glib, numb, smile

this may or may not be finished. i submit it to you anyway, reader, because feedback would potentially be cool.

it began as a patch to keep my bird company while i was out at work. it uses brownian motion (random walk behavior) for several of the controls. it's a stream of sawtooth grains, each one no more than a few cycles long. each grain's frequency is an exponential curve, so each grain is a little glissando. i also passed the signal through a vintage spring reverb i pulled out of a weird old mixer. i left this patch running for about 3 days to keep kapow company. a lot of the textures remind me of analog stuff, a good thing in my book. also, he seems to enjoy it. mission accomplished. (the first one, anyway, read on...)

you can grab the code here.

so that explains the patch, but the recording you're listening to is a different thing altogether. i had two main goals with this, although i didn't originally set out with them in mind. the first one was to use only the algorithm as a base material, with no realtime gestural control at all --that will come later, be patient-- but to make it sound gestural with subtle mixing techniques. the other goal was to limit my palette to only those two textures (dry vs wet), while keeping the listeners' attention through, again, subtle mixing techniques. no "plug-ins" were used except eq and dynamics processing. i'm realizing now that these two goals are actually related. so what started as an exercise in algorithmic music turned into an exercise in mixing.

next steps are to turn this patch into an instrument, complete with realtime implementations of the mastering-like stuff (eg, eq + dyn processing), and some kind of an interface. there are a lot of different possible controls for this beast, but i'd love to have it be an intuitive, gestural sort of thing. my two options as i see them are buying a playstation style usb controller, with two joysticks, which is higher on ye olde $ / time metric, or to build one from all these linear faders i have lying around and an arduino, which is lower on the $ / time metric. i have to decide which is more of a priority. currently i have neither, so it's moot.

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