Programming and Realization of Audio-Visual Projects

Occasionally composers entrust me to develop software according to their specifications - the realization of live electronics. For the implementation of compositional ideas or for electronic extensions of instrumental or vocal play a customized software is the best solution. In addition to the technical requirements for this software, the combination of parameters to be controlled with a hardware controller is the most interesting aspect, because management and spontaneity must meet here.The result is called Interface and can be a set of sliders, a pedal, a keyboard, light or humidity sensor. Or a video camera. There are hardly any limits. Even robotics offers itself to involve.

Custom Software for Composers

A really crazy fact first: contrary to recent times today most people already own high sensitive Controllers (like Smartphones and Tables). This has been always the biggest (and most expensive) “problem”. Although cheap MIDI Motorfaders have been available since 10 years - the possibilities of Tablets pass much on and finally allow the separation from the CPU (Computer).

The image shows the software (2013) to perform the piece "Morite" (for Voice and Live Electronic), composed by the sardic composer Giorgio Tedde.

img Here is a live recording of "Morite" with the wonderful and truly extraordinary mezzo-soprano Sylvia Nopper and Thomas Kessler (live electronic).

Morite - for voice and live electronic.

The changes and simplifications through this new Controller situation are enormous. The computer monitor doesn't need to be close to the interpreter or sound producer any more -img relevant information is also on the WiFi-Tablet. Since Giorgio also uses a Metric Halo Audio-Interface i've integrated a helpful Control Tab. The iPhone is mainly for supervision. With the "Stepper" the composer can correct possible Step-errors during performance - steps are switched with a Pedal by the interpreter. It's also perfect for rehearsals since every step can be called up directly.

For this reason the role of the computer has changed - it is now rather like the central heating, which is located in the cellar - nevertheless the temperature can be modified in the living room.


It get's even easier! This is the latest version (2014) of the Control-Pad, realized with MIRA. Since MIRA just mirrors Max objects, nothing needs to be programmed! This is also much easier for e.g. composers who aren't computer specialists. Only the Max-patch needs to be opened on the host-cpu. When MIRA is launched on the iPad it will show the controllers of the Max-patch. Ok, the Computer and the iPad need to be wifi-connected.

Most of the software I've developed for Giorgio Tedde. We already know from our time together in the Electronic Studio of the Music Academy in Basel in the 90s. He tells me (often very specific) what he wants, (such as information on the pitch-shifting and delay times, etc.). With the first software-version usually some parts will be modified after short conversations. Then again some things, mostly additions and modifications according to the results of the first rehearsals, have to be done. Giorgio Tedde was the first, with which I can look back on a long-term experience. What I do for him, could be done only in conjunction with universities or ambitious radio studios in recent times - in any case including environments with huge subsidies. It is also no obstacle that he lives in Switzerland and Sardegnia and I have settled in northern Germany.

img This was an older version of the software from 2005 - a "student version" with €150-Motorfaders. On the monitor you can see all controllers visualized - this was a decision, in order to be able to use it also without the Faderbank. Altogether much more efforts were necessary until the first tone was to be heard (compared with today). This allows the composer today to experiment at home with the electronics - something for which composers had to travel to one of the few electronic studios - for working with engineers or students on the realization of the electronic parts of the composition - in a tight time frame. Often a lottery ...

img Here is a video of the piece "Boreo" from Giorgio Tedde, for which i´ve programmmed the software as well (external link - needs aproximately 10 sec. loading time).

The personal is Miako Klein recorders and Theodor Milkov percussion. The performance took place on the 10th of november, 2007 in the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam.

Max im Alltag

Max ist perfekt, um Steuerungen für MIDI-Geräte zu gestalten. Das war 1990 schon mein Einstieg: die Fernsteuerung eines AKAI S900 Samplers durch systemexklusive MIDI Daten. So taugte der AKAI auch für's Live-Sampling. Für meinen Weiss EQ1 habe ich z.B. eine iPad Steuerung programmiert. img

Es erlaubt eine andere Umgangsweise, auch wenn es für den Weiss EQ1 nicht unbedingt nötig ist. Insbesondere bei Menü-Operationen ist aber eine vom Pad gesteuerte Software viel variabler, als ein Menü am Gerät, das "durchgesteppt" werden muss.

Für Controller bieten sich freie Verwendungen an. Wichtig ist hierbei auch, dass man nicht auf die Industrie warten muss und selbst sehr spezielle Anwendungen selber aufbauen kann.

Bei der noch neuen MPE Spezifikation (Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression) wird es sicher noch eine Weile dauern, bis genