Techniques for Extending Acoustic Instruments


Michael Sperone will be leading one of nine community-driven workshops at Expo ’74 in Brooklyn this October. Read on for more information about his workshop and some history of his work.


Techniques for Extending Acoustic Instruments

Many composers of the 20th and 21st century – in order to create a new music, and a new sound – have developed a range of extended techniques such as multiphonics, “growls”, “pops”, slides and glissandi, etc. In this workshop, Michael will be discussing his use of Max to extend the acoustic instrument. He will feature examples on the glockenspiel with his patches for expanding the range, sustain, and tonal possibilities. Also, he will include examples with electric guitar, voice, and percussion.

Topics covered will include general effects and pitch detection, and ways to use
that information once Max has received it (resynthesis, harmonizing, etc.),
ways to interface with Max while playing your instrument, and other general
performance issues.

To participate in this workshop, you will need a laptop (Mac or Windows) with Max/MSP, an acoustic instrument (optional), and a way to get that instrument’s sound in/out of Max (other than the laptop’s mic/speakers).

A Short Interview with Michael Sperone

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Michael Sperone, I am a composer, percussionist, and an electronic musician. I compose music for Tintinnabulation which performs my pop music (and is releasing an album soon). I started this group to experiment with my Max patches that integrate my glockenspiel and other external controllers. I also compose concert music which has more recently incorporated versions of my patches I developed with Tintinnabulation.

When and why did you start using Max?

I started using Max in 2006/2007 after learning about and using PD for a little while (after learning CSound in college). I had an internship at Harvestworks and learned more about Max from the other interns and have used it ever since.

What technology or person’s work intrigues you most right now?

I keep being impressed by the work of Levy Lorenzo and Eric Drasin.

What is the most exciting part of attending Expo ’74?

The MOST exciting part of Expo ’74 will be all the other Max/MSP nerds who I’ll get to talk with and share ideas and patching techniques.

Learn More About Michael