January 5, 2007

Some Fun with Replicant and procedural programming...

by Chris Randall
 



Since it has some bearing on not one, but two currently discussed topics here on AI, I thought I'd put up a little snippit of what I'm working on right now. If you listen to this, you can hear Replicant chopping up some procedural drum programming. This piece is entirely synthesized and played on the fly by Bidule; there are no samples. I built groups for the foot, snare, and hat sounds using Bidule's built in oscs, filters, and envelopes. The drum part itself is sequenced using the StepSequencer modules, with some random gating after the fact.


(For what it's worth, I orignally had the drum part sequenced entirely with the Stochastic modules, but unfortunately, they can't be synced, so I had to back up a step, no pun intended.)


In any case, the drum stuff goes to Replicant, and then to an iteration of my mixer which I posted about previously. Sends on Reverence and Dubstation. The moaning "bass" sound you hear, plus some of the high-end percussion, are courtesy of more drum synth stuff run through Bidule's FFT and SpectralFreeze modules.


In any case, this is more or less what I was talking about. It isn't entirely procedural, because of the use of the two step sequencers. However, I may assemble a Stochastic sequencer that can be synced to tempo in order to facilitate the events in a less linear manner.

 
 
 

15 comments:

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Jan.05.2007 @ 3:53 PM
nousrnm
Notice you're the 5th google hit for procedural music now. But the link below you is something that is more in line with what I'd imagine procedural music might mean.

link [www.coverpop.co...]">link [www.coverpop.co...]

It's difficult to see from the small screenshot but how is what you're doing here different than any other self-running patch in a modular synth or someone's custom max patch?

 
 

 
Jan.05.2007 @ 4:03 PM
Chris Randall
It isn't any different, except that I'm more interested in using the process to make actual music instead of "wind chimes," as shamann has named it, somewhat permanently in my brain now.

-CR

 
 

 
Jan.05.2007 @ 4:06 PM
Adam Schabtach
One big difference is that it's _his_ custom patch rather than "someone's" custom patch. Ergo he has ownership of the entire creation, rather than using someone else's tool to churn out material.

One of the reasons I don't have a KARMA is that when playing one I wasn't sure whether I was actually making my own music or just playing back Stephen Kay's music.

--Adam

 
 

 
Jan.05.2007 @ 4:40 PM
audioworld
@nousrnm: I think the word "procedural" implies enough freedom to validate chris?approach. It is not "algorithmic" music, not with those step sequencers nor with stochastic engines. but the "procedure" which chris is developing seems: "to feed autonomousely created patterns into randomizing mechanisms (such as replicant), and to tastefully mix the results back into something digestible as a form of enjoyable contemporary music" (those are my personal impressions, sorry chris if I try to superimpose those over your intentions).
As I said in my posting to the original thread, the "bigger form" of giving up to send "note ons" in a (albeit stochasticly) predetermined way altogether is another task, but to stay away from samples (windchimes, anyone?), stepsequencers and modulated 1/4triplet delays altogether is already a remarkable start into a procedural future...
congratulations, chris, sounds fine to me!
 
 

 
Jan.05.2007 @ 5:23 PM
brandon daniel
I've got a version of the included 16 step seq group that syncs to midi sync source, which I concluded would be a good first step towards a more interesting/complex sequencer module (since the core is just a counter and per step compare that gates a value, it's easy to branch off from that), I can put it online somewhere if you want a head start.
 
 

 
Jan.05.2007 @ 9:42 PM
inteliko
"One of the reasons I don't have a KARMA is that when playing one I wasn't sure whether I was actually making my own music or just playing back Stephen Kay's music."

--Adam


I still wont use the KARMA function presets until I actually learn to program my own, I got it secondhand without a manual...cant read a PDF on the shitter.

Replicant is the fuckin shiznit, good job, I'd buy it but I'm still calming my wife down from my last spontaneous Ebay purchase which requires an apple IIe which I need first.

 
 

 
Jan.06.2007 @ 10:14 AM
neilium
"One of the reasons I don't have a KARMA is that when playing one I wasn't sure whether I was actually making my own music or just playing back Stephen Kay's music."

I feel the same way about a lot of these analog modeling gizmos. There's a video game quality to e.g. Line 6 stuff that you can't do anything on them that hasn't been anticipated by a programmer.

 
 

 
Jan.06.2007 @ 10:35 AM
characterstudios
"...that you can't do anything on them that hasn't been anticipated by a programmer."

posted by neilium

In a way that's also true of an unmodified Neve 1081 module sitting in an ummodified 8048 desk.

 
 

 
Jan.06.2007 @ 12:47 PM
Chris Randall
While that is splitting hairs, you've got an interesting point. I mean, there are only a couple hundred possible settings on a 1081, I guess.

Neilium, if you say that about the Line 6 stuff (and I agree with you), then you _definitely_ won't like the Kaoss pad.

-CR

 
 

 
Jan.06.2007 @ 1:40 PM
characterstudios
Wasn't trying to split hairs :)

The point just occurred to me that so many of our all-time favourite vintage pieces of gear (especially in the pro recording arena) were designed to perform within a certain spec, and they do that admirably.
Those specs can be considered the same framework as the clever programming by the Line6 engineers.

But I agree completely that the feel of the Line6 stuff doesn't make for any surprises along the way...

 
 

 
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