This is a journal and a feed of sonic debris generated by my practice / practise / practising. I used to post these directly to @dried@sonomu.club but I’m going to post them here now and point to this page from elsewhere. These posts will be a little transient but I want to leave the ones I like up, so it should coalesce into a collection of sorts. I will hopefully do some backfilling of old posts.

Feel free to download these for your own listening. If you’d like to use them in your own work, please get in touch, I’m open to that in principle. (I might put a CC something or other on everything posted to this page but I have to examine and think about the licenses yet, so it’s case-by-case for now.)

2022-09-24

It is still Septimbre.

This one is another feedback patch on my main system featuring more high pitched chirps. Most of this was changing the balance between three different routes through the feedback.

Wavefolder -> quad filter -> mix -> delay -> limiter -> wavefolder
           -> ring mod    -> mix
Complex LFO nonsense modulates filter pitch, oscillator pitch, and pings wavefolder fold level

flac (76.76MB) / mp3 (7.32MB)

2022-09-05

It is Septimbre.

This is a feedback patch using a semi-modular monosynth and an analog delay pedal (and also using some analog clipping at the mixer as a dirty limiter). Part one: mix in the delayed signal with the oscillator before its filter and tweak levels a bit. Part two: add complex audio rate modulation to filter resonance and tweak levels a bit.

flac (33MB) / mp3 (5.6MB)

2022-08-27

I performed that last patch with composer Mia Windsor on the 25th, you can watch it on YouTube (or YewTube if that’s more your speed).

The code I used to get the drawing tablet to talk to the modular synth is called inscribe. I’ve made quite a few updates to it that aren’t yet released (and the naming will eventually change, so watch out). The live version of the script will simply spit out CV for X, Y, and pressure, and a gate for contact, but the new version decouples that data by calling the public API of monome crow so parameters can be used arbitrarily in crow scripts. I used it with the zone math I mentioned a few weeks back. I’ve also written a simpler, similar script to use any HID interface as a controller by converting its evdev events to OSC. I might merge these, but I’m not sure.

2022-08-24

Short snippet of long droney sounds.

Oscillator through different wavefolders (left and right), slowly modulated, then through two pairs of filters (left and right) whose resonance is occasionally boosted, then mixed with oscillator core before going out. One wavefolder is additionally rectified, passed through a relatively high bandpass filter, and back to the folder’s fold control for audio rate feedback (the squealy / chirpy sounds).

flac (30MB) / mp3 (3.9MB)

2022-08-20

Another one using more or less the same patch, also quite bright. Learning to love those sustained 10+ kHz whistles – hide your pets. Opens with some similar sounds from yesterday, chugging, full spectrum but quite bright, then eventually settles into something sparser / quieter with brain tickling chirps and some low growly interruptions. This quieter section basically played itself and I didn’t tweak too much, which I was really into. Finding those evolving, self-changing systems is part of the reason why my patches get so tangled.

flac (69.45 MB) / mp3 (12.33 MB)

So about those patch notes…

I’ll try to explain it in generic terms, but there are some specifics that can’t be generalized. If you’d rather look at a diagram, here’s the drawing I came up with.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, this thing centres on wavefolder feedback. At audio rates, wavefolders add harmonics to a sound, making it sound richer (and kind of buzzy). This sort of works like clipping, except instead of cutting off the top portion of the waveform, it’s mirrored down. Wavefolders add gain to push the incoming signal against this limit so that it’s folded back in on itself, adding the harmonic. When the folded signal reaches the opposite limit, it’s folded back. Wavefolders often have symmetry controls as well, which offset the incoming signal so that it folds more on one side than on the other.

I discovered while making zonder that analog inputs that directly affect the sound can be treated like mix inputs, for example modulating the fold intensity of a wavefolder or the resonance of a filter with an audio-rate signal will result in that signal being present in the output signal. That means that these control inputs can be used in a feedback path. This discovery is important because the second wavefolder in my system is part of an oscillator, so the oscillator is the only thing going into its audio input. A feedback loop is completed by looping the audio back in through the oscillator-folder’s fold input (at least, I think that’s what’s going on).

The basic feedback loop goes like this:

The folder-folder mix also goes to

Other smaller feedback loops:

Additionally:

Now for that particularity I mentioned. The mixer, the half-wave rectifiers, and the envelope follower are all part of the same module, Cold Mac, which has an output that mixes together all of their inputs. That output is the other channel of audio in the recording. Another peculiarity of Cold Mac is its macro control, which in this case controls both baselines of the half-wave rectifiers.

That’s the basis of the audio-rate rat’s nest. There is a small amount of modulation:

There’s a ton of area to explore in this patch. To perform it, I was mainly tweaking the controls of the dedicated wavefolder (fold, shape, and symmetry) as well as the Cold Mac macro. Changing the rates & cross-modulating FM depth of the semi-random voltage generating LFOs had a good deal of influence on the overall rate of things as well. The resonance controls of the filters were fairly predictable performance controls as well.

Whew.

2022-08-19

So that album-shaped thing zonder is basically all wavefolder sounds. I got a new oscillator recently that both a) has a wavefolder baked in and b) goes into LFO rates, so I wanted to see if I could get it to do something similar. The trick is that it only has one dedicated input for the wavefolder intensity, and the rest has to be done by manipulating the oscillator core. Anyway, like always happens with these feedback patches, things got out of hand, and here’s the result. I might try to draw out the patch, I have a copy of a patch by Jason Lim of Instruo and it looks like a good method (better than writing a play about it). If I do, I’ll update this post with a link or something.

Fair warning: it’s noisy and quite bright. If you’re not into high frequencies and kzzht crhsshhht hshhh, this might not be the one for you. There will be others, I don’t exclusively do this noisy stuff!

flac (72.6 MB) / mp3 (11.8 MB)

2022-08-14

I just posted an album-shaped sequence of audio recordings here, which is useful if you like listening to albums. I might write more about it soon, but it’s very much in the spirit of this page.

2022-07-28

Two versions of the same multi-layered feedback patch.