You have two caps:
based on your known proficiencies,
and your unknown proficiencies/

The TECHs will investigate deeper
points about the technology presented,
and the PERFs are to bring about
humanisms from the patches



The goal is to take a MIKE of voice or monophonic instruments in to MSP, and through a process of distillation, rectification, calcination, putrefraction, et al., transmute it into MAX, which is the "mark", for transmission via MIDI to the DISKLAVIER. 

For the PERFs, A preliminary system is loaded, which uses spike~ to implement a rudimentary pitch follower.  It is logarithmically compensated to make the piano match the voice.  Working with the system live to explore its acousmatics.

The TECHs will investigate how to use the "bags" of complex cartesians produced by FFT (fft~) and produce intelligent MIDI clouds out of the spectrum.  Fourier was seeking a way to describe the transmission of heat- the Fourier Series.  The question with sound is similar: "how does it go?".  In quantum physics, everything is thus quantized to the Planck constant.   Your goal is to mix the analytical nature of the FFT with the poetical implications of "granular synthesis" i.e. flocks, swarms, clouds. 

Nicolas Collins- talkingcuresoundslikenow
Peter Ablinger- A Letter from Schoenberg
"Ah, yes, I had a long email exchange with Ablinger about our respective pieces. I think he found mine obscenely irreverent."-Nicolas Collins

How does an FFT work?  By multiplying, then summing.  On the top left, the product is all positive, so there is a net gain, i.e. that sine wave is detected.  On the right, it is out of phase, so it is not detected by the reals, but it will be by the imaginaries.  Thus we can think of a slightly detuned sine wave as spinning through reals and imaginaries as the phase changes.  Can we use this spinning for a rhythmic purpose?

You have two caps:
based on your known proficiencies,
and your unknown proficiencies/

The TECHs will investigate deeper
points about the technology presented,
and the PERFs are to bring about
humanisms from the patches



Go to Fairchild Chapel.  Please first read about the Brombaugh Organ there.  It is enharmonic, so it speaks audible difference tones from the double articulated black keys.

Time is spent using high-quality condenser microphones to mike the space, as well as spot miking the complex turbulence surrounding the lips of the organ pipes.  There is also a Flentrop organ on the floor level of the chapel.  Using 1/4" patch cords to (gently) wedge notes down.




Here is an introduction to using hi in Max to manifest the sound of a Chub towards MSP.  Print out the image, and analyze first on paper, then listen to the various permutations.  Why is lores~ used on the gesture input?


Continuing with DSP for gestures, next we turn to modeling a state variable filter in MAX, not in MSP.  This is because MSP's svf~ object only works down to about 5 Hertz, and we are interested in resonating slower waveforms even, such as Delta Waves.  These waveforms are "performed" by the human brain during sleep, but they are also contained in gestures as taken as "wavelet" events, which are well resonated by the State Variable Filter model of a single resonance.




Draw from memory, this concert hall, which you should have all been to during various student and faculty concerts and recitals.  What about the architecture do you remember boldly?  What is more dusty in your memory.  What does this say about how you would set up a performance situation there? 

Peter B: Warner Song

thanks to the TECH 204 class, @Oberlin Conservatory, and also to Concert Productions in Bibbins, we were able to go in to Warner Concert Hall and experiment with tones there.  A condenser mike was brought to the basement which captured the sound of a ticking relay, probably installed sometime in the 50s, for it is a very 50s fidelity hall.  Peter B's "songus" is heard from the very back at the hall, where a wafered wall stands.  It is composed of grassi imitations and frustrations. 


(note CHUBETUBES also includes CHUBETUBESTOO, which uses a further patch, DEERTICULATE, to articulate the grains in octaves and other integral pitch leaps)


We are going to create an ensemble using the chub devices and also a tubist.  This is called "tubing the chubs".  First let's look at some higher level implementations of the ideas discussed in "CHUBSZ".  The following is a three part patch consisting of the following:
  1. gesture resonator "DEERESON"
  2. DEERSTUTT: an implementation of the classic 90s "stutter~" which was used for much clickery cuttery then, but can also be used for sweet grains of unclipped sound, which is a natural product of it with the smooth undulations produced by DEERESON.
  3. CHUBETUBES is the main patch, consisting of 8 DEERESONs in an FM loop, plus 4 stereo DEERSTUTTs making grains (could be quadro), plus interstitial glues to the assemblage.
the following images are meant to be printed out and discussed in class, over paper.

