[chuck-users] [livecode] granular music recommendations?

Mike McGonagle mjmogo at gmail.com
Wed May 21 12:03:17 EDT 2008

On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Kassen <signal.automatique at gmail.com>

> 2008/5/20 Mike McGonagle <mjmogo at gmail.com>:
>> Thanks, while I have to still read your whole post, I kind of figured this
>> is what you meant. Guess after a while of hearing a particular word, it
>> starts to lose some of its meaning... I will have to read your whole post
>> now, as it looks on first glance to be worth reading MORE than once...
> If it looks like this is "hard" stuff that's entirely my fault. On some
> level you already know all of this; knocking on a door with the palm of your
> hand will sound different from how it does when you knock it with your
> knuckles. It'll sound different in a few ways at the same time (spectral
> content, volume, decay time etc) after changing a single parameter. The ways
> in which is sounds different could also be accomplished in other ways, like
> for example knocking harder.

My comment about having to read it was more because I am at work, and didn't
really have time at that moment. I guess my interest in hearing your
descriptions is because I don't (at least I haven't yet) tried to create a
realtime interface, and my idea of "mapping" is how to control various
parameters with various types of control signals. One thing that I have done
is to use fractal equations (who hasn't, right) to control various
parameters of a simple sinewave grain. The parameters I use are "onset,
pitch, amplitude, attack slope, decay slope, phase, and placement". On the
one hand, I have found some really nice combinations, but more often than
not, it still feels like I am "shooting in the dark".

I have thought about trying to implement some sort of "searching" method
that allows me to "audition" various random parameter set possibilities, and
then use those results to "compose" something later.

Also, your comment about "changing a single parameter" can be very minimal
or extremely different. I have used my same set of parameters "onset,
etc..." without addressing the phase of the sinewave, and it amazes me how
"dull" the sound is. Just that one parameter can make the difference between
"an experiment" or a "piece of music/sound sculpture".

> There's nothing new here, it's just like with so many other things one
> might want to put in code; you have to be concious of the phenomenon to type
> it up (or take it into account).

I think this concept is very similar to something that Wendy Carlos said in
an interview. She had originally thought that through the use of record, she
would be able to eliminate the "performer", but in doing so, she said that
she found herself being forced into the role of "performer".

So to speak, to get the "ghost in the machine" to sing, she had to learn how
to play the instrument.

Isn't that what we are trying to do here? Learn how to play this "granular

>> Just as a thank you, I also ordered a copy of Microsound, and hope to have
>> it next week.
> Not being Curtis Roads I'm not sure exactly *how* this thanks me but I
> appreciate the gesture :¬). I don't think you'll regret that buy, it's the
> kind of book that'll be with you for years as a reference and source of
> inspiration.

I was thinking it was you that mentioned it on the list here, maybe it was
someone else..

> Happy synthesising,

I will have to keep remembering this when I get to some of those parameter
combinations that aren't all that good...


> Kas.
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Peace may sound simple—one beautiful word— but it requires everything we
have, every quality, every strength, every dream, every high ideal.
—Yehudi Menuhin (1916–1999), musician
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