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Pat Metheny's Orchestrion

January 14, 2010 | 9:25 am

http://www.patmetheny.com/orchestrioninfo/index.cfm

Hi there,

Pat is doing this crazy project with a whole orchestra of robots both being triggered by the computer or in realtime via his guitar. Amazing.
Besides many other aspects one specific issue makes me question how it works: How can there be such a good note detection without midi? He is not using a midipickup (his guitars only have a normal pickup plus one microphone output for a more direct string sound). As far as I am cocerned a really good note detection only works for monophonic instruments or voice in realtime. The IRCAM institue in Paris offers this score following device but it seems they are working hard to make it happen for polyphonic instruments like guitar. And in another video you can see Pat doing some crazy chord stuf and all these vibes and pianos and bottles playing with him.
Amazing!
If anybody knows some sort of software or even max patch to achieve this level detection I would be surprised and thankful!

Cheers,
Lars


January 14, 2010 | 2:42 pm

He is not using a midipickup (his guitars only have a normal pickup plus one microphone output for a more direct string sound).

are you sure? He does have 2 cables coming out of the guitar, and his tune-o-matic could have a RMC piezo system to midi control. It is polyphonic and quick, and this technology is not reliable yet ASAIK…

pa


January 15, 2010 | 9:27 am

That’s a LEMUR installation, mostly MIDI-controlled with an Axon interface:

http://www.lemurbots.org/

"polyphonic and quick"… and reliable ;-)

PG


January 15, 2010 | 4:01 pm

The other thing is that you can build an electric guitar with pickups so that each string is sent to a different audio out. IOW, the pitch recognition would remain in the monophonic domain.


January 15, 2010 | 4:26 pm

@ Peter: this is what I meant. RMC tune-o-matic (and other piezo) have discreet output per string, and the Axon gets the 6 strings individually. The pitchtracking they do is very-very fast and reliable. I don’t know how they do it but it is very good.

pa


January 16, 2010 | 5:38 am

"RMC tune-o-matic (and other piezo) have discrete output per string, and the Axon gets the 6 strings individually."

To midify each string via an hexa pre-amp, yes.
What means Peter is the ability to keep all audio-controlled. For example, that’s what I did to play a ‘polyphonic diatonic shifter’ with one pitch-shifter per string, in parallel processing.
(Cheaper than 6 Eventide :-)

"The pitchtracking they do is very-very fast and reliable. I don’t know how they do it but it is very good."

Audio to Midi with the Axon is around 25 ms:

http://www.axon-technologies.net/index.php?name=EZCMS&menu=17&page_id=28

Analog controllers to MIDI is faster. See MidiTron, Eowave, etc.
Pitch-tracking on a per string basis can be super fast with the current technologies.

Bye,
Philippe


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