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.
A study in comb filtering, feedback and ms processing. In this case the feedback is interesting because how you pan a sound determined how it fed back into the patch. The Mid goes back into a more or less static delay line. But the delay buffer off the side is read back with noise, essentially randomly, with a low pass acting as a smoothing filter. This results in a very nicely enveloping sound, it will change sometimes slowly and sometimes suddenly There is a rhythm in it from the metro that causes a lot of these changes, but if you stop that it will still continue expanding and compressing itself. Its quite a long video because i really liked a lot of parts of today’s jam.
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Its a bit hard for me to describe today’s proces because im sitting behind the tv with the family. I wanted to simplify a little bit and see what else i could get out of some noise and a comb filter. Turns out, quite a bit. I tried to not use randomisation this time but play around more with controlled parameters.
Today I started messing about with comb filter and feedback. At one point it got into this “digital ocean wave” type of sound. about 0:50. But it was really a very wide spectrum of sounds I was getting from this simple setup. Basically its feeding a comb filter with a kick sound of sorts, then setting a bit of filtered feedback. Once i started to randomize the frequency of the comb filter it got interesting,
Today I had very little time. So i wanted to do something simple but goal oriented. So taking again from Andy Farnell’s book “Designing Sound” I toke practical number 1. It suggests an exercise where you take a simple sound like the pedestrian click that Andy models there and model it. So, the simplest sound I could find immediate around me was the beep from the security system at the studio. I then analyzed the sound with Izotope RX3 and sound forge and deduced from that that I should be able to model it with a few sine oscillators. Which is what i then did. I also added a bit of reverb to model the sound of the space I happened to be in when I filmed the beep. But it turned out the oscillators on the beep aren’t that super stable. So on the fundamental and first harmonic I did some modulation to model that. However it could be an artifact of the compression on my phone perhaps. Anyways, the tweaking is actually something i played around a lot with on the way home on the train, but the video didnt capture. IT turns out that such a simple sound you can still spend an eternity on to fiddle with and get closer.