Mike Wilson's Blog

I was a MA/MST student at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Accoustics.

This is my weblog.

Click here for my main page.


I made it through the first week.  I don't formally have any courses
on Fridays, but I will attend whatever seminars I can.

I understand 220a a bit better now.  Yesterday we split into an
acoustic group and a laptop group.  I was in the acoustic group with
my trusty flute.  We developed various musical gestures, assigned them
names, and thought about them in terms of how we would program a
computer to perform them.

One thing Chris Chafe mentioned that resonated with me is that
dynamics are difficult to distinguish (ie, is there really a
difference between pp and ppp and pppp, or ff and fff and ffff).

When I've been working with MIDI and tracked modules there are usually
64-128 velocity or volume subdivisions.  I usually only use about 3-6
values unless I'm interpolating for a crescendo or decrescendo.  For a
human instrumentalist, each note when playing at a specific dynamic
can have a subtly different volume to add character to the sound.  But
it's tedious to try to do that by hand on a computer.  I bet I can
develop an algorithm to do it for me, so I can just specify a dynamic
like mp and have it modulate the velocity automatically.  This is
something I've been wanting to hack out for a little while, and I
think I'll get a chance to do it while I'm here.

The laptop group came to listen to our session, and then we went to
listen to them perform "a breeze brings..."  We will swap groups
partway through the quarter.

email mwilson@alumni.caltech.edu
Disclaimer: the views herein are my own and do not represent the views of Stanford University. All material copyright Michael J. Wilson.