Monday, 12 November 2007

AA - sem 02 - sonic environment

for the Sonic Environment I recreated, I did an outdoor setting with birds cars and sawing of tree branches...see the above image for a pretty visual satellite style re-creation of the area. There is also a time line at the bottom of this entry

As for aural replication - mp3 version of the draft mix;

final mix;

and associated written documentation :



Haines, Christian. AA1 Sound Design Project - Sonic Environment.pdf. 11/09/2007

cc - sem 02 - Electroacoustic performance

The final version of connecting the Yamaha Disklavier to Plogue Bidule.

Cut to the chase. The recorded performance was 16 minutes long, so..
Plan B_excerpt_excerpt - this is a two minute excerpt of the below excerpt :)

Plan B _excerpt - this is a seven minute excerpt.

Here are links to a composite pdf of the Analysis, Program Note, initial Project Plan and Research documents.
and also a pdf of the score (as you can see above in the introductory gif).

Haines, Christian. CC1 - ElectroAcoustic Performance.pdf. 14/09/2007.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

aa - week 12 - spatialisation

right to left - two copies panned left+right. each had sweeping eq (freq of high shelf) and sweeping volume. also slight delays - when sound was too the left, the RH sound was delayed a few ms. then as sound moved to the right, each file was adjusted to give more distant sound a delay.

back - two copies. HPF on one, LPF on other. HPF lower in level panned to 9.30 oclock, slight delay. LPF relatively higher volume panned to 11 oclock, slight reverb.

then combined the two concepts to get a sound that moves from left forward to center(ish) and then back to the right. using three copies, with the third having a BPF and phase inverted (just for good times) - using all above techniques.
the picture is of this one - you can see also a bit of reverb mix automation, as the sound gets closer the mix gets less reverb.

the fourth is slightly to the right. I used 3 copies, each with a stereo eq setting and some phae inversion, and also slight delay. i like this with no reverb.


Haines, Christian. Audio Arts week 12 lecture. University of Adelaide, 23 October 2007.

pp 159 - 164. Sonnenschein, David. 2001, Sound design : the expressive power of
music, voice, and sound effects in cinema, Michael Wiese Productions, Seattle, Wash.

White, Paul. 1994, 3D Mixing: Giving your mixes more space, SOS Publishing, 2004,

White, Paul . Robjohns, Hugh. Bell , Matt. 2002, You are Surrounded: Surround Sound
Explained - Part 7, SOS Publishing, 2006,

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

CC - Week 11 - integrated setup (3)

I haven't changed the bidule since last week (other than changing various values and a little bit of routing).
Above is obviously a screen shot of Plogue. I didn't take one of Live :( at the time I forgot and didn't save it, keep'n it live and all that.
In Live, I introduced a number of samples into the Simpler and then adjusted individual settings. Also I used a reverb with an edited envelope send.

So thoughts this week ;

I did this using a VSTi style piano for access reasons.. but noticed the main thing is timing. Using midi FX in plogue, and then programming edited piano sounds rhythmic style (in simpler) makes for a bit of an abstract output - so either work on making it more regularly rhythmic or more regularly abstract.

Using semi tuned samples means playing in key - that's just a practice with the final setup style issue.

and I can't quite work out how to change tempo :? humorously enough I just happened to have all the delays in the factors of 250ms and 333ms so it wasn't too bad.

The audio is a 2 minute excerpt from a longer duration.
this should be the address.

Haines, Christian. Creative Computing week 11 lecture. University of Adelaide, 18 October 2007.

Beaulieu, Sebastien; Trussart, Vincent; Viens, David; 2007, Bidule v0.95 user manual,

Monday, 22 October 2007

AA - week 11 - spectral synthesis

Once again I had some fun with Plogue.

I quite enjoyed mixing up the freq + amp signals (fft) between different sound bases.

The sounds I was using was a noise source, 3 tone generators (1f, 2f, 3f), and samples from my FM and additive synth adventures.

To these I added a little parameter modulation, lots' of messing with the routing and volume adjustments.

I also played with the FFT window size, but found I liked it low (512).

pp126 - 136. Miranda, Eduardo. 1998, Computer Sound Synthesis for the Electronic
Musician, Focal Press.

Haines, Christian. Audio Arts week 11 lecture. University of Adelaide, 16 October 2007.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

CC - week 10 - integrated setup

I went into studio 5 to once more battle with the Disklavier.

This, the second time, was once again a battle with technology.
And once again, when all hope was lost, rebooting the device saved the day - it only took me an hour to get it working :P Hmmmmph, rebooting a piano

I did spend at least 5 minutes just playing the Disklavier from the Novation just to watch.. and initially when I used both the In and Out on the Novation, I had a 1/2 sec feedback loop happening.. much enjoyment !!
the waves of key movement travelling up and down...

The latency is large enough to effect performance, so I will have to incorporate such into the performance - unless there is another setting yet to explore.

The responses are not always as expected, example being it not always playing the notes the transposition bidule should be playing.. I think this was dependant on note velocity and duration.
This I assume is down to the Disklavier's mechanical action.

And the Midi buffer bidule occasionally decided to not send anything. At this point, I am not sure whether it was actually the bidule or perhaps the Disklavier not reacting.. further research !!

much great advancement on the glorious road to revolution and freedom !!!

