Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Creative computing ;: My first composition with SuperCollider. The basic model of the tree is constructed by defining the stems of the tree that are the sound sources for SynthDef’s.I have called my work as " Timbre Tree". The process started by generating stills of a tree in Photoshop . I was amazed to see how visual representations can give elobrate ideas and can become the foundation of a piece. I have tried to express what I was seeing in those stills.
The tree can have several shapes, depending on how the performer moulds it.One picture of a tree has climbed various stages of filtering. The print has reached the stage of wind shaping the frequencies and patterns, in a way symbolising the feedback process.
I have used various kinds of Noise generating Ugens contained in SynthDef's to shape this piece.These SynthDef's are modulated by their own signal through the feedback engine. Having ‘just’ the right volume without excessive feedback is the key for the performance. After switching the engine, the player can decide either to modulate the incoming signal feeding on to itself or play the table, clap or speak to generate more textures for the tree. A user input sound generation process feeding itself which is played back from the same set of speakers. I played the ‘table on which my laptop was sitting and have also used my laptops body to generate sound. An important point into consideration; my laptop is acting as a sound generating body both ‘physically’ and electronically.
I recorded this piece by close micing the speakers in Studio 2. This created another feedback environment in the chain and affected the overall timbre of the tree. "Life feeds on life, feeds on life and feeds on life".Similar concept applied to sOuNd.
In other words the speakers that are used to playback the SynthDef's are feeding their own signal through feedback engine. This modified signal is reproduced back into the same set of speakers. The end signal is then captured by two Newman U-87 microphones as ‘Left’ and ‘right’ and recorded onto proTools.
The recorded waveform had two sections .One constructed with dust particles and storms and the next section was recorded playing the table. This is very interesting. I have figured out that when my feedback engine is on and I am using the ‘line In’ as the internal microphone of my computer, it converts the table as a drum. Not just the table the whole environment is affected. Speech, abstract noises and even breathing gets amplified with the control of changing parameters like pitch, grain size, time dispersion and pitch dispersion. As the player increase the output of the amplifier. There will be a dense cluster of sonic cloud (use this very carefully, if the volume is high, you ears are at a high risk and so are the speakers.)
The AB section is then made Left = AB and Right = B(rev) A(rev). A mono file is then bounced down which is exported back on to Protools. I made another mono track of the bounce; this time I have A B B (rev) A(rev). I made another mono channel, copied the track, hard panned both the channels and then I got Left = A B B(rev) A(rev), Right = A(rev) B(rev) B A
I then applied panning to both the channels . Both the tracks simultaneously change their position and move to the corresponding speaker several times in the piece.

Score : My code contains instances of synth which can be run and paused at any given time by the performer.. It also contains a user changeable yet fixed scheduling duration of various Synth’s .It also contains a user input random duration scheduling for playing the different Synth’s.The player can decide when he would like to switch ‘on’ the feedback engine. He can then decide if he would like to feed the signal on its own or start playing anything and everything he desires in that acoustic space.Nothing is fixed from the author,go crazy with it.
jai rAm ji ki..
Audio Arts :
Ezulai is a highly unique band from Adelaide. Its influences draws from indi-rock to funk and from punk to jazz. All compositions are short song based originals with the vocals creating vivid stories and images resting upon a bed of twisted soundscapes. Ezulai seeks to utilize all forms of media to create a unique experience. I recorded their couple of songs but have only mixed their 3 songs so far. A little more work but the guys are all set to release their first EP.

Cheap as a cigarette
Robbers Collar

contact :>

Lizabella Baker – Vocals, Flamenco dance/drums
Maura O’Reagan – Vocals, Whistle
Julius Crawford – Bass, keyboards
Christian Hodgson - Guitar
Mousiour Duffur - Drums
Music in Context 3A: Music since1900

" Mosque in war times "- 6'55 mins
download score

Whittington.Stephen.2007.Lectures presented for Music in Context 3A.Music Since 1900.Elder Conservatorium of Music.University Of Adelaide

Thursday, June 14, 2007

PreProduction CC

The basis of my work will be exploring only a fraction of concepts that can be applied to composition using Mathematical Structures.
I want to build a tree consisting of few different stems. I can call my tree as a “timbre tree” whose construction is defined by different random functions. The length of the tree is the order of execution of different stems and the breadth of the tree is the acoustic space under which the tree will grow.
The tree can be understood as an Environment and the stems as functions in SuperCollider. These functions are Synth Def’s that are modeled using different Ugens. The parameters of these Ugens will be generated by using random decision making procedures like coin, choose, Scramble, curdle.I could model the growth of a particular stem on Brownian movement. I can
also model growth of other stems on random procedures like Dwhite,Dbrown,Diwhite, Dibrown, Drand, or Dxrand.
I could also restrict myself by using only Random Ugens/signal generators for example Dust, PinkNoise, GrayNoise, BrownNoise and Crackle. Although this is a significant restriction ...

There could also be a function/stem in a tree, which is identical to another stem in its construction. I can apply “phase shift” to the stem by starting it at a different time from the previous one in the order of execution. Phase shifting smaller stems will result in grown stems that are now resultant stems, which are thicker and complex in their nature. This method can beused on simple or already complex rhythmic patterns to generate (morecomplex) new resultant patterns.
My tree will have a form of either ABBA or ABB’A’ or A B B (reverse) A (reverse).
When my tree is constructed, I could make a reverse copy of the waveform and then put normal and reversed in Left and right channels respectively.
These are the combinations I can have:
Left = ABB'A & Right = ABB'A (default)
Left = ABB’A’ & Right = A’ (rev) B’ (rev) B (rev) A (rev)
Left = ABA’B’ & Right = A B’ (rev) A’ (rev)
Left = ABA’B’ & Right = A B A’ (rev) B’ (rev)
Left = A B B (rev) A (rev)& Right = A (rev) B (rev) B A

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Audio Arts: We looked and compared few mixed/unmasterd and masterd tracks in the workshop. Few things to remember :
*/ Mixing with mastering in your mind : It is very important you always mix with mastering in your mind. First of all recording should be of very high standards, secondly never apply hard compression, maximum normalisation and extreme Equalisation to your track at the mixing stage. Be aware of things which can enhanced in mastering stage. These things can never be undone and hence the quality will suffer.*/

Essentials: 4 things important for mastering
1 Ear : Everything depends on the hearing power of engineer who is mastering it. Healthy ear, familiarities with client expectancy with advanced knowledge of what you are doing.
2.Room : Having a balanced room is very important. A good room will always contribute in your ability to hear things properly.
3 Equipment : Equipment you use will make huge difference in the final outcome. Software plugins only give you a starting point nad any professional mastering is always done using industry standard hardware.
4. Speed and efficiency : Be efficient in terms of time, client will want more from you in less time. Basically practice to an extent when you have familiarized all the functions of your gear.

Dragos work : Here is the mastered version for dragos piece.

Plugin Screen shot : If you look at this screen shot,it tells you the stages how sound has been processed. I have used 3 VU metres for analysing the change. First one suggests inequality in left-right channels,the second one shows the result of limiting- setting the threshold level so that the signal never peaks,equalisation and joemeck equaliser: equal balancing between both the channels,cutting down annoying frequencies,enhancing a little bit of bottom end and touching up with Joemeck.In the second slot which is a bus, I have used bombfactory , big bottom and then compression. The last VU meter suggests consistency in level,no peaks through out the track and the track being cleaner and healthier. If you analyse 1st and 3rd VU meters there is not much difference in terms of levels,but there is defintely difference in what we finally hear now. The trouble was any slight increase in gain would result in peaking,so I made sure the signal does not peak through out the track even though I could not get the levels go any higher than this.

(1)Grice, David.2007."Tutorials on Audio Arts (3) Semester 1, Week 12.Mastering(1)." Lecture presented at the Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, South Australia, 29/05/2007.
(2) Readings on My Uni.Music Technology(3)2007.
(3)Waves Mastering Help
viewed 29May'07

Forum : Whats happening next semester : Improvisations group with a defined appraoch

I must say the idea of student presentations in the forum was a waste of time for me.I think students should be given these oppurtunites in their respective classes.Building their confidence is one thing and punishing other people through this process is another.

Listening Examples :

2.Raga Sihendra madhyam by Dr, C Sardeshmuh

3. Terry Reli and Johny cale (velvet underground) : Improvisations ; church of Anthrax

4.Machine for making senses : Jim Denley, Rok Rue,chris Mann, Stevie Wishart and Amanda Phillips

5. Ross Bolleter : Crow country

6. Sun Ra and this Astro Intergalatic Infinity Arkestra : space is the place

7. Ryoanji - - cage 1985

8. Mr Ban'gal

Comprovisation :

"Free urself from the idea of self disciplane to improvise" : an idea of Sun Ra: contradictory, but u know what it means..

Scratch Orchestra : School time compositions

References :
(1) Whittington.Stephen.Forum. Semester 1, Week 12. Workshop presented at the Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, South Australia, 31/05/2007.

Friday, June 01, 2007

A shoulder

I have to write this,last day of week 12. Few more lectures next week but otherwise its all over.. Friday started with me thinking there is no computer science lecure,but there was.For some reason in the back of my mind,I thought its tuesday even though I knew I have classical theory lecture which happpens every friday.Weird..!

Another great lesson with stephen on rhythmic ideas of Steve Reich - Phasing effect,metric modulations and more.. He asked me to clap with him :

Both of us playing in 3,
then he moves to 4 and
then subsequently I have to move in 4 as well.

Me and stephen were not on the same page.First time I changed too quickly and the next time I thought let the rhythm settle a bit and waited too long..So obviously I get zero. Stephen, it was a pleasure doing it with you,only if it would have happened the way you wanted.A very interesting idea and you explained it very clearly .Its also interesting how he points out things I have been practising in the past.

Ok,I check my email now, this time peter has sent me a warning about using studios as studios and not as my private study space.I do have used the space for that,most of the times when no one is there,but sometimes booking it so that I can do some work,an hour before forum and then an hour after that,cause I see christian pretty much every thursday.I totally understand peter,I know you are only doing your work. It did not upset me at all. I knew I was wrong..
Ok,Now the disaster, I check my email again and chris writes to me saying Craig and John Aue cant come on sunday for the recording.My Audio Arts major project and its falling apart. lets see what happens then.Its all improvised music , I have to wait and see whats actually going to happen on sunday,uncertainity at its peak, which happens to me all the time. Even when I am travelling.No wonder why I have missed my flights as well.I was lucky enough to catch my flight from malaysia to Adelaide.The flight was closed,some beautiful women helped me and logged me in..just survived..
Ok, the last disaster, My computer science prac exam and I didnt pass.There was some error in my code and I couldnt find it."Exception in the main thread" while running the main patch,even though the main and the driver class compiled.. I felt so down after that I decided to have crappy McDonalds meal.
Came to EMU kitchen , shared my pain with ben and now I am off for some practise.. I am ok now,have to work very hard to do allright in Comp Sci-fi..
I dont think I am going home, will sleep in the studio,at some stage.