I have been creating a additive synth in max/msp to use with spear to recreate analyze data adding FM and AM modulation. The possibilities are endless when you analyze a sample and rebuild it using additive synthesis, but it requires a lot of theory and work.. and my brain is too small.
FM can give some really interesting results. I've been working on an FM patch for max/msp consisting of 4 oscillators each with controls to mix different waveforms, and its own state variable filter. The oscillators can modulate each other's amplitude and pitch. Each of the oscillators is automatically linked to my audiocubes such that it's easy to experiment with different modulation routings of the oscillators. Check out the videos below.
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Joined: Oct 31, 2008 Posts: 37 Location: Berkeley, CA
Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:02 pm Post subject:
Sorry to make an acoustic, analog suggestion--hey, this IS electro-music.com, after all!
Since you're interested in drones and chanting, I HIGHLY recommend checking out W.A. Mathieu's book "Harmonic Experience."
The drone/chant exercises are amazing for learning to hear minute pitch variations, and his presentation of tetrachords opens up wide, rich vistas for composition and improvisation.
Also, be aware that intervals and rhythms are the same thing happening at different speeds. And be sure to check out Terry Riley and LaMonte Young if you haven't already. _________________ tunes videos blog
I think you have to be very careful when talking about "drones" Kkissinger here has mentioned some great examples and inspirations, especially some of David Monroe's recordings, and Indian music especially, I find it actually quiet depressing to try and do anything after listening to Indian musicians, they have such an amazing fluidity about them, that it makes any Western attempt sound very "wooden" indeed ! singers especially. I think when basing music around drones, it's important to avoid all the cliches regarding timbrel manipulation, such as the dreaded opening and closing of the filter on a synthesizer, which is always the first thing some people do to ad variation, for some reason I find that so annoying now ! also accompanying a drone with a typical "Tangerine Dream" style chugging sequence is equally annoying, it's been done a million times. What can be useful when using drones is to use a long delay system, to build up harmonic patterns, but then again, one has to be wary of straying into the well trodden path of people like Robert Fripp, to name just one of many. As with all types and approaches to music, you have to find your own corner, and stay away from the crowd if you stand any chance of doing music that is in any way original or interesting. Sure, we all have influences whether we like it or not, but you have to make the music "yours" in some way, so that when people listen to it they know it's you, you have to create a definite identity for yourself. So much music I listen to these days could have been done by anybody, it sounds so "generic" not a good thing in my book. My own take on this is if you are going to use a device like a drone, then use it carefully, it can provide a powerful main ground, or ad a touch of colour in the bigger picture, but always be aware of that "bigger picture" and how it fits in.
Joined: Nov 27, 2011 Posts: 26 Location: Liverpool, UK
Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:26 am Post subject:
Hindustani & Carnatic Classical Music provide an amazing resource for Western composers, but bear in mind that it is a huge world of music and culture, so there is a lot of literature! Indian Classical Music dates back thousands of years, and has considerably more complex in many ways than the Western Classical traditions, so it can't really be defined in a nutshell.
However, as a little introduction to drones and harmony- the drone is constant throughout a Classical composition, and the drone note always includes at least the sa of the raag, which is 'do' or the tonic in English. If there is a secondary drone then it is usually pa (dominant) or shuddha ma. (subdominant below the tonic)
The drone is usually provided by Tanpura.
I've had the chance to have a go on a Tanpura, and even though it's such a simple instrument to play it gives out the most beautiful and resonant sound. Creating the drone means that you need to keep plucking the strings, but the sound lasts for a long time.
The relationship between the drone and the raag is complicated, because there is a very complex system of choosing which intervals you play in a composition, including microtonal intervals. Each interval is tuned to evoke a particular rasa, which is a perceived emotional response, but I won't get into that. If you get a guide to the raags then you can read all about this.
As for the compositional shape of the piece, there are different ones, but they usually begin with the soloist, accompanied only by drone, firstly exploring the raag (alap) and then starting to elaborate. (jor) Then, they are joined by tabla (gat), and this accelarates towards the climax. (jhala)
I hope I've given you something to think about- I've included some of the sanskrit terms for what I've described, because it's easier to find information using those. If you are really interested then I recommend you read Manomohan Ghosh's English translation of the Natyashatra, and Alain Danielou's books of the raags.
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