C-C-Combine – Play anything with anything
C-C-Combine is a corpus-based audio mosiacing application, built inÂ Max/MSP, based onÂ concatenative synthesis. ConcatenativeÂ synthesis is a technique for synthesizing sounds by concatenating short samples of recorded sound. It is essentially a type ofÂ granular synthesisÂ that, instead of playing back grains based on position/windows, plays back grains based on analysis of incoming audio. In order to do this you must have a corpus (the pre-analyzed body of sounds) and an input sound source (either incoming audio or file playback).
Back when IÂ started programmingÂ what would eventually becomeÂ The Party Van, I envisioned building something like C-C-Combine. It was very much out of my programming reach/understanding at the time. C-C-Combine is my first exploration into âfull onâ concatenativeÂ synthesis, that uses a pre-analyzed corpus of samples. I was originally inspired to do this byÂ collaboratorÂ Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, having heard his Sandbox #3 in action, which is based onÂ CataRT, an open source concatentative synthesis application written byÂ Diemo Schwarz. (You can read more about PA Tremblayâs concat setup/exploration inÂ this paperÂ co-written by him and Diemo Schwarz.) I also came acrossÂ MogeesÂ instrument, byÂ Bruno Zamborlin, which sounded very exciting to me as, like in PAâs setup, was based on real-time audio analysis.
Aside from the desire to learn and code something that did exactly what I wanted, the impetus of creating C-C-Combine was that this type of synthesis and sound production is difficult to get into. CataRT is freely available, but it requires installing a large framework/extension on top of Max/MSP (FTM&Co). It is also incredibly deep/powerful, but not especially tailored to live performance. Mogees, as far as I can tell, is not available at all. C-C-Combine is freely available to download (link below) as a Max/MSP patch, so that you can edit/view the code (or use it as is). It only uses a few externals byÂ Alex Harker, which come included with the download. Harkerâs externals handle the audio analysis (both real-time and offline) as well as data storage/lookup.
I made every effort to make the application as user-friendly as possible with a thorough âquick startâ guide in the âinfoâ window and âhintsâ when you hover over anything. Corpus analysis/storage/loading is no trivial task, but it doesnât have to be difficult either. The program is primarily made for real-time concatenativeÂ synthesis, so most of the features are built towards that end, but I do plan on expanding the program, as well as building an adaptation of it intoÂ The Party Van.
How was MAX used?
It was built entirely in Max/MSP.