New Gadget Madly In Hope
A blog about my iPhone dev efforts
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10 June 2022
Well, I'm trying to be happy with my first AU offering, Line Hum. It's mostly ready, it's kind of silly, the UI is kind of ugly, but It mostly needs screenshots. LineHum makes the sound of an ungrounded cable with various harmonics, jitter, and ring modulation thrown in. While it's happy to run at 60 (or 50) Hz, it actually can run at any frequency, because it's an AU, you can run them in parallel or serial, to make phasing and ring modulated effects in a kinf of messy way.
I'm also experimenting with au's possibility of multiple output busses, so .. I'm working on one called Furrau (like furrow, but an AU, get it?) The idea is to take an original sound source, analyze it, and use the analysis to split it up among 16 busses. Each of those busses can then have their way with it with other effects, recording, whatever.
On trick I have working is to detect silences in the stream and when it's no longer silent, swap over (fade, really) to the next bus . There will be lots of kinds analytical breakups, spectral ones, bandpass filters, transit detection, that kind of stuff. It could do spectral transfer the way I'd like it. Some effects might not use the full 16 output busses.
This AU research will help me to make the "replacement for Droneo" that I keep talking about, which will be a generative timbre system, and the thing that will be like Schwa that will in fact have analysis section so schwa-like effects can be made out of other sources. It'll be a cross between schwa and good old Sound Bite.
17 March 2021
I'm starting to do a few experiments with Apple's haptic support. Yeah, I know, software when I really want everything to not need batteries. But what I'm thinking of is right up Haptician's alley. I'm going to make an Audio Unit that can interpret audio and MIDI into signals onthe haptic motor (only possible in certain iPhone models).
- Signals will be turned into events. signals are MIDI messages, band passed filtered audio envelope followers, pitch trackers, gat detectors, noise detectors: a number of raw sources that become event messages
- A Mapper maps events into synthesizer commands The events are mapped, using state machines, into synthesizer commands. In this case, the synth is the tactic motor (although also possibly audio as well). The synth commands aget put in the synth's scheduling queue.
- Synthesis The synth operates onthe commands that are scheduled in the queue.
This is more or less how AUMI Sings works.
What will develop on the synth side is a number of tactile patterns that act like notes. There's a small amount of polyphony: a continuo "drone" that can be modulated a little, with one or two "solos" on top. Because it's an AU, it can be integrated into the iOS Music ecosystem of MID and audio effects, preset saving and sharing, and dynamic parameter changing.
28 March 2014
PolyHarp is coming
PolyHarp is an extended chorded zither-like instrument that runs on the iPad.
It's related to LYR which I wrote for the Amiga before you were born.
PolyHarp's new idea is that the chords create the strings, so you can have a chord set based in any key, and have any intervals in any chord based off any interval.
These base frequencies are specified as standard note names like C#4 or as Hertz. All the intervals follow Droneo's interval specification format, so you can say 4/3, 762 (cents), 5:19 (5th degree of 19-TET) and 7:11@3/2 (7th degree of 11 equal divisions of a 3/2). I also added presets for standard intervals like II, VIIb IV# ,Ib, so you can build some standard chord sets. In fact, you build chord bars using that syntax or using a tone spire like Droneo's
PolyHarp can be subtractive (damping) or additive (undamping) . Damping means pushing a chord bar button damps the strings that aren't in the chord. Pushing two bars results in fewer "live" strings. Additive (undamping) system works the other way, the strings are normally all dumped and more are activated by pushing the bars. That way, you build up chords with multiple chords bars. There are also lock bars , which lock themselves as if pressed, and there are hammers which play all the strings when you press it. The felts, by the way, are just manipulating the 'damping" of the string, and so you can have "bad" felts that damp more slowly than "good" felts. You can also have the option of being able to excite damped strings on a strum, so it has that classic 'washboard-y' sound.
PolyHarp has an extremely simple oscillator structure so that it can be polyphonic (about 50 voices at 44.1KHz) It's a sine that get's clipped a little, with an envelope of paired decays. Very simple. There will be some kind of MIDI support - although I'm not sure the microtonal pitches will be supported.
PoyHarp will also have LYR's "strum Sequencer" which lets you build a strumming pattern independent of a chord pattern. PolyHarp attaches to AudioBus.
The layout of buttons and strings is pretty flexible: you can specify the location of the buttons and the size of the string area and they can be moved so they fit your hand better. I hope to get it out in a few weeks - it's already pretty exciting!