On The Sensations of Tone VII
On the Sensations of Tone is a series of compositions exploring the biomechanics of hearing, spatial counterpoint, and cognitive involvement during the creative process. The pieces are composed using a modular synthesizer, highly directional ultrasonic speakers, computer generated distortion product otoacoustic emissions, and a neurobiofeedback system. The pieces are highly reactive to the listener, and the sounds change dynamically with subtle physical movement.
Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) are tones the ear makes in response to a specific combination of pure tone frequencies. When the two tones are sounded in speakers, a third tone emerges in the ear and can be recorded by a microphone. Audiologists use DPOAEs for objective measurement of hearing health. By moving one's head, the listener will notice new tones appear, disappear, and change timbre.
Through employing a neurobiofeedback system, cognitive information pertaining to listening, creativity, and improvisation is used to re-influence the overall work. Cognitive involvement during live performance is converted into control data to shape and direct the composition while the piece is performed. The process creates an ebb and flow between musical intention and intuition.
My previous compositions using DPOAEs prior to 220B required careful calculations for each frequency combination, with each pair of tones routed to a specific pair of speakers (else intermodulation distortion would result in the speaker). For 220B I created a class for routing the sound to dedicated speakers, and shorthand frequency pairing system for DPOAEs in the ChucK programming environment. The frequency pairs were assigned variables to approximate a non-repeating "scale" system, with the aim to create large scale work with DPOAE "notes." The system allows focus to remain on the compositional process.
For my 220C project, I will create a seventh entry in my On the Sensations of Tone series of works. The style of this composition will be different than those earlier in the series as the notation system will allow a different treatment of the DPOAEs. This will be a large scale composition, which may also include non-DPOAE sections created by modular synthesis and computer mediated sound generation.
Goals for Weeks 1-5:
Goals for Weeks 5-10:
-So far this quarter:
-I built an ADSR into my keyboard DPOAE Max patch, and troubleshooted triggering issues.
-since Max/MSP and Jack are incompatable, I worked on other ways to record my multichannel audio from Max, which involved working with Soundflower (got close, but didn't find the solution, it may be incompatable with Mountain Lion), recroding AIFF-C multichannel audio files using sndbuff~ 8, but Ableton does not accpet these files. I also ported the ADSR DPOAE instrument as a Max For Live instrument so I could record directly in Ableton. The mono version works, but due to the inability to have multichannel audio in a single track the polyphonic version does not work. I have a workaround that is close to done, but still needs some debugging. Finally, I just used four stereo sndbuff~ objects in Max and lined the tracks up in Ableton. Still thinking about a better way to do this (probably the Max for Live instrument), but this works for now.
-worked on non-distortion product (DP) section of composition. Made field recordings of a spring, edited recordings, constructed two arrangements in Ableton.
-compositional process with Max/MSP sndbuff~ felt rigid, so continued to work towards recording directly into a DAW such as Ableton. Found a solution with Rewire. Set up Max driver as ad_rewire and midi port as 1, and in Ableton select Audio From "Max 6" and "1/2" "3/4" "5/6" "7/8" for a multichannel tunnel between applications.
-worked on modular synth section of the compositon. Constructed a patch and recorded 8 channels of audio and multiple takes.
-continued to develop ear tone session, more arrangement of chord sequences. Started section two by rearranging chords into notes and sequencing patterns. Have multiple takes.
-many sessions of cutting the modular synth section and arranging material spatially. Worked with semi-periodic pitch classes and drone in first section, and performed the exponential/linear/logarithmic curve of the envelope for the third section.