Of Beatjazz Pilots and vortexualization
Beatjazz "controllers" for everyone!! ok, maybe not. actually about 6 people total, so far. but that may change soon.
so far, i have delivered 3 systems in varying states of operational ability. the first 2 were delivered earlier in the year and were functional in a very basic way but took way too much non-specific software to make them work. lots of vsts and sample collections. this was a big inspiration for digging into pd and building a complete system from the ground up, which has been my sole focus for a few months now. so it was nice to have "something" that i would consider to be an embryonic version of the eventual beatjazz system,( which is what i am currently playing) to give to one of my contributors who came to berlin to replace a few broken plastic parts and some software/firmware upgrades. THAT was surreal! to see someone take out a beatjazz controller that isnt mine, and put it on and play it! !?!? it was nt a concert or anything but he had become acquainted with the controls and the and the modes. i was very impressed.
A friend of mine has taken up the task of purchasing his own printer and has printed enough parts for 3 full systems! all in white abs plastic which should look sick with the LEDs in it. he has gotten really good at it too with attention to detail like bolt lengths and even choosing brass parts over the stainless steel that i chose. and he can even build the circuit boards! which arent hard or anything but still, it is amazingly cool that he supports the project to this degree!!
before i headed to London for 3 shows at the 3d print show, I completed the hardware for a system that was going to the first contributor of my last campaign. he lives in the UK so i figured itd be nice to just meet up and give it to him in person. it was really cool to meet him and spend the afternoon with him and his wife and their friend, configuring sensors and tweaking software. that aspect isnt finshed but we got it together well enough that i felt comfortable handing the system over to him. very cool afternoon.
that particular lovely afternoon almost didnt happen. as i stated, i was in london to perform for a fashion show of 3d printed stuff. i flew into Gatwick airport and at the border told them i was in the UK to play a show but apparently there was confusion over the documentation i needed to have (it is called a certificate of sponsorship, for those who want to know) but didnt so i spent 10 hours in a room with no windows, being told periodically that i was being sent back to berlin, as if that was a bad thing(!?) i stopped caring one way or the other, i just wanted out of that little room, but eventually, everything was sorted (the fault was bad wording on the government website) and i proceeded into the UK.
the 3D Printshow was an expo of all thing 3d printing. many of the cool inovations you may have seen in 3d printing in the last few months were represented there. I got a chance to meet some real superstars of the 3d printing world. it was awesome, but i was there to perform with my system in a fashion show of various 3d printed artistic expressions. i had not seen many 3d printed fashions before this show. i was really impressed with teh intricacy and beauty of some of the works on display so i wanted to represent!
for the first show, all of my equipment was just off stage and i was to go out, play for 10 minutes are come back, but there was a variable that i knew about but didnt properly prepare for; radio interference. i have been battling with it for months. it seems that when a large convergence of smartphones are in my immediate vicinity, my low latency radio range drops to a meter or two, as opposed to 20+"low latency" meters otherwise. i have dubbed the phenomena a "hipster forcefield". and it was in full effect that night. in addition, there was a mist machine that allowed visual to be projected in midair but arduinos dont like mist machines...who knew?! and in spectacular and in hindsight, predictable manner, my system freaked out, the graphics were blinking....all that shit. and i had to scurry off stage in silence and self loathing. i was not happy.
for the second show, we strapped all my shit to a table and walked the whole rig out onstage, JUST to make sure and it was cool. i was happy. for the 3rd and final show i was cautious but confident. we did everything the same, i was building it up over a nice groove i had in my head. i was tweaking filters, dropping beats, just getting ready to ride into the groove with a fury reserv....(the stage manager taps me on the shoulder while i am onstage) "No one can hear you..." (scurries offstage...) i had, in my overconfidence, not turned up the volume. everyone had a laugh, i turn it up and played and exited the stage. it was fun as was the show and its organizers. im glad I got in to be able to do it.
I have been working on my resampling channel for about a month(which from now on shall be refered to a the "vortex") i had a vague idea of being able to twist my sound in a dynamic manner with controls that were properly controllable. i have had some success with it. a month ago i introduced a pitch shifter but it had no gestural prameterization attached so it changed the pitch but did so i a manner that could be called questionably musical and it was unstable. so i decided to go more granular and control pitch from the granular timestretch patch rather than a seperate pitch patch. the first outing was at a show i had on thursday here in berlin, which now that i have an integrated file recorder that records everything i play, was recorded and posted online. for the first time in a long time, i could not predict what the next transform would result in and it was exciting.
from this session i could see more clearly what neeeded to happen next; the creation of sonic elements that took advantage of the eccentricities of granular timestretching, namely the ability to retain its tonal and harmonic qualities or to at least understand how the process could produce new tonalties. so i createed a few and for the ReTune party on saturday night, it all came together in a brief ripping set that felt GREAT! i wasnt trapped within one tempo or one key. both were freeely malleable and more controllable that i would have imagined.
so now, i gotta throw some sick sounds at this new blender. i have been designing some morphing constructs that should make the timestretching phase less gimmicky and more integral. going so far as to dsign the sounds "within" the timestretch buffer to get more predictable outcome qualities. ANNNND, I'm gonna be ready to rock that shit this friday at mindpirates. me, JR and Loganic are doing our first (of many i hope) outting together, so i gotta make sure i got my algorithms on lock to be in the company of these professors of groove. the feet dont care if its live or record so i gotta handle my biz to be in these gentlemens company. it is my sincere hope that i can freak some sounds, shift everything over to linux AND possibly transition to wifi trancievers, which "should" fix my interference problems (or not...i have no idea) . so i gotta get back to work. holla...