Saturday, 30 August 2008

aa2 - week 05 - fmod designer

It is a tad disconcerting at first using something that doesnt quite behave as it looks ie an audio editor like audacity. And auditioning, where the file playpack position has nothing to do with where the cursor bar is, it takes a slight paradigm shift.

Apart from that, taking several hours to create a multi-channel audio file was the only annoyance.

The basic ideas behind FMOD are nothing new, they seem a new setting for automated envelopes really. I look forward to attempt some serious use of this as other manifestations of automated envelopes can be a bit annoying, and this has nice curve shaping :)

Oh, and there is a typo on page 126, that says to put the reverb setting at 0 (for point 4 on the SimDistance), with the picture that shows value 1. I used value 1.

zip with FMOD file and multichannel audio file are...

Haines, Christian. 2008. AA2 - Week 5 - Audio Engine Overview - Planner.pdf

pp 113 - 132. "Chapter 5 - Tutorial Projects". Creative 2007, FMOD DESIGNER:
USER MANUAL, Creative Labs, 2007, (

cc2 - week 05 - synthesis (02)

I am slowly getting the hang of this poly~ object. This week, I found the need to send all the note information in a single moment more relavent than previously. Once I put the line~ object (for envelopes) inside the poly~ things went smooth.

I also put a slight line~ as a quick ramp up for each note, this gets rid of last weeks annoyance in note clicks.

The application of a real time modulator was slightly problematic, but the solution came in the form of the send/recieve objects. This does make it an overall modulator rather than for individual voices.

As my MIDI controller does not send aftertouch, I made available use of the data slider (CC 07) as an alternative.

zip at:


Haines, Christian. 2008. 5. Synthesis (2) - CC2 - Music and Signal Processing.pdf

Cycling'74 2006, MSP Tutorials and Topics,

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

forum - week 04 - h3llo

what happened,
why do i have a list of the 9 basic emotions, and the 4 temperaments ???

OMG what have i missed :?

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

cc2 - week 04 - synthesis (1)

This weeks excitement was to create an additive synth.

The basics of what I created are ;
12 voice polyphonic additive synth with 6 independent sine wave partials.
Multiplier to give relationship to frequency in, amplitude envelope with adjustable time setting, pan, phase, and output level.

This is given a GUI, and utilised in a bpatcher for the demo patch.

This version utitilises 6 seperate poly.partial~ objects ( 1 for each partial), but am in the process of exploring the potential of a single poly~ object with 72 voices (6 partials * 12 voices). This involves what is currently looking like a convoluted mangle of triggers (having to retrigger each parameter for each voice), but with the just excitement idea of placing poly~ objects inside poly~ objects may be easier ... but I'll wait until I get it working before I get too excited.

This additive synth as it is still gives clicks with voice play back ??? The only thing I can think of is the phase position of the cycle~ when playback starts, but I would assume the function~ acting as an envelope would fix this...

Zip folder =

EDIT: did something funny with original upload. now i can't even upload with them :?
uploaded somewhere else, fixed link... now should work = ideal !!

Cycling'74 2006, MSP Tutorials and Topics,

Monday, 25 August 2008

aa2 - week 04 - game engine overview

Grand Theft Auto III: Vice City (GTA III) uses the Renderware game engine.

Renderware is highly customisable with ease of transition between middleware options, hence it is difficult to determine exactly what middleware may have been used in any manifestation.

GTA III does use the Miles Sound System for audio, with extensability through Creative EAX HD.

Whilst the engine itself is compatible with numerous machine/OS (Microsoft Windows, Gamecube, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable) GTA III appears on the PlayStation, Xbox, and Windows PC's.

The audio of the game is spatially realistic, with noises happening in appropriate locations and movement portrayed with doppler effect and volume transitions. Pedestrian voice overs are abnormally loud and constant considering the speed you drive past but this is obviously a programming choice, and there are occasional glitches where sounds drop out whilst moving spatially.


RenderWare. 2008. (viewed 22/08/08)

The Miles Sound System,
(viewed 22/08/08)

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

cc2 - week 03 - polyphony and instancing.

The poly~ object had some mystery. Or perhaps again it was Max/MSP exhibiting its inscrutable behaviour. It took several patches of attempts, and suddenly it worked !! Another of those unrepeatable moments when one repeats a similar process again but now it works.

