Architecture of Sound

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Jul 242017
 

RIETVELD PAVILION — Roland Emile Kuit’s new album published by Donemus — is now available on iTunes. The album was released in conjunction with the 9 July 2017 World Premiere at the sculpture park of the Kröller-Möller Museum in Otterlo in The Netherlands. With this work, Kuit makes a connection between sound and De STIJL’s ideas and architecture, using pure tones as spectral building blocks, stacking energies to build harmonic sound planes and placing them in space by dividing the spectrum and displaying it on a maze of speakers.

Photography: Henk Porck

Sonologist-composer Roland Emile Kuit balances on the interface between research, music and sound art, at a point he called “the new listening”. Using Kyma, Kuit warps time — influencing the present with events that will happen in the future and vice versa. He uses real-time analysis of the sound of acoustical instruments to create spectral compositions.

Anna Martinova releases Dusha II

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Feb 132017
 

Anna Martinova
DJ, producer, and graphic designer, Anna Martinova, has just signed with a new publisher who will be releasing her new album Dusha II in April 2017 and following up with videos and other artist collaborations. Watch Anna’s new web site for details on upcoming releases and live shows. Here’s a teaser for Dusha II drenched with mesmerizing and mysterious Kyma sounds:

Martinova works by generating WAV files in Kyma, arranging them in Logic, adding melodic lines created with Alchemy, and layering in recorded vocals using Logic and has linked her DAW with RolandCloud.

…Kyma (Pacarana) is very special tool, i am happy to be introduced to this system. It boosts up my creativity, inspiring me in every sound atom i generate with it, and the machine is limitless. The quality i have on the output is so powerful, clean and unique. I grow with it.

Known as Tulpa for her dark progressive DJ sets and Dusha for her chill out / ambient music, Anna got her start at age 17 as a vocalist in a rock band. After shifting to the psy-trance scene, she now lives in Amsterdam where she continues live DJing and producing.

Here’s a taste of her alter-ego, Tulpa:

The rocket scientist of human hearing

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Dec 292016
 

In 1999, astrophysicist/musician David McClain spent an intense three-month period working on The Northern Sky Survey, mapping the sky in the near infrared while getting by on an hour of sleep per night. When he finished the survey, he was suddenly struck by a viral infection that nearly killed him; his doctors were never able to determine the cause and, after three months, the infection dissipated almost as quickly as it had appeared. But afterward David noticed that he could no longer understand his wife when she was speaking to him. He went to an audiologist and discovered he had a sensorineural hearing loss of 60-70 dB in the high frequency range. Hearing aids helped him understand speech, but he was devastated to discover that music never sounded right through the hearing aids. But as a physicist, he was determined to solve the problem.

Motivated by his love of music and informed by his scientific training, McClain has spent the last 16 years developing equations to describe the entire hearing experience – from the cochlea, to the afferent 8th nerve, to processing in the central nervous system, efferent 8th nerve interactions — and developing signal processing algorithms to adapt to and compensate for his hearing loss in a way that preserves the audio experience of music. The result is a collection of signal processing algorithms he calls Crescendo. Kyma is one of the tools David uses for testing out new ideas and prototyping them for Crescendo.

Now he’s blogging about his findings on his web site http://refined-audiometrics.com. In keeping with his motto “Keeping music enjoyable for all!” David hopes that his experiences, research findings, and extensive set of algorithms can benefit others.

 

Kyma 7.1 Sound Design Software — more inspiration, more live interaction, more sounds

 Release, Software, Sound Design, Sound for picture  Comments Off on Kyma 7.1 Sound Design Software — more inspiration, more live interaction, more sounds
Nov 162016
 

Kyma 7.1 is now available as a free update for sound designers, musicians, and researchers currently using Kyma 7. New features in the Kyma 7.1 sound design environment help you stay in the creative flow by extending automatic Gallery generation to analysis files and Sounds, keeping your sound interactions lively and dynamic with support for additional multidimensional physical controllers, while expanding your sonic universe to include newly developed synthesis and control algorithms that can be combined with the extensive library of algorithms already in Kyma.