The example below is not the best section of the recording I did. However, I did it on my mp3 player without checking, and it is the most free of distortion..

This one features distortion but more piano goodness.

Haines, Christian. Creative Computing week 10 lecture. University of Adelaide, 11 October 2007.

Beaulieu, Sebastien; Trussart, Vincent; Viens, David 2007, Bidule v0.92 user manual,

Monday, 15 October 2007

aa - week 10 - additive synthesis

Once again I got a bit too excited with Plogue.

I did the basics; introduced multiple oscillators and gave each one a volume, pitch, filter envelope.
Had an extra fun time by putting summing the individual volumes, and using that as a divider on the end signal to keep it from going to far over 1 (except for those nasty filter squelches)

Then gave the envelopes a negative potential as well..
This caused me to spend a while on neatening up the filter envelope - as the filter cutoff has particular tendencies to bug out when too high or low.. this was one of my extra fun times :) giving it a changing gradient as it got closer to 20.

I also had a bit of fun with polyphonising the whole thing..
I was using mulitple UI's to keep it a reasonable size, and the master UI would call up the individual oscillator UI at request.. however when the whole thing was polyphonised, I would get a UI for each polyphony voice. ie lots..

So this image below is the inside of one oscillator.
I had four of these, and each was polyphonised, and then inside another group.

But by polyphonising in this way had other problems. When I would unpolyphonise so as to edit, the master UI button would disappear - so I would have to replace it.

Here is the 'voice' UI.

Picture of the sound.
All computer game noises this week.

audio is now uploaded !!

Haines, Christian. Audio Arts week 10 lecture. University of Adelaide, 09 October 2007.

p124 - 126. "Spectral Modeling Techniques". Miranda, Eduardo. 1998, Computer Sound
Synthesis for the Electronic Musician, Focal Press.

Reid, Gordon 2000, Synth Secrets - Part 14: An Introduction to Additive Synthesis,
Sound on Sound.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


I've got to say, that Plogue has been incredibly stable for me at home. So when I went into studio 5 with Freddie, and forgot to save - it crashed. I think it's probably crashed, like, once over the last couple of months...mmmm.
So when it crashed I was, like, totally surprised :P

Anyway, we came out with a bit of experience, and thanks to Freddy, the idea of using an FM oscillator for a modulator - very cool..

So I acheived my finished product at home.

I had trouble getting the relative Parameter Modulator to act in what I considered a coherent manner. Setting it up with an osc producing a Ramp waveform, the modulated parameter just continued to go up + up... even using other waveforms it behaved surprisingly.
Using a triangular wave produced an effect like the wave below. The sine was similiar, and the square like a triangle...

Haines, Christian. Creative Computing week 09 lecture. University of Adelaide, 04 October 2007.

Beaulieu, Sebastien; Trussart, Vincent; Viens, David 2007, Bidule v0.92 user manual,
Plogue, viewed 09/10/2007,

Sunday, 7 October 2007

aa - week 09 - FM synthesis

I got all excited and decided to build a multi-operator FM synth.

Finally I worked it out and got a reasonably manageable (I thought) 4 operator version working.

Using the audio matrix for routing was incredibly useful (especially once I started hitting the random button!!)
Not that all the channels did anything :) 1 - 4 operator in/ out (source and modulation). 8 in LFO. 7 + 8 audio out to mixer.

My major problem was that I forgot about frequency scaling (for melodic style output).
Once that was sorted my major minor problem :) was the oscillator bidule output level - as an audio module versus a modulator module.

The modulator intput I multiplied by the note frequency, which I figured would give me a range of 0hz to the pitch for the modulation freq, which would be adequate with the amplitude range of 0-1.
But this wasn't enough!!! I found to get really effective I needed to crank the output (using up to 10).
I'll have to give this more thought.

Haines, Christian. Audio Arts week 09 lecture. University of Adelaide, 02 October 2007.

Truax, Barry. 2006, Tutorial for Frequency Modulation Synthesis.

Miranda, Eduardo. 1998, '3.2 Frequency Modulation', in Computer Sound Synthesis for
the Electronic Musician, Focal Press.

Monday, 1 October 2007

mtf - instrument of wobblyness

well i've built the instrument of wobblyness, and well, it's a bit messy...

BUT BEST OF ALL - it's mounted in a cardboard box :)
lo-fi aesthetic for all round budgetness...

At various stages throughout its construction, it went through design changes :)

Last of these was to introduce a seperate power supply for everything that wasn't the tape motor controllers (attempt at noise suppression - that pulse wave just leaks through everything)...and I don't have enough jacks.... so alligator clip mania !!!

Anway, it just begged for a patch bay style interface (more alligator clips), which I'll probably just keep on expanding because there is still a lot of space.

Presently, I am using two walkmans, two square wave oscillators and two ring modulators.

There is space on the Arduino for another 4 motor controllers, 2 square waves, 2 ring modulators and then there's I think 2 more switches on the 2003 chip which could be utilised.

I doubt I'll get as excited as I could, as 2 simultaneous sources with modulation is probably a good level of interactiveness for real time performance - although that pulse wave out of the arduino (driving the motors) through some ring mod sounds great !!

Here's a sample featuring two tapes of speech, and 1 ring mod.

thanks to Seb, for his invaluable assistance, help, aid, facilitation etc....

