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Home » Artists, Music

Richard Eigner: Denoising Field Recordings

Submitted by on July 16, 2010 – 8:56 am One Comment

Most people who are familiar with computer-based music production have used or seen de-noise plugins. They basically take a snapshot of the noise, and remove the noise from the wanted sound via various algorithms. De-noise algorithms can often be extremely effective, but typically have leftover effects in the form of ghost noises and audio glitches.

Having said that, sometimes these artifacts can sound quite interesting on their own. Austrian musician Richard Eigner has taken this idea and run with it, recording an entire album of the “leftover” sounds from de-noised recordings. Richard went out and made some particularly noisy field recordings, de-noised them, and the removed the original “good” audio, leaving just the “unwanted” artifacts. He turned the results into a very creative and interesting sounding album.

Richard says:

“Denoising Field Recordings documents an early attempt at using denoising-techniques in a creative and compositional manner. Instead of utilising noise-reduction-algorithms for their intended purpose (the restoration of damaged audio signals), these processes are applied to various field recordings of trains, streets, swimminghalls and public transport.

Due to the fact that these recordings consist entirely of noises this operation transforms the originals into an uncanny hybrid of newly introduced processing artefacts, occasional silence and sporadically audible traces of the original field recordings. What kind of sound-aesthetics can emerge while denoising field recordings? Which audible parameters are able to resist this »audio-erasement-process«? How are these traces comparable to the visual remanences of Robert Rauschenberg’s erasure of a de Kooning drawing?”

The album has been released on a 12″ limited-edition transparent vinyl, complete with a very apropos minimalist white-on-white sleeve. The tracks contain all sorts of ‘ghost’ sounds, inhuman-sounding peoples’ voices, dynamic sounding glitches and surreal spaces.

Put on some headphones, relax in a nice, noise-free (!) environment and let the sounds transport you. My favorite track is “people”.

You can order the vinyl (limited to 250 units) at wald [at]


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