Kyma 7.1 — Sound Design Inspiration

Sonic AI (Artistic Inspiration) — Need to get started quickly? Kyma 7.1 provides Galleries everywhere! Select any Sound (signal-flow patch); click Gallery to automatically generate an extensive library of examples, all based on your initial idea. Or start with a sample file, spectral analysis, PSI analysis or Sound in your library, and click the Grid button to create a live matrix of sound sources and processing that you can rapidly explore and tweak to zero-in on exactly the sound you need. Hear something you like? A single click opens a signal flow editor on the current path through the Grid so you can start tweaking and expanding on your initial design.

Responsive Control — Last year, Symbolic Sound introduced support for Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression (MPE) MIDI, which they demonstrated with Roger Linn Designs’ LinnStrument. Now, Kyma 7.1 extends that support to the ROLI Seaboard RISE; just plug the RISE into the USB port on the back of the Paca(rana) and play. Kyma 7.1 also maintains Kyma’s longstanding support for the original multidimensional polyphonic controller: the Haken Audio Continuum fingerboard. Also new with Kyma 7.1 is plug-and-play support for the Wacom Intuos Pro tablet, combining a three dimensional multitouch surface with the precision and refined motor-control afforded by the Wacom pen.

Recombinant Sound — Now you can gain entrée into the world of nonlinear acoustics, biological oscillators, chaos and more with the new, audio-rate Dynamical Systems modules introduced in Kyma 7.1. New modules include a van der Pol oscillator, Lorenz system, and Double-well potential, each of which can generate audio signals or control signals as well as being driven by other audio inputs to create delightfully unpredictable chaotic behavior.

Other new features in Kyma 7.1 include:

▪ The new Spherical Panner uses perceptual cues to give you 3d positioning and panning (elevation and azimuth) for motion-tracking VR or mixed reality applications and enhanced binaural mixes.

▪ A new 3d controller in the Virtual Control Surface provides three dimensions of mappable controls in a single aggregate fader. Also new in Kyma 7.1: three-dimensional and 2-dimensional faders can optionally leave a trace or a history so you can visualize the trajectory of algorithmically generated controls.

▪ Enhanced spectral analysis tools in Kyma 7.1 provide narrower analysis bands, additional resynthesis partials, and more accurate time-stretching.

▪ The new, batch spectral analysis tool for non-harmonic source material is perfect for creating vast quantities of audio assets from non-harmonic samples like textures, backgrounds, and ambiences. Once you have those analysis files, you can instantly generate a library of highly malleable additive and aggregate resynthesis examples by simply clicking the Gallery button.

▪ Nudging the dice — Once you have an interesting preset, nudging the dice can be a highly effective way to discover previously unimagined sounds by taking a random walk in the general vicinity of the parameter space. Shift-click on the dice icon or Shift+R to nudge the controller values by randomly generating values within 10% of the current settings.

▪ Generate dynamic, evolving timbres by smoothly morphing from one waveshape to another in oscillators, wave shapers, and grain clouds using new sound synthesis and processing modules: MultiOscillator, Morph3dOscillator, Interpolate3D, MultiGrainCloud, Morph3dGrainCloud, MultiWaveshaper, Morph3dWaveshaper and others.

▪ An optional second Virtual Control Surface (VCS) can display one set of images and controls for the audience or performers while you control another set of sound parameters using the primary Virtual Control Surface on your laptop or iPad.

▪ A new version of Symbolic Sound’s Kyma Control app for the Apple iPad includes a tab for activating Sounds in the Multigrid using multi-touch plus support for 128-bit IPv6 addressing (giving you approximately as many IP addresses as there are atoms in the Earth).

▪ Kyma 7.1 provides enhanced support for physical and external software control sources in the form of incoming message logs for MIDI and OSC as well as an OSC Tool for communicating with devices that have not yet implemented Kyma’s open protocol for bi-directional OSC communication.

▪ New functionality in Kyma’s real-time parameter control language, Capytalk, includes messages for auto-tuned voicing and harmonizing within live-selectable musical scales along with numerous other new messages. (For full details open the Capytalk Reference from the Kyma Help menu).

