Curation notes for Logic Progress

July 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm (Logic Progress)

The entries below detail my planning, experimentation and testing in Logic. Over the course of the unit I experimented with my compositional approaches and developed technical skills within the software; through the use of space designer, generating ideas through improvising, as well as utilising the power of surround sound. The skills and ideas I have acquired will inform my future professional work.

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7.1 (3/4.1) Set-up

June 24, 2009 at 8:12 pm (Logic Progress)

I’ve set-up in my room and have been working on my compositions in the last few days.

I will be able to do all my panning in Logic, since I can export each finished piece as ‘split files’ (one mono file for each channel). Then, in MaxMSP, I will route each file to the corresponding output.

I’m very much enjoying using surround. As I work I keep generating new ideas about how to utilize its potential to create more dynamic perspectives and motion. Logic has a very user-friendly surround panning interface, which hasn’t taken me too long to get my head around thankfully.


I’ve decided to be more selective with my material now. Since I have to mixdown everything I’ve created thus far again (in surround), I won’t have the time to finish entire journey compositions. Instead I’m composing several short pieces for each journey, derived from the most interesting segments of each whole.

I hope to have 30 short pieces for the ‘journey’ state of the installation, and 1 longer piece for the ‘River’ state. I feel this is achievable since I’ve spent a lot of time listening to and preparing material and I’m more certain about my approach to composition.

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Improvisations and sketches

March 25, 2009 at 5:53 pm (Logic Progress)

I’ve been making a large batch of EXS24 instruments in Logic 8, derived from field recordings made during my journeys around London. This is an edited version of the improv using these instruments.

I slowly built up loops live, altering tempo, pitch, cutoff frequency and other parameters within the EXS24 via midi keyboard automation, and Logic in TOUCH mode.

Although Logic isn’t really geared for live improvisation, there are ways to work with it which can yield interesting results. And of course, it’s a much more engaging way of making music, rather than programming. I will try and push this further.

I made a few quick sketches /loops as I was preparing my sound material. All elements were practised, tuned (pitch) and recorded in live (using midi keyboard), which left the grooves quite loose and ‘natural’ sounding.

Though these sketches may work ‘musically’ speaking, they perhaps don’t give an impression of what particular spaces sound like. There is no sense of realism about them, in the way the sounds behave and react with one another. I want to develop a compositional approach that strikes a balance between depicting a space ‘realistically’ with sound and transforming the sound to explore how the imagined space mutates.

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Progress, process & scaling down !

February 19, 2009 at 11:50 am (Artists Statement & Reflection, Logic Progress)

I’ve spent the last few days finishing off preparing my sound material collected from the 6 journeys I’ve done so far.

It has taken slightly longer than expected, but the extra time has definitely been worth it. Through the use of re-sampling techniques, I’ve found that I can create an abundance of material to work with. The longer I spend listening and extracting the interesting moments in each recording, the better the results.

Thus far I’ve created 100 sampler instruments in Logic, which I can play and manipulate using my midi keyboard. My work flow is building up momentum, helped by organisation, process and also subverting process!


I make notes as I work on sounds, take screenshots, make drawings and mind-maps. Occasionally I get tired of using similar processes each time I am preparing sounds, so I try and experiment with new ways of cutting & re-sampling, to keep myself interested. Usually, after I’ve made a small batch of instruments I’ll improvise with them and do a few quick sketches. This is good motivation for continuing the preparation task, and allows me to assess whether or not the sound recording made is actually workable!


As I’ve been creating and improvising with the instruments I’ve made, I’ve come to realise that the study of urban spaces and their character can be explored at home. Now, each sound has a space attached to it in my minds eye. With each mutation and variation on the sound, this space begins to take on a whole new form. I may not need to revisit spaces after all, as the memories of a space still resonate strongly within my mind when I’m working with the sound recorded there.


A few weeks ago I was trying to think about linking together my separate journeys through the City. This lead me to think I needed to carry on making lots of additional ‘sub’ journeys on foot, physically piecing together my routes and also covering more of the urban soundscape.

However, I’m finding I can reconnect my separate routes mentally, since there are many ways to coherently link different sounds within the digital domain. For example;

Linking journeys with my Impulse Response Clap Reverb’s

e.g. Through the use of IR Reverb on both A & B , I can create a continuity between sounds, since they will be linked in sonic character through the effect.

sound A

space A1

sound B

space B1

state – description

1 – A

2 – A + A1

3 – A1

4 – A1 + B1

5 – B1

6 – B+ B1

7 – B

I was thinking of this in terms of my MaxMSP structure idea;

Say if sound A is from journey 1 composition and sound B is from journey 2 composition, you could create a link-way between the two compositions.


* the dotted lines are journeys 1 and 2 !

There are other ways to link material, such as through similar sound sources (seagulls link to seagulls, football matches link to football matches, etc).


I’ve realised that as I’ve been working on this project, I’ve been striving for some kind of completeness in my final outcome. This completeness, I previously thought, would come from embarking on more and more journeys and getting an all encompasing view of what London’s soundscape is.

However, time is of the essence. The more journeys I do, the more material I’ll have to work through, which in turn leads to less time for me to work on the compositions themselves. Spending time on my composition is really important to me. I’d rather make 12 journey compositions in great detail, as opposed to 24 in half the detail. Also, with the way I’m thinking of structuring the piece within MaxMSP, new routes could be added further down the line if need be – maybe even post-MA. I feel this project could keep growing!

So my new plan is to complete 6 more journeys (from bridges) by the 1st week of march, and leave it at that for the moment.


It’ll take me another week or so preparing this new material, then I’ll concentrate on the compositions and MaxMSP work.


Each sound can have a life of its own. Each sound can move, transform and mutate into a plethora of shapes and forms. These new manifestations of the sounds from London’s soundscape, can embark on journeys of their own, they are free.

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London spaces re-created

January 26, 2009 at 11:13 am (Logic Progress)

I’ve been experimenting with Logic’s Space Designer reverb plug-in and learning how to use its Impulse Response function.


Impulse Response (IR) is a term used to describe the reverberant character of a room when stimulated by a signal spike. (e.g. a loud, short sound).

The Space Designer IR function allows you to load an a audio sample (for example, I used a clap underneath Lambeth bridge) and create a reverb template from it. You can then effect another sound using that reverb template, effectively putting it in a that particular acoustic space. So, you can put a sound of say Big Ben chiming, in the acoustic space underneath Lambeth bridge.

Although the claps I have recorded have a bit of background noise which effects the way the Space Designer IR responds, the depiction of acoustic space sounds fairly accurate.

So, I can effectively create a whole batch of my own reverberant spaces derived from the claps I record in different spaces around the City.

Now that I have the option of displacing the sound from location into another it may be useful for me to return to Trevor Wishart’s Landscape chapter in On Sonic Art, since it deals with the juxtaposition of sounds in space and different ways of approaching this relationship.

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