Forums > MaxMSP

To all composers and wizzards

Nov 19 2012 | 7:40 pm

Is there a way one could change an ambient sound into a rhythmic structure containing the sound? Somehow like making grains out of an ambient sound and play it like percussion.

Nov 19 2012 | 9:55 pm

Umm, like stick it through an envelope? or something like train~ if it’s a grain-like, periodic rhythm maybe?

Nov 19 2012 | 10:12 pm

You could look at applying sidechain compression to the ambient sound triggered, for example, by a drum rhythm.

Nov 19 2012 | 10:37 pm

… techno~ ?

Nov 20 2012 | 12:14 am

Yeah, sidechaining to a drum track/click (ala the start of "How Soon is Now?").

Nov 20 2012 | 2:41 pm

I tried train and replaced the noise input with a soundfile. Sample and hold was actually what I thought would be a good start, but the sound which came out did not correspond to the sound input. Maybe I have to set the frequency range.

Nov 20 2012 | 2:42 pm

techno looked promising too. I replaced the phasor input with soundfile, but it did not put sound out.

Nov 20 2012 | 2:44 pm

Rodrigo and tegid, do you have a patch which handles side chaining?

Nov 20 2012 | 3:12 pm

I’ve never done it in Max, but you can do it in any DAW super easily to test if that path is worth exploring further. The compressor attack/decay/ratio will have a massive impact on the sound as that will control each ‘grain’.

Nov 20 2012 | 3:14 pm

Vocoder and/or Cross synthesis are methods worth looking at for your purpose. There is an (old) example called "cross-dog" somewhere in the Max examples hierarchy that you should take a look at. There is also a vocoder patch somewhere too. Use your ambient source as the carrier, and a drum loop or rhythm pattern as the modulator

Nov 20 2012 | 3:23 pm

Probably easier to go the other way, i.e. gating the sound, with the gate being opened/closed by your rhythm track, using some kind of thresholding to trigger the gate. I probably have something somewhere…
I think built a Pluggo years ago that used Midi note-on’s to trigger a gate, back when that gated pad sound was a pre-requisite to all trance music ;-)

Nov 20 2012 | 4:05 pm

I meant ‘the other way round’ meaning as opposed to compression, btw. Here’s a very quick n’ dirty gating example.
And yes, convolution is the other classic method for imposing the rhythm of one sound onto the timbre of the other – or vice versa,

-- Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. --

Nov 22 2012 | 1:33 pm

I will try that with my vocoder. That would be a good.

Nov 22 2012 | 1:36 pm

Hi Roger,
thanks for the patch. It seems to have the right parameter control, but I can’t get a good sound out of it. Attack, sustain, release would be good to be controlled. When you use your patch do you still hear the original sound input?

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Forums > MaxMSP