Friday, July 10, 2009

various letters to professional digital audio manufacturers , synthesizer makers ...

Hi there all ,

I want to build a strange "resonator" . an incoming audio signal is split into a number of "frequency" bands .. up to 88 . Different sized ( but small ) speakers amplify each band inside a lightweight wooden? resonator . Perhaps 3 or 4 small resonators that can be miced up ( as well as having pickups ) so that it is portable . Each resonator has a number of small speakers corresponding to different frequency bands . The resonator can be adjusted .. materials can be added or removed .. perhaps its shape is "bendable " . The resonators are used to give "life" and character to digital synthesizer signals . Perhaps frequencies below 300 hz could be sent to a conventional bass amplifer via a crossover so that the resonator could be portable . Each frequency band could be adjusted ( delays , filters etc ) with software via a computer hookup . Please help me . I need help
best regards
Sean Wayland

my FM8 synth sounds thin at higher frequencies . useless for performance .. trying to figure out why . i know my hearing diminishes up around 30hz ... I remember clearly from the test being able to recognise the attack and timbre of the synthesized sound they played me . Is there any scientific data about timbre recognition at high frequencies ? It would be interesting to vary the timbre with a synthesizer and use a filter to cut off all frequencies above a certain threshold . I wonder when changing the threshold would affect the " timbre" . I wonder if even around 96K would affect our ability to detect timbre changes ? Switching my synth from 44 to 96 seems to make a big difference ...

Hi Sean,

Thanks for your interest in the Pacarana! In answer to your question:

> discontinued. The latency of the soft-synths makes them hard to use in jazz performance . Could I use your parcana and get better latency results than with soft synths ? Please email .

Yes, having the Pacarana dedicated to computing sound means that we can compute audio and update parameters at the sample rate (we do not have to compute blocks of samples as is sometimes necessary in soft synths. In other words, time is not quantized to blocks of samples, audio is evaluated and output on every sample).

If you have other questions, please let us know.



> Hi there ,
> I am interested in your product . I have a nord modular G2X which has been discontinued. The latency of the soft-synths makes them hard to use in jazz performance . Could I use your parcana and get better latency results than with soft synths ? Please email .
> Best regards
> Sean
> --

Its been a while . Hope you are well . How about a "micro" version of the rhodes piano . Some sort of scaled down "tine" system . A much smaller and lighter version of a rhodes piano . The mechanical part is just used to generate real time digital information which is processed by the computer as a musical instrument . I imagine optical sensors picking up the "tine" or string movement and generating data . The Tines/strings wouldn't need to be the real size , but they could be MANIPUATED BETTER by the artist in real time which is what the synth lacks . When you hit it hard the thing responds like a real instrument . Shrinking things down might also get around the problem of a real piano and a rhodes in that it is sluggish and can't be played as accurately as a guitar ...

That's what I want to build. Just one key with a tweeter and cpu. I can connect as many as I want and send the low frequencies to a woofer for the whole lot. Let's build just one key first. If it works we can raise the venture capital one key at a time.

Just got back from a gig by brad meldhau . One of the most famous jazz pianists. I am a "vip" at the jazz club so I got to sit 2 feet from the piano. It was a bit repetitive but the guy was playing great stuff using all ten fingers in an innovative way. I get tired of the sound of a piano but you just couldn't perform what he was doing on any keyboard. Someone needs to build a synth with a speaker and software for every note. That way I think it wouldn't sound thin in the high registers like they usually do and chords would work properly. It makes no sense for all the notes to come out of 2 speakers . You need to adjust the eq/filters etc for each note . I don't know why it was never built. Hope you are well. Sean
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Hello ,
I am a professional musician. I would like you to make for me a 2 octave midi controller keyboard with a "C" as bottom note and a "B" on the top with no edges so that I can travel with more than one of them and "put them together" at the gig . Airlines are making it harder and harder to travel with equipment . I believe this would be a great help to me and my other musician friends . I also have a few other design ideas I would love to implement if possible ! I studied Electrical Engineering before becoming a musician . It is frustrating that so much of the modern technology seems to be designed for " bedroom enthusiasts" as opposed to "serious" musicians , I would love to see things improve .
Best regards
Sean Wayland

