Linking Supercollider to Logic

Righty ho then, the first thing you need to do is activate the IAC (Inter-Application Communication) driver. The IAC driver acts as an interface between the two programs and allows them to communicate. To do this you should click on the empty desktop screen, at the top of the screen click on the ‘Go’ drop down menu, now click on ‘Utilities’. Open the ‘Audio MIDI Setup” application and click on the ‘MIDI Devices’ tab. It looks like this:

 

Double click on the IAC Driver icon to bring up a new window and select ‘Device is online’. Note: you don’t need to click ‘Apply’ after you have done this. Here is a screen shot showing what it looks like:

 

Next you should open Logic and create a couple of new ‘software instrument’ tracks. After you have done this click and hold on the record button on the transport bar at the bottom to bring up a menu where you should select ‘Recording Settings’. When you are in the recording settings window select the box that says ‘Auto demix by channel if multitrack recording’. If you don’t have this selected you will effectively only be running through one channel. Here is a screen shot of the ‘Recording settings’ window:

 

Now you need to assign each channel in Logic a MIDI channel number, to do this select a track and in the Inspector bar on the left hand side click on the little triangular arrow pointing right, this drops down a menu with some settings for that track, now click on the up/down arrows to the right of where it says ‘MIDI Channel: All’ and select the desired number. Like this:

 

Now Logic is ready to link with Supercollider. So, open a new window in Supercollider and boot the server with the command ‘s.boot’ or click on the server in the bottom left. After doing this you need to type in these two lines of code and evaluate each one:

 

Now if you include the following instructions in your Pbind you will get the corresponding sound to that track in Logic.

 

Note that in this particular example above I have it on channel zero, which corresponds to MIDI channel 1 in Logic, so channel 1 in SC is MIDI channel 2 in Logic and so on…

Hope my notes weren’t too confusing. Good luck!

TouchOSC and OSCulator

Picture 1

TouchOSC is an iPhone and iPod Touch application that is used as a MIDI controller by sending and receiving messages over a wireless network. Julio D’escrivan performed a demo for our class using this application and I was very impressed with it. He recorded some vocal samples with it and was able to manipulate it in ways that I don’t really know how to explain yet, just by dragging his finger over the screen in a certain manner. He also assigned modulation and volume controls to the accelerometer imbedded in the iPhone so he could manipulate the sound by physically moving the phone itself, which was very impressive.

Another good thing about TouchOSC is that you can pretty much program it to control any sequencers and the like. One of my classmates who is a DJ, has connected TouchOSC to a DJ program called ‘Tractor’. You can link it up to the crossfader, filter controls and pretty much anything you want really, so it is potentially possible to perform an entire set with it, which is what he has planned to do and I can’t wait to see it! Hurry up Dan!

Here is a couple of videos showing a few ways of using TouchOSC:

Another good thing about TouchOSC is that you can use a program called TouchOSC Editor to adapt the GUI (Graphical User Interface) for you’re own personal requirements. This is an illustration of the TouchOSC Editor application.

Picture 3

The TouchOSC application communicates with the computer through another program called ‘OSCulator’. This is the program that makes it possible to assign the desired controls to the device (MIDI controller), which can be almost anything from phones to computer games console remotes! Madness!

Screenshot of the OSCulator Program


Picture 2

I Have put in this video of someone using a Wii remote assigned to Ableton Live through the use of OSCulator. Its pretty impressive.

I have put links here to the TouchOSC and OSCulator websites:

TouchOSC – http://hexler.net/software/touchosc

OSCulator – http://www.osculator.net/wp/download

Music Theory

SCALES AND INTERVALS

I guess I should start right from the beginning, so a scale is a selection of certain notes within an octave (8 notes). This picture shows the simplest and easiest to remember scale, which is C Major. It shows the names of the notes corresponding to the keys on a keyboard. It is the easiest to remember because it uses all the white keys.

