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Microtonal 130106 -- a modular synthesizer improvisation
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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1216
Location: Kansas City, Mo USA
Audio files: 29

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:20 pm    Post subject: Microtonal 130106 -- a modular synthesizer improvisation
Subject description: Performed on my DIY modular synthesizer
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Having participated in the NYE streaming broadcast, there were some additional things I wanted to do with the patch that I'd developed for the event.

Most of the time when I utilize sequencers, I quantize their voltages and then scale them to whatever step size I wish to work with (i.e., though the most recent set was 12 Tone Equal Temperament -- 12 TET, I often work in 14 TET and other equal temperaments).

However, for this improv, I chose to use un-quantized voltages off of the Klee Sequencer. This arrangement limits the pitches to a set and I, in turn, utilize the Klee's ability to sum multiple steps. Thus, the resulting pitches and patterns are related to the original set.

The musical and technical techniques are a continuation of my approach to modular synthesis in that the the music is highly interactive and the result is music that merges the human and the machine.

Besides the Klee sequencer, I utilized the Mega Percussive Synthesizer module -- this time I set it up to sound like primitive drums. In fact, the MPS's ability to do primitive drums is rather amazing given that it is an analog module.


Microtonal_130106.mp3
 Description:
A Micro-tonal Improvisation by Kevin Kissinger performed entirely on his DIY modular synthesizer

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 Filename:  Microtonal_130106.mp3
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Blue Hell
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Joined: Apr 03, 2004
Posts: 20570
Location: The Netherlands, Enschede
Audio files: 148
G2 patch files: 318

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very nice!
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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1216
Location: Kansas City, Mo USA
Audio files: 29

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
Very nice!


Thank you for listening!

I posted this late at night and my written comments were probably not too descriptive.

Three of my interests (when it comes to improvisation) are:

1) long loops (live looping)
2) pseudo-randomness
3) clock logic manipulation

Long Loops

The impression of repetition is less for Long loops (loops that are > 15 seconds) than for shorter loops. The "price" of longer loops is that there is more time between overdubs and, thus, a longer amount of time to populate the loop. For example, a one-minute loop would require four minutes to accomplish the initial loop and three overdubs.

When I say "Live looping" I mean that I am not working with pre-recorded loops -- that is, I start from nothing and build it up in real time.

Pseudo-randomness

The idea is that I begin with "events" that do not necessarily sound related in any way (duration, pitch, and rhythm) at first and, as the work progresses, the texture tends to take on a form. For example, a sequencer can cycle through a set of discrete voltages (pitches) and it can be sampled -- thus guaranteeing that the captured voltage is a member of the set.

Clock logic manipulation

For example, when sampling a sequencer's voltage, it allows a note with a duration that exceeds the clock duration of the sequencer. Also, the note start times can be synced to the looper's clock output. This creates a "coupling" between a sequencer and the looper.

For the future

On the drawing board are some new modules to support and extend this work -- namely an active scaler and a trigger router/switcher. The scaler will make it easy for me to change the note intervals "on the fly" and the router/switcher will allow a higher degree of human interaction for clock signal control.

To configure and play a synthesizer like this is rather interesting in that when I press a key, I do not have sole control over the pitch that comes out. Thus, my reactions and the synthesizer's actions are combined in a way that neither machine nor human could accomplish individually.

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seraph
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Joined: Jun 21, 2003
Posts: 12092
Location: Firenze, Italy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like it! Refreshing Very Happy
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