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Gregory Taylor

Written Articles

gen~ Video Tutorial Series

Videos for new Gen users.

An Interview with Dan Trueman

Dan shares how he balances programming, performance, and composition.

Some wonderful gen~-based Xennakification

If you follow on the Max Gen forum, you might be forgiven sometimes for thinking that the only people using gen~ are command-line-codeophiles busy downloading stuff from DSP archives and dropping them into a codebox object. While that’s awesome, I have a particular “burden on my heart” – as we say in the part [...]

Physical Modeling Synthesis for Max Users: A Primer

Explore many ways to try physical modeling synthesis in Max.

Romancing the Interface

I’ve spent the last week or so with Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers’ new iPad app Scape, and I have to say that I’m impressed – both by the application itself, and also by the experience of using it. The video explains what’s going on quite well and there are a couple of good pieces [...]

Analog Multitouch Goodness (and something about user interfaces)

While I generally leave the business of standing alone on stage and fingersquiggling on a smartphone touchscreen to others as a performance modality, I remain an unabashed fan of the idea of being able to construct elegant multitouch module interface/performance setups like this one: The video crossed my transom almost in tandem with the announcement of [...]

Gen 3: The Fine Art of Surfacing

jit.gen can handle matrices of any type, dimension, and planecount.

Gen Tutorial 2b: Adventures in Vectorland

The jit.pix-based patches we created in our last tutorial do cool things and use patching techniques that will probably be accessible to the average Max user, they’re not all that they could or should be as Jitter Gen patches. Don’t get me wrong – they make sense and introduce the idea of swizzling data from a [...]

Gen Tutorial 2a: The Joy of Swiz

A two-part introduction to Gen objects in Jitter

gen~: The Garden of Earthly Delays

Sequence of little patches for some audio fun.

Max for Live Tutorial

Adding pattr Presets To Your Live Session

Creating a Vizzie Effects Module

Here's how you use the Vizzie Kit.

Noise Tutorial 1: Riding Tandem With The Random

In the last several tutorials I’ve written, I’ve been talking about a subject that interests me a great deal – how to add variety to a Max patch in ways that both provide you with surprising and interesting combinations and do so in ways that make the transition between your input and what your patch [...]

LFO Tutorial 6 (Live if you want it)

Since a lot of people are interested in what the process of porting a Max patch for use in Max for Live looks like, I thought I’d take this tutorial as an opportunity to go over the steps I used to take my waveplayah patch and to convert it to a Max for Live device [...]

LFO Tutorial 5 (LFO Child Slight Return)

A while back, I wrote a series of four tutorials based around the idea of how you could generate and organize variety in Max patches. I wrote them first and foremost because that idea of generating and organizing variety by some means other than random numbers or noise sources has been an interest of [...]

An Interview with Noriko Matsumoto

An amazing artist with an amazing range of work, read the interview of Noriko Matsumoto by Greg Taylor.

LFO Tutorial 4: Building Complexity

I'd like to share some really simple things that have worked for me that I hope you'll find useful, or that may provide a starting point for your own investigations.

LFO Tutorial 3: Extending Our Generators

Now that I've got a nice generative patch and a way to hear it, I thought it'd be nice to make a few improvements and extensions that would let me begin to specify larger structures - to generate instructions to my generative patch, as it were. While I'm sure that the world is full of people who want ways to have the same thing happen again and again, I'd like to do this in ways that offer a little more freedom than that. This short tutorial will add a modest number of these kinds of changes.

An Interview with Hans Tammen – Endangered Guitar

In this interview, Hans Tammen describes his journey into 'Endangered Guitar'...

LFO Tutorial 2: Making Some Noise

Last time out, we created the LFOur, a generative patch composed of a quartet of synchronized LFOs whose output we can use to make noise. While it's interesting to watch how the different LFO configurations make combinatoric waveforms and it's restful and instructive to watch the sliders flick and rock, it would be nice to have something to connect it to. This tutorial includes some patches that will do just that.