Picture 4

An ‘interval’ constitutes the distance measured between two notes. To figure the interval distance out , we start on the bottom note and count our way up. This is an illustration of an example of some simple intervals:

Picture 13

Also I should state that intervals of 1, 4, 5, and 8 (the octave) are called ‘perfect’ intervals and have a sounding of consonance, whereas intervals of 2, 3, 6 and 7 can be either Major or Minor and sound more dissonant. (This is not always the case though) do u agree with that? or should i take it out?

When figuring out degrees of a scale, you have to count from one, so C (referring to the C Major scale again) becomes a first, and is called the ‘tonic’, D is the second whole note in the scale, which is called a second, or a ‘supertonic. E is the third degree or Mediant and so on. I have placed a picture here showing all of the degree names relating to scales.

Picture 7

Just to clarify what I was saying earlier, a half step on a keyboard is know as a ‘semi-tone’ and a whole step is known as a ‘tone’. With this I can figure out scales and modes with their degrees. The formula for figuring out a Major scale looks like this:

(Note here that ‘W’ equates to a whole step or ‘tone’ and ‘h’ equates to a half-step or semi-tone)

C Major Scale

Picture 8

Now just to keep us on our toes, there are 3 different types of Minor scale. We have the Natural Minor scale which can be figured out like this:

C Natural Minor Scale

Picture 9

Next we have the Harmonic Minor scale. This is the same as the Natural Minor scale except the 7th degree is raised by a semi-tone. This is the C Harmonic Minor scale with the 7th degree illustrated :

C Harmonic Minor Scale

Picture 10

The last is the Melodic Minor, which is the same as the Natural Minor again but with the 6th and the 7th degree raised by a semi-tone. This is what it looks:

C Melodic Minor Scale

Picture 11

MODES

In its simplest form, a mode is a type of scale, they can all be figured out by tweaking certain degrees in the scale. I am going to show you in Supercollider syntax how I figured them out by using a similar manner to that of the Major and Minor scales.

//ionian (the major scale)

//T,T,S,T,T,T,S (interval distance ‘T’ = tone, ‘S’ = semi-tone)

(

Pbind(\dur, 1/2,

\scale, [0,2,4,5,7,9,11,12],

\degreePseq([0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], 1)).play

)

//dorian (has a minor 3rd and a minor 7th)

//T,S,T,T,T,S,T

(

Pbind(\dur, 1/2,

\scale,[0,2,3,5,7,9,10,11],

\degreePseq([0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], 1)).play

)

//phrygian (has a minor 2nd, minor 3rd, minor 6th and a minor 7th)

//S,T,T,T,S,T,T

(

Pbind(\dur, 1/2,

\scale,[0,1,3,5,7,8,10,12],

\degreePseq([0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], 1)).play

)

//lydian (has an augmented 4th, which means it is raised by one semi-tone) ?is this correct julio?

//T,T,T,S,T,T,S

(

Pbind(\dur, 1/2,

\scale,[0,2,4,6,7,9,11,12],

\degreePseq([0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], 1)).play

)

//mixolydian (has a minor 7th)

//T,T,S,T,T,S,T

(

Pbind(\dur, 1/2,

\scale,[0,2,4,5,7,9,10,12],

\degreePseq([0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], 1)).play

)

//aeolian (has a minor 3rd, minor 6th and a minor 7th)

//T,S,T,T,S,T,T

(

Pbind(\dur, 1/2,

\scale,[0,2,3,5,7,8,10,12],

\degreePseq([0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], 1)).play

)

//locrian (has a minor 2nd, minor 3rd, an augmented 4th, a minor 6th and a minor 7th)

//S,T,T,S,T,T,T

(

Pbind(\dur, 1/2,

\scale,[0,1,3,5,6,8,10,12],

\degreePseq([0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], 1)).play

)

The numbers stated after the key ‘\degree’ equates to note distance intervals, they can be shown like this. Picture 5

Dr Joyce Shintani

We had the privilege of having Dr Joyce Shintani dropping into our university a few weeks ago. She has a big background for being a well respected conductor and has worked at IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique), a european institute for science about music and sound and avant garde electro-acoustical art music. She gave us a presentation: Digital Music in Media Art 2009: Highlights – Trends and Aesthetic Implications, which showed us a few things she had been up to including attending some art – music festivals; Sonár, Ars Electronica and Art Basel. She conveyed her opinions on some of the work she came across at these festivals and showed us a few videos of some selected pieces. One of these pieces is Tomas Koner’s award winning piece ‘Suburbs of the void’, which I have placed a link to the video of below. In this particular piece, Koner placed some ambient music over a video that viewed the same space over the course of 24 hours.

