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MagneticFields

In a followup to my last post about sharing and reusing material I would like to share a recent work by Kiggler. Taking my recent track for the Disquiet Junto as a starting point he changed the track and morphed it into something beyond a remix.

My patterns of static become the framework that are built on to create a industrial dubstep soundtrack:

If you enjoy this I suggest you check out some of his other works as well.

Why Be Free?

Every now and then someone will ask me “Why don’t you start charging for your music?”

It’s a reasonable question. With so many articles recently focusing on the death of the music industry it is only natural that there is a link in peoples mind between music and industry.

While I respect that many have chosen to make music their career I have been provided many opportunities by making my music freely available for non-commercial use. Within the past year my music has started to show up in all manner of short films and art projects, No Parades has cut up my beats and reused them for live performance, dance companies have used my pieces in performance. None of this would have been possible under the strict control of copyright.

There is something magical about the fact that the beats I have programmed on lunch breaks have now embedded themselves into other projects across the internet. That is worth more to me than anything else.

Thanks internet.

Below are some favorite pieces I have found my material used in:

Night Life from Erica Genereux Smith on Vimeo.





Krabat from Gregor Gobec on Vimeo.


Renoise to Supercollider (via Reaktor and OSC)

Anyone who has read my blog knows how much I love both Supercollider and Renoise but the two have always occupied two different areas of my workflow. I have decided it was finally time to start combining the strengths of the two. Supercollider is amazing for sound design and renoise is a very good sequencer.

NOTE: Despite the Renoise focus of this tutorial much of this could apply to the DAW of your choice with a little modification.

Despite the fact that both programs can use the OSC protocol Renoise does not have a good way to send note data over OSC. I decided to use Reaktor as the glue between the programs as it can run as a VST plugin and send OSC data.

Start Supercollider and boot your server and then start Renoise. Create a new instrument within Renoise and assign it to Reaktor. Open up the Reaktor instrument you have created and choose File->Osc Settings… from the dropdown menu.

Create a new OSC target, name it “Supercollider”, type “localhost” for the IP Address and assign it to the port of your choice. The IP address should automatically change to show your local IP address. If it does not you can find this information on the OSC Receive tab of this dialog box. Picking a port number can be a complicated topic, if you are not sure just try 8001. Make sure the OSC Activate checkbox is enabled and then close the window. Once this has been done you should not have to redo the OSC Settings window in the future unless your IP Address changes.

Back in the main Reaktor window create and save a new ensemble file. Reaktor will need to locate this ensemble file whenever you wish to play back this song. Inside the ensemble file and instrument you can optionally delete any audio inputs and outputs as they will not be needed.

Inside of the instrument create a NotePitch object and a OSC Send object and connect them. Set the NotePitch to mono on the functions page. Set the OSC Send object to always active on its function page. On the connect page for the OSC Send object hit Add Target and choose Supercollider. This is the OSC Connection we set up previously. For the send address pattern enter “/Supercollider/Inst/Syn”. We will later create a receiver in Supercollider that is looking for this pattern. Verify that both modules display an orange light in the lower right corner and that there is no red X on the input to the OSC Send module. You can now close the Reaktor window

Within Renoise create some test notes sending to the instrument you created. For variety i am using the YX MaYbe command. Start the sequence playing. We will use this to test our connection.

Within Supercollider run the following two lines:

(
thisProcess.openUDPPort(8001);
n = NetAddr("127.0.0.1", 8001);
)

This will open port 8001 and create a new network address object to receive data on port 8001. Once this is complete you can run the following to turn on OSC debugging:

OSCFunc.trace(true);

You will see quite a bit of activity in your post window. Much of it will be on port 57110, this is internal traffic between the Supercollider language and server. If you see activity on port 8001 you have successfully made all the needed connections. Example of the message we are looking for:

OSC Message Received:
	time: 2085978496
	address: a NetAddr(172.16.10.103, 10000)
	recvPort: 8001
	msg: [ /Supercollider/Inst/Syn, 60 ]

Once you are done with this step you can turn OSC Debugging off using the following command:

OSCFunc.trace(false);

Next we create a very simple SynthDef that expects a frequency:

SynthDef(\syn, {
	|out = 0, freq = 440, gate = 1| 
	var sin = SinOsc.ar(freq);
	var env = EnvGen.ar(Env.perc, gate, doneAction: 2);
	Out.ar(out, sin * env!2 * 0.1);
}).add;

And then we create an OSCdef that is looking for our message and will trigger a new instance of the SynthDef each time it is received:

OSCdef(\syn, {|msg, time, addr, recvPort| Synth(\syn, [\freq, msg[1].midicps])}, '/Supercollider/Inst/Syn');

If everything has been hooked together correctly you should now hear your results. You can modify the SynthDef while Renoise is still running the sequence in order to experiment with it.

