A Different Sound is Emerging!

Prototype session on Oberbaumbrucke in Berlin
in the week or so since the end of campus party, i have gained a bit more insight into the layout of the controls.  i found that, for instance, x-axis sweeps are easier to remember (its the motion of turning the hand as if to turn a big volume knob) so sequncing strings of them together offers a great amount of control while saving y-axis for less sonically crucial elements.  little stuff like that builds up to an interface that feels more intuitive.

I also scavenged a few patch collections online for greater insight into this sound design witchcraft.  i have a few synths that i have hobbled together from scratch and a few that were better realized by other programmers, namely a few bits from the rjlib and a great set of patches by a cat named Hardoff on the pure data forums.  clean, well designed libraries of synths and effects that, owing to their open-patch nature, allow me to go in a strip out stuff that is unneccessary and add beatjazz specific functionalities like breath control and tying of functions to gestural trajectories.

IMG_1024now the interface concept is pretty stable so i figured it was time to get the sound right which has been partly dictated by pure datas architecture.  each open instance of pd run on only one core even if you have multiple core, as i do.  last week i decided it was time to split my single monolithic patch into multiple chunks.  it has be choking on the amount of data i have been throwing at it so i decicded that the control "module", where the interface wirelessly connects with the system should be its own "thing".  the next module, or instance of pd, is the synth/looper/fx module that houses all things audio and recieves control data from the control module by way of an internal network link.  this will make it easy to later put the control module on a seprate computer.  the last module is the visualization module which takes data from both of the previous patches and puts represents it visually with parameter controlled graphical objects.  right now these objects are exrtremely simple but they are already unbelievably valuable when trying to figure out what is going on with the system.  before this modularization, cpu utilization was jumping up to around 40%.  now? it peaks from time to time around 12%!

IMG_1017I took the rtime this week to integrate the vacuum sensor as, what i call, an "inhale" circuit which lets me do things to the sound wheni breath in.  i must admit that it works as well i as thought it would.  i breath in, which swithces me to a different mode, do what needs to be done, then start playing normally.  currently the number of parameters is very limited, but now that it is there, i think it will start finding its way into more and more modes.

I have been missing my chords BADLY.  its a part of my sound but previously, with my VSTi based ssystem (commerical synthesizer plugins) i had a few patches with pre constructed chords which defined and restrained my sound.  I have been searching for a way to construct chords live, in any key.  my idea has been to use a breath sustain i designed to hold all of the notes i play together until i stop blowing.  then to teach myself how to play chords by playing the notes of the chord one at a time, in fast succession.  not easy.  so now i found a way to play my chord intervals using this mthod then use pitch shifting to play the changes.  viola! i cant believe it worked.  check out the recordings.  the pitchshifter quality is kinda shit, owing to its sample window size setting but the idea is there and i feel that there is miles of room to investigate this chordal concept.


Next will be to finish adding parameterizations to all sonic elements and tame them only slightly.  the drums and bass dont bump yet and the leads dont "sing" yet, so discovering what those terms mean in the context of where this system wants to go, is next on the agenda and i will present my finding at the People in Beta event at Betahaus on the 22nd

as for the perks, My tshirt guys, sumoneproductions, are preparing little logo tags for the tshirts and is going to be doing the interpretation from painting into a print over the next few days (maybe I can document this process).  scanning has commenced on the notes of the project, which will be put into a customized linux distro along with the patches, photos and videos.  as much as can be shoved into an 8gb stick, and attached to the logo keychain thingy.  so its full steam ahead with getting this stuff out soon.

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