LFO Tutorial 1: The Zen of the Silent Patch

I'm personally a lot more interested in the ability to synchronize processes in Max using time values that resemble musical note values to create control structures that can be easily time synced. This tutorial is about making one of those kinds of modules - a quartet of synchronized LFOs whose outputs I can sample individually for several kinds of data (triggers for waveform start, LFO outputs that I can sample at variably synchronized rates, and a nifty summed waveform I can use for more exoti...

Getting Around in Radial, Part Three

In the previous installments, I've tried to give you a quick hands-on feel for how radiaL operates, paying particular attention to how you can develop a feel for radiaL's nonlinear playback modes by listening. But I think that the place where radiaL really shines as an instrument rather than enjoyable way to do multi-channel loop manipulation involves the addition of an interface -- connecting radiaL to an external controller in a way that turns your favorite parameter changes into physical/gest...

Getting Around in Radial, Part 2

In our last installment, I tried to present some really simple and (I hope) explanatory samples of some of the easiest ways to generate and organize variety on the fly using radiaL. One of the things that those examples did that I didn't talk very explicitly about involved loading a single loop on multiple channels and then using radiaL's ability to playback sections of that loop in a nonlinear fashion to create evolving structures. In the interests of "ear training," I suggested that you mute s...

Getting Around in Radial

I've been asked to write a couple of articles that discuss how I learned radiaL, and how I approach using it in a live performance setting -- both as a soloist and in an ensemble setting. While there are a good number of people out there who use radiaL, I'm surprised to discover that there are not nearly as many people who do what I do -- namely, to walk out on a stage, launch the program, and start improvising. While it seems a perfectly natural thing to do from my point of view, it may not nec...

Those Invalid Objects are Back

The great news is that Fällt is back with a nicely redesigned website. The whole site is well worth a visit and a listen, but you can now once again find the MP3s for the entire Invalid Objects series here for your downloading pleasure.

An Interview With Tim Place

In this interview, Tim Place speaks about his work as a developer and artist, charting the numerous development projects which pooled together to create Hipno.

We Missed You In New Orleans

This last week saw several Cycling '74 folks leaving behind their solitary monastic cells and journeying to the great city of N'awlins [New Orleans, to the rest of you] for the 2006 ICMC computer music conference and festival. Although no words will suffice to describe what remains after Katrina's passing, the dignity and pride of the inhabitants or the Big Easy, or the warm welcome from Tae Hong Park and the fine folks at Tulane, here's a modest report on what we saw and heard (and ate).

Plug-In Confidential, Redux

Since we've changed the way that plug-ins are built, I realized that perhaps it'd be a good idea to find my humble little article and update it for use in the Current Dispensation.

The Moon Smells like…

On my last night in San Francisco, I decided to check out the newly refurbished iMax theatre in the Metreon down the street from Cycling '74 world HQ and catch Roving Mars.

A Workshopping Spree

My colleagues Andrew and Meg and I headed over to the new Recombinant Media Labs facility last week for a fun-filled week of Max workshoppery.

An Interview With David Wessel

David Wessel is Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley where he directs the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). Wessel worked at IRCAM between 1979 and 1988; his activities there included starting the department where Miller Puckette first began working on Max on a Macintosh. Since Wessel's arrival in Berkeley over ten years ago, CNMAT has been actively involved in teaching Max/MSP as well as developing freely available Max-based software projects. In this ...

An Interview With Carl Stone

San Francisco resident Carl Stone has composed electro-acoustic and computer music exclusively since 1972. He has been commissioned to compose and perform his works in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and the Near East. In this 1999 interview with Gregory Taylor, Stone talks about his methods for composing with new technologies and the artistic implications of sampling.

An Interview With John Eichenseer

jhno, a.k.a. John Eichenseer, is the culprit responsible for many of the plug-ins in the Pluggo collection. A musician and programmer living in San Francisco since 1994, jhno can be found DJing chill rooms in the bay area as well as experimenting with live collaborations in the diverse local scene. In this 1999 conversation with [...]

An Interview With Bob Ostertag

Bob Ostertag is a music school dropout who has since performed all over the world and has collaborated with the likes of John Zorn, Fred Frith, drag diva Justin Bond, and the Kronos Quartet. In this interview he describes his creative process and what inspires him to design his technological instruments.