This is obviously only the tip of the iceberg on what you can accomplish by hooking these two programs together. Each Reaktor OSC message can send up to 40 parameters and you could hook multiple Renoise instruments to multiple SynthDefs.

Yeah I Know It Sucks reviews Poverty Electronics Vol. 2

Yeah I Know It Sucks" recently reviewed the second compilation from Poverty Electronics. Normally I wouldn’t make a blog post just to mention a review of a compilation with one of my tracks on it but I really feel the whole compilation is pretty solid and urge you to check it out.

Consider It A Message [disquiet0142-callcenter]

The Assignment: Make music from the near silence of phone calls.

This week’s project explores the near-silence inherent in phone calls. These are the steps:

Step 1: Record the near-silent sound of phone calls between your phone and three different other phones.

Step 2: Develop a short, original piece that accentuates the differences between the sounds of these three calls.

Step 3: Upload the track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 4: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow participants.

My process: I recorded the three sounds silent phone calls as well as ringing and dial tones. While the basis of the track is the “silent” phone sections heavily modified and filtered, I did include a little bit of these other noises for accents and extra textures. Chopped, squeeze and mutilated in Renoise.

More info on the Disquiet Junto

Poverty Electronics Vol. 2

I have a new track out on the Poverty Electronics Vol. 2 compilation. Due to the themes of the label I wanted to try something a little more minimalist in my approach. The track was created by duct taping a homemade contact mic to the cone of my studio monitors. I then did a live performance using the mixer volume, EQ and on-board FX to the control the amount and tone of feedback. I used reaper to apply a bit of post process time-stretching and delay.

@​@​IDENTITY

”@@IDENTITY” is an EP of Schemawound’s work for the Disquiet Junto, remixes and unreleased tracks.

For track explanations and credits see the individual track pages.

MicroBrute Noise Source

One of the features of the MiniBrute that was not included on the MicroBrute was a noise source. It is unfortunate as the noise source is a key component when trying to create a number of different sounds. This omission is an easy one to compensate for. As a noise source does not follow the pitch of the oscillator any source of noise into the audio input can work. For my tests I used the Android App “White Noise Lite”. I have found that a number of sounds included in the app can function as good alternative colors of noise (ex. Crickets, Ocean, Fan, etc).

The demo above uses the MicroBrute’s built in oscillator as well as some white noise. The motion of the piece is provided by the sequencer and LFO and some live tweaking of the mod wheel. Delay and reverb come from the Digitech Quad 4.

In the future I will be demonstrating some more in depth uses for the audio in port.

MicroBrute Patch - Secret Pattern

Notes: During the demo I slowly decrease the attack time. Delay from Digitech Quad 4. Reverb from Behringer mixer.

MicroBrute Patch - Too Much Sauce

Notes: LFO split to Pitch and Filter using a headphone splitter. Env and LFO can combine to provide a delay effect. Best played using an internal or external sequencer so the LFO is synced.

MicroBrute Patch - West Coast Alarm

Notes: High, whiny, glide-y. Reverb and Delay from Guitar Rig.

MicroBrute Patch - Canadian Excitebike

Notes: Bass/lead with unstable pitch. Sounds kinda like a Nintendo motorcycle. Reverb and Delay from Guitar Rig / Reflektor.

MicroBrute Patch - BeetleBass

Notes: Synthbass patch. During the demo I swept the mod wheel and cutoff.

MicroBrute Patch - DistHarpsiOrgan

Notes: This patch ended up somewhere between a distorted organ, a synthbass and some tone that reminded me of a harpsichord. Despite the arpeggios of the demo this patch can work well with long sustained notes. I manually swept the Env Amt during the recording.

MicroBrute Patch - SquareKick

Notes: This was my first attempt to get something like a kick drum out of the MicroBrute. In software my approach has been to have individual envelopes for amplitude and pitch. Since the MicroBrute only has one envelope I have turned on the LFO retrigger thru the MicroBrute Connection software. By having the LFO retrigger on each note we are able to use it as a simple envelope. Modify the LFO Amount and Rate to change the shape of the pitch envelope. Other useful parameters for this patch are Decay, Mod Wheel and Glide.