The Probability Switch (live improvisation along with self generating synthesizer patch)

Composing Uncommon Practice Music often involves making “patches” of sorts. I consider this a rather beautiful way of working. Much of my music explores structures, and I can connect musical structures directly to patch structures … which can relate easily to real World structures around me, or to accompanying visuals. This is very useful for improvisation, building installations and composing sound tracks.

There are actually two patches involved in this music: a probability algorithm, patched in my MAX Software, creates MIDI … which gets changed into control voltages and triggers … which I route into a patch on my synthesizer to create the “bass” and the “melody” lines and the very low wind effect in the background. Once set up, this can run forever, leaving me free to improvise along with it on my drum pad controller with some of the samples I collected in Cork City.

Recorded live on 11 tracks: 3 x Modular Synthesizer, 4 x my Cork City Gamelan Percussion samples (bins, gates and doors), and 4 x warped drones, which I derived from my percussion samples by stretching them extremely … and all of that mixed down to stereo.

The MAX Software can serve many purposes right across almost all the performing and many of the “fine” arts. I use it to control hardware and other software via my own custom MIDI code.  It looks like I won’t ever need (expensive!) step sequencers for my Modular Synthesizer development.

MAX patches are visual representations of actual programming code. This patch explores ways of weighting and shifting probabilities.

I posted the music to Soundcloud:

Oh, and before I forget: this is an excerpt. The original improvisation was over 20 minutes long.

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