An Interview With Luke DuBois

Luke DuBois is a teacher at Columbia University in New York City, and a member of the famous Freight Elevator Quartet, whose "Fix It In Post" CD is making waves as the first release on the C74 record label. In this conversation with Gregory Taylor, Luke shares stories of synthesizer part scrounging, the early days of the Freight Elevator Quartet, and some of his most inspiring students' projects.

Things OTHERS wish people had told THEM

When I started this series of short "advice" pieces to Max/MSP/Jitter beginners, I also decided to ask a number of my friends and colleagues about what their ideas of what good advice might be so that you won't be left with just my admittedly biased advice set...

Tales of search and seizure

I wasn't planning on googling drug-smuggling secrets...

Winter finally begins. Let’s eat!

Here is a local favorite--a curried Zucchini soup with coconut that we found in Molly O'Neill's fantastic year-round cookbook "A Well-Seasoned Appetite", which is great because it pays attention to the foods that each season delivers to the produce department. You'll probably like it even if it isn't as cold as it is here.

A great question

An amazing part of my breakfast reading was provided by a fascinating article in the New York Times Science section consisting of a dozen or so answers to a single question: "What do you believe even though you cannot prove it?"

Crocheting – it’s not just for scarves and mitties any more

This is the Arts and Crafts column

15 (or more) of the top 10

The radiophonic portion of my life has an annual ritual associated with it that might surprise no one; a top ten. It's that time again.

Until we find out about the Dioxin, here’s a little Ukraine background

Here is a very brief outline on the Ukraine and its current situation. If you're only starting to notice all those news items, this should help you get up to speed. It's faster than going to the public library, anyway. Looks like a little background will come in handy while you're following this in the papers in the coming days.

In our off moments

Sometimes, you're just not in the mood for hard-hitting or even chatty bloggery. In these times, perhaps recursive zoomable artwork or crackheaded Flash book reports are just the thing. Or not.

Stuck (in my head) on a rainy day….

I'm reading at the moment, since there's not a lot of listening I can do. An ear infection I thought I'd whipped earlier returned in a pretty ferocious manner (it even set my ENT to clucking sympathetically and peering sympathetically), with the result being that my right ear is totally non-working (except for being a completely workable source of pain)...

the ICMC and other things

I think I've recovered enough from the ICMC (and the subsequent bout with an ear infection, replacing a wrecked car, and a few of the other shocks to which the mortal life is heir to say a few things about my trip to Miami....

The AES and other things….

Well, I'm finally back home after having survived two major-league spanking machines--the annual AES convention, and the annual International Computer Music Association conference, hosted this year in sunny Miami. It was a wild, exhaustive and fun couple of weeks. Perhaps I should talk about them both. Let's start with the AES....

More pre-novel-foisting about Neal Stephenson….

I know you all probably read slashdot religiously. I should, probably. However, I happened to cruise by the mention of an interview with the same Mr. Stephenson, whose Baroque Cycle I was ranting semi-worshipfully about...

Wow. That last thing was *way* too serious….

Wow. That last thing was *way* too serious....

Neal Stephenson (foisting books on a reading public, part ?+1)

it's with some surprise that I find myself reading the third novel in Neal Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle" The System of the World, and feeling that little tickle that tells me that this may all prove to have been worth it. Now don't get me wrong--I'm not going to tell you to start making your own way through several thousand pages without some serious qualifications...

How would Xu Bing sound? (part 2)

I've been thinking about the Xu Bing exhibition on and off--more specifically, I've been thinking not about the large installation, or even the calligraphy lesson, but rather the large ink paintings whose "brushstrokes", on closer inspection, turn out to be calligraphic narratives or comments on the image itself.

How would Xu Bing sound? (part 1)

I spent a pleasant afternoon at the museum, checking out a new installation by the Chinese artist Xu Bing.

While I was away (listening)….

So I thought I'd mention what's been the office ambience during this hiatus. As a critic, I'm never certain about how to listen to new work... do you drop it on the iPod and cycle around lake Monona on a crisp fall day? Do you drop it into the N-disk changer (where N < 10) and play it to death for days? Do you sit down with a nice bottle of Mourvedre and listen to the thing intently in a dark room? Beats me. I probably did all three. So your mileage may vary greatly here, okay? In honor of th...

