Today I decided to play around with Andy Farnell’s rain on a window work. It is one of the better ones I have found so far in his book “Designing Sound”. I tried to see if could make the scene a bit bigger by adding some elemetns. then i started to just jam a bit randomly with the parameters. See what kind of juice was to be found. Good fun tweak session and got some interesting ideas from it. Worth a revisit some day.
Playing around with FM some more. In this case creating wood, metal and “various” type impact sounds. It is interesting to combine waveshaping with FM because it seems to be really easy to add noise to the transient of the sound without detriment to the tail of the sound. Take this patch to have some starting points.
Today my son Abel plays a big role. Olga, my partner, has supported me tremendously throughout and she asked me to make sure Abel was part of the patch a day. Of course not something I had to think long about. I recorded him all the time for him to listen back to his first time in life later. Actually when he was born I had a recorder running in the background. So I’ve been recording him since his first breath and cry. These days, almost a year and half into his life, he is a wonderful source of sound. Laughter of course but a new utterings everyday.
When he drops something, whether its accidental or not he says “ohoh” one of his first words.
Oh Friday. Playing around a bit with a bouncing ball patch from Andy Farnell’s book Designing Sound. Added some randomization, added some movement. Then created whole bunch of them at the same time. Not the most interesting sound. But it shows an interesting problem we have with randomisation. You always have to seed it, have some kind of equilibrium yet not to sound predictable and repeated. Some systems take some time before they grow into something unique. In games case, you want that separation from the start, yet you also want control. It is a difficult balance to strike, a sound that does not sound repetitive but also works predictably. It quickly goes one way or the other. In games you need to context to judge that. There is no way to judge repetitiveness outside of context. That iss why a gameaudio toolchain needs to get you into the game as quickly as possible. Together with Andreas Varga I presented Guerrilla’s tool chain at this years GDC in San Francisco. Which offers such a workflow. Anyways, I digress. Context is everything, yet in this series, there is no real context. It is more like a performance. What can I do by time boxing myself severely and by adding the pressure of having to “ship” everyday. Lets call this a prelude to a post I plan to write once #dspatchaday is over.
Today’s setup wasn’t really about pd. The heart was a metal slinky. Addded to it a small attachable speaker and a Jez Riley French contact microphone. So, it was this spring reverb feedback experiment. I hadnt done this setup before so it toke some time to get a sweetspot of feedback and intersting patterns to emerge. Tried various appraoches where i used it basically as an odd reverb. Try at home though 🙂
Today I was intrigued by sample & hold, and was playing around with noise and what it did. I learned there is a limit to how many delay lines pd likes to have. And how many you can read at the same time before it stops liking you (when yo also capture at the sametime). Oh well, some static for the future to have around 😉
I wanted ot mess a bit further with FM today. I ended up making the world’s ugliest pure data patch. no doubt. Its a space engine sound where you control the RPM. This then drives various parameters on the FM voice. But, in addition i ahve several non-linair distortions added that increase when the RPM is increased. In the future you could also add a throttle, so you could put a load on the the engine and get a more realistic simulation. I dig the sound of ths thing though.
Pure Data has strong community spread over varous listservs, fora sites and fb groups. One hotspot is the pdpatchrepo and there i found this “lavalamp” Patch. This inspired me to create a simple sine machine. It evolves with the ‘lavalamp’ gaining the oscilators while another oscilator modulates the spacing between the frequence of the sines. This creates continuesly rising amd falling harmonics that go in and out of tune.
Today I wanted to work on metal hits. I started out by taking a recording, analysing it a bit. Then I started with baselayer of additive synthesis. On top of that I created an transient with comb filtered noise. I haven’t been doing much with FM yet in this series, and FM makes a lot of sense ofr metallic sounds, so I then started experimenting withthat. Results kind of came in and out. At some points it seemed I was getting somewhere and then suddenly it was gone again. There;s this sense of wanting to get a sound that is resembles the original, there is a sense of wanting to make it something that you would use in a game by adding (random) variation ability to it and there is a sense of wanting something that actually sounds pleasing. Sounds better then the original. These three seemed to really conflict within myself mainly today. Perhaps I should focus on one of the three.
I’m thinking of writing an summary piece at the end of the whole thing that sort of describes the overal journey of these etudes. Note to self, give my teacher at the HKU a ring. I wonder if that modular synth patch book is still laying about there.