This will be more a lecture topics class than a seminar. The overall plan is to present approaches to audio synthesis and processing that are sufficiently outside the mainstream that they are hard to find information about. In a few cases I'll be able to point to written literature but much of the material is only available as folk knowledge.
The course should be comprehensible to anyone familiar with audio synthesis in any of the audio programming environments such as Csound, Max/MSP, Pd, or SuperCollider. The examples shown in class will be in Pd; if you're new to Pd you can look through the examples in http://msp.ucsd.edu/techniques.htm to get an overview.
The assignments for the course will be three sonic challenges (thanks to alumna Momilani Ramstrum for first suggesting this modality to me). It won't matter how well or badly you pull them off as long as you can learn something from them. The first sonic challenge is to imitate the repeating synth ostinato in On the Run from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon - I've extracted some of it here. Here's my attempt.
Second sonic challenge: Imitate the opening bell sound from Michael Jackson, Beat It. Here's my attempt.
Alternative second sonic challenge: maybe this is a bit easier: try to imitate this bell (the Pd help file bell, lifted from Jonathan Harvey's piece Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco). Here's my attempt.
Third sonic challenge: The wonderful cheap synth sound in Kradtwerk, Pocket Calculator. This phrase from the original ends in 3 synthetic beeping sounds. I was able to partly extract them. Here's my imitation.
Here are the patches and videos from class.
Outline (reorganized Oct 13):
------- PART 1 - feedback as audio source ----------- oscillators as dynamic systems. The state space. Periodic and chaotic behaviors. examples: coupled oscillator pairs; quaternion flows; paths on pool tables feedback control structures: z12; sample and hold in feedback systems zero-delay feedback. The Moog ladder filter; PAF and FM from zero-delay feedback historical examples: Henri Pousseur; Salvator Martirano; Gordon Mumma ------- PART 2 - modulation ------------ phase quadrature, single-sideband modulation, and waveform grafting audio-rate filter modulation manipulating FM and AM sidebands rampdown and punch-in nonlinear one-pole filter and dynamics processing VCAs, vactrols, and Buchla's gate module ------- PART 3 - phase ------------------- classic phaser effect single-sideband modulation using Hilbert transform. Combination with pitch shifting. linear and nonlinear feedback delay networks (FDNs), and other, non-FDN reverberators time-varying delay effects ------- PART 4 - additive synthesis and linear resonance models --------- control strategies for sinusoidal oscillator banks resonant filterbanks as generator and processor. Couplings between resonances. generating frequency sets: analysis/synthesis; 3F technique Altering spectra to elide sour intervals in tempered musical scales Examples: Steiger; Boulez ------- PART 5 - frequency domain techniques ------------ vocoders and phase vocoders phase bashing impulse response estimation: swept sinusoids, maximum-length sequences; complementary sequences ------- PART 6 - audio analysis and resynthesis ------------ linear prediction and nonlinear lattice filters voice- (and other audio-) driven electronic instruments database search by audio characteristics