Designing Sound: Science-Fiction – Max Patches

This is the seventh and last set of example Pd patches ported to Max from Andy Farnell’s Designing Sound book. It includes robot sounds, a transporter sound and an alert.

Download Sound Design Practical Series – Science-Fiction

If you haven’t already, be sure to download the Sound Design Practical Series helper files

Designing Sound: Mayhem – Max Patches

This is the sixth set of example Pd patches ported to Max from Andy Farnell’s Designing Sound book. It includes guns, explosions and a rocket launcher simulation.

Download Sound Design Practical Series – Mayhem

If you haven’t already, be sure to download the Sound Design Practical Series helper files

Designing Sound: Lifeforms – Max Patches

This is the fifth set of example Pd patches ported to Max from Andy Farnell’s Designing Sound book. It includes some wonderful insect sounds along with sophisticated footsteps, bird and mammal calls.

Download Sound Design Practical Series – Lifeforms

If you haven’t already, be sure to download the Sound Design Practical Series helper files

Designing Sound: Machines – Max Patches

This is the fourth set of example Pd patches ported to Max from Andy Farnell’s Designing Sound book. It includes some of my favorite patches for creating clicks, electric fan and engine sounds.

Download Sound Design Practical Series – Machines

If you haven’t already, be sure to download the Sound Design Practical Series helper files

Designing Sound: Nature – Max Patches

This is the third set of example Pd patches ported to Max from Andy Farnell’s Designing Sound book. It includes some excellent fire, water and electricity sounds, among others.

Download Sound Design Practical Series – Nature

If you haven’t already, be sure to download the Sound Design Practical Series helper files

Designing Sound: Idiophonics – Max Patches

This is the second set of example Pd patches ported to Max from Andy Farnell’s Designing Sound book. It includes a nice bouncing sound algorithm and some good bell tones.

Download Sound Design Practical Series – Idiophonics

If you haven’t already, be sure to download the Sound Design Practical Series helper files

Designing Sound: Artificial Sounds – Max patches

I enjoyed reading Andy Farnell’s excellent Designing Sound book a few years ago. While working through the Practical Series examples he provides, I decided they would be more useful for me as Max patches. When it comes to coding and algorithms, I also know that I learn better by going slowly and working step-by-step, so I decided to port the patches from Pd to Max.

A few disclaimers and caveats:

  • Many of these patches rely on abstractions that Farnell or I created. Download the Sound Design Practical Series helper files
  • Some of these patches require gen~, particularly to realize the rzero and rpole filters.
  • Filter topologies differ between the programs. My goal was to get something working in Max, not necessarily to exactly match Parnell’s Pd patch. Therefore, some patches could benefit from a close comparison with the Pd version and from tuning by ear.
  • Not everything initializes properly. Consult the text for reasonable starting values, or experiment to find your own.

Download the Sound Design Practical Series – Artificial Sounds

“The Observers” Screening at Migrating Forms, Anthology Film Archives

Jackie Goss’s film “The Observers” is being given its New York premiere at Anthology Film Archives as part of the Migrating Forms festival. The screening will be Sunday, May 22 at 2pm.

Jackie describes the “The Observers”:

The land and sky of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire form a frame for a meteorologist as she goes about the solitary and steadfast work of measuring and recording the weather.   Inspired by the Nathaniel Hawthorne story  “The Great Carbuncle,” this film features the extreme and varying beauty of the windiest mountain in the world.

Shot on 16mm film over the course of a year, “The Observers” is based on the actual work of the crew of the Mount Washington Weather Observatory — one of the oldest weather stations in North America where staff members have taken hourly readings of the wind speed, visibility, barometric pressure, and temperature since May 1932.  In 1934, the staff measured a wind gust of 231 mph, which remains a world record for a surface station.

I’ve been privileged to be part of the production of “The Observers” along with Jesse Cain, Dani Leventhal, and Katya Gorker. I posted here, here, here and here about our experiences shooting at the top of beautiful Mt. Washington, NH. Since then I’ve composed music for the film, assisted Jackie with recording foley and worked on sound design. This has been a great project!

“The Observers” screened on the closing night of the Crossroads Festival in San Francisco, and will be shown again in early June at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. I’ll post details when I get them.

Mt. Washington Pt. 2: Rime

January 11: Summit Weather

  • High temp: 5 F
  • Low temp: -2 F
  • Average Wind Speed: 46.7 mph gusting to 72 mph

A foggy day with visibility down to 1/16th of a mile. The observatory reported zero hours of sunshine for the day. Perfect conditions for rime ice. We could hardly step outside without it accumulating on our clothes and, of course, our gear.

rime ice recording rig

My recording bag covered in rime ice. My headphones were unscathed since I wore them under my balaclava (and hat (and parka hood)).

I brought out my contact mics to record the sound of rime accumulating on them. The best spot I found was attaching them to the windward side of a wooden sign post. Here’s an excerpt:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

rime_accumulation.mp3

Listening to the entire recording one can clearly hear the frequency of the resonant ping sounds increase as more ice accumulates. I suspect the ice accumulation reduces the surface area of the contact mic or otherwise stiffens the transducer–in a manner similar to a drummer increasing the pressure on a drum head and thus causing the pitch to rise.

Here’s a recording of an ice-covered chain squeaking in the wind. The squeak is less metallic than I expected, sounding more like rubbing ice cubes together.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

squeaky_chain.mp3

Here’s a photo of the chain (taken on another, much sunnier day). Yes, this chain appears to be preventing the building from blowing off the mountain. The story I heard is that the chains were an important part of the original building. When they rebuilt the structure, chains were included as an historical and decorative element. There were times when I could have used a chain or two to prevent me from blowing away.

Jackie and I covered in rime ice after our contact mic recording expedition.