Ugh. Stupid germ relapse triggered a brain fail and I’m just surfacing again. This is possibly the slowest Creative Pact ever, but I WILL DO IT.
In the interests of feeling like I was making some progress, today I hauled out Max/MSP 7 for the first time and decided to get some basic patching in place. I’m still liking the idea of triggering sounds based on relative amplitude, so I figured at the most basic level I needed to be able to:
a) receive a signal from a microphone
b) determine the amplitude of the signal
c) detect when the amplitude rose over a certain arbitrary level
d) play a soundfile when that happened.
And I’ve got all that happening! For all that I no longer know where anything is in Max because 7 looks like Darth Vader took over Max 6 and got the Death Star designers to go nuts on it so it’s all obscure symbols now (really?? I thought interface designers were warned against this sort of thing in their cradles now!) I’ve managed to get all that happening. So that feels rather good, I must say.
Next step: to be able to set a variable registering a base volume level number, to be set on hearing the first sound. This will then set the level (+ a certain percentage) to base when to trigger the sounds. The reason for this is because I don’t know and won’t be able to tell until the day of the performance what the software will think the actual amplitude is, based on what’s being played, and the acoustic in the venue. Of course if we end up doing it in other venues too, the effect of even the same performer could be quite different. Different mics might also affect the levels that are actually registered, I guess, so I think that’s my project for tomorrow. I do have some ideas about the notes but am feeling very reluctant to approach the piano. Also, the sewing machine’s all set up on my desk and I’ve nearly finished that project so I’m a little reluctant to put it away only to have to pull it out again later. Wussy, I know, but anyway. At least there’s some progress happening!