4

cardboard isnt humidity proof...

Ok, back to the geeky stuff.

Last week I had to rebuild the right hand control unit.  It would seem that cardboard doesn't like NYC's high humidity and it started to deform a bit.  I thought about keeping it the way it was but a) they are cheap to rebuild, costing me approximately 1.50euro and 2-3 hours, and b) I still have much hardware abstraction to do before it can be transferred to carbon fiber.

I reinforced the sides by folding the cardboard in on itself and gluing it in place.  It is now much more solid.  I placed the accelerometer underneath my index finger now which gives filter effects a much much more precise amount of control. and the FSR cushions are now glued, rather than masking taped, to the unit.  Overall the unit feels extremely solid now.  It could, I feel, last for years in this configuration.

The other big change is that I added a right-hand "twitch switch" joystick(the bulbous ball looking things).  I call it a twitch switch because by twitching my index finger, I have access to a wide array of latching combinations.  With two of them, those combinations have been multiplied.  Besides giving the system a bit of symmetry, it should provide access to as yet un-realized functionalities.  I have found it also curious that it is easier to control this joystick because it is "perceptually" parallel, rather than literally, meaning that rather than being parallel to the finger that controls it, it is parallel to the motion of said finger, which is actually about 25degrees outward.  But when I am not looking, I find this to be perceptually "straight".  So there is still more abstraction and experimentation to be done in joystick positioning.

I hope to use the new joystick to control left hand parameters which I have determined should be focused on individual instrument parameters with the right hand controlling system FX.  My test case will be a big-ole nasty ass wobbly dubstep bass.  So far it sounds like I am murdering a cow with a lawnmower, but once I get the calibration and sensor assignments "right", it should be great.  I will rinse it soon.

This week begins, in earnest, the second most important system function.  The looping system.  It will allow for a more precise level of sonic dissection.  For this stage, I will have to study dynamic abstractions, i.e., instantiating patches from scratch, in real-time.  And will start the task of making use of pure data's audio capabilities, finally.  I only need to make ONE by virtue of the computers ability to make infinite copies. if I make "one", it's all over at that point, because then it is just a matter of making PD instantiate it as a dynamic abstraction (ie, pure data assigns each copy with a specfic number which it will use to identify said abstraction as "unique") to the limits of my cpu/ram capabilities (which need a desperate upgrade.  2gb/ram on a 4 year old laptop is reaching the end of its usefulness).  

My looper will center on being simple, fast and deep.  There is already so much going on that a complex looping system would only get in the way.  It will allow me to focus on a part of the whole piece and be more like a "Live performance DAW" than live looping.  It "shouldn't" be that hard to complete this week, but I have said that before :-/

I hope to have the alpha version of the looper ready before I play the blogrebellen stage at Fete De La Musique on June 21st- 7:30pm).  The set will be "jagged" aesthetically, from all the gestural revisions to the sound architecture. I am really looking forward to playing there as well as the next Demonstration to save Tacheles on July 2nd.  There are a few interesting things coming up after this as well, but I want to wait till they are confirmed to announce them. .

Are we being good ancestors?
–- Jonas Salk, in interview on Open Mind, 1985 


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