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electrobartmes & cip22

Von Christoph Pingel, am 29.1.03 um 15:01:46 Uhr.

Together with Johannes Bartmes ( I have been working on a project right between jazz, funk and electronics. We use a setup with two powerbooks, one of them running Ableton live, the other a piece of software that I built in MAX/MSP. The latter - at least one central part of it - is described here:

I first encountered the idea to use probabilities to 'liven-up' grooves in sequencer software called "jazz"; but in that program, it's something you have to do beforehand: Create a sequence and paste it into the current song.

With wahrscheinlich musik, I tried to achieve something different: I wanted a realtime instrument where you can access the relevant paramters while it plays. You can produce anything from very straight grooves without any variation up to total randomness or at least what sounds like total randomness, and all the relevant values can be edited in realtime during the performance.

Imagine a step sequencer where something happens on each beat with a certain probability, not just 1 or 0. All of the values for each track can be saved as presets that can be called up at any time during the performance, even in the middle of a bar allowing for sophisticated fills and similar stuff. Other than with the electribes and similar boxes, velocity can take any value (not just 80 and 127, that is 'normal' and 'accent'). There's a global range of velocities from which the program picks one randomly for every event on the current beat, but you can also assign a fixed velocity to the whole track or every single event, which allows for great grooves with just one sound, esp. if your synth or expander uses several velocity layers. You can record and replay sequences of preset changes and also loop them.

There are 18 units (like the four you see above) that send midi data either to external devices [in our case: Nord Modular, K2000R, Electribe EM-1, Electribe R, POD] or to VST instruments right there inside MAX/MSP.

Timing information is transmitted via otudp, a MAX/MSP object that sends custom messages via UDP from one machine to another. Since LIVE sends only MIDI clock (not MTC) and the Emagic amt8 midi interface had some problems with MIDI clock, we had to find a ethernet based solution. It works, and it is blazingly fast, resulting in a very tight timing. Scene changes can also transmitted, but we usually work independently to keep things in flow.

Sound Examples: :: #1 :: #2 :: #3 :: #4 (mit Bartmes und Joo Kraus)
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