The main patch: CHUBETUBES

Can we add further TUBES to the PERFTECH ensemble?


Windows exe in "winrelease" folder
Macintosh app in "build/Release" folder

instructions for a simplex patch using 3-limit Just Intonation:
  1. Start Justints
  2. Tare the antenna.  Press the tare button (center of antenna) without touching antenna. 
  3. Press ";" bringing it in to triangle wave mode.
  4. Set the base frequency, press "." to set, "x" to change.  press antenna to move pitch down.  press "x.x.x.x.x." to shimmy
  5. Press antenna until limit becomes a lil triangle.  hold it there, and then press "z", locking the limit to 3.
  6. Now prepare to tune the four pitches.  Bring up the swiss flag by pressing "f"
  7. Put a checker on 4, by pressing rightmost chub button.
  8. Learn how to tune it kingally by using all four barres, squishing in different ways.
  9. Press rightmost chub button again, thus releasing the cheker.
  10. Put kingal checker on 1 and tune it the same way (if you put another checker down, it will become queenal mode.
  11. Tune middle barres 2 and 3 as well, kingally.
  12. Press ' bringing it in to sawtooth wave mode.
  13. Try putting two barres into queenal mode and scroll through them chromatically.
  14. Now, let's do royal modulations.  Press "1", bringing up the navy blue.
  15. Click within the navy blue, setting up modulations, all the while playing.
  16. The swiss flag affects how fast the royal modulations move.  see what pressing "asdfghjk" does.
  17. Now, let's do fm modulation.  Press "q", bringing up gray boxes.
  18. Click in the gray boxes to set up fm modulations, all the while playing. 
  19. There is a swiss flag for fm modulations.  try pressing "wertyuio"
instructions for a multiplex patch:
  1. Start Justints, tare antenna
  2. Press return, press return, press return, press return, press return.  Now you have 6 banks playing!
  3. set triangle wave with ";", set base frequency with ".", set limit with "z".  Note all banks are now set.  Set swiss flag to "f".
  4. Now, go into individual mode, press "/"
  5. Tune the four barres of the bottom bank.
  6. Now press space to move to the next bank.  tune it, and continue by pressing space. 
  7. When you have all the banks tuned, leave individual mode by pressing "/" again.
  8. Apply royal modulations and fm modulations.
  9. Cheerio!

the necessary materials:


Note the following patch is the craziest I ever built.  There's nothing special or transcendental about it.  It just uses simple effects.

What is now going to be built in max/MSP is a highly arbitrary, pragmatic patch for making a "TUBAJAM" come out sounding really $%^&*ed up.  The goals here are vague.  I was researching the Noh aestheticist, Zeami, and came across this YouTube video of a Polish BluesMan, Igor Zenami.  I decided to embed this youtube video in the patch, as inspiration for eventually working on a serious, academic patch for processing tuba.  I then jammed with the youtube video, recorded that into protools, and also read a Greek narrator.  These are the materials to be processed by the patch.  Now, plugging a midihorn in to Max:

The midihorn has a printer cable on one end, and a breath tube on the other.  What a device!  It has two sets of valves that work like those on a tuba, nice (therapeutic?) foam hand grips, and on the back it has two joysticks and 8 buttons.  The joysticks are great for controlling effects, such as a little bitcrusher made out of sah~, and also a lores~.  The buttons on the back send out control signals which I use for my simple, general FM midi sounding "spacedrums".  Now look how we process the tuba in this patch:

