’s probably a good idea to know what your sound configurations are so that you aren’t lost in virtual space. Each sound is configured and mapped to a trigger point which runs along a vertical line. For instance, you could trigger a sound close to your body and as you move your controllers further out, following the same line, the pitch would increase.

There is a lot you can do with the AirSticks already but future possibilities include using the controllers on it’s side and supporting full body oscillation. Regardless, the AirSticks offer an exciting and new way for music to be more easily accessible to anyone from any background. Cheers to that!

Carmen - Hack Sounds member

Pics and a short clip below:

A post shared by Hack Sounds (@hacksounds) on

Hacksounds x Rick Bull aka Deepchild aka Acharné - 8th May 2017

Having some knowledge in music from 10 years of piano playing and with no experience in Ableton or music production, I plunged into the depths of 107 Projects and attended a production masterclass with Rick Bull aka Deepchild aka Acharné, as part of the Hack Sounds music program.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom I took away:

Start with small steps. Small musical steps. Achievable small steps.

Writing a whole song is daunting but capturing a soundbite is easily achievable.

Make it personal. Start with the sounds from the day to day.

Record it. Whatever it is.

The ambient sound of the local shopping centre. That audio interview. The pop song that's played incessantly on the radio.

Use a dedicated sound recorder or your phone. Just record it.

Start hoarding musical clips.

With the help of Ableton, these musical clips become the building blocks of a track.

The shopping centre audio becomes a loop after effects are applied to it. That's the first layer

The clipped sound of an exhalation in that audio interview could be the sound of a drum's high hat.

Applied rhythmically, judiciously, could be another loop. The second layer down.

The third loop, the slowed down vocals on the pop song becomes another layer.

A post shared by Hack Sounds (@hacksounds) on

There it is, a basic track drawn from the personal experience of the mundane day to day.

More loops can be added of course and there will be more than enough material to work with (remember the hoard of musical clips?).

The end point to finishing a track then becomes an exercise in deselecting, culling and stripping away the unnecessary. 

Take away all the effects, sleep on it and see if the track stands on its own after some time has passed.

Top of the line equipment unnecessary, all it takes is a computer capable of running Ableton. 

There are hundreds of free plug-ins with lots of different sounds and effects out there. 

Technical proficiency not required. 


Rick's enthusiasm for ambient sound was infectious. Creating a track doesn't seem all that daunting now. 


Annabel - Hack Sounds group member

Hack Sounds x Accessible Arts

Accessible Arts provided the seed funding for the Hack Sounds program, to support an inclusive community music program at 107 Projects. They came along for a couple of sessions and our performance, and had a chat with us about the program as a whole.

Take a look at the video, above, with some lovely shots from the film-maker, Hugh Clark, and some background on our little micro-utopian music program. Something which is not highlighted in video is the fundamental underpinning philosophy of our program-inclusion. Hack Sounds is not a disability music program, it's an inclusive community electronic music program, which includes people with a disability. At Hack Sounds, we're strong believers in inclusive practices, for people with a disability, people from diverse cultural backgrounds, different genders, different skill levels, what-have-you. We are an adult "serious leisure" program which seeks to provide a fun and welcoming place to create music collaboratively, utilising tools that are generally very accessible, and be able to be used by all people.

The music in the video was developed by Hack Sounds members, during Hack Sounds sessions, with a little post-production from Hack Sounds producer, Piri Rutherford, check it out below:

Hack Sounds x Roland = Good times

On Monday, David from Roland was kind enough to drop by 107 to show off Roland's epic AIRA range, including freakin awesome synths, drum machines, vocoders, DJ controllers and more... We had a great turn out, and got properly stuck into testing out all of the things. It was pretty noisy, and mildly chaotic, but that's how we roll. In the words of one of our regular group members, "Best Hack Ever!". Here's to many more, and even better Hack Sounds events... Pics below.


Turning the material we work on within our sessions has always been a goal for Hack Sounds. So when Accessible Arts, whose funding initiated the whole project, asked us for some music to soundtrack a short film they had commissioned about our program, it seemed like an ideal opportunity to do just that.

Constructing a brief based on the placeholder music for the draft of the video we had been sent, we set about turning a piece we had developed during one of our session, and had performed for our show, into a smooth House tune. It had originally been slower, with a slight Classical feel, so first we sped it up and then worked out some other elements. We played with some different sounds and beat structures, and got a basic arrangement together.

Some mild post-production and mixing, and voila: