8 variations of Tanglefoot Approach
Robin Whittle firstname.lastname@example.org 17 September 2018 ©
Link to the Astral Truth Window main page.
Link to the Tanglefoot Approach page at SoundCloud.
These are 256kbps MP3 files, and so may sound marginally better than
SoundCloud playback, which I understand is 128kbps MP3. Each file
is about 16MB
and most browsers will play them directly if you click
their links below.
These renderings differ
in how the sound sources move through the simulated space.
First, the original version, then the 8 variations.
These files are for personal use, radio play, podcasts, DJs and streaming on "Internet radio" stations such as Drone Zone
. For any commercial
use, including YouTube videos and the like, please request permission
Technical details of how these renderings differ
Tanglefoot Approach (1996) is the
product of Csound running according to the instrument programs in an
orchestra file and the note events for these instruments specified in a
score file. These are plain text files written by hand.
In 1998 I modified the .orc file so that some elements of the piece are
affected by the output of a Pseudo-Random Number Generator: the
starting location and the speed of rotation of the groups of sound
sources in their circular orbits. The sounds themselves are unaltered,
except that the PRNG noise signals for pitch and amplitude modulation
of the sounds' 8 harmonics, are, in fine detail, actually different.
The speed changes are modest: +/- 30%. So these renderings are audibly
different only in the locations of the sound sources in the imaginary
3D space which the imaginary head slowly moves through.
software generates a stream of random-appearing set of integers (though
the sequence might repeat after 4 billion numbers have been produced),
with the sole input argument being an integer, the starting seed.
For each different value of starting seed the PRNG produces a different
sequence of numbers, with no obvious relationship between any
of these numbers and the seed. 1, 2 and 4885923876 are all
perfectly good seeds, and each results in a unique set of numbers.
I chose some seeds manually and others by rolling dice.
Csound . . . and Cabbage
Csound is a programming language for creating sound and potentially
entire musical compositions either in real-time, or as a batch-process
by which the program renders the piece to a sound file, which may take
much longer than the audio length of the sound file itself. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Csound
Csound has been improved in many ways since 1996. The Csound
language is still quite limited compared to C or C++, but it has unique
abilities regarding sound, and a huge range of inbuilt "unit
generators" (AKA "ugens") which can be called from within the orchestra
programs. The ugens and the whole of Csound is written in C, so
if you are handy with C, you can add your own ugens, and so extend the
Csound orchestra language as you please.
In 2018 Csound has some binaural placement ugens, but I haven't tried them. The sound placement you hear in Spare Luxury
and Tanglefoot Approach
is done with my own set of binaural synthesis ugens, which do not use HRTFs, and which I am keeping to myself.
I hadn't used Csound for many years, but in March 2018 I discovered
that it could be used for real-time sound processing and generation
with excellent real-time GUI control, with on-screen sliders, knobs
etc. of variables inside the instruments, each running a Csound program
the orchestra section of a CSD file. This is with Cabbage http://cabbageaudio.com
Even if you have no experience in programming, if you have a Linux or
OS-X (Macintosh) computer, or can run a Linux virtual machine within
your Windows or Mac box using VirtualBox
- you might find the Cabbage-Csound combination fascinating and fruitful.