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.


Unfortunately there was a problem with some of our paperwork and we
weren't able to do what we wanted to do in Istanbul.  But we learned
some things that should help us plan better for another attempt at a
future date.

I've been splitting time between working with on Icons of Sound and
working on setting up my computer to do live synthesis.

With Icons of Sound, we've been working with some equipment (including
a pretty awesome 64-microphone 5-camera sphere by Visisonics) and
doing some audio processing.  We're also doing some planning for
future stages of the project.

On the home front, I've been playing around with LinuxSampler and
checking out some free soundfonts with FluidSynth.  Ed Berdahl also
let me trade up my BeagleBoard C4 for an XM, and I'm going to try to
run some MIDI-controllable software synths on it.

Part of this is just for fun, to see what's out there.  But part of it
is also to find out where I can make a meaningful contribution to
open-source music.

I'm not entirely sure yet, but the more I play with things the closer
I'm getting to an answer.  I've had a lot of fun playing with Hexter
(FM synthesis) and WhySynth (virtual analog synthesis).  I'm currently
exploring FluidSynth and LinuxSampler more deeply (sample playback
synthesis).  I want to look into ZynAddSubFX more; my previous
computer wasn't powerful enough to run it but I think my current
computer can handle it.  And I'm still a bit enamored with physical
modeling synthesis but the STK instruments seem to be the main way
these are distributed and I don't know that they're really packaged
with any major distributions.  Maybe the Faust stuff has taken off
more.  I should talk with Julius about this.

The end goal for me is to have a system that's fun to play in
realtime.  I'm on a bit of a realtime kick right now.  Hopefully what
I end up with will also be interesting to other people and I can
release it.  Realtime performance and composition are somewhat
separate kinds of things, but I think they have a lot of synergy.
It's also a lot easier to adapt a realtime system to a non-realtime
workflow than the other way around.  So it's best to start with
realtime if possible.

Yes, this means that I've somewhat backburnered the Regression album
(those chiptunes I was talking about before).  But I haven't given up
on them.  I'll try to have them all sketched out before the start of
next term.  It will probably take me a bit longer to actually post
them since I don't want them to be rushed.

Sometimes it seems like I'm busier during the breaks than I am during
the term.  I think that part of it is knowing that once the term
starts I won't have as much time to work on personal projects.  I am
still looking forward to next term a lot.  Just 2.5 weeks to go!

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.