Subject: Re: Mixing it...
From: KEVIN AUSTIN (KAUSTIN@vax2.concordia.ca)
Date: Sun May 09 1999 - 07:06:18 EDT
>Robert Dow wrote (in short) :
>1) same technology to produce similar results (provided ;-)
>2) same technology to produce different results
>2b) similar (interactions with) technology to produce dissimilar results
>3) different technologies to produce similar results
>4) different technologies to produce different results (supposing ;-)
I can accapt this. Maybe Robert could quickly clarify the word "same"
>-- Well, actually, I find this too general a view, while I am not very
>content with >the "parametric limits" Kevin Austin mentions as to being
>set regarding both >_computer_ and _music_ (so the being computer stops
>becoming analogous (or vice >versa), and music ends with going soundscape
(Sorry, I'm not yet proposing just _what_ the parametric limits might be,
just that it is an approach.)
One of the aspects of this discussion which I have proposed to use, is to
determine the "sameness" of things, by the way in which the brain
processes the information. Its interpretation can be another level of
If an individual hears 'music' (I take that to imply the pitch / rhythm
matrix-lattice), and hears "other sounds", then there are most likely
'transitional zones'. The transitional zones may be rather sudden, or
very gradual. In terms of perception, for example, transitioinal zones
tend to be rather sudden.
For the ear, vibrations in a range of (say) some nine or ten octaves
(16kHz to 20 Hz), "suddenly" in the range of less than an octave, are
perceived in a fundamentaly different way. (See the Bregamn / Ahad CD
accompanying ASA for a range of example.)
Transitions between orchestral instruments are of a precipitous nature.
There is no (currently available) instrument that is halfway between a
flute and a trumpet. 'Musical ensembles' are usually made up of
non-continuous, (heterogeneous) sources. This is an option that is left
open in the field of ea/cm, where a flute attack can be modeled onto a
sustained trumpet tone.
Soundscaping would appear to have some elements of cross-over between
these two options (apart from fundamental conditions of form!).
A simple test to find out if and where musical genres differ ... is the
perception of equal divisions of time in the 10Hz to .25 Hz range, an
organizing factor? (Is 'beat' central to what goes on?)
Answers will likely range from 'yes', through 'maybe' / 'sometimes' /
'somewhat', to 'seldom' and 'no'. This is technology independent, while
being an aesthetic parameter.
Composers such as Ives and Varese, and to a lesser extent Webern and Berg
played both sides of this line. From my understanding before John Cage
gave up writing specific notes (Sonatas and Interludes, Constructions in
Metal etc) his works covered the spectrum from 'metric' to 'non-metric',
but in subsequent work, frequently passed this decision-making process
onto the individual performer, rather than pre-determining it (in many
The modeling of 'parametric values' is an outgrowth, in some ways, from
information theory, and other earlier 20th century theorie from science
and math. The concept (and use) of personality profiles, is the
evaluation of certain 'behavioral parameters' (Will that person stay up
all night drinking? Does the quarter note always get the beat?).
I just looked up Gould, the Beatles and disco in "Electric Sound"
(Prentice Hall), and could not find them in the index. The first two are
among the many who started to leave the 'live performance' area to take
advantage of the facilties that were available only in non-realtime creation.
Many of these 'transitional' composers/performers, in effect challenged
the technology to catch up. Automated mixing now makes it possible to
perform such pieces as "Bicycle Race" by Queen, since the effects and
spatial placement can now be done in real time, something that required
studio work before.
Yo sumer arriveth.
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