“Clean” Sample Editing (Again)

I made a follow up/update to my video a couple years back about “clean” sample editing.

Taking the time to refine and polish the ingredients for our sampler instruments (or other sample-based synthesis) can lead to huge improvements in the final piece or project. I once again go through my framework for evaluating samples, and check out a bunch of examples and how they can be improved.

Commodore 64 Generative Sound Art

This program, by Noah Vawter, generates music by randomly writing values to the Commodore 64’s memory, specifically the parts dedicated for the C64’s SID (Sound Interface Device) chip. Keith Fullerton Whitman performed this piece on an emulator as a B-side on “hallicrafters, inc.” (2009).

My version seems to have a lot of clicks and pops, which I’m not sure is normal or not. My C64 is almost 40 years old after all.

Anyone try this with different results?

More on the program/piece

Sound Synthesis and MIDI Fundamentals Playlist

I’ve been adding a few videos to freshen up my synthesis and MIDI microlecture series, tuning it up for the coming academic year.

Check it out here for a complete(?) introduction to sound synthesis, from defining sound to modulation synthesis.

These lectures are an adaptation of lectures from a course I’ve been teaching for 13 years. I first taught it as a graduate student at the University of Oregon, then as faculty at the University of Montana, and I currently teach at the University of New Haven.

Of course these lectures have been continuously revised and refined over the years, but the fundamentals of synthesizing sound remain the same.

Asymmetrical Clipping in Pure Data

Asymmetrical clipping is clipping (truncation of a waveform), where the positive and negative amplitude peaks of a waveform are clipped to different values. This means we could clip the negative at -1, and the positive at -0.8 for example, and create some interesting harmonics.

This asymmetrical clipping is common in guitar effect pedals, since it’s relatively cheap to accomplish in electronics (with a few diodes). Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty easy to accomplish in Pd too, just using the [clip~] object. The fun part comes in deciding how we can use it musically.