S C O T T E R I C P E T E R S E N

Composer, electronic musician, improviser

Music V: Back to the Future

tech_of_comp_mus

In 1969 Max Mathews published The Technology of Computer Music in which he provides a  primer to digital sound and synthesis, describes the function of a computer music program, and provides a manual to the language he was describing, namely MUSIC V. It was to be the last MUSIC-N language he would write, and was the culmination of audio programming innovation that Mathews began in 1957 when he created the series of programs that formed MUSIC. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Code, Music, Phase 1, Tutorial / How-to, , , , , , , , , , ,

New SuperCollider on (x)Ubuntu

SuperCollider on Xubuntu

My page on installing SC3.x on Ubuntu has been a popular page here at scacinto.com. Because it was written 3+ years ago, and more importantly, because so much changed with the SC3.6 update I felt compelled to write up another tut. This time I’m installed 3.6.x on Xubuntu 13.10. The flavor of Ubuntu you choose doesn’t matter. I like X because it uses the lighter XFCE desktop environment. Actually, I like and use #! Linux more, but Ubuntu is the easier and more people use it (even though #! is better!) so here goes: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: SC3 - Code - Music - More, Tutorial / How-to, , , , , , , ,

Aural Assault?!?

Hello all!  Many apologies for my long absence – life happend between February and now and it sort of kicked my butt a little.  By way of an apology, I would like to offer you a link to a new project I am doing: 375 Aural Assaults!

You can check out the page for the “what the h*$# is this?!?” question and enjoy the sonorous splenfdiforousness while you are there.  I will be adding sounds to this site as often as I can.  After all, what else am I going to do?..  (<– trick question)

375 Aural Assaults! 

Filed under: Code, SC3 - Code - Music - More, , , , , , , , , ,

Raspberry Pi: first impressions

Getting the Pi Baked

I got my Raspberry Pi in the mail yesterday — a long anticipated event. My excitement was slightly deflated when I realized I didn’t have anything I actually needed to make the damn thing run: micro USB for power, an hdmi-dvi adapter so I could actually see and control it, and a fast SDHC card with lots of room*.
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: El MuCo, Phase 1, , , , , , , , , ,

IBeam Laser Show (2011)

It has been almost five months since MuCo performed for the 2nd time at Ibeam and for one reason or another the recording has sadly sat neglected on a hard drive since then.  I finally dug it out, mixed the tracks together (output of kane + scacinto) and here it is for your listening pleasure.

(Just in case you are wondering what the laser-gun sounds are that occur at the beginning and, even more noticeably, during the middle of the recording [11:18 ->], they came from a magical black box that Kane made and I played without knowing how it worked. Hilarity.)

El MuCo @ Ibeam May 28th, 2011

Filed under: El MuCo, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FNT III: The 68k Classic Clash

... it calls to you... ...do you hear your name?..

March 25th

  • Be the first on your block to write a song for the Macintosh Classic II!!!
  • Learn Super Studio Session!!!
  • Have your music performed in public!!!
  • Get your hands on a clicky single-button mouse!!!
  • Drink beer!!!
  • Bolster your geek cred!!!
  • The keyboard!!!  Whoa!!!

If you want all of the above I guarantee there is only one place to get it this coming Friday night! FNT III!!!! You don’t know how to write music? Ha! With Super Studio Session you don’t need to know anything about music to write a hit song! Simply click on some lines to insert an instrument and then click in notes at random! It’s easy! Also, it’s fun! Also, who cares?

Classic Computing!

This computer is 20 years old ladies and gentlemen! It is not going to last forever! Get your hands on it before its capacitors pop! Make your impression on the world before it’s too late!

FridayNightThing III:
Friday March 25th, 8pm
667 Whitney Ave #11
New Haven, CT 06511

So easy even Kane can do it!

Filed under: FridayNightThing, , , , , , , , , , ,

Holiday Jankotunes (Kidtunes) Sample Pack!!!

In the spirit of the holiday season, and to show all of you our fans how much you mean to us, El MuCo is giving away this free sample pack of Jankotunes magic!  Many hours of toilsome labour went into editing this massive sample pack (over 32 samples!!!) for your artistic edification and pure enjoyment.  We hope it will help you and the entire world find peace and joy this holiday season.

From El MuCo to you, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Just some of the sample pack’s MANY attributes:

  • 922,916 bytes of sound!
  • Deluxe, virus free!
  • Easy-to-read file names!
  • No bothersome equal temperament!
  • With metadata!
  • 100% pure sound!
  • Official El MuCo Brand Merchandise!
  • Audio bit rate: 160000!  160000!
  • Totally underground!
  • Normalized!
  • Of the highest quality (not a cheap imitation!)
  • DC Removed!
  • Not really proprietary!
  • Hardware hardware hardware!
  • Real® mp3™ format℗!
  • Not guaranteed!
  • Totally audible!
  • Small!
  • Much, much more!

