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This is the track. The part that really interests me begins at about 1:05 and goes 'til about 1:55.

I'd like to start messing with sound (not necessarily creating music) and want to take a single sound (e.g., bird chirping) and distort it in many different ways. What's done to this bird sound here is pretty lovely I think.

Is there a set of things that's done to this? To me it seems wildly complex, but I'm pretty ignorant of this domain.

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In addition to distortion, downsampling, and amplitude quantisation it's possible that there was spectral/fft processing involved - the sound at 1:50 specifically sounds like it could be done using an spectral processing tool.

Sometimes what producers do to create soundscapes like in the example is loop a section and randomise or manually tweak lots of different parameters at once, all the while recording the output - sometimes called a mud pie. Most of the output will be unusable so you discard it and you are left with the best small sections to arrange in the final track.

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It could be a sample with birds and they are messing with the audio sample rate. Changing the sample rate will affect pitch, level and introduce a lot of distortion among other things. It could also be bit reduction on top of that. It's probably also fed into a disortion/noise effect to further crush the sound.

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