[Jan 29] Exploring Algorithmic Sound Methods

Date: Saturday January 29, 2022

Time:  1 pm – 3 pm (on zoom)

Modular Synthesis Workshop with VCV Rack

with Travis Shetter

Interested in modular synthesis but unsure where to start? Want to go deeper with sound synthesis and sound design?  Looking for a new workflow beyond the DAW? This guided workshop will serve as an introduction to modular synthesis using the VCV Rack 2 software. This workshop will cover everything from the fundamentals of modular synthesis to more advanced techniques for creating generative and algorithmic pieces. No previous experience is necessary

VCV Rack is a free and open-source virtual modular synthesis platform with nearly limitless potential for creation. VCV Rack can either be used as standalone software or integrated into DAWs such as Ableton. The platform enables flexible and powerful sound synthesis, signal processing, and sample manipulation. The modules within VCV are mostly free and open-source ranging from software emulations of Eurorack hardware to experimental modules from independent makers. The goal of this workshop is to give the participants exposure to tools and techniques to jumpstart their journey into modular synthesis

Travis Shetter is a sound artist and mix engineer whose work focuses on the intersections of computer music and human-computer interaction with special interest in non-traditional musical interfaces. He is currently completing a masters in music technology at NYU Steinhardt and runs the record label Budget Cuts: Records & Tapes. He produces and performs music as A1C3. 

A1C3 Soundcloud

MIDI in Python: Demo / Tutorial

with Luke Taylor

Learn one approach to formulaic composition of music in python. Using the python library Mido, you can convert numerical lists into duration, velocity, and pitch attributes of midi messages (notes). This presentation will detail this process and explain my use of it in a program that generates piano music in a post-tonal style. The talk will also demonstrate how these tools can be manipulated to an extreme to generate midi music that approaches the boundary of human note/rhythm perception.

This talk will offer tools to output midi files from a melodic/harmonic or textural approach. Melodies can be shaped by constricting the range, the probability of repeated notes or jumps, or by defining a note set (or scale) for the pitches to follow. Harmonies can be filtered by their distance from the melody note, or by their interval, or by the chords that may be created. Perhaps most interesting, though, is the opportunities to use such conversions between number sets and midi notes to create sound textures. The velocity, duration, and pitch of midi events can be defined in bulk by functions instead of programmed individually in a DAW.

Luke Taylor is a senior at Bennington College, where he studies Composition and Music Technology. He plays bass, drums, guitar, and piano, and works as an audio tech for live performances and recordings for the music department at Bennington. In 2021 he released his fourth album of original music, entitled No Melody No Meaning No Mistakes – a freeform improvisational/experimental jazz fusion album with countless layers of guitars, vocals, synths, and percussion. His most recent release, RULE FOLLOWER (featuring Garrett Crusan and Blair Jasper), follows a similar framework of improvised music with additional layering overdubbed, but with greater emphasis on forming coherent, dynamic songs.


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