Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Here are some example sounds/patches that I made for Wave Replacement Synthesis.  For more details view descriptions on Youtube and be sure to subscribe to my channel.  thanks and enjoy!




Wednesday, May 6, 2020

NEW TRAVELOGUE ALBUM

My new album, 'Death of Conversation', is complete and in the manufacturing stages now!!!  The record plant that I am using for this is fairly backed up though and I won't see vinyl copies until sometime in August.  Will there be a digital release as well?  You bet!  But I probably won't release any format of this album until I receive the copies of the record.  Here is a teaser image for the label that will be on the A-side of the record.
    

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Sensel Morph, Seaboard Rise, Linnstruments, and Continuum are still in the Dark Ages

I purchased my iPad2  with an Alesis iDoc in 2013.  Because I am very cautious about updating and not wanting to render any app or program useless, I tend to buy all software that I possibly intend to use, then freeze updating unless I am certain that the update will still work with my OS.

This all being said to point out that I am not updated any iPad programs since about 2015. Even with this accounted for, I am still blown away with how amazing the Bit Shape TC-11 is.  Bit Shape takes the concept of an XY multitouch system to whole new levels where anything is possible. I am amazed that other control devices – especially ones that support MPE- have not implemented any of these concepts into their device.  XYZ controllers such as Roli Seaboard, Sensel Morph, Linnstruments, Hakken Continuum, etc seem like they are in the dark ages when you compare how the TC-11 implements XY control in comparison.    Don't get me wrong.  These devices are great and I own a couple of them.  What I am saying is that these companies think that they are innovative because they have an XYZ controller but all they allow is control over X, Y, and Z - which is not innovative considering inventions like the Theremin (yes, I know this is not the same type of controller - but bear with my argument) have been around for nearly 100 years now.  What IS new and innovative is multi-touch surfaces and they are not being exploited to the level that they could be.

If these companies want to really be forward thinking (which they think they are, but clearly can still learn a lot from Bit Shape) then they need to implement some of these concepts into the XYZ control surface market. 

In other words, it is not enough to just simply have X, Y and pressure (or surface area in some cases) control.  With multitouch controls, you could just as easily add angle or distance between 2 points, average/centroid position of multitouch, distance from center, distance from edge, etc.   All you need is to compute simple formulas using things like Pythagorean Theorem, etc., and then take the result and assign it to modify a parameter.  One could divide an area into multitouch zones or the differnt points could register and track in order of contact.  Another example could be the area of a triangle made by three contact points. The TC-11 also tracks things like velocity and movement from point A to point B.

My suggestion is simple:  in your configuration interfaces, add functionality to allow the user to input formulas based on XY and Z(or pressure), and make them assignable to any MIDI CC of choice.  This way, the configuration can be loaded into the device (like the Sensel Morph) and used with any MIDI application. 

Without doing this type of implementation, these companies are really limiting the possibilities of what their controllers can do. 

Unless Bit Shape has a patent on using distance, velocity, area, or angle in a controller setting, which I doubt they do, then implement these things already!!  what are you waiting for!!!

Even in a non-MPE environment, in multi-touch situations (example playing a chord), having a parameter that would change based on the interval would be useful and open up new worlds of possibilities.  You could have, for instance, a filter that opens up (brighter sound) when you play a major chord (based on root position and perfect 3rd in lowest 2 notes) and a duller sound when diminished or minor chords are played in root position.

Monday, March 9, 2020

FINALLY finished my Binaural Microphone!!!

No this is not a promotion for Jonathan Bree.  So I cast my ears in resin over 8 years ago, wanting to make a binaural microphone.  If you are not familiar with binaural recording techniques, look up definitions and recording examples.  Many records were recorded with binaural sets of microphones - some more convincing than others. I also bought a mannequin head to attach them to.  The only thing that I didn't have were decent microphones that I could slip into the artificial ear canal.  I finally found a good pair to use - I ended up getting a pair of Audio Technica microphones that were small (used for choir or lapel microphones).  I then made my own phantom power to electret microphone circuit and experimented with various capacitors and shielding until I was able to achieve a very low noise, wide frequency response.  This really sounds fantastic and I can't wait to use this on my next record.






The fake shoulders are primarily made of PVC tubing and angle joints from Home Depot.  The torso was part of the mannequin head.  I have been collecting speakers to start mixing in various directions and tones around this dummy head mic for more depth to my mixes.  This won't be appearing on "Death of Conversation" though it will be widely used on my next album (title TBD).



Clothing and hats/hair have a lot to do with the way sound absorbs around our head and the way we perceive direction.  The better you can mimic the body and pieces around the head space, the better you can mimic depth and directional perception in the recording field. 




One final thing that I would like to mention is the idea of movement.  When we hear a sound, we tend to move our heads toward the sound.  Or we slightly move our heads to get a better perception of where the sound is coming from.  With a mannequin head microphone, this usually does not happen.  One of my plans for this microphone is to run my mixes into a group of positioned speakers surrounding this mic, then slightly move the mic around for some additional movement and added directional perception.  I could even move the head slightly for the verse and chorus.  Because of this, I have 2 different stands that I have built for this microphone.  One has some rotary bearings for a smooth rotational movement.  The other is an adapter to a movie camera tripod, which has a very smooth and quiet movement to any possible position.

 for some reason my reply to the comment below is not getting published so I will write it here:

Ear shape does have an affect.  Mic manufacturers have tried to optimize a generic ear shape so that everyone hears the spacial effect.  I wanted to be as realistic as possible, so I just cast my own ears.  I had several listeners sit in my studio with headphones and tell me that it was very convincing so I am not worried about the effect only being able to be heard by myself.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

New Video Posted - my 8 discrete voice polyphonic synthesizer


Here is the short video that I made where I use 8 discrete mono synths together to make an 8 voice polyphonic synth  - Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tCa1d-RLXg


Monday, January 6, 2020

The Darwin Grosse interview

Darwin Grosse's interview with me is now live on his podcast.  You can find the interview here:

http://artmusictech.libsyn.com/podcast-308-jon-sonnenberg

Thanks for reading this and thanks for listening!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

music is like cooking

I equate recording and producing songs to a good recipe.  Not everyone is going to love the flavors, but some things are basics - rhythm, chord, melodies: these ideas are the basic elements.   Ingredients and spices make up the details in the formula - like types of instruments used, how they are recorded, cut/edited or looped or taken as organic, etc, etc...

Sounds and music are not necessarily songs.  I hear a lot of released music that is really captivating and interesting, but I would not really call the piece a "song"

I still stand by the definition that a song is something that can be covered on a different instrument than was written for and still be recognized as the same piece of music. 

Something that is also kind of a nice thought:  just like part of the flavor is the way you smell the food before it hits your mouth - the scents are tied into taste;  I believe that the sense of touch and feel are also tied into sound.  Your ears hear and translate the vibrations, but there are many times when your body feels certain frequencies - especially in loud concerts.  I heard about deaf people hearing music through balloons once.  In fact, the thought inspired me to think of all the exhibits that I would show if I were to create a concert for the deaf or an art gallery for the blind.