spectral

Want new sounds? Come explore spectral resynthesis

Theoretically, digital sound can sound like anything. And I do mean anything: at the frontier of what is conceptually possible, digital representations can produce any sound. Despite this, so many of the sounds we hear, well, the same. Dealing with that kind of generative freedom is no minor challenge. And that could explain the cult-like dedication of some sonic explorers to the sound environment Kyma. Kyma isn’t the only tool that can do spectral analysis and resynthesis. But it has a special history of working with data in this way, both as one of the first tools to do so …

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Kyma-software

Kyma 7 Wants You To Discover, And See, New Sounds

Kyma 7 in Four Minutes from Symbolic Sound on Vimeo. Somewhere apart from the general purpose computer, the standalone electronic instrument, the racks of modulars, there is Kyma. For nearly a quarter century, this boutique digital instrument has opened up sonic realms to a scattered illuminati of artists. And this week, it hit a new milestone, with functionality and resources intended to make sound exploration still broader and more accessible. Three years in development, Kyma 7 is here. The buzz around modular often comes back to the same refrain: modular is cool because it’s open ended. That rat’s nest of …

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A Robotic Machine Worn on the Arm Turns Tattoos into Music

Symbols in on paper can be realized as music, so why not turn a tattoo on your arm into a musical score? That’s what artist Dmitry Morozov (“vtol”), Moscow-based media artist and musician, has done with “reading my body.” It does more than transform his body markings into sounds. He mounts a machine on his arm, as sensors scan the image from a stepper-motor driven path along rails. The strange robotic machine makes him a kind of cyborg photo scanner optical synth. And the results sound like a delicate solo on a violin, playing a lullaby to baby puppies. Kidding. …

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New Instruments with Electricity: Kalimba + Ring Mod, Continuum + Kyma [Videos]

Combining even a couple of pieces of equipment can yield a kind of new, hybrid instrument. Our friend Chris Stack shares the latest in his fantastic ExperimentalSynth.com series, that haven for exploring strange, new sounds, seeking out new life and new electronic civilizations. Above: “Kevin Spears explores new soundscapes playing his kalimba through a Moog MF-102 Ring Modulator.” Below, featuring Sally Sparks: “A quick look at the Haken Continuum and Kyma sound engine.” Enjoy, and have a great weekend, y’all.

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If a Computer Were a Chanting Monk: Crazy Live Sounds from Kyma + Gametrak

If a computer could throat-sing, meditating on numbers, it might sound something like this. Electro-acoustic composer Jeffrey Stolet is Professor of Music and Director of the Intermedia Music Technology at the University of Oregon, but “sonic shamanism” might apply as well. Mysterious sounds emerge from his laptop as he tugs and pulls on a controller, as if extracting sounds from within. (The hardware in question is a Gametrak game controller – a toy game device that has become an affordable 3D music input. Apparently some 300,000 units were sold by 2006, but the controller never caught on as a mainstream …

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soundplane_wood

Video: Multi-Touch Soundplane Meets KYMA in Resonating Digital Instrument

Resonations from bar|none on Vimeo. Digital instruments have the extraordinary potential to sound like anything – really, absolutely anything. Delivering on that potential, though, is another matter, a complex dance between physical input and sonic output. The Soundplane from Madrona is unique in that it provides highly-precise touch input across not one but three dimensions – pressure-based input across the X and Y axes, with multiple touch points. (See also: Haken Continuum.) Back to the dancing bit – you have to then use that input musically. Here, we see one possible application, using the insanely-powerful KYMA sound design environment. Description …

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OSC Files: Play That Funky Music, Hexagons

Didgeridoo from bar|none on Vimeo. You can’t quite dance to it, but bar|none has a beautifully-shot video of a strange, invented instrument constructed with some of the technologies we saw last week. As noted then, new support for OSC in the powerful Kyma sound system means the ability to control imagined instruments in more sophisticated, higher-resolution ways. Just days later, bar|none responded to my post with one of his first experiments. It’s just the beginning of his work, so judge it accordingly – think of the first emanations of a newly-created musical instrument – but it’s a reminder that far-out …

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OSC, Kyma, iPad, and Beyond: Your Networked Musical Future

Connecting stuff is one of the things musicians naturally do with gear. So, there’s really no reason that musical gear shouldn’t network as easily as Web servers. And yet a basic protocol, built largely on existing standards, meets with responses like this: “We’ll support OSC when there’s hardware out there.” “Name one piece of hardware that supports OSC other than the Lemur.” OSC has some major advantages as a network protocol, as a way of connecting software with software, software with hardware, and yes, even hardware with hardware. It doesn’t have to “compete” with MIDI – you can even send …

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Tenori-On is Shipping in US; Tenori-On Meets Kyma Synth

Tenori-on Meets Kyma from Nomad Cinema on Vimeo. US distributor Keyfax NewMedia reports that it has Yamaha’s Tenori-On in stock and shipping out now. (Pre-orders began at the beginning of May, but this is apparently the first the US unit has made it to our shows — unless you happened to win one from createdigitalmusic.com, that is, in April, in which case you know who you are.) Every time I mention Tenori-On, despite the awe and lust it inspires in some musicians, someone raises the point of its somewhat retro-styled, simple sound bank. Fair enough: the minimal sounds are fantastic …

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