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

mtf - week 08 - physical computing and aesthetics

We (John Delaney and myself) did the appropriate building and connecting during last weeks actual forum ie controlled note on/off for 3 oscillators from cubase.

I don't have any evidence whatsoever, but hopefully John will post something soon[1] and I'll use one of his pictures :)

This physical computing exercise was quite cool - combining this with some sort of envelope controls and it'd almost be a real synth - bass line mania !!
I did notice that the circuit made a lot of noise, unfortunately I just remembered and have yet to ask anyone why - or even for that matter do a bit of experimentation.

As to the instrument aesthetics, I've got to say I think most of Reed Ghazala's instruments are a bit unsightly (I may be exagerating a bit when I say most:).
I think it is good that he got nicely carried away, but I'm a bit of the put it in a simple structure and there you go.
I'm willing to admit that if I'd done this for the length of time he has I wouldn't be surprised if my instruments were just as garish.

I'd quite like to mount mine in a cardboard box, but I think the idea of a clear plastic bottle should work and whilst not being as perhaps exciting as it could be, will suit my idea of aesthetics quite nicely thank you very much.


pp 131-146. Reed, Ghazala 2005, Circuit-bending : build your own alien instruments, Wiley
Publishing, Indianapolis.

Haines, Christian. Music Technology Forum workshop. University of Adelaide, Computer Lab. 13 September 2007.

Tomczak, Sebastian. Music Technology Forum workshop. University of Adelaide, Computer Lab. 13 September 2007.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

cc - week 8 - live 2

In the dim distant days of the mid 90's, I used M[1]. This had a time warping feature as a simple graph (known as time distort), nowhere near as powerful as the Live feature...

Above are two different warp versions of a sample. Combined with a pitch shifting envelope I made this particular sample sound quite different, in terms of timing and duration and melodically.
Here is a little sample of the two loops, each repeated twice.

With the drum loops, the warping combined with the warp mode and pitchshifting (global and envelope), make for nice glitchy drum sounds.
This I combined with the follow actions creating a few 4 bar repeated phrases, which make it much easier to manage the liveness.

I appreciate much the sample manipulating features in Live.

The restrictive aspects is quite interesting. The limited effects are not such an issue because of the afore mentioned manipulating features, giving an amazing amount of variety out of a simple sound. And the limited matrix of potential clips, is not necessarily an issue when aiming for 45 seconds of sound, but with a bit of keen editing one could easily introduce a single clip of mulitple drum loops warped and manipulated extensively.


Haines, Christian. Creative Computing week 08 lecture. University of Adelaide, 13 September 2007.

Ableton 2006, M-Audio Enhanced Edition Owner's Manual, Ableton.

Monday, 17 September 2007

aa - week 8 - amplitude modulation

well little luck with making anything useful la AM sounds ie "sounds that mimic natural or
human-made sounds".[1]

had a lot of fun with modulating the modulators though.
Spent a bit of time on a scaling constant distance style AM, had to find the cent to freq ratio, but never felt i really understood whether it was doing what i wanted it to.

Then when mucking about with self modulation, I decided that a divider on it would be great ie pitch shift.
So a short delve into the spectral bidules reminded me of what FFT actually does ie average out frequencies.
This left me wondering what other options there were - I didn't want to use a seperate oscillator because I wanted feedback !!
Alas I decided that it was so much easier using a seperate oscillator and putting a divider onto the freq output of the note extractor, and it was - now my next excitement will be how to effectively change the wave type's of multiple oscillators simultaneously.

Anyway, my bidule featured AM and RM, with a fixed frequency and a moving frequency, and a sort of self modulation - which with the divider worked very well as a scaled movable modulator as well.

bidule is at :


[1] Haines, Christian. Week 8 - Sound Generation - AM Synthesis.

Haines, Christian. Audio Arts week 08 lecture. University of Adelaide, 11 September 2007.

"Chapter 3 - Loose Modeling Techniques". Miranda, Eduardo. 1998, Computer Sound
Synthesis for the Electronic Musician, Focal Press.

Reid, Gordon 2000, Synth Secrets - Part 11: Amplitude Modulation, Sound on Sound.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

mtf - week 7 - physcal computing 2

blah, can't get the maxruntime to recognise or initialise or whateverise the serial port on home computer :(

worked last week,

serves me right for trying at home- will keep workn at it..

anyway, again I'm thinking this is non-stop potentail. At first I was a bit dismissive of basically building a novel sound generation device and then conrolling it with a computer. I was a bit thinking this was overkill and just not necessary.
Why wouldn't you build something and then just play it, OR just play with a computer and not mix the two.

However I have inadvertently come to the pont where I see my former thoughts a tad small and whatever that word is where you are a bit limited.

I'm not really sure how all these exercises we've done tie together, or how they can be tied together - eg trigger a sound and change the pitch so will have to read the exercises again and consider.

I'm not convinced I'm interested in using this tool with my proposed instrument - to a major extent I'm more excited about playing it real time and not lugging more gear around than I have to, but will give it due thought...


Haines, Christian. Music Technology Forum workshop. University of Adelaide, Computer Lab. 6th August 2007.