Today, Kyma continues to set new standards for sound quality, innovative synthesis and processing algorithms, rock-solid live performance hardware, and a supportive, professional Kyma community both online and through the annual Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS).

For more information:

“What’s new in Kyma 7.1” presentation at KISS2016
Website
Email
@SymbolicSound
Facebook

Oct 232016
 

You won’t hear a single starting pistol or popped balloon in Matteo Milani’s Imagined Spaces impulse response library. Instead, the film sound designer imagined and synthesized the impulse responses of imaginary spaces using Kyma 7.

As a result, Imagined Spaces can do more than imbue your tracks with air, depth, and new perspective; it also expands and transforms the original material into something entirely new, something that’s never been heard before — like listening to your tracks in venues that exist only in the mind of the sound designer.

Time is but the stream

 Release, Sound Recording  Comments Off on Time is but the stream
Oct 182016
 

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.

— Henry David Thoreau

Priscilla McLean’s Songs of Radiance triptych seems to draw inspiration both from the words of Henry David Thoreau and from the wild northern landscapes she calls home. Each song is a meditation on a Thoreau text, giving a glimpse inside McLean’s stream of consciousness, quiet at first, but then as new layers are deposited, one-by-one, the music eventually and inevitably seems to triumph and overtake all.

Songs of Radiance 3 (Time is but the stream) begins delicately, with hybrid flute-birds, Pierrot Lunaire-like Sprechtstimme, and a scurrying of instrumental samples evoking small mammals. Spoken text, pointillistic vocal effects, laughter, careening vocal glissandi and other vocalizations merge, blend, and morph into instrumental and electronic sounds. Here the voice is employed as an orchestra — its full range from speech, to bel canto, to isolated sibilants, to staccato laughter, to vocoder-like multitrack harmonies, coalescing into fresh and unexpected ensembles.

After hearing what Priscilla does with Kyma 7 and her voice, one can only hope that she has plans for live performance versions of these songs!

For more by Priscilla McLean (including the full Songs of Radiance cycle), visit her playlist.

Strange loops

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Sep 282016
 

In Steven Johnson‘s upcoming book, Wonderland: How play made the modern world, he includes a chapter on the connection between musical instrument design and technological innovation. In this episode of his Wonderland podcast, he asks how and why it is that some experimental sounds find their way into the musical mainstream. With special guests Brian Eno, Alex Ross, Caroline Shaw, Carla Scaletti, and Antenes.

Conjuring with Kyma

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Aug 202016
 

Take a nighttime walk through the densely forested uncanny valley of Barton McLean’s imagination, where sounds become amplifiers of horror or wonder, and symphonic landscapes insinuate animal cries and wilderness. Barton McLean’s Night Conjuror is the latest in his series of evocative scores with suggestive accompanying visuals (as McLean reminds us, the visuals are there to set a mood only — the sound is the primary focus).

My goal is to always let the electronic sounds mimic the real world, and the real world sounds mimic the electronic. It is only since I have been working with Kyma 7 that this goal has been realized to the extent I hoped someday it would.

—Barton McLean          

Live from the subconscious of Barton McLean

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Jul 302016
 

Dreamscapes, Barton McLean‘s ambitious new suite of five pieces with video accompaniment, explores the uncanny parallels between music and dream logic.

Symphonic in texture, complexity, and visceral impact, with an impressively broad sonic palette, ranging from quasi-acoustic, to raw electronic, to sounds that are indescribably ambiguous and fresh — electronic yet entirely physically plausible, this all-Kyma soundtrack is electronics with the subtlety and dynamics of acoustic instruments. It’s like listening in on the soundtrack of the universal unconscious.

Chad Mossholder’s Doom

 Game, Release, Sound Design  Comments Off on Chad Mossholder’s Doom
Jun 272016
 


The latest incarnation of Doom features “badass demons, big effing guns, and moving really fast” and thanks to sound designer/composer/writer Chad Mossholder, Kyma-enhanced sound design!

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