Weekly Beats 2014 #18: 5/2 “Goyder’s Line And A Shadow Passes”

freetronics light sensor

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been experimenting with a light sensor and an Arduino Eleven board to control parameters in Max/MSP – at this stage just simple stuff like controlling the frequency amount of a waveform.

At the same time, I’ve been exploring the vocoder of my Microkorg, using basic Carrier and Modulation inputs to affect the vocoder’s oscillator. Last week’s submission (Goyder’s Line And A Shadow Passing) utilised two rising sine waves as the Carrier and Modulation inputs. Whilst the result was as I anticipated – very subtle and imperceptible – it was later pointed out to me that there would probably not be any actual affect on the vocoder’s oscillator since the Modulator imposes its harmonic characteristics on the Carrier, and since we’re talking about two sine waves, well…this should have occurred to me. I do have a tendency to get distracted by technology and overlook the basics from time to time, and I think I’ll be re-learning the rudiments of all the things to my grave.

So, this time around I used two sawtooth waves as the Carrier and Modulator (harmonic range = good!) and raised the Modulation frequency above that of the Carrier frequency using a simple Max multiplication object. * I’ll go into further detail with the Max/MSP patch in a later post.

A perfect fifth is held on the Microkorg (E2; B2) and as the light level changes, the relationship between the Carrier and Modulation frequencies shifts resulting in a change to the overall structure of the sound heard through the vocoder. Since I recorded this track in the late afternoon (the full version is 20 minutes long), the light level gradually falls as reflected light being read by the light sensor diminishes.

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