Tomczak, Sebastian. Music Technology Forum workshop. University of Adelaide, Computer Lab. 6th August 2007.

note - How do I reference these readings?
individual exercises -
Exercise 1 - Victorian Synth.pdf
Exercise 2 -The STIC Insecticon.pdf
Exercise 3 - STRIC Insecticon.pdf
Exercise 4 - Genetic Mutant Insecticon.pdf

Monday, 10 September 2007

aa - week 7 - basic synthesis

First going into studio 4, I made some Enoesque ambience :)

Second time, I took the Roland SH-5 to studio 2 and made Doctor Who noises, I spent a while but that's all I could make.

One thing I noticed was the non equal tempered keyboard. Does it ever play semitones ? It did make stuff sound more Doctor Who though.

It was very hard to make "natural" sounds, perhaps if I'd thought about it more it might have been easier.
But it just seemed that every time I made a new sound it just sounded like Doctor Who.



Haines, Christian. Audio Arts week 07 lecture. University of Adelaide, 04 September 2007.

White, Paul. 1994, Sound Foundation - A Synthesis Primer Part 1.

White, Paul. 1994, Sound Foundation - A Synthesis Primer Part 2.

mtf - instrument design

I've had minimal luck with toys. They've been too limited, and a couple are now too busted.
As such I propose to bend a cassette walkman.
Creating a new device - The Wobbly Man... or something like that :)

By changing the voltage to the motor I can change the playback speed/pitch, and even reverse direction of the tape.

This will be controlled/played by either a) a pot, controlling the variable voltage ouput of a regulator
and/or b) the thick pencil line on a piece of paper controlling variable resistance.

I will have multiple tapes each with unique sonic characteristics giving an array of potential playback timbres.

The instrument will consist of the walkman itself, a voltage regulator as created (or attempted) in week 5, and a pencil and a piece of paper.
I have yet to discover exactly how to integrate the pencil and piece of paper.

As for packaging, I plan to mount it inside a clear plastic drink bottle - giving the needed rigidity for such things as patch leads and also a lovely view of exposed wires.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

related to audio arts - sound synthesis

i Have collected a few VSTi analog emulations. Given that we are now playing with the real ones, I thought I might just post some links : P

This is an emulation of
"Performer Synthesizer and Modulator.
Made by Ionic Industries, Morristown, New Jersey.
Built in 1973."

this Page features a number of synths and effects.
-the Neumixturtrautonium, a copy of a synth made in the 1930's (curiously ignored by Mark Carroll in his lectures : )
- a copy of a Roland SH-3a.
- an amalgamation of some Yamaha synths such as the CS-60, CS-80 and GX-1. - oh, these ones aren't all free :(

and this one, not quite analog at all... but very versatile routing of sections, has 3 osc 3 lfo 4 env per voice (and more). all the modulators can be routed anywhere...
and i had an ESQ-M, and loved it to bits (it did have analog filters on all the voices )

Friday, 7 September 2007

cc - week 07 - live live

Well again, I have an amount of familiarity with the software to be used, so I jumped in.

I did an amount of pre-preperation, in that I played around for a while, then had some effects and loops pre-arranged before recording.

Example being the following envelope of the rez on the filter effect on track 4 (amusingly enough, Live occasionally seems to mix up the parameter names in some effects - probably the VST's themselves - in this case, the rez, is the cutoff).

I'm not sure how my version of 'Live Lite 6 M-Audio Enhanced Edition' differs from the university version, but I could use one VST effect and two Live audio effects.

I also played with the starting times and loop points of the samples.

Also setting the quantise to various values and restarting samples so they were not necessarily in time - I think I first started doing this to emulate badly beatmixed records :)
This is quite obvious at the beginning.

Once I had recorded an arrangement, I couldn't help myself doing a tiny amount of neatening :) Changing some volumes so they weren't too outrageous, also a bit of deleting to get it below 5 minutes.

And for good measure, I inadvertently decided to keep a semi-disco version.

In this version I mapped scenes to the keyboard, and played them this way.
I found this conflicted with other real time mouse editing, in that it changed the focus to the clip attached to the mapped key.

I did quite an amount of re-editing on the arrangement to neaten, shorten and make funkier (probably about 1 1/2 hours worth) - 90% of the ideas in this came from the 'live' version. I just did this because it was 9 minutes, and once I got started I couldn't stop editing :)

This example I bounced down two tracks so I could extend the 'bass' line at the end, so there are 5 clips effectively playing (on four tracks still), this also freed up an effect slot which I used to master compress - still working within limitations :)

Haines, Christian. Creative Computing week 07 lecture. University of Adelaide, 06 September 2007.

Ableton 2006, M-Audio Enhanced Edition Owner's Manual, Ableton, viewed 07 September 2007.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

f - week 6 - arduino

Had a bit of fun getting the arduino to work on my home windows machine.
After a few software problems, got it running OK !!

It's great, I didn't do anything withit , but conceptually it's great..
I don't know about the programming side of it, but ... it's great.

The possibilities of the arduino are vast. I really can't say anything but it's great. I've always been excited about the idea of an interface to the real world from computer land. And using this to do all sorts of random things, like controlling motors to controlling sound...

Anyway, about the assignment.

For exercise 3, Horus, I used two pots. One was a 1M and the other 1000k and they both worked fine. I was a bit curious about the way the controllers attached to unconnected analog inputs used the input from the preceeding analog input, but after a bit of reattaching the pots to various of the analog inputs I decided that it just happened to work that way :)

Haines, Christian. Music Technology Forum workshop. University of Adelaide, Computer Lab. 30th August 2007.

