This glitch track is half woken.
moire Speaker test Hans Jenny’s cymatics tests inspired me to attempt recreating similar patterns using moiré patterns.
Originally, I planned to use two sheets of screen printed glass with a transducer attached to the back sheet. Each sheet of glass would have concentric circles printed on the surface. I theorized the glass would vibrate based on tones played through the transducer, creating interference patterns.
This attempt worked slightly, but not to the effect I hoped. I decided to turn this glass piece into a “classic” framed print.
the mat between the two layers allows the middle move slightly as the viewer engages with the print I screen printed the pattern on thermoform styrene to create a water dish.
This test produced interesting results, but the concept seemed to become about dancing water on a speaker, vs. creating cymatic patterns. Additionally, the water spilled everywhere (electronics are involved lol).
For a final test, I created two domes (clear and white thermoforms), attached the white to the base of the transducer and clear to the movement part.
Our idea was to play off the intensity surrounding the game of Go. We wanted to increase the intensity using two nostalgic fandoms battling against each other.
The idea behind what I built was to use level meter~ attached to a contact mic to trigger playback from a random bank of samples based on player turn. I also used cv.jit.track to track the position, and displacement of the payer’s hands. Kaitlin also used optical flux to control some parameters of the video.
The hardest part of this patch was programming the turn based logic, and separating the movement and stone play sounds. I wasn’t quite satisfied
Problems encountered: A single contact mic was not quite enough to trigger the samples every time someone put a stone down. We also ended up loosing the tracking dot too frequently and attached it to the players head, which yielded far less satisfying movement results.
Steven: For the section of our project where we generated the music Luigi and I used Ableton Link to tempo sync our real-time performances together. Luigi used Propellerheads Reason to create his sounds, while I used Ableton Live 9/Max for Live and a hardware synthesizer. Ty then used our separate mixes through his grain system. My specific sound generation system was tempo locked via Ableton Link with Luigi, in my session I had some subtle drum loops alongside a cowbell playing in tempo with Luigi’s tracks. I was also using a hardware synthesizer called the Pocket Operator Arcade (PO-20). https://www.teenageengineering.com/guides/po-20/en In order to tempo lock the hardware synthesizer with my Live set and Luigi’s instruments, I created a second CV clock sync system. The secondary analog sync system I used started with a second USB audio interface for more I/O on my machine. I then created an aggregate device using both my built-in sound card, and the USB sound card. The output of the USB interface was sending the analog pulse to my pocket operator. Then the input of the USB interface was receiving the output from the pocket operator that was being monitored as an audio track in Live. The pocket operator has a sync setting that once it receives the analog pulse it immediately starts playing it’s patterns in time with the sync (this setting is called sync mode 2). While sync mode 2 was active the analog sync system played perfectly in time with Ableton Link. Also, to keep all of my audio in time I lowered sample buffer size to only 64 samples. That way the audio from the pocket operator had only ~5 milliseconds round trip latency. I also created a drunk algorithmic pitch shifter that was used in the second half of the piece. The pitch shifter used the drunk object in Max for Live. The pitch shifter would raise or lower the pitch by randomly selecting a new random pitch close to it’s previous step. Here is the code to my Max for Live in just normal max patch form:
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In short, I had a great time creating music with Luigi and Ty and learning about how Ableton Link works across DAW’s to make real time music.
Luigi: My contribution came in the form of a couple of synthesizers meant to be played by a person but whose output was heavily algorithmically influenced. The two most prominently featured in the piece were a modified dulcimer sampler that was triggered using key locked chord arpeggiation, and a graintable synth with as much movement as I could pull out of one synth short of generating white noise.
The first made use of Reason’s Scales and Chords rack extension paired with a velocity arpeggiator, allowing me to input the root note of a chord in the key of a minor and get random velocity arpeggiation of that chord, as played by the dulcimer sampler.
The second main synthesized started with two digeridoo grain oscillators with 4 beat repeating oscillation on the sample index. This was routed through a saturation shaper unit followed by a keyboard tracked resonant comb filter, which in addition to the final volume of the synth was partially controlled by a random square type LFO. The overall pitch of the synth was modulated over a range of two octaves in a triangle wave pattern at .22Hz. The output of this synthesizer was run through a delay module whose delay time and right channel offset were inversely controlled by a triangle type LFO at .53Hz. All of this was passed through a reverb, the output of which was EQ’d to accentuate high end and the harmonics of the root note of our key A minor.
A third bass synth was formed by compressing the 50/50 dry wet reverb signal from two sawtooth multi-oscillators with a long reverb tail and gating the resulting sound using reason’s alligator triple filtered gate. All of these were played over a set of percussion loops pulled from the reason factory library including bongos, congas, and timbales, and club beat loops, which were brought into the mix using midi controlled volume sliders during the live performance.
Ty: The output streams from Luigi and Steven flowed through a midi-controlled grainstretch patch. The midi board was a Launchpad using Automap to control Max. Each column of buttons was used to control the amount of pitch shift, stretch, and grain size. Using buttons to apply the effects, vs. a slider was not ideal. When jamming, the quick application of the effect sounded fine, but when listening to a recorded playback, it was easy to tell the effects came in off-beat.
My original patch uses grainstretch~ to affect each of the other team members’ outputs. In addition to setting effect levels for the two, the patch had an effect crossfader. This crossfader applied effects to one person’s track, but not the other. I was able to juggle back and forth with effects and dry signals, quickly. This inverse dry/wet crossfader added an interesting dynamic to the sound, but was one of the causes for the disturbing performance.
Our in-class performance was a giant learning curve for me. The main thought going through my head was “I really hope this wont break Jesse’s speakers.”
For the performance, I did not compare the levels while each of my teammates were playing together. There were level meters inside the maxpatch, but I only checked to see if sound was coming in. The previous day we had issues with routing the sound to the speakers at an audible volume, so that became my focus (instead of seeing if it was too loud).
The group decided to re-record the performance with corrected errors. As I mentioned above, my my effect patch was not working well, and it felt jumpy. To correct this, we recorded dry signals of Luigi and Steven playing together, then I re-recorded applying effects. I tried adding a ramp to my patch to ease the jumpiness, but could not figure out the implementation, so I used a knobbed midi-controller and used Serato Scratchlive’s built in effects.
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Golan Levin visited the Experimental Sound Synthesis class and shared an interesting history of sonic art, paired with visuals. He showed us a few examples of using waves and grids to generate visuals using processing. He continued to show us a couple programs he has written that visualize various aspects of sound (frequency and time domain visualization, etc). My favorite aspect he exposed me to is autocorrelation graphs. The algorithm compares the wave to itself at offset intervals then takes the average. I find this fascinating because of my interest with moire patterns: two sets of lines interfering with one another. I plan to investigate this further, and use it visually in my screen prints.
As a design major, I use motion graphics (after effects) a lot. Golan showed us early motion artists who used paint, chemicals, and shapes to visualize audio. I was glad to see early forms of audio and motion. One of my favorite movies is Walt Disney’s Fantasia, and we watched sections of films that inspired Disney to create that film. Norman McLaren was an experimenter who made sound from visual pieces, exploiting the film technology at the time. McLaren designed a film using graphical sound to create audio and visuals. The shapes on screen creates sounds the viewer hears. McLaren also uses the shapes to tell an intricate story full of emotion, especially humor, longing, and desire.