Cut-up composition technique

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robowist
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Cut-up composition technique

Post by robowist » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:21 pm

Here's the idea for an experimental project which I'm interested in exploring. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. I'll post the results to the "DS-10 Tracks" topic as I make progress.

The project takes its inspriation from William S. Burrough's cut-up approach to literature along with minimalism and the aleatory techniques John Cage.

Here's the idea:

I take a piece of music and cut it up into shorter phrases. These smaller units of the composition then get programmed into synth and drum sequencers, and during performance, these sequencers get activated at different moments. As a result, the cut-up sections of the original composition get recombined and layered in novel ways. If the initial results seems interesting enough, I'd probably play around with invering and reversing the phrases to add even more variety, and I could then come up with some type of random generation process that would determine where a phrase was placed/programmed within the sequencer array.

For starters, I'm thinking of trying things out with a more metronomic piece of baroque music--one with a simple harmonic/chord progression.

One major drawback with the DS-10 is that it limits me to 16-step sequencers, and it would be nice to be able to work which musical phrases of longer and shorter lengths. If there's another platform I should be working with, that would be useful to know.

I'd also be interested in what pieces of music might lend themselves to providing good results. It would be nice at least initially to get something that listeners would already be familiar with.

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Syscrusher
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Re: Cut-up composition technique

Post by Syscrusher » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:27 pm

It sounds like you need/want a monome.

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robowist
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Re: Cut-up composition technique

Post by robowist » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:03 am

Syscrusher wrote:It sounds like you need/want a monome.
I didn't know what this was so I looked it up, and it seems like it would be a helpful device. But then I came across this description:

"If you're not familiar with Monome, the company designs and builds unique, minimalist controllers in limited editions for the discriminating music maker with deep pockets."

I'm not especially discriminating, and with three young kids in the house, I hardly have deep pockets.

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Syscrusher
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Re: Cut-up composition technique

Post by Syscrusher » Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:18 am

Yes buying a pre-made one is expensive mostly because of the small limited run nature of the device and the care they put into crafting the enclosures, however there are alternatives. They do offer a kit. That is the way less expensive option. If you are handy with a soldering iron and have some time and patience it is a nice little project. That is what I did. There are inexpensive ready made enclosures out there but my girlfriend is handy in the wood shop so we built a nice walnut enclosure. The other option that is even cheaper is making an arduino clone. There is tonnes of info/support on the net and on the actual monome forum for that. Oh yes, even cheaper still is a kit that someone offers that turns a $50 Bliptronic into a monome.

The monome is an excellent open source piece of hardware with a slew of applications for step sequencing and sample cutting most of which operate in wonderfully non-linear ways.

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WMRhapsodies
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Re: Cut-up composition technique

Post by WMRhapsodies » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:23 pm

M01 seems a much more better choice for this (I mean, than DS10, just in case you want to stay away from computers) because of the sequencer capabilities, particularly song length (up to 99 patterns-all of them can be different-) and copy/paste features. No to mention polyphony...

In fact I use to make something a bit similar to that: I take just one "column" (pattern) and make melodies for all 8 instrumental tracks, then as, unlike DS10, you can copy individual tracks, I mix them more or less randomly, or sistematically (like: first column/first track to second column/second track, second track to third track, third track to fourth...and repeat that for as many columns as tracks, so in the end all melodic lines became played by all the instruments involved. Even if there are no real transposition, the different colour of the instruments made the impression of a much more elaborated tonal work, like a sort of canon/fugue).

For your purposes, If I've didn´t get it wrong (I'm not native english speaker) on M01 you could, let's say, use 16 patterns/columns for to sequence the original song and still have enough room (84 patterns/columns) for to copy each of them as many times as needed, set a different step lenght (or even bpm) for each, or set (much more easily than in DS10) a different "starting/ending point" for each loop or transpositions (some other operations, like inversions should still have to be made note by note).

Track by track copy should open some other possibilities (like make to sound simultaneously what is not in the original).

Hope I've explained myself :( :D

On the bad side, M01 is not unexpensive (89$ on eBay) and sounds are not as interesting as DS10. Check the dedicated forums for more info, and feel free to ask me anything about what could be done or not.
Last edited by WMRhapsodies on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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WMRhapsodies
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Re: Cut-up composition technique

Post by WMRhapsodies » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:14 pm

Syscrusher wrote: The monome is an excellent open source piece of hardware with a slew of applications for step sequencing and sample cutting most of which operate in wonderfully non-linear ways.
Monomes are so damn beautiful and there are so many interesting things made with them...



...But I regretted always I've tried to make music with computers. "Open source" sounds really scary to me.

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Cfgk24
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Re: Cut-up composition technique

Post by Cfgk24 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:52 pm

You could try the Tenori-on as a cheaper alternative......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkhQHY_Lh24

I think there is even an Ipad download version

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Syscrusher
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Re: Cut-up composition technique

Post by Syscrusher » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:12 pm

Cfgk24 wrote:You could try the Tenori-on as a cheaper alternative......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkhQHY_Lh24

I think there is even an Ipad download version
The Tenori-on is more expensive than a pre-made monome 64. A monome 64 kit (the demo above shows a monome 128) costs less than 300 dollars. An arduino clone is quite a bit cheaper than that.
As cool as a Tenori-on is, it comes nowhere near to the functionality of a monome; they are similar in appearance only (although I think a monome can do anything a Tenori can).
Specifically, there are applications (patches) for the monome that do precisely what robowist is looking for.

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DS-10 Dominator
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Re: Cut-up composition technique

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:39 pm

Sorry, didn't really follow the discussion but this is the official iPad version of Tenori On @ 16 dollars... if you have the iPad.
soundcloud.com/auxpulse soundcloud.com/ds10dominator

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robowist
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Re: Cut-up composition technique

Post by robowist » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:21 am

I've done some quick research on the monome, which looks like quite a nice piece of equipment. And that bliptronic conversion kit might be in my future. Unfortunately, I'm not well versed in the technical/computer side of things.

So, for now, I'm going to order the M01 and work with that and the DS-10. But I'm also going to read up about MIDI and the computer side of things.

I'll keep you posted on the progress of this project.

beatformer
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Re: Cut-up composition technique

Post by beatformer » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:12 pm

WMRhapsodies wrote:
Syscrusher wrote: The monome is an excellent open source piece of hardware with a slew of applications for step sequencing and sample cutting most of which operate in wonderfully non-linear ways.
Monomes are so damn beautiful and there are so many interesting things made with them...



...But I regretted always I've tried to make music with computers. "Open source" sounds really scary to me.
You should check out this dude Deadulus, he is insane with these. I have thrown a few local music events and when I got this dude to headline it was by far the best show we had seen yet. The online reviews for my production company starting going off the charts. Have you guys ever heard of Angie's List?

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