Thursday, 26 June 2008

cc2 - sound project - iterative parabola

Sound Project: Program Note
Parabolic function as iterated through colour and melodic transforms
Edward Kelly

This piece is a composition based on the manipulation of data from the generation of a parabola (and associated transforms) of the iterative function, y = R(x+1) where R is a constant and y re-enters the equation as consequent value of x.

The function output is transformed and mapped onto an LCD screen. There are a number of transforms operating ;
manipulation of the constant R, manipulation of the number of iterations used, inverting the X Y planes as the parabola is mapped, a variety of coulour options for the pixels as mapped, a variety of shapes/drawing options.

There are two melodic variations based on the function output and LCD state.
1. parabolic melody uses succesive iterations of the left hand parabola output for its melodic content. In this case note duration is responsible for triggering iterations of the parabola.
2. colour melody divides the screen into a 16 x 16 grid and samples the center pixel of each grid square. The parabolas operate independently of this, and note duration is responsible for triggering data sampling.

Both melodic forms translate the pixel data (location, colour) into melodic data (pitch, panning, amplitude, duration/rhythm).

The parabola dictates the melody in two ways
1. sucessive iterations as melodic form. Also when using the incremental colour scheme (this pre-samples the pixel colour data and increments it upon drawing) prior events can shape outcome.
2. the LCD state (as sampled) is completely dependant upon parabolic output.

Note : the different drawing options effect the melodic outcome only in that other areas of the screen are effected by these. This is very obvious whilst using the incremental colour scheme with larger ovals.

MP3 of performance and score at

Zip of MaxMSP files at

aa2 - recording project - ben gillard quartet

Recording project _ Ben Gillard Quartet You Don't Know What Love Is

Four piece jazz ensemble recorded live.

aa2 - recording project - reverb

Recording project _ Reverb - Helter Skelter.

Four piece rock style cover band recorded live.

Documentation and mp3 at :

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

mtf - week 12 - dj Skilz

Well, scratching is all well and good... however more than 30 seconds continuous is just tedious. It reminds me of the Theremin - at first it's a really interesting use of time/space, then "OMG is that is ? A warbly pure tone ? Where's my polyphony ? Let alone distortion/delay/chorus/etc...?"

Apart from that minor quibble, the art of DJing is a very fine art. There are practitioners of all skill levels and it is rare that I experience the finer end.

On the blunter end, my experience of CutDemUp, a digital hardcore freak, (whose approach to scratching was perhaps improved with a blunt needle) was at the time a veritable laugh and a half. Techniques included dragging the needle sideways, and dropping it repetitively. And given the material he was mixing (digital hardcore - and if you don't know, it blended relatively seamlessly.

On a personal level, my finer moments of DJing have included using the infinite loop at the end of a record for extra "authentic record crackle", and leaving the needle on an unrotating platter - and cranking the volume for quality record feedback (a lovely warm sound).

In regards to the quality DVD we were exposed to in the name of education :P I am a bit curious as to the lack of emphasis on EQ as a tool. The EQ on a decent mixer is incredibly intense, and when used with something as simple as whatever it's called when you have two tracks on at once (beatmixing?) can enhance the layering. Not to mention the use of EQ killswitches (switch based band on/off), which when used with quality psy-trance, can raise the level of your generic middle eight peak to a level of glowstick abandon !!!

[1] Stephen Whittington, "Music Technology Forum: Semester 1 - Week 12 – Itching and Scratching". Lecture presented at the Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, South Australia, 5th June 2008

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

mtf - week 11 - 3f1x

Here's a beautiful quote from an un-named author in a vitamin catalogue.
"Laundry powder - you know you'll use it up over time, so why buy a small bottle that'll only end up in the bin ?"
go green. Glow magazine. Winter 2008 edition.

This is just common sense, the like of which often falls by the wayside. A small bottle costs 1/3rd the price (or whatever) so obviously it's cheaper to buy the small one...... or is it ? Let's try a little math.
I do recall at some point in my dim distant past, supermarket trolleys with inbuilt calculators !!
Although, in personal research into toilet paper, as far as the Safe brand recycled paper is concerned, it is often cheaper (by the roll) to buy 9 rolls rather than the larger packet of 12 - I figure it is a super market conspiracy to shape purchasing.

My conclusion, is if that life is happiness, ethics is maintaining yourself in a state of conscious happiness rather than an unconscious zombie. ie buy bulk, use energy efficient lightglobes and give your mum a kiss XX

hurrah for being !!


Whittington, Steven. Harris, David. Forum presentation on Ethics and Technology at EMU space, University of Adelaide. 3rd June 2008.

Monday, 2 June 2008

aa2 - week 10 - mastering

I had a go at 'mastering' 3 different tracks. I used similiar chains on all 3, EQ, stereo imaging, and compression, although I experimented with multi band and single band.

Examples are first half pre-mastering, second half post-mastering.

This track, metal style, I think I lost a bit of overall level but gained clarity.

This track, weird pop style (early 90's), similiar result, loss of level but gain of clarity.

Third track, electronic, gained clarity and level. This one has fairly dirty synth pad that becomes more noticeable.

Sitting back and listening to them makes me keen to try again :)

I'm keen to try and use more EQ for pre compression control, narrowing in on particular frequencies, and to experiment more with compression I've always found compression amusingly difficult on a overall mix, individual instruments ok, but when you combine sounds it makes it another step difficult.

Grice, David. 2008. “AA2 – Mastering.” Seminar presented at the University of Adelaide 27th May.