beyond speakers

Jul 7, 2012 at 12:26am

beyond speakers

I’ve been using max for a few years now, and consider it my main instrument, but more and more I’m getting bored of the limitations of using speakers to generate the sound. Has anyone used max to control other types of sound generators. I love the control of max, but I miss the unpredictability and depth of sound you get from acoustic instruments, especially percussion.

(I’m aware of digitally enabled mechanical instruments like Disklavier, but those are pretty rare and expensive).

Jul 7, 2012 at 1:57pm

I suppose you have explored some setups to alter the sound of the speakers like vibrating surfaces, objects, matters stuck on the speakers ? I do that very often and you can get some interesting and kind of ‘unpredictable acoustic behaviours’ from high class speakers supposed to be quite linear.

Jul 9, 2012 at 1:46pm

Prepared speakers? Interesting. The closest I’ve come to that is touching the speaker with my hands to change it’s response, or building a Victorian Synthesizer, but I should probably look into it more. Have you got any videos of stuff you’ve done?

Incidentally whilst looking around on this I found out about this guy who uses electronically controlled pneumatic valves

Jul 9, 2012 at 2:16pm

Try looking up David Tudor’s Rainforest project – it was one of (if not the) first uses of objects as complex resonators set into vibration by drivers of various sorts. The project went through a number of versions over the years. It’s been well documented. Hope this helps.

Jul 10, 2012 at 10:42am

mounting speakers into or onto percussion instruments and playing impulses though them
could make an interesting new instrument.

Jul 10, 2012 at 11:47pm

nice topic, my interest for this arouse while i watched this a while ago :

Jul 11, 2012 at 8:08am

you could also have a look at the logos foundation
Godfried has been building his robot orchestra for many many years now.
The pneumatic valves work from edwin van der heiden sounds really good if you are underneith it, it has a very Ikeda feel to it.

Jul 11, 2012 at 12:26pm

You might also google ‘Trimpin’ – long time builder of actuated sound sculptures, etc.


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