Also more inscrutable behaviour by reading an earlier generation object from a portable hard drive with no relation to the patch, nor mentioned in the preferences... highly inscrutable. I would like to know how to find the source path of objects inside patcher windows, perhaps the filepath command would be useful but I have as yet to master it. The ability to find the source path would make debugging so much easier as Max has tendencies to be able to put things in one folder and take from another with not even a wink.

Again I have been forced to take a step back and be aware of the software's simplicity. "Target" exists to enhance useability and flexibility, the ability for user defined voice stealing (polyphony) is a fine and glorious thing.

zip file is at :


Haines, Christian. 2008. 3. Polyphony and Instancing - CC2 - Music and Signal Processing.pdf

Cycling'74 2006, MSP Tutorials and Topics,

Grosse, Darwin. 2006, The Poly Papers (part 1), 2007,

note... blogger seems to be treating anything within <> style as not for common observance, hence I've used ( ) instead

Monday, 18 August 2008

aa2 - week 03 - process and planning

Grand Theft Auto III - Vice City.

Please excuse poor quality of video, I havent quite worked out how to capture good quality gaming video but it does feature the sounds as listed below.

Perusing the folder of "audio" in the GTA install folder gives mainly voice samples from the game - storylines and general asides from people. Also ambience in 9-11 minute blocks (eg. beach, city).
The files vary in quality from 112kbps 32kHz mp3 to 128kbps 32kHz mp3, and also occasional wav format of short sounds.

background noises -
quiet city hubub
quiet background ocean
police radio - eg "suspect on foot"
enviroment being interacted with eg. cars hitting poles

bullets hitting car
bullets whizzing by
bullets hitting person
shells hitting ground

cars -
engine starting
engine noises - stationary and passing
car doors - open and close
police sirens
cars interacting with enviroment - eg trying to drive through poles

helicopter -
flying above

game noises -
mission started sound

people -
player footsteps
pedestrian voices - including scream

Haines, Christian. 2008. AA2 - Week 3 - Planning and Process - Planner.

Lampert, Mark. 2006, IT’S QUIET … ALMOST TOO QUIET, Bethesda Softworks, 2006,

"Chapter 2 - Sound Database". Childs, G. W. 2006, Creating Music and Sound for
Games, Thomson Course Technology.

pp 2 – 24. "Chapter 1 - A Development Process Map of Game-Audio Implementation".

Brandon, Alexander. 2005, Audio for games: planning, process, and production, New
Riders Games, Berkeley, Calif.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

forum - week 03 - presentations la noobs and old concrete guys.

It is interesting getting a perspective on the aesthetics of the (relatively) new faces that have been haunting forum for several months now.

It occurs to me to wonder what might be made of listening to multiple (think 20 or so ) years worth of first year student work in one sitting. What sort of overall impressions, or observations one could make. Of course this is unlikely given the current rate of software development and hence possible techniques that one may encounter. Material from 20 years ago would be possibly tape manipulations, midi based sequences of samples and synthesised voices - possibly presented on tape, or floppy disk. Where would one get access to that sort of hardware now ?

I was hoping to hear the current versions of paper ripping masterpieces, but was disappointed in this. I was also curious to see such a breadth of content when our similar assignment seemed much more focused ie on using our edited paper sounds.
Perhaps this is down to Christian's ability to evolve class material dependant on the actual class, or perhaps it is just down to steady evolution of class material......

all sorts of first year students presenting their work. "Forum: 1st Year Presentations” Seminar presented at the University of Adelaide, 14th August 2008.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

mf - week 02 - some favourite things

David Harris presented a work of his for string quartet, Terra Rapta, as recorded live by the Grainger Quartet.
It had some very lovely timbres. I would quite like to "remix" the piece (ie process the f**k out of it) and play with some of those interesting timbres. Oh if only I had time to do what I wanted.
EDIT: I just noticed the amusing contrast of timbre and chainsaw :P

Also a Schubert string quartet (from the same performance).
When listening to "classical" pieces, I often note the one bar of prime minimalist material that flashes by - if only I could quickly rip and edit and capture that bar , I would have an amazingly beautiful and repetitive moment to repeat - and perhaps intersperse with another bar...

Mmmm, I recall someone telling me of a composer whom took all his favourite bars from potentially a Beethoven piece, and reworked them into a new order. The only thing is he then scored it all and got someone else to play it !! OMG where is the technology ?!

Some of my current favourite things :
sunshowers - I have seen more of these during this winter than I have for possibly the last 15 years... delicate/thin drops of rain vectoring along the current gust direction catching the sun making the air glow.
synthesisers - been reading a history of the Moog. Synthesis is just the bomb !!!
my daughter - Raven is now 1 and a little, talks with a little interpereting and wanders around with her mouth wide open laughing manically.
max/msp - related to synthesisers really. I've been daydreaming about writing extended equations that will synthesise weirdly morphing square waves with no use of its own oscillator style objects.
coffee - I also have to bear its scar as an addiction.
chainsaws - bloody good fun, but a bit scary sometimes.
rocket and silverbeet from the garden - wet with raindrops and green !!

David Harris, "Music Technology Forum: Semester 2 - Week 2 ". Lecture presented at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, 07th July 2008

Stephen Whittington, "Music Technology Forum: Semester 2 - Week 2 ". Lecture presented at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, 07th July 2008

Saturday, 9 August 2008

cc2 - week 02 - signal switching and routing

In implementing the mute function, i found the mute~ object not appropriate yet as last weeks object don't feature any sort of cycle~ style object. So I integrated a toggle switch to trigger the line~ up/down. It works very well.

The ek.sinegen~ difficulty was deciding on the GUI, mmm, knobs/sliders or number boxes..

The ek.sawgen~ features an extra step of extending the basic phasor~ object to ramp from -1 to +1, rather than 0 to 1. I just though it was fun.

The GUI draws my attention back to integrating a default state rather than everything reseting to 0 on loading.
Either a loadbang/loadmess, or integrating a preset object to save multiple settings. The inputs in the GUI versions come in handy for a loadmess.

The GUI versions would be more flexible with a signal input as well as non-signal. At this stage implementing this involves having seperate internal channel paths, or perhaps seperate objects .

And after all this time and cross platform irritation it makes me wonder - how much is this blog worth ?

Zip of everything:


Haines, Christian. 2008. 2. Signal Switching and Routing - CC2 - Music and Signal Processing.pdf

Cycling'74. 2006. MSP Tutorials and Topics,

AA2 - week 02 - game audio analysis

Quake 3. Quake 3 Arena.

First person shooter with single and multiplayer modes, released in 1999.

Features startup logo for ID software.

Also cinematics for single player mode;
intro movie - stylised action with tune from soundtrack and appropriate play noises.
level movies - voice over introducing bots from each level, hyperreal sounds and ominous pads.

Soundtrack from two bands, front line assembly and sonic mayhem (game musician Sascha Dikiciyan) . Featuring particular tracks for each level play, also track for battle won/lost.

There are family sounds for characters (eg different footsteps shared between some character models), also unique sounds for some characters (EG orb jump).

Weapons have different sounds, but all seem to have similar hit sound.

There are two sorts of sound in gameplay.
Diegetic sounds - characters moving/shooting/being shot and from the map features eg teleportals, jump pads and scenery eg fires.
Non-diegetic sounds can be equated with narration/refereeing which give the game the feel of performing in an arena. eg voice overs giving current stats. And sounds associated with gameplay events eg dropping the flag.

The game engine features stereo spatialisation and doppler effect, and a possible 96 channels of audio (22kHz).


McGuire, Thomas. 2001. "Creative Labs 3D Blaster GeForce 3 Ti200 review". (09 August 2008)

2007. "Sascha Dikiciyan & Cris Velasco". (09 August 2008)

Huiberts, Sander. And van Tol, Richard. "IEZA: A Framework For Game Audio." (09 August 2008)

Grimshaw Mark and Schott Gareth. 2007 . "Situating Gaming as a Sonic Experience: The acoustic ecology of First-Person Shooters" (09 August 2008)

Friday, 1 August 2008

CC2_w33k 01_soft on/off for max/msp

I have created a rampdac~ object to soften the impact of turning the dac~ on/off, and a softvol~ object to smooth the effect of abrupt volume changes on an audio signal.

I settled on 12 ms as the default ramp time for both objects. I enjoyed the seeming softness it gave to the softvol~ and then gave it to the rampdac~. I assume that one could abuse any setting to give roughness to a signal, but I think 12ms gives a good all round basic setting.

The major drama (other than remembering how to make a custom argument), was trying to put the dac~ into the rampdac~ object. It took me a few minutes to realise it needed to be in the same window as the cycle~ object (the whole point of the startwindow command ).

The minor drama was creating a custom argument with a default setting. The way I have implemented it means the time for both objects can never = 0, which considering the whole exercise was to prevent this is OK with me.

Oh, and there's sort of a bug in rampdac~ in that if you press off, then on again before it turns off, it'll turn off when it should be on... behaves ok if you don't click madly or keep time at a low setting.

It seems on a basic intro to MSP that it treats audio in a similar manner to Plogue, and as such the work we did last year will stand us in good stead !!!! Hurrah !!!!

Zip of two objects plus help plus demonstration

Haines, Christian. 2008. 1. Introduction to MSP - CC2 - Music and Signal Processing.pdf

Cycling'74 2006, MSP Tutorials and Topics,

AA2 _ week 01_ancient game sound

Levels 1 - 5 on the Apple II

For a pre 1987 gameI have chosen Lode Runner, a 1983 platform game which I played as an Apple II game.

For this review I have sourced one video of gameplay from the Apple II, one video on C64, the windows DOS game modified for slower game speed, and the MAME version (arcade version emulation).

The general plot of the game is to collect boxes of gold, while avoiding enemies (by running and digging holes) and climbing along ladders and platforms. Upon collection of all the boxes the player then escapes by gaining the top of the screen.

The sounds are all synthesised, and of varying quality. The DOS version is the worst quality, then the Apple, then the C64 and MAME version being similar in quality.

All FX are based on the current action of the player (eg falling, digging) or by the actions of the player (enemy falls in dug hole). This implies limiting simultaneous sounds due to processing limitations - there are moments of simultaneous sound eg when an enemy falls in a hole during other player actions and the sounds are not clear (some sort of battle for supremacy happens).

There is general concurrence between the versions in sound types for various actions however they are all very different. The notable differences in sound versions include the C64 having a short melodic progression upon collection of all boxes (vs. a short tone for the Apple) and lacking a sound for enemies falling in a pit. The MAME version has a timer on the levels, and a warning tone begins sounding near the end of time.

As far as music goes -
MAME features non-stop background music, at least 2 music voices plus FX sounds plus timer. C64 video feaures a brief monphonic musical fanfare with the title screen. No musical content in the MS-DOS version nor on the Apple video.

Haines, Christain. 2008. 1. Introduction To Game Audio - AA2 - Game Audio - Planner.pdf

McDonald, Glenn. 2002, A brief timeline of Video Game Music, 2007,
Video game music, 2007, 2007, .

Summers, Jason. "Welcome to Jason's Lode Runner Archive." (1 August 2008).

"Loder Runner." (1 August 2008).

dsby. "Lode Runner on the Apple II (Levels 1-5)." (1 August 2008).

DerSchmu. "C64 Gamevideo - Lode Runner Part 1/3." (1 August 2008).

"MAME roms, L." ROMNation.NET. (1 August 2008).



ode to bus travel.
bus olng 22

Earlier this year I was considering the options of the portable generation/manipulation of sound/music (eg using a laptop on the train), and apart from battery life, the main issues was being able to hear what I was doing and its associated generated subtleties. In the public arena ambient sound is an issue, and one cannot hear the subtleties unless they are louder than the ambient sound and even then one cannot be sure that the subtleties are not created by the ambience.

Even earlier than that I purchased my first mp3 player and its associated lifestyle/freedom, I then quickly gave up listening to certain musical style/genres (eg almost anything with drums) because of my inability to enjoy them against the background of public transport . This led me to adapt my public listening to sounds of a more ambient nature that could easily meld with the the general ambience without needing to be cranked (eg Acreil).

Here lies one of the key issues regarding the noise levels of shared portable listening; to actually listen to some music in a public space it must be louder than the ambient noise....

This implies to me that public listeners whose earbuds are audible from a distance are attempting to overcome background noise so as to fully appreciated the subtleties of their musical choice. And possibly that others whose listening is at more discrete levels are perhaps not listening as hard, but rather using the music as an enhancement to their surrounds rather than seperate themselves for their surrounds.

Of course this does not take into account the use of mobile phones as tinny boom boxes, where sound quality is not even worth mentioning. Perhaps here, the essence of popular music is revealed as not being embedded in the sound quality but rather melodic/rhythmic/lyrical content. Perhaps even its associative memories account for more than sound junkies would like to admit...

[1] Stephen Whittington, "Music Technology Forum: Semester 2 - Week 1 ". Lecture presented at the Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, South Australia, 31st July 2008