Tomczak, Sebastian. Music Technology Forum workshop. University of Adelaide, Computer Lab. 30th August 2007.

cc -week 6 - more humanising

more of the black sabbath.
this time with eq and more effects.

I also went through and manipulated the note timing a bit more, added a slight amount of pitch variation on the snare, and pitch bending on the bass.

The main thing I'm impressed with is the changing of the timing on all instruments, and the minor pitch variations on the bass.
From when I played bass in a dub band, the slight variations in pitch through sliding to a note, pulling off of a note. And the slight timing difference between the left and right hands all provided slight inspiration for this weeks manipulations.

bass straight - bass 01.mp3,

bass manipulateded - bass 02.mp3 . At the moment the flash player is pitching this file up, but it seems to work if you go to the site below and just download it.

nib further humanised.mp3,

Haines, Christian. Creative Computing week 06 lecture. University of Adelaide, 30 August 2007.

Monday, 3 September 2007

audio arts - week 5 - Interaction Design and Sound

I opened a jar of jam today, and noticed again the pop up safety seal feature
- when the jam is initially put into the jar, I assume it is done as a still hot product, so when the lid is sealed it creates a low pressure area inside the jar. This effectively holds a little 'button' in the middle of the lid, down. When the jar is opened, the pressure equalises and the little button pops up with an audible click - very satisying, and you know the the jam should still be good to eat :) Free from tampering and airborne bacteria.

This is good design, it is not in anyway intrusive, or does not effect the jam experience.
Very functional, I think as far as form is concerned, perhaps the size of the pop-up section which would affect the volume/pitch of the pop. The pop feature is not necessary at all, it exagerates the opening experience, without the pop it would be a little hiss as an inrush of air takes place - from my research the pop feature is more on food products that would have required cooking, and so would have a vacuum seal, and are at risk of spoiling.

also I considered the new public toilets, a sealed environment for your grafitti-ing pleasure.
These toilets feature a voice over accompaniment that describe where you are in the security process ("door locked" etc), and various features available. Whilst the features are also described by buttons in braille, having them illustrated audibly will at least prepare any blind person for the adventure of feeling their way around for the appropriate buttons.
There is also musical accompaniment ("what the world needs now" - a classic bowel movement inducing tune), no doubt to make sure you stay reasonably relaxed, yet aware of where you are. I have never stayed in one long enough, but at some point assumably there would be a warning voice to say that the doors are about to automatically open.

The audio feedback is a generally spoken affirmation of your action. It is direct feedback that also explains which button you may have just pressed.
To a person with good vision, this voice over/music can be annoying and annoying. The voice itself featuers a slight slap back echo to potentially give it a more natural feeling.
But to a visually challenged (blind) person perhaps this continual audio commentary is useful.

The interactivity starts with the door open button, accompanied with a flashing led to display its current occupancy state, then everything apart from dropping your trousers is done by button pushing - not real buttons however, but those that you just touch and possibly work through measuring inductance ? The buttons are not satisfactory as far as buttons go, so some response is good for a personal satisfaction thing - but as these buttons have fairly obvious response (toilet flush, door open) the reponses are a tad overwhelming.

Obviously the first example would take a fraction of the technology required for the second - the automated toilets have been waiting a while for technology to be cheap enought to build these :)

Haines, Christian. Audio Arts week 05 lecture. University of Adelaide, 26 August 2007.

"Chapter 1 - What Is Interaction Design?". Saffer, Dan. 2006, Designing for Interaction:
Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices, Peachpit Press.

Lord, Max. 2004, Why Is That Thing Beeping? A Sound Design Primer, - viewed 01 september 2007.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

mtf - week 5 - circuit bending

I didn't seem to have much luck with this, other than being kind of impressed with my soldering :) I managed to do some fairly fine work !

Apart from that mmm.

The two toys I've been working with have proved not particularly helpful.
Following on from my post last week about the lion king thing, Seb suggested that the voltage regulator would prove useful :( It didn't work, so sad, I've tried it 3 different times so far - probably one of the components.

That said I also talked to Seb about using a pot to control voltage, he drew me a picture, but still again no luck :( Here's a photo with a bit of annotation showing how I did it.

Then I attacked the xbox - here the main problem was repetition. I found a number of cool effects, but they wouldn't repeat with any consistency. I think they all sort of depended on shorting out between something and one speaker connection or lcd connection, which makes me think that the short result may depend on the voltage output of the speaker or lcd at the time.

One sound involved a short noise, that I could manipulate into a crackle by shorting out appropriate buttons. This left me with not enough hands so I decided to try and make an automatic button pusher..For this I used a slot car with the spinning axle as the alternating contact - I figured that it constantly spinning would regularly break any connection.
It worked, but was far too noisy.. apart from the fact that the noise I was trying to manipulate so was so bloody hard to make anyway (lack of repetition).

Haines, Christian. Music Technology Forum workshop. University of Adelaide, Engineering Dept, Electronics lab. 23 August 2007.

Tomczak, Sebastian. Music Technology Forum workshop. University of Adelaide, Engineering Dept, Electronics lab. 23rd of August 2007.

cc - week 5 - midi sequencing (2)

the challenge - to humanise a downloaded midi file featuring guitar, bass, drums.. obviously classic instruments but not to midi.

