Timing experiments

November 9th, 2009

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Filename: iatashort_deviate_ds_Nov09.mp3
Duration: 1:29
Recorded: 8 November 2009
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: A semi-model of Plaid’s Super Positions, involving some unusual timing.


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Filename: unferth2_deviate_ds_Nov09.mp3
Duration: 2:37
Recorded: 2 November 2009
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: This was an attempt at Squarepusher modelling, as okay has already demonstrated, but with better instruments – however I didn’t have the Lemur for control, so the end result isn’t particularly dynamic. More transposition should have been used, in particular.


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Filename: kalgan_deviate_ds_Oct09.mp3
Duration: 1:53
Recorded: 12 October 2009
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: An ambiguous 6/8 time signature, with a lookup that produces a ‘rushing’ effect at the end of every bar. Continuous drum variation.

Deviate, Research

Emily Howell: EMI redux

October 23rd, 2009

A mawkish article appeared in the Guardian today about Emily Howell, David Cope’s new EMI-like program. Mark Lawson retreads a lot of old arguments about whether machine-created art is actually art, and how Cope’s contribution to Emily Howell factors into consideration.
Those arguments aside, my own view is summed up nicely by commenter speedkermit.

speedkermit
22 Oct 09, 10:13pm (about 7 hours ago)
I don’t see a conceptual problem with arguing that David Cope is the author of this music. He wrote the software with a particular outcome in mind and has created something that produces almost infinite variation, some good, some crap I should imagine. A lot of experimental artists define their role as merely setting the parameters of their music then allowing the results to surprise them. The composer Terry Riley did something similar on ‘In C’, by laying a set of loose rules for his musicians who were then allowed to apply them as they saw fit. Cornelius Cardew produced bizarre graphic scores such as ‘Treatise’ that could never be interpreted the same way twice. There isn’t much difference really.
At the moment Emily sounds like a formulaic prototype, but I don’t see the need to fear that machines might one day be the equal of human musicianship. I quite like the idea of having my own sound-droid who belches out originals on demand.

Incidentally, I wonder what Lawson’s own compositions are like.

Other

Using MIDI Gate

October 5th, 2009

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Filename: nanoke_deviate_ds_Oct09.mp3
Duration: 4:29
Recorded: 4 October
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion, MIDI Gate + audio samples
Comments: This recording used three out of Deviate’s four melodic note generators, and two of its six percussion generators, to trigger MIDI Gates on various audio samples. Each event lets through audio of 20ms duration, or thereabouts. The samples used consist of radio static/tuning, turntable noise scratching, and some sort of sub-bass distortion (all from freesound).
The advantage is that audio samples (depending on their length and variety) provide different content at each triggering – this is shown by the occasional vocal snippets that come through. The disadvantage, however, is that Deviate’s melodic output becomes merely an event generator devoid of pitch.
Aside from the MIDI-Gated audio, the percussive kick and snare are synthesised, as is the simple pad providing the only melodic content. Structurally, this is very straightforward – 4/4 throughout, no swing, no pattern restarting. Control was mouse/keyboard only.

Deviate, Research

Lite Autechre modelling – Squeller

September 22nd, 2009

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Filename: gmutt_deviate_ds_Sep09.mp3
Duration: 2:54
Recorded: 20 September 2009
Instruments: 3 synths, percussion
Comments: A vague modelling of Autechre’s Squeller (EP7, 1999) using swung tempo and minimal melodic synths. Lots of audio effects including ring modulation and a custom-built granulator. Percussion sequence is reminiscent of Boards of Canada.

Deviate, Research

Plaid anew

September 14th, 2009

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Filename: eigenshort_deviate_ds_Sep09.mp3
Duration: 4:21
Recorded: 13 July 2009
Instruments:4 synths, percussion
Comments: Another Plaid-style track, this time using 5+3 pattern restarting – compare to the 3+5 pattern restarting in elbe2. Levels are all over the place and events are too dense, but decent transposition values and note generation overall.

Deviate, Research

Many recordings

September 7th, 2009

Lots of recordings done over the weekend – some better than others, but all uploaded here nonetheless. The two attributes that I was concentrating on in all these recordings were; short set-up and preparation time; and more attention to musical form and structure. They are presented below from most preferred to least.


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Filename: chyeshort_deviate_ds_Sep09.mp3
Duration: 2:37
Recorded: 7 September
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: This wasn’t an attempt at modelling, but it ended up sounding very Plaid-like anyway. Long intro with some mildly dissonant parts. Good bass sound at 1:50.


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Filename: gyrus2_deviate_ds_Sep09.mp3
Duration: 3:37
Recorded: 5 September
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: 3/4 time signature, no Lemur control. A little bland, but pleasant. Structurally quite solid.


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Filename: tsuris_deviate_ds_Sep09.mp3
Duration: 2:21
Recorded: 7 September
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: Kind of a raucous, messy Aphex thing. The unpitched sounds could have been chosen a little better, but the Roland-style acid bass instrument was a success.


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Filename: vug_deviate_ds_Sep09.mp3
Duration: 1:55
Recorded: 7 September
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: Some sort of dub or trip-hop. Again, unpitched sounds are rather hastily chosen, but the tuned percussion worked well.


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Filename: immur_deviate_ds_Sep09.mp3
Duration: 1:51
Recorded: 6 September
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: Experimenting with some acoustic bowed sounds. Some dissonant moments at the outset. Didn’t really have any good ideas during this recording, so it ended up being rather stagnant.


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Filename: aucun_deviate_ds_Sep09.mp3
Duration: 1:17
Recorded: 6 September
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: Wow, I did not like this at all. A too-fast BPM (around 170) combined with pattern restarting, poorly chosen synths, and too many notes results in a very dull result. Lesson learned.

Deviate, Research

From the vault

September 2nd, 2009

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Filename: solaris_deviate_ds_Feb09.mp3
Duration: 2:03
Recorded: 24 Feb 2009
Instruments:4 synths, percussion
Comments: An old, odd recording from earlier this year. Uses pattern restarting and minimal percussion.

Deviate, Research

Nasty bass techno

August 31st, 2009

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Filename: dualshort_deviate_ds_Aug09.mp3
Duration: 1:48
Recorded: 30 August
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: A more standard 4/4 recording influenced by old-school English techno (LFO particularly).

Other

11/8 time signature

August 24th, 2009

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Filename: bismuth_deviate_ds_Aug09.mp3
Duration: 1:20
Recorded: 23 August
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: Another experiment with unusual timing, in a similar vein to the last recording – this time 11/8 (or perhaps 5.5/4).

Deviate, Research

5/4 with swing

August 18th, 2009

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Filename: risc3short_deviate_ds_Aug09.mp3
Duration: 1:42
Recorded: 18 August
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: This started off as a recording after Plaid’s ZN Zero (Greedy Baby, 2006), which is apparent from the sound of the bass, heavy use of reverb, and the 5/4 time signature. Then I decided to see if adding swing would work (it did) and from there the project kind of took its own direction. Most interaction consisted of changing density, voice transposition, part activation, and note regeneration. Bar transposition values remain the same throughout, and no pattern restarting is used. There are often three simultaneous melodic voices active, and generally there aren’t many errors or wrong notes.


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Filename: risc3_deviate_ds_Aug09.mp3
Duration: 7:42
Recorded: 18 August
Instruments: 4 synths, percussion
Comments: The complete version of the above. There are some ‘wrong’ notes around 0:37, which were quickly corrected. The evolution from 5:00 to the end is quite nice.

Other