First of all, get the effects sauced on: sah~ makes bitcrusher as I said, plus lores~.  Now for some compression, I used omx.comp~, and tweaked it so I can loadbang two messages in to it: AGCThreshold 13, and ratio 100, making it a pretty intense compressor.  INTENSE COMPRESSION GOOD!  Now, pop it into gizmo~, which is a pfft~ dingle/ it takes simple ratios in its right input to pitchshift.   Ok, now since I'm in the habit of using alternative tunings, why not bring this tuba jam down into Ancient Greek theoretical land?  Using the undertone scale, keeping the numerator constant at 27, and modulating the denominator, gives some nice Arabic intervals, including the Wosta of Zalzal, 27/22.  For more on that theory of undertones, see this blog post- greek-aulos-kathleen-schlesinger.  The background of this max patch is thus some plates of theory and bas-relief on ancient music.

Now, please listen to the most ^$%*&ed up TUBAJAM max patch!:

My 100 Frame Kinect Stop Animation

The Kinect, by Microsoft, is intended as video game controller, but it is also invaluable for performance situations.  jit.freenect.grab not only gives you a 3-plane matrix stream from a normal webcam (in hi-def), it also gives you a 1-plane representation of the depth of objects in its view.  Thus it is useful, using jit.3m to learn the population density of visitors to an installation, for example.  This example is simple, it uses matrixset and a trigger to make a stop animation, inspired by VISITING LECTURER PAULINA VELAZQUEZ.  Here is an archive of some simple patches using jit.freenect.grab.  Besides the stop animator, there is also a simple theremin patch.  All is in max/MSP/jitter, and it includes the necessary jit.freenect.grab external.

Documentation of Broken Mackies Power Personal Amps

These amps are found to have melted due to extreme processing with loud sounds. Mackie seems to have used an "aesthetic of butter" when designing the power heat sinks, as you will often smell melting plastic when playing loud sounds.  Eventually, the amplifiers stop amplifying and only parasitic oscillations are perceived; loud ultrasonic heat noises similar to natural radio emissions of the ionosphere.  I rallied the class, with the help of Tyler Grice as main manipulator, to use these sounds musically, and here is the result, with the resulting spracht-stimme vocal imitations of the harsh electronic noises performed improvisationally by the vocals of the class.

Adagio ma non Troppo, Rollable Installation in Studio 2, Peter B

Using Rollable Synthesizer, for a situation.




John Berndt, a Neoist from Baltimore, approached me oh more than a year ago, asking about whether it would be possible to create a sort of futurist gamelan out of Sidrazzi Organi.  I said yes, but it is already maximal as a solo instrument, so you might have to ask your performers to use restraint.  An important thing to talk about as a performer in relationship to the technology.  John even came back to me with a few "definitions of constraints" which he asked me to compose Neologisms for.  Here is the pdf, which he used to guide the Sidrazzi Gamelan that performed in Baltimore on April 16, 2011.  SidrazziGamelanTerminology.pdf

We are to compose our own gamelan, using a proper ratio of sweet sidrazzis, and poppy tetrazzis, which I estimate to be about 5:1.  There are six students in the class.  With four sidrazzis we can use everychannel of an octophonic system, because they are stereo devices.  With 6 organs total, there is a "cubic scheme" to use a quadrophonic system so that each instrument has a unique spatial relationship.  This is listed as follows:
  1. Left front, Right front (front stereo)
  2. Left back, Right back (back stereo)
  3. Left front, Left back (front to back stereo)
  4. Right front, Right back (other side front to back stereo)
  5. Left front, Right back (diagonal)
  6. Right front, Left back (other way diagonally)
This is the simplest way to use the sidrazzis to fill a concert space such as Warner Concert Hall, which we will do on the next student concert.  I will serve as conductor, on stage, and said six students will be back in the audience, seated in front of the mixing board, with stereo feeds into said mixing board.  Thus you students will hear the interactions of the tones in the space while trying to follow my micro-movements as clearly as possible. 

This piece is in memoriam Michel Waisvisz.  I will thus try to channel his sincerity into a system of "organic hands", which are more like a conducting tool than a technology.

A YouTube Video of Sidrazzi Gamelan, BALT

Sidrazzi Gamelan, as Performed by TECH 204, Spring 2011, Oberlin College TIMARA Department: