Monday, January 30, 2012

Strings in 9/8

This is a work in progress. Last month I made some long string samples on a bench, and I've started working on a piece that uses them. I also include trombone, and oboe samples from the McGill University collection. The tuning is the undertone series to the 15 limit. The strings sound banjo-like sometimes, and sometimes like a pedal steel. The pedal steel sound is made with a a glissando in Csound using gen06. This subroutine will generate a function comprised of segments of cubic polynomials, spanning specified points three at a time. After a bit of experimenting, I discovered that this is close to the way slide guitarists play. They start their slide slow, speed up in the middle, and slow down at the end as they near their note. And once they get there, they use the slide to make a vibrato.

Here's a picture of the function table that generates the slide:

I also manipulate the choice of samples to deliberately pick one that was made with a lower note, then brought up to the correct pitch by Csound. That's what gives some of the notes that superbright timbre at the 43 second point in the piece. I've heard it referred to as munchkinization.

Play it here

or download this link

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