"Inside the Grid on Altair IV" – A One-Note One-Patch Soundscape in Absynth 5

"Inside the Grid on Altair IV" by Mark Mosher. A One-Note One-Patch Soundscape in Absynth 5 from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

Update: I’ve also made this available as an MP3-320 audio download on soundcloud.

"Inside the Grid on Altair IV" is a soundscape created with one patch from scratch using the Absynth 5. It is performed be pressing and holding a single note for the entirety of the song. While I have used Absynth as the sole instrument for songs in the past (Tracks 3 & 4 on my last album markmosher.bandcamp.com/album/no-ghosts-just-fear), I've never created a patch where one held note triggers the entire composition. Recent works by Absynth creator Brian Clevinger and artist Anthony Distefano have inspired me to do start working on some pieces of this nature and this is my first of many to come.

The audio is CD quality, and the video shows a behind-the-scenes look at Absynth's wonderful 68-stage modulatable envelopes in action. So all the movement and changes in dynamics, pitch, timber are meticulously drawn and programmed as part of the patch. The envelopes also support LFOs on segments. The envelopes can be extremely long and also loop independently which making Absynth fantastic for evolving soundscapes.

Note, I am also using an envelope to change the “effect time” of the Pipe Effect which is a unique audio effect within Absynth. P. 88 of the manual describes it best “Let’s take the image of a string. A loudspeaker (a contact loudspeaker) is connected to a string, which begins to vibrate as a result. You can determine the position of this virtual loudspeaker on the string via the parameter Input Position. Above the string are two pickups, similar to an E-Guitar. The pickups’ positions can be determined through the parameter Output Positions. Changing those two parameters can be compared with changing two microphones. You can modulate the string’s length and the pickups’ position through the LFOs or a MIDI Controller. This way, various flanging, pitch-shifting and rotary speaker effects can be achieved. These effects are particularly apparent when the modulation of the pickups are modulated in op¬posite directions.”

 

 

Enjoy,

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Composer, Performer | Boulder, CO
MarkMosherMusic.com

Synth: Absynth

Mark Mosher: Media Arts Technologist | Sound & Video Artist | Composer & Improviser View All →

Artist site: http://www.markmoshermusic.com
Host of Sonic Encounters Podcast: http://markmoshermusic.com/podcast/
Boulder Synthesizer Meetup founder and host: http://www.bouldersynth.com

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Very creative and interesting approach to composition, Mark. After how would you notate such complex envelope changes other than using the …envelopes as the notation as well as the instrument? Sort of self-documenting. It really hilights the notion of how insufficient standard notation is for modern sounds. But then again, Stockhausen already knew that a long time ago and had some ways of his own. This inspires me to explore this method on my own, as I own Alchemy. Thanks!

    Like

  2. HI Avi,
    Yes, self-documenting – once you know Absynth ;^). I gave up on notation for my music a long time ago and instead store within my host or instrument
    I own Alchemy as well and you can certainly do this sort of a composition as it too has complex MSEGs. Absynth has the advantage that you can manually enter numeric values for note segments time and amp. For example, so you can be precise enter 122 seconds for a segment time rather than drag the segment. You can also modulate segments with MIDI ccs and add individual LFOs to each segment.
    Here are a few vids I did with Alchemy


    And


    Mark

    Like

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