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Saturday, 8 December 2012

Granular Performance Thingee

I've been working on a thing where I draw shapes and they turn into granular synthesis clouds. I have some ideas for what I want it to do, but one thing I'd really like to do is be able to record video of me playing it, via recording my desktop - with audio. Indeed, I need to sort this out very shortly, as I'd like to submit a proposal for the SuperCollider Symposium. (If anybody has advice on how to record this on Ubuntu, please do leave a comment.)

As it was, all I've got is a screen shot of post-drawing and an audio file of what it sounded like whilst playing.

Although this has quite a few bugs, some people have expressed some interest the system, so I'm making source code available. It's written in SuperCollider. This is nowhere near a release version and the code is ugly, so be forewarned. but it mostly works. It relies on the Conductor quark by Ron Kuivila. There are two files. Put Cloud.sc in your Extensions folder. The open up test.scd in the lovely new SC 3.6 IDE. Or it will probably work in earlier versions. Select the whole file and evaluate it.

One of the windows that opens is a controller with a play and stop button. One is a large black window. And one is a bunch of blank buttons. I have no idea what they don't have labels. Draw in the black window using click and drag (or a stylus if you're lucky). Press play in the controller window. When the cursor gets to the cloud, you can hopefully hear it playing. There are some sliders in that window to change the speed of the cursor. You can do this while it is playing. You can also draw new shapes while it playing. The blank buttons have sound parameters attached to them. So if you press one, the next cloud you draw will have that button's parameters. (The buttons are supposed to say things like 'Short Sine Grains' or 'Long Saw Grains'.) If you want to modify a cloud, you can right click on it to get a popup window that changes some of the sound settings.

You can't save your work, but the server window has a record button on it. If you press that and then play your drawing and then hit the 'stop recording' button in the server window, you'll be able to record the audio in real time..

I had the idea that I could draw on this with my stylus while on stage in real time, but when I plugged my computer into the projector, it changed my screen parameters and my stylus calibration failed. I'm sure there is a work around, which, ideally, I'd like to find by next week.

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