Thursday, January 31, 2013

Where I propose to go

These last few months since Y2KX+2 have seen much development on my meta-trombone.  The first thing I wanted to do after those performances was to replace the first instance of Mobius in my signal chain.  I think the way I was using it (as a sampler, rather than a looper) caused it to crash in performance.  After some research, I opted for Expert Sleepers’ Crossfade Loop Synth.  I was able to recreate the functionality I was getting from Mobius by expanding my Bidule patch, which turned out to be fairly painless.  This new sampler does add some interesting possibilities such as:

-          Note polyphony;
-          Built-in filter, pitch modulation, LFOs;
-          Different loop play back modes (Forward-and-backward being my favourite).

new flow

The other area of development was the addition of midi effects.  Whereas I only had midi note delay for my performances in California, I have now added Xfer’s Cthulhu to my patch.  This nice little plugin consists of two independently selectable midi effects: a chord memorizer and an arpeggiator.  The chord module allows me to assign a user-defined chord to any midi note.  Sending chords rather single notes to sampler plays back the sampled phrase at different playback rates all at once (something I find very satisfying).  The arpeggiator takes the output of the chord module and sequences the chord notes according to a pre-defined pattern.

The next aspect to see development will be the post-looper effects block.  Presently, I think I want to add both delay and tremolo slicing, but I may come up with other options as I work on this (suggestions?).

After that, I will concentrate on developing the iOS performance software component of this system.  Presently, I’m using TouchOSC to display system status information (such as what the looper is doing to what track or what performance mode I’m in), but I intend to build on the technology I’ve developed for my OSCNotation app (version 2.0 forthcoming) and display notation on my iPhone.  Since the system can already determine the notes that I’m playing (or have played recently), I’d like to use that information when deciding what notation to display.  For instance, the system could suggest new rhythmic or tonal material that either follows what I’ve played or that contradicts it.  Ideally, I’d like to build some game mechanics into it that would react to whether or not I accept these suggestions.  For example, the “game” could start with only a few functions available to the performer and advanced function needing to be “unlocked” by advancing in the game (i.e. playing what is suggested).  I’ve already explored this music game idea with my app BreakOSC!, but the idea still inspires me.