My first thought was to look for some AC/DC, in particular, Jailbreak.. a classic !
However it didn't translate that well without vocals, but in the process I had discovered a few Black Sabbath tracks so I chose NIB.

I went through one track at a time, in fact one bar at a time, looping. Drums, then bass, then guitar (ooops, I mean batera, baxio, then guitarra - I think it was a spanish file perhaps).

Drums were fairly straight forward, modifying the velocities for different beats, shifting a few notes sideways - now that I think of it, I meant to programme in a minor tempo change but I'll save that for the next one.. Not particularly impressed with the ride, nor the hat sound, would have like more variation.

I put a bit of a pitch bend/slide in the bass which i quite enjoy, a bit of distortion and a LPF with a bit of resonance to make it a bit honkier.

The guitar I up and downed velocity, shifted, and there being two - classically panned, I delayed one whole side by an extra couple of ticks. Also a bit of distortion.

I bounced down the bass seperately so I could effect seperately to the guitars (only two VSTi's),
then again the guitars because the distortion I was using was mono and couldn't work out if Cubase could split a stereo pair to seperate effects..

Here is the pre version.

and here the humanified.

Haines, Christian. Creative Computing week 05 lecture. University of Adelaide, 23 August 2007.

Future Music. Tutorial - Making it Real - Emulating Bass, Computer Music Magazine.pdf

Future Music. Tutorial - Making it Real - Drums, Computer Music Magazine.pdf

Future Music. Tutorial - Making it Real - Emulating Guitar, Computer Music Magazine.pdf

Monday, 27 August 2007

aa - week 5 - sound art

music for sleeping | soundinstallation - chris amey

"We had it set up in a room at a festival," Amey explains enthusiastically. "At night it was lit only by a few candles, and otherwise it was pitch black. There were beds on the floor and they would all have people on them. They'd either be asleep or very quiet, not talking or only whispering very softly." [1]

this was an installation of 8 speakers surrounding 7 beds. Playing throught the speakers was a 30 minute repeated loop of a series of simple sine waves, these were based on the overtone series with a bit of variation for beat frequencies (60 - 121 - 182 - 243 - 304 - 365 - 426 - 487 - 548 - 609).
"Finally each of the twenty tones is designated independently to one of the eight speakers in the room so that each speaker is catering for either two or three tones at all times." [2]

This was a piece designed for relaxation, the beds and simple sine waves created a quiet space where people would quietly experience the sounds. In the examples I found it was presented as an installation, but it's apparent short duration (30 minutes, but that could be have been variable depending on the particular installation) also leans it towards being a piece as such.

In this example the distance between an installation and a composition is quite small. Compared to the work of Felix Hess and his atmosphere interactive devices, it comes across as an almost DJ experience: you come in, music gets played, you listen.
Nonetheless a piece of sound design, working with a created environment and a specific playback system.

"Chris Amey runs London-based sound-arts collective Limited Noise." [1]
"limitedNOISE is Britain's first sound art collective... limitedNOISE seeks to search out the reality of the British sound art scene through opening communication with fellow sound artists and whoever else has a view on the subject." [3]

For a brief sound excerpt

[1] Poole, Steven. 17 Nov 2001. Prick up your ears.,,596122,00.html
(25 August 2007)

[2] Middlesex University Gallery. 2001.
(25 August 2007)

[3] (25 August 2007)

other sources;
Ostberg, Anders.
(25 August 2007)

pp 59 - 61. Hess, Felix. 2003, Light as air, Bilingual edn, Kehrer Verlag.

Haines, Christian. Audio Arts week 05 lecture. University of Adelaide, 21 August 2007.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

cc - week 04 - midi sequencing/cubase

Well I just happened to purchase a new firewire audio interface which just happened to come with Cubase LE. I thought what a coincidence, so I installed it.

Then after being distracted, oops i mean having fun, with the baby (who is just starting to smile and is almost interactive), I got to work.

I've been using Cubase since about 1993 on an Atari, and sporadically since then so it presented no major challenges. However with this LE version I only get 2 vsti slots, so i visited Mr Universal Sound Module. After all, you can programme 16 voices (possibly more, I havent read its particulars), and I've always been a sucker for general midi.
The other synth is a freeware organ I'm quite fond of, Oddly Ogran.

I also had to sort out my sound card latency as I've got far too many devices attached and the current major audio interface is a griffin iMic which has occasional problems with using ASIO. I got around that by just using the built in audio with the very handy ASIO4ALL universal ASIO drivers (even though I do have a brand new firewire interface presently acting as a firewire hub for my external drive and it would have involved some rooting around for cables and patching, and even potentially a restart).

The major challenge was remembering how to play real time, I so rarely do so, and trying to get the hang of the minor latency and quantisation is always fun.
Also not working in loops, which I made a conscious choice to make most of the voices non-looped.

As you can tell from the picture, the first voice (harpsichord), is a repeated loop, but all other voices are not. I went through various sections and moved notes around in the midi editor (mainly the drums), played with a couple of volumes, did some spatial positioning and then bounced it down...

cubase whimsy.mp3

Carlson, L. et al. 2003. "Cubase SX/ SL: Music Creation and Production System - Getting
Started". Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH, Germany.