Download it now! (954kb)

If you have any questions or comments, please submit them to us in comment form. Thank you.

Filed under: El MuCo, Music, , , , , , , , , ,

Mixer Feedback Music: 1204FX Improvisation 2

WARNING:

(every good post should begin with one!)

Following any of the steps below to create feedback loops with mixers can harm your gear and more detrimentally, your ears.  The results are often unpredictable and almost always extremely loud.  The pulse waves created by these kinds of setups and heard in the recording below are very hard on the ear mechanism (as you will be able to tell by listening.)  Please take all precautions to limit the amplitude of your speakers and, if listening on headphones, to start with the volume very low and turn it up as needed.  If you plan to attempt the following setup or one like it, start with all volumes at the minimum and raise them once you know what your results are going to be.

Note: the piece begins very quietly, the first loud sound is around 1:26.

1204-10-29

The following is a list of equipment used in the above improvisation.

  • Dell Latitude D620 (1.6gHz, 1GB RAM) running the latest PureDyne distribution
  • Jack and Ardour to record the improvisation
  • Behringer XENYX1204FX mixer for all sound generation
  • 4 1/4 TS cables
  • 4 RCA cables
  • Headphones

Kane recently played a few recordings for me of experiments he had done with feedback systems created using his 1204 mixer.  The sounds were appealing and I thought it would be fun to see what it was like to make music with only a mixer for an instrument.  My 1204FX has on-board DSP that Kane’s model does not.  Normally, I do not use the processor at all, but for this exercise it was useful in adding variation to the signal flow and achieving a variety of sonic results.

Last night I experimented for about 2 hours with different routing schemes and to get used to controlling the mixer as a sound-generator.  I recorded 8-10 tests and ended up with about 45 minutes of pretty good material which I may use at some point in the future.  I then recorded 1204-10-29 in one take, using only the 2-channel output from the mixer.  There is no additional material in the recording, nor any post-processing aside from normalization.  The following is the routing recipe I used.

Routing the 1204FX

The first pair of feedback loops was connected as follows:

Alt 3 output –> channel 1 input (trim at +60) –> sent to Alt 3-4
Alt 4 output –> channel 2 input (trim at +60) –> sent to Alt 3-4

The second pair of loops was connected like so:

Aux Send 2 –> channel 5/6 L (+4) –> Main Mix (no Alt 3-4) –> Aux Sends 1-2 alternately as desired
Aux Send 1 –> channel 7/8 R (+4) –> Main Mix (no Alt 3-4) –> Aux Sends 1-2 alternately as desired

Aux Sends 1-2 at +15
Aux Returns at +5 to +10
Aux Return 1 to Aux Send 1 at +5

The reverberation heard is the built-in “Chapel” reverberation, program 19 on the mixer.  I used the Control Room R & L output channels to route the audio to my laptop for recording.  I monitored the sound using the headphone jack on the mixer with the volume as near to zero as I could get it.  (At some points this was not enough and I had to quickly pull the phones off.)

Useful parameters for making music

There are many ways to achieve sonic variation within the mixer.  The controls I used were the “pre” buttons for each channel, which control signal flow to the main mix and the aux sends, the faders for each channel plus the ALT 3-4 and Main Mix stereo faders, the “ALT 3-4” buttons, the AUX 1-2 faders, the pan controls, and the 3-band EQ for each channel.  (Is that everything, you say?  Almost, I didn’t touch the trims, the low cuts, or the aux send knobs below the DSP area.)  The controls I used the most were the volume faders and the 3-band EQs.  All of the frequency variation (thumping lows to screaming frequencies around 12k) was accomplished by turning down two of the three EQ bands, and playing with the remaining band while simultaneously working the volume fader for that channel.

If you are interested in experimenting with a mixer like this, trial and error will be your best guide.  Try making the channel settings similar for all channels and then changing them one by one to clearly hear the results.  Or try using only 1 or 2 of the channels and later adding the rest one by one.  Most of all, play with the levels a lot: I noticed that in several instances minute changes to a single channel produced startling results.  Also get to know your routing: changing the ALT 3-4 stereo faders will affect all of the channels using the ALT 3-4 pair, while playing with the gain of an individual channel will only affect other channels that share its signal path.  By bypassing the aux sends (the DSP) you can have two layers of sound, one processed and the other dry (you can hear this clearly in my piece), so experiment with foreground and background layers.

Here, again, for your edification is my improvisation… I know you don’t want to scroll all the way back to the top of the page.

