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At 11:47 PM -0800 12/1/04, loop.pool wrote:
A lot of this thread has gone towards discussing randomization algorhythms.

That has to be the most illegible message I've seen in a long time! (Could you maybe cool it with the colors?)

What fascinates me more than pure randomization is the constraint of

There has been extensive work in this area by computer-assisted composers. The methodologies of Xenakis and Cage are two classic, but very different examples of the use of stochastic processes or indeterminacy to generate musical materials. Max programmers are familiar with Peter Castine's Litter objects, which provide a variety of "flavors" of randomness for both control data generation and audio noise:


When even a good drummer plays a two handed hihat rhythm there are very small
timbral variations that occur because the sticks are slightly wieghted differently, the pressure of each stroke varies just slightly (no matter how many hours we have tried to make it sound as uniform as possible)...All of this cause a slightly percolative feel to the rhythm no matter how uniformly the drummer tries to play.............and yet.........the fact that the drummer tries very hard to play and be heard as consistent seems to have something to do with the musical result

Avant garde composers have occasionally explored the implications of this. Xenakis has written instrumental parts that are physically impossible to play (such as piano passages (in Evryali, I think) that contain more simultaneous notes than a player has fingers!). Stockhausen as well has treated difficulty and inaccuracy as musical parameters, as in the open form piece Klavierstuck XI.

When we loop...we freeze a performance in time so that ever[y] deviation from the intended norm (of rhythmic perception) repeats EXACTLY...this can be as boring to listen to as listening to a perfectly quantized drum machine pattern looping over and over.

Often true, but sometimes the opposite reaction can occur. Think of Steve Reich's Come Out, in which the incessant repetition and subsequent progressively denser layering of precisely identical loops reveals, first, tiny details in the sound and later the implicit "harmony" of the linear fragment of speech as its phonemes get "stacked up" by the layering process.

In other words, by "fixing" one aspect of musical performance (through the removal of microvariations in repeated phrases) the listener's attention is freed from focusing on the human, imperfect, performative nature of the sound and can be brought to bear on details that are normally overlooked in their transience.

Now consider when the flock changes direction suddenly:
Simple observation will tell you that the distances (or tightness of the flocking) will widen slightly as the birds change direction in both their furthest distance from each other and their closest distance... Now that the flock has resumed flying in a relatively straight line (and that itself has some tolerances and yet you can map with a straight line where they will end up weeks later),  their relative distances 'tighten up' and go back to their original status quo.

This is an important point. When things change in the physical world they typically do so in a nonlinear fashion. There is some degree of "smear" and we are highly attuned to this.

Why not apply these kinds of algorhythms to filter resonance, cutoff,   lfo's....................programmable contrained random deviations from each parameters beginning setting.

My feeling is that the results would feel more 'organic' (and, yes, Larry Cooperman, this is a terrible and wishy washy term if it weren't for the fact that everyone on this list has a strong feeling for what is meant when it is used).

I think in this case at least "organic" is an appropriate term. What Rick is proposing is that one "play to" the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms of the human organism.

Check out the controls in the super cool free VST plugin SUPATRIGGAH.

Google doesn't find this.


Richard Zvonar, PhD      
(818) 788-2202