Big Ben in Max (update)

October 7, 2008 at 10:25 pm (Big Ben Composition - Prototype 2)

Today I returned to the patch and started to tidy it up in order to make room for the changes I wanted to try out. Instead of going back to Logic and editing sounds there, I thought I’d do as much as I could in Max – after all, one of the key objectives for my project is to get a better understanding of its potential!

The changes I have made / effectiveness / notes, etc (for my reference) ;

1) A sub-patch which randomises pitch between -1 (in reverse at orig. speed) and 1 (forward at orig. speed).

Helps create some interesting variation in the sounds, making the sample layering more dynamic both texturally and in terms of frequency (e.g. Samples pitched very low, bring out the lower end of the frequency spectrum). However, these very low pitch samples may have lost their clarity, as it is unclear what may have caused the sound (e.g. seagul, gong, siren). Some level of listener recognition is important. This can be rectified in the sub-patch without too much trouble (hopefully!)

notes: Using the groove~ object probably isn’t the best option, because if a sample plays backwards (e.g. is less then 0) you need to tell it to play the sample from the end! Anyway I figured it out, so it will suffice.

2) Randomised volume for both Left and Right channels of each sample.

This worked very well I feel. The ever changing position of the sound-objects in space is exciting!

3) Used a fade out and EQ sweep when the ‘darkness’ audio is finished.

This tiny gesture helps to create a smoother transition from the absence of image to its presence.

notes: The volume fade out isn’t smooth, you can here it clicking through different levels from 1, 0.9, 0.8, etc. Very irritating (to me), but probably not hugely noticeable.

Here is 1 minutes worth of my patches ‘dark’ audio:


These last few days in Max has been great! My initial fear of using it has been conquered and I feel I am making progress fast. What I might try and do next is do something more interesting with the seagul sounds and then perhaps after that begin thinking about whether I can involve interaction through a web cam!

New patch pic, isn’t it pretty!


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