Monday, 20 August 2007

mtf - week 04 - circuit bending I

For circuit bending I went to a local op-shop and invested in 5 McDonalds toys for a total of 20c each, woohoo. 2 were cars which had nothing but engines in them :( but at least I have 2 engines :) The other 3 all made various noises, and had little speakers/piezo's, so I figured even if they're all crap I still scored!!!

The lion king below makes a growl noise when you push a button, but the entire circuit board is smaller than a $1 coin, which made getting any wet fingers in a difficult proposition. And in terms of exposed circuitry, there's one resistor and a black lump... but still woo hoo said I and started connecting different sections.
I managed to make it pitch up, by bypassing the resistor (first part of the sample). So I decided to try and try variable voltages to its other side. It used 3V as standard, so I decided that if I connected a 3V source in parallel to a 1.5V source it wouldn't be 3V anymore, it made a different noise !!
Then I whacked in the 1Mohm pot in with the voltage (3rd section of mp3), only a very small section of the pot made the lion roar or make any noise so I probably need a lesser pot

here's a sample of the lion king.mp3

or try

Below is a basket ball game, it bipped when you scored a goal, about 1 second after you pushed the button. I managed to make it vary its pitch (bip) but didn't get enough value out of to even bother recording it. I'll have to try it again with some three way connections :)

Below is an xbox, you can see the green cross :)
It made a constant tune which made it a bit easier to do something with, but again just seemed to be able to vary it's pitch. this one also had the largest circuit board so I could get a wet finger in there, and hold a wire on the other end to get a 3 way connection.
And I enjoyed waggling that finger, tremolo :)

Also in the picture is a walkman I pulled apart. I couldn't get the radio to make any noise other than radio (it is only fm with a digital receiver - I think), but looking at the tape mechanism makes me think of manipulating the power to the motor to vary the playback speed .. should be straight forward and quite easy but I need to work out what sort of pot to use for varying the voltage.

here's a sample of the xbox.mp3
you may well notice a baby crying in the background, that's either a) because my fingers were too big for the tiny circuit boards, or b) just another ambient noise that I hardly notice when I'm amazingly engrossed in having fun....

or try

Haines, Christian. MTF - Electronics, Instruments and Improvisation - Outline (Mod 1) (Comp).pdf

pp 3-23, 103-129. Reed, Ghazala 2005, Circuit-bending : build your own alien instruments, Wiley
Publishing, Indianapolis.

pp 59-63. Collins, Nicolas 2006, Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking, TFROUTL.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

AA - week 04 - scene sound

Uncle Ben's Express. Some sort of instant rice product.

Marketed as a quick and easy gourmet please the discerning consumer style product.
Visually everything is quite nice and clean, nice apartment - i'd say the character's are meant to have a lot more $$$ than I do.

That said, the pace of the ad is quite fast - you can cook gourmet style in 2 minutes.
So, tight editing between scenes, which means quick sound bites such as cream pouring, footsteps, which tell a sped up story.
The sounds initially setup the scene, with the focus on a sleeping man who hears a car door and keys jingling to realise his wife is home, quick shot of his wife (from above) to let us the audience know his wife's home and has to come upstairs (which could take, oh maybe 2 minutes).

uncle ben rice thingamy time line

0.00 : background city murmur, car door, man grunt, key jingle, footsteps
0.03 murmur stops. product put down in microwave, music starts (funky hihats). microwave beeps then whirrs.
0.06 music really starts (funky everything), footsteps up the stairs
0.10 cream pouring
0.11 fish slicing
0.14 sauce bubbling in frying pan
0.15 microwave beeps ready
0.17 key open door
0.21 voice over : uncle ben blah blah blah is the best!!
music finishes

The ad is a bit cinematic with the initial city ambience (very quiet really) disappearing when all the action now takes place inside.
The sounds of food preparation are intermittently overlayed onto the music which makes them quite subtle at times - and an interesting choice in which sounds to use, slicing fish but not shallots.
The 'real' sounds disappear once the wife arrives, the voice over starts (quite relaxed after the rush of the scene editing), the voice over happens to end at an appropriately musical moment to bring the volume back up after the ducking, then the music finishes the add.

This ad features mainly characterisic sounds but added afterwards, the sauce bubbling actually sounds like something frying. Apart from the music and voice all sounds can be considered as diegetic, but hyper-real.

The other ad was at another end of an extreme.

Nice 50's light orchestral scenic music, relaxed and showing an unstressed life in the suburbs.
No sound happens except for the music and voice over, which is quite restrained given the potentials - a child on a bike gets hit by a car backing out of a driveway... and after listening to other ads with all sorts of whooshy noises whacked in all over the place.
The voice is also quite an unexcited voice, a serious (but not too serious) sounding woman.

With the visuals being an unbroken scene til the logo at the end,verall it gives the impression of another average day, and the average potential for danger - so we must save our kids !!!

kids foundation time line

0.00 music starts
0.21 voice over starts
0.25 music stops
0.29 voice over stops

In this case there was no real interaction between the music and the visuals, the voice over kicked in at the appropriate moment to suggest that running kids over, while being statiscally an average event, is really not necessary.
All sounds were not diegetic.

Haines, Christian. Creative Computing week 01 lecture. University of Adelaide, 14 August 2007.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

cc - week 03 - more complicated synfasizer

more fun with bidule.