I found that although most of the presentation mildly interesting, her views and opinions mostly seemed to be aimed towards the art rather than the music, but of course the presentation was still very appreciated.

I also put up a video of Jeff Mills at the Sonar Festival 2007 for good measure.

Click here for a link to Tomas Koner’s ‘Suburbs of the void’ video

Supercollider

Picture 2

 

 

Supercollider is a programming language and environment for real-time audio synthesis that was creates by James McCartney in 1996. We are using this program in Sound Design and Composition (SDaC) and Laptop Musicianship Modules.

 

We are learning more about the fundamentals of electronic music in SDaC like waveform, bit depth, sample rate and other sound signals and their attributes. We can use very simple commands like  ‘{LFSaw.ar(100, 1, 0.1)}.play’,  which is a low frequency sawtooth wave oscillator, with arguments of frequency, iphase, and multiply (volume) all placed in a ‘function play’. In the Laptop Musicianship module we are using Supercollider to execute realtime rhythms, melodies, scale patterns controlled by degree intervals, and many more fun things for musical composition.

 

One of the first thing we learnt in this module was a Pattern Bind or ‘Pbind’, which funnily enough binds patterns together and plays them. An simple example of this is:

 

( //dorian

Pbind(

\scale, #[2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14],

\degree, Pseq([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]-1,  inf),

\dur, 1/8,

\db, -3

).play

)

,which is the Dorian mode (there is a section on modes, scales and other music theory later on my blog page). This ‘Pbind’ has a few key inputs controlling the decibels and the duration, there is also a Pattern Sequence, otherwise known as a Pseq, after the \degree key that controls which order the scale is played in. I will explain more about this later on my blog page too.

 

We have also been linking Supercollider to Logic Pro 9, so we can assign any samples we want to the pattern sequences for our compositions. I will be showing you how to do this later on as well.

Creative Music Technology and Me

I took up this course with the main objective to learn as much as possible about the production of music and the new techniques for manipulating sound. It was also to meet similar minded people, working together with them and learning off each other, which is already happening. My life ambition is to use this Degree to help me become a very well known Producer or DJ/Producer. If I don’t achieve this, then I think I would like to teach, but then again, who knows, anything could happen. I’m an open minded person that believes in hard work, with the motto: “from bold moves comes great things” and “if it’s wet, drink it”.

I take my inspirations from a wide variety of sources, from Led Zeppelin, Nina Simone, Bon Iver and Jack Johnson to Andy C, Hazard, Friction, Chase and Status, Judge Jules, Paul van Dyk, Darren Emerson, Tim Green, Sasha, Pete Tong and John Digweed to name a few. I find that my visions for creating the kind of music I want is constantly changing. One minute I feel like I want to make something on the more balearic side of things or something jolly, then the next minute it’s something really revolting and nasty, and very frequently it’s just a combination of the latter. I have uploaded a couple of my favourite tracks at this moment in time, the first is called ‘Could This Be Real” by Sub Focus (Crack House) and the second is the Nero remix of “In The Middle” by The Streets (DubStep) (if you want the full effect of these tracks, you really do need a bit of volume and bass, laptop speakers just don’t cut it im afraid). I think they convey in many ways for me the type of music that I see myself making. But like I said earlier, tomorrow it could be something completely different! Let me know what you think…

Oh yeah, I popped another track on for good measure, Reset Robot, Do The Slot (House) just cos I love it so much, play it loud!