Inexpensive steadicams? really?

So, you think that the web is just a bunch of ranting and sixties lampshades over, and over again? Well, cheer up--some kind soul has posted instructions for making your own steadycam using humble hardware store parts. I think we all owe the guy a drink.

Corrective lenses for the rose-colored spectacles, part N

Naomi Klein's stock has taken a jump on my personal index today...

20 questions

You been polled yet?

Look! The pictures are dancing!

One might be forgiven for assuming that I was totally uninterested in a single moment of more television after the exciting spectacle of the New York convention, and that I might be drawn instead to a good book, strong drink, or downloadable Zep videos starring fierce kitties...

Loss, sorrow, and the small details

For all the cheerful chatter about objects that fill the world and the pleasures (great and small) that fill our lives, the facts of fragility and transience remain; all the lists we can make and fill and all the bunkers we can build and all the sizzling neural bundles we can muster will put those reliable nonfictions to flight only for a moment...

Truly, we live in a golden age

Please ignore my previous mutterings about why I'd want to horse around with my microwave or the robovacuum--I have proof that Bluetooth is good for something after all!

And I’ll probably feel a whole lot better….

It's probably normal to be concerned that one is spending time and effort in the presence of important events and providing nothing but entertaining distractions...

Well said, Mr. Gopnik

There's a readerly equivalent to hearing that absolutely godlike bit of a pop song: the well-turned phrase that says something with greater precision than you yourself could manage, but manages to do so in a way that doesn't leave you feeling stupid and inarticulate...

(Un)conventional mediatic incursions

Every citizen who hates America is supposed to be watching the current Republican Potemkin village of a convention, whereby we are assured that the party is in the hands of moderate Republicans and compassionate conservatives...

Mozillas in the myst

Beyond the embarrassing confession that I don't own a Playstation or Gamecube or even an Atari, there's the issue of me and splatter gaming in general...

Waxing eloquent about eloquent wax

how the wax cylinder recording came drifting back into my life...

Three small reasons to be happy

here is an interesting collection of how something like this looks to someone who's walking quiety around during the setup and takedown, noticing lots of the things we don't get to see...

Foisting books on a reading public (number ? in a series)

I've just finished a "birthday book" that might interest you--especially after I tell you what I think it's maybe not about.

Moog Modular V and Max/MSP geek-o-rama

I've spent a little time exploring the new version of the Moog Modular V that I mentioned recently--more specifically, working on ways that I could use it alongside my favorite graphic programming environment.

Saying nice things about other companies’ software (one of a series)

One of the reasons that virtual synthesis is attractive is that the arrival of the auction/speculator's market such as eBay has effectively put all kinds of interesting things I remember from my childhood beyond the reach of anyone other than the beneficiaries of a Bush tax cut...

After mulling and consideration and weighing, we point elsewhere

I know I am supposed to be writing stuff that derives from my own unparalleled insight and wide experience...

Attn: sea world fans: do NOT read this. I’m not kidding.

Attn: sea world fans: do NOT read this.

Jitter inna Pyongyang stylee

I know I should have a bad case of Olympic Fever...

Not wanting to say something about Marcel

I wanted to visit the Philadelpha Museum of Art in order to fulfill a long-standing wish-visit their Marcel Duchamp collection and see what are, for me, Duchamp's two greatest works: the Large Glass and Etants Donnes: 1. La Chute D'eau 2. Le Gaz D'eclairage....

Heaven in a small bowl

Summer Comfort Food

Audible reasons to be happy

I spend part of my life doing a radio program of electronic, experimental, electroacoustic, and various other types of music on Madison's own community radio station WORT-FM, and have done so for an embarrassing number of years. I guess that's probably why my colleague D. told me that I should feel free to rave about recent recordings in the course of my blogging life...

Finding patterns in odd places questions to you come down to this: How might these serve as a place to start describing aural order or fittingness or (cough) beauty? ...I think that thinking about this is worth the effort, despite whatever qualms about quantifiable beauty you may have...