Well, I got offended by the constancy of the LFO amount. By using the base frequency of the note as a multiplier, I got a much more pleasing LFO that modulates around more of a constant pitch rather than frequency. Of course this was before I got to the end of the tute where there is the cents to freq ratio bidule :) I think mine works quite well so I've left it there out of hubris.

Spent quite a while on the filter LFO, it just wouldn't work. Tried copying and pasting the bidules from the tutorial but they would't work in mine.. finally tracked it down to an early variable I used to, an initial LFO level (0 to 1) as a multiplier of the note amplitude. Hmmpff, go figure.

And now I realise why he was putting the amplitude envelope after the filter (to get that noise osc), where I initially put it to modulate the oscillators themselves (mo good for the noise osc with no amp input).

And now all I've got to say for myself, is bleh.. It's so easy to confuse oneself in the myriad of options. I just spent the last 3 hours trying to get the 'finished' bidule to behave itself...ha.
You can see in the picture, how I'd somehow managed to connect that PWM osc (compared with the other oscillators), that in combination with some mute buttons made me restart 3 times:)

I think I might have to start again.

enjoy it all i sez.
the mp3

or go to

the bidule

Haines, Christian. Creative Computing week 01 lecture. University of Adelaide, 02 August 2007.

Bidule Tutorial 2 : Improving the synthesizer, 2006, 10/7/2006, viewed 15/08/2007.

Bidule Tutorial 3 : Filter modifications, 2006, 10/7/2006, viewed 15/08/2007.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

mtf - week 03 - oscillator circuit

well i built the oscillator circuit with a variable pot in it [1] and woo-hoo a widdly noise... it was great :)

then in the readings it mentioned that seeing as how the chip was 6 seperate inverters you could create 6 different oscillating circuits[2], that got me interested so in I went.

not really polyphony at all

It didn't sound like polyphony as this sample will demonstrate, but it was reasonably cool in an unstable wobbly noise.
It seems, with this bread board style of circuit connection, that I can never quite get all the attachments to work properly and consistently. There's generally a bit of non-commital noise, or massive fluctuations in the tone generated that don't match any sort of input.
So with this circuit not working, I was curious. Then I read the bit, "Don't jumper the oscillator outputs together... probably cause them to stop running."
I'd looked at the pretty pictures (circuit diagrams) and, not noticing the resistors, decided that you could do just that :)

I felt lucky that I'd got noise mayhem rather than nothing :)

Then I attempted the ring modulating circuit, it didn't work.

this didnt work either... oh the humanity
It worked at forum when Seb came and adjusted things[3], but at home everything looked great, but all I got was an unmodulated signal. The square wave was working, I tested that, but the circuit as a whole just didn't.
I did try setting the square wave at quite high and quite low frequencies but no modulation, oh well.... at least I got that non-polyphonic crazy noise.

[1] Music Technology Forum handout. Week 3 - Digital Logic Guide.pdf.

[2] Collins, Nicolas 2006. Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking, pp 111-133.

[3] “Music Technology Forum – Week 02 – Modular Electronics". University of Adelaide, Engineering North, Electronics Lab. 09 August 2007.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

AA - week 03 sem 02 - sound scene

The selection I chose was from the movie 'Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone'. [1]

It starts with the train, the Hogwarts Express, pulling into Hogwarts station with the sounds of the train on the tracks and steam hissing. Music features bell noises which initially mix with the train noises (trains have bells) then turn into obvious melodic information.
There's a general murmur of voices and footsteps and door carriages as the students get off the train and mill about. With critical listening, the door noise in particular seem a bit exaggerated, and the footsteps a tad heavy.
All sounds are appropriately diegetic and continue to be so for the excerpt I chose.

The music swells and moves around and does interact with the visuals. In the next scene, the first years are travelling by boat, the music is big and swelly, there are two moments when Harry and Ron interact and comment 'wow', during these moments there are lulls in the musical arrangement.
Also as the students arrive at the castle the music changes into a more mysterious tune, with a much smaller ensemble. During this scene Draco Malfoy (Harry's antithesis) offers his friendship with a handshake, the music chooses this moment to return with appropriate drama.

It sounds as if a lot of the voice recordings were done on location, with some mildly hyper effects added, for example Professor McGonagall taps her fingers on a stone balustrade and makes quite a loud sound, but not excessively so, more of a quick zoom into the sound then away again- this features through out the film in other scenes.
It was also in this scene that Neville found his lost toad, through the introduction of a toad croaking, rather sweetly :) It didn't really sound like a toad, but I'm not a toad expert and could well have been appropriate.

There is a moment in the next scene; as the students enter the dining hall, they are again overawed and the music expresses such. There is no ambient noise, until just before Hermione says something, the ambience fades in so her voice is accompanied with footsteps and robes swishing (and music), and when she has finished the ambience fades out.

Overall the sound is done very well, with good diegetic sounds and some nicely managed micro sounds. There are some moments, as with the carriage doors, that they've exaggerated the sounds a bit too much. And I feel, as with most movies, the music is overdone and could do with switching off :)

[1] Dir. Chris Columbus. Motion Picture. Warner Bros, 2001.

Haines, Christian. Creative Computing week 01 lecture. University of Adelaide, 07 August 2007.

Knowles Marshall, Jane . 1988, An Introduction to Film Sound 2006. (11 August 2007).