I’m taking an online workshop
on building electronic musical instruments.
So last week I put together a sketch, in blog post form,
of what it might look like to make a
hardware Arx —
which is to say,
a hardware version of
my Ruby breakbeat improviser Archaeopteryx
(renamed for simplicity).
Back in 2007 and 2008, I put together a system in Ruby
which emulated a hardware drum machine,
but changed one piece of the classic design:
where most drum machines map beats to drums using booleans,
this used floats.
The floats expressed probability.
Since then Arturia, Elektron, and other companies have released drum machines
which allow you to do similar things, although they default
every probability to 1.0,
and you need to do some menu-diving in order to change that.
The first several posts on this blog show you how
a house beat,
and its riser sound
Next I’m going to show you how I built a short house track —
around two and a half minutes long —
entirely in SuperCollider.
In the two previousposts,
I’ve shown how a house beat in SuperCollider works.
At the end of every eight bars,
this house beat includes a riser —
a buildup sound used to increase tension prior to a transition.
This is the most complex sound in the beat,
so I’ve saved it for last.
There are at least three open source live-coding systems in popular languages —
Sonic Pi (Ruby), Overtone (Clojure), and Tidal Cycles (Haskell) —
which all share the same foundation:
a system called SuperCollider.
I’m going to show you how to build a basic house beat in SuperCollider.