1204-10-29

Filed under: Current Projects, Music, Phase 1, , , , , , , , , , ,

Simple Semi-Stochastic Music Language Examples

An article in the June 1979 issue of Computer Music Journal (Vol.3, No.2, Jun., 1979) inspired me to see how easy it would be to impliment “very simple” examples of semi-stochastic music in SuperCollider.  The algorithmic function is the focus of the following examples, which took about 10 minutes to code.  The code uses two different interval sets, a whole-tone set (a) and a simple scale (c) in order to make the algorithm audibly clear.  You can cut and paste the following code into SuperCollider and run it your self to hear the results.  Select and run the .plot code afterwards to see the envelope of pitch choice.  I will upload screen-shots of the plots and audio soon.

// Simple Semi-Stochastic Music Language (SSMLT) #1: the logorithmic curve

(
s.waitForBoot;

///////////////SYNTHDEFS//////////////////////////

SynthDef(“plunk”, {|freq|

var env = EnvGen.kr(Env.perc, 1, doneAction:2);
var sound = SinOsc.ar(freq);
Out.ar([0,1], sound * env * 0.5);

}).send(s);

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

///////////////VARIBLES///////////////////////////

a = [0,-10,-8,-6,-4,-2,0,2,4,6,8,10,0];
b = [0.5,1];
c = [0,1,3,5,7,9,11];

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

//////////Routines////////////////////////////////

(
~plot = List[];
~notes = List[];

r = Routine({

var num = 50;

num.do({|i|

var array = [num-(i+ (i/ (0.5*num))), (i/ (0.5*num))].normalizeSum.postln;
var notes = [a.choose,c.choose].wchoose(array).postln;

~plot.add(array.at(0));
~plot.add(array.at(1));
~notes.add(notes);

Synth(“plunk”, [\freq, (70 + notes).midicps]);

0.25.wait;
}); // outer ‘do’

});
)
)

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

/////////////CONTROL–GO TIME/////////////////////

r.reset.play;

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

///////////////PLOT IT////////////////////////////

(
~plot.asArray.plot(“turd plot terror attack”, numChannels:2);
~notes.asArray.plot(“turd plorp poopy attack”, discrete: true);
)

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
/***********************************NEXT************************************/
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

// Simple Semi-Stochastic Music Language (SSMLT) #2: the linear curve

(
s.waitForBoot;

///////////////SYNTHDEFS//////////////////////////

SynthDef(“plunk”, {|freq|

var env = EnvGen.kr(Env.perc, 1, doneAction:2);
var sound = SinOsc.ar(freq);
Out.ar([0,1], sound * env * 0.5);

}).send(s);

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

///////////////VARIBLES///////////////////////////

a = [0,-10,-8,-6,-4,-2,0];
b = [0.5,1];
c = [0,1,3,5,7,9,11,12];

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

//////////Routines////////////////////////////////

(
~plot = List[];
~notes = List[];

r = Routine({

var num = 50;

num.do({|i|

var array = [num-i, i].normalizeSum.postln;
var notes = [a.choose,c.choose].wchoose(array).postln;

~plot.add(array.at(0));
~plot.add(array.at(1));
~notes.add(notes);

Synth(“plunk”, [\freq, (70 + notes).midicps]);

0.25.wait;
}); // outer ‘do’

});
)

)

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

/////////////CONTROL–GO TIME/////////////////////

r.reset.play;

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

///////////////PLOT IT////////////////////////////

(
~plot.asArray.plot(“Weighted Choice”, numChannels:2);
~notes.asArray.plot(“Resulting Pitches”, discrete: true);
)

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

Filed under: Code, , , , ,

prophetic words…

Max Matthews from an interview in September, 1978

Could you look into your crystal ball and tell us what we can expect in this field during the next decade?

One thing we can certainly expect is that computer instruments will become very cheap, very cheap compared to conventional instruments.  As a result, I think we’re going to see a lot of these instruments in people’s homes, used perhaps by amateur musicians much like those who use electric organs today.  That market, I’m almost positive, will boom.  Another likely market that I think will be exploited will be the popular musicians, in particular the rock musicians. They are already heavily into electronics, and adding computers will simplify their lives rather than complicating them.  It will also make it possible for them to use more performance-oriented electronics, since the present synthesizers are actually rather difficult to play in performance.  Then the last group of musicians who will take the thing up, if they take it up at all, will be the classical musicians.  They’re a conservative group, and they take up new technologies very slowly.

Filed under: Phase 1, , , , , , ,

G O I N G S O N : L O C A L (ISH)

fritz Art of Fritz Horstman
kane Music of Brian Kane
fritz Hartford Phase Shift
fritz Hartford Sound Alliance
Lique Art of Philip Lique
Lique Music of Matt Sargeant
strycharz Art of Heather Strycharz
uncertainty Uncertainty Music Series

My Other Awesome Sites [•_•]

Assault! 375 Aural Assaults!
About me! About me!
MySpace! MySpace!
Google+! Google+!
My (soon-to-be) Company! My (soon-to-be) Company!

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Handmade instruments by Scott Petersen and Brian Kane at Artspace New Haven