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Homework #3: Generative Soundscape

Due date: 2014.2.17 11:59:59pm (or thereabout), Monday.


Compose a short piece using

  • at least 2 items from the category 1,


  • both approaches in the category 2.

Note that the techniques in category 2 should be used to control patterns and structures of music, not simply pitch or timbre (as if it were an instrument).

category 1:

  • an auditory illusion
  • voice
  • timbre
  • drum machine

category 2:

  • generative synthesis (integrating algorithms to generate/modify the structures of sounds)
  • interactive control (integrating devices such as game controller, wii remote, microphone, keyboard, mouse, etc.)
  • create a software system in ChucK that generates music "automatically" or "semi-automatically" (i.e., with limited "high-level" human interaction)
  • consider using some of the synthesis elements we talked about (e.g., SinOsc, TriOsc, SqrOsc, Noise, Impulse, Step, ResonZ, OnePole, OneZero, BiQuad, LPF, HPF, ADSR, STK instruments, Comb filters etc.)
  • consider using some of the technique we talked about (e.g., shreds, events, chance, lookup tables etc.)
  • potentially expose some high level parameters (e.g., density, excitement, mood, texture) and control them using input
    • for example: mouse, keyboard,
    • (optional): use audio analysis as a control for the synthesis (e.g., using ChucK Unit Analyzers)
  • here are some example ideas (you can use, combine, extend these, or go with something else altogether)
    • incorporate an auditory illusion
    • modeling playing style of something percussive, or a group of instruments ("real" and/or imagined)
    • model a particular musical style
    • leverage or musically sonify a mathematical model or a computer algorithm
    • a system that somehow evolves over time, giving a set of starting parameters
    • invent something new/crazy!
  • it might be helpful to design/partition your system into modules that you can exert independent control over, or that take care of different types of tasks/sounds in the system
  • create/perform a composition using your system, paying attention to overall form, density, and texture throughout (think "sonic clouds"...)


Not all of these are directly relevant, but may serve as basic building blocks...


As usual, turn in all files by putting them in your Library/Web/220b/hw3/ directory and email the link to Ge and Romain

  • 1) create a hw3/ directory, and put all the stuff below in there:
  • 2) index.html should go into the hw3/ directory
  • 3) all related source/sound files (.wav/.ck) NOTE: You must turn in a .wav file showcasing a performance on your system.
  • 4) a short README text (readme.txt) file that:
    • specifies instructions on running your programs
    • describes your process/adventure, and perhaps the ideas (technical/aesthetic) behind the composition
    • gives credit, if needed, for the sounds you are using
    • describe any difficulties you encountered in the process
  • 5) email Ge and Romain

Have fun with it!