STILLHETEN is a software for electroacoustic live improvisation entirely developed using Max/MSP.
The main idea behind the project is based on the concept of working with a set of “n” linearly independent vectors in a space and generate orthogonal frames used to trigger different parameters in the audio synthesis and processing. Each generated frame is just a global description of the involved processes and therefore the outcome is highly unpredictable and is not to be regarded as a fixed and predefined collection of structures.
STILLHETEN has 6 independent modules. In linear algebra STILLHETEN would have n = 6 dimensions.
The audio generated inside each module is routed directly to the output without any further processing by the other modules. Apart from the final summation of all the audio streams there is no direct interaction between the modules.
These are the modules (or “dimensions”) involved:
Dim1: GRAIN2 – granular processing module based on gran.pitch.file~ object by Nathan Wolek.
Dim2: BLANKET – system of delay lines with non linear distortion feedback.
Dim3: SOLARSURF – rhythmic sinewaves generator.
Dim4: SPECFIL – pink noise spectral filter with reverb and distortion.
Dim5: F-RECS – loop player with 5 bands EQ.
Dim6: SKYR – frequency shifter.
Each module has several stored presets (e.g. GRAIN2 has 160 presets, 80 for the parameters of the processing and 80 for the panning) that can be recalled either independently inside the module itself or through a global “scenes selector” that takes snapshots of the whole set and also provides an interpolation between the captured scenes.
Different set of presets can be saved for the same module and they can be recalled in real time during the performance in order to get a wide range of sonic results.
The whole set is controlled via keyboard (preset recall and enable/disable of the modules), mouse and MIDI controller (preset definition and parameter tweaking).
The live performance is an “improvised interaction within the 6 dimensions” of the generated space whose variations are constantly influenced by the performer who alters and redefines the parameters of the processing/synthesis.
The software can also “perform” autonomously: the auto function enables the full randomization of all the main parameters and creates an ever changing soundscape in which the rapid variation of structures and textures redefines the content of the composition/improvisation.
A simplified version of the patch has been used in the making of K-FRAME, the debut EP of the project ZBEEN and a rearranged audio-visual patch based on STILLHETEN, with graphics based on photos by Gianluca Favaron, is freely downloadable here (standalone application, only for Mac OS).
STILLHETEN is a software made by Skriða.
Skriða is Ennio Mazzon.
All sounds and programming done using MAX.