Hi len ,
i doubt I would ever get these things built but would love to try ...I have been reading "musical aplications of microprocessors" (hal chamberlin 1986) . Its old but interesting . I recently purchased the native instruments " komplete 5" . It's an enormous tool with lots of potential . Some of it is pretty poorly designed I think . It came with 10 DVDs of samples and there are l0000 patches or something, and the manuals are good for toilet paper . It comes with a hardware interface ( with no audio ? ) and no master volume knob which seems pretty silly to me ... One cool thing is they have designed a system for the knobs which has greater resolution than midi . It "feels" really good to turn the knobs ( sounds pornographic dont it ! ) . Well see if i can get it to work . The latency is OK if you just use the FM8 , but complex patches and effects and it craps out . Its more stable as a stand alone than with cubase , when I really think I can hear the jitter . To me that is the critical thinkg . You can cope with 5-10 miliseconds of latency if it is constant .
I would love to build a one key synth with a CPU , with a string or a tine ... and an advanced interface , perhaps tracking the key movement constantly and generating continous messages . Each key could be connected to your personal computer , tuned , voiced , etc . They would lock together and you could change " patches" from your personal computer . It would be programable so that other people who cant play can design patches for me ;) You could bring as many of them as you wanted wherever you went . Each one would be super light and indestructible ... well its nice to dream over here ... each key would also have minijack out and could be connected to some sort of "resonator " ... an array of tiny speakers in a lightweight box which was adjustable in shape ... you could stretch you resonator , or line with materials to change its acoustic properties ... i saw that harmoniser online searching for my string idea ... it looks and sounds fantastic . thanks for your emails and putting up with my ridiculous rants and raves

Hi len ,
hope you are well. I have had my best idea yet I think . I think constantly about how to capture the way the timbre of a note changes when you play a piano harder . I found a new physical modelling patch for my nord synthesizer which someone built recently which sounds really rich . I would still love to get more control over it . There already exist a "moog guitar" and roland has a VG99 guitar synth or something . I think it would be cool if there was a single stringed instrument with no frets ( just a short string ) which created midi signals . You could play the string anyway you wish to create different amplitude/timbre variations , but the pitch could be controlled with a keyboard . I probably should talk to the guys at moog or Roland . I imagine it would be cheap to produce , and the technology is in place . There is already a "breath-controller" , which is cool , but nothing like this . You could hit the string with piano hammers and would sound like a piano ....

Is there a synth that allows you to map a different attack envelope to every possible midi volume level?
I think I need a combination of that , fm synthesis for timbre and a few attack samples thrown in also mappable to midi volumes. I want each key to be seperate and the whole thing can be dissasembled. Each key would have an audio out and a usb in/out. Large numbers of keys could be connected via usb to a computer to group the outputs if it was too noisy to have a whole lot of audio outputs...hope all is well . I must come and visit. Sean
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Hi len ,
can you help me build a little box with a CPU , midi in/out , usb , and a couple of sliders .
The thing could be programmed to reassign notes via midi . the sliders/wheels would let you scroll through scales/patches on the fly .
With me playing the thing on gigs and making it famous , I think there would be a market for it if it was small and cost less than $500
If can't do it , tell me how to go about making it happen ....

best regards

I just had a conversation with a guitarist friend in Sydney. He is
planning to come over and record some music with me in NY in April .
James like many guitarists doesn't like the sound of headphones when
recording. He was asking me if he could sit " in the control room "
with the speakers and engineer during the recording session. This is a
problem because he smells kinda funny and will upset the engineer and
various band-members girlfriends who will be hanging out in there .
Being a guitarist he also hates volume and will want to listen to the
music so quietly that it will spoil the good-times the engineer and
hangers-on would usually have. Is there someway you can build us a
little DSP box to make the headphones sound like you are sitting a few
feet from a pair of Yamaha NS10 speakers in an acoustically treated
room ( treated so there are no standing waves from parallel wall
reflections or bass frequencies building up in the corners of the room
) . If not a standalone DSP box , an audio plug in for protools might
do the trick . Funnily enough many of the worlds best guitarists like
to have speakers to record too. There are a lot of guitarists in the
world and with an endorsement from james or eddie van halen you might
be able to move quite a lot of units assuming the thing could be built
for around $200 .... I see itunes has already stolen your wifi speaker
idea . Might be time to get back to music/synthesizer where you belong
. I have a few other synth ideas , but that is another 15 emails which
I dont have time for now .
hope your good .
best regards

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