#WhatIfDrone | Inspiration and Ideas

Weekend adventures are truly more fun when done in sound.
A few days ago we put out a call for entries, this one to do with sound. You can join the event on Facebook and create your own drone remix.

So what does it mean to do a “drone remix?” In The Digital Musician,* drone is described as follows:

The drone is a fundamental aspect of much of the world’s music, providing a stable reference point against which to hear the pitches of a melody…. A drone may be purely pitch-based or may also include a rhythmic element, when tuned percussion instruments are used. Either way the purpose of a drone is to be constantly present and to unify a piece.

Hence, drone is a sort of “musical constant.” We have many examples of drones available on our SoundCloud. Some examples of creative drone types:


Insect sounds:






Bells (here including a rhythmic component, as this is pitched percussion):


Then to add some more melodic elements that can “extend” the pieces. The Algorithmic Flamenco playlist contains several sound samples that have drone-like qualities yet are nevertheless melodic:


Barbara has provided an inspiring first example submission that uses drones in a way that plays with the concept of tonalities, and extends the sound waves in a very audibly fascinating way. You can clearly hear the development of each drone element as it is drawn out to its aurally logical conclusion.


I also made a remix. Mine is done using relatively simple digital means (Garageband and four sound samples from the What if? SoundCloud). I use several different drone-like elements to create a cohesive flow, with these elements weaving into and out of the framework of the piece’s structure. Here I demonstrate that it is not necessary to engage in complicated sound processing in order to do an effective remix.

So grab your laptop or mobile and some headphones, get outside or stay indoors, listen to the sounds on our SoundCloud, get inspired, and get remixing!

*The Digital Musician, by Andrew Hugill. Taylor & Francis, 2007.

Featured image: mosaica | clio em. Copyright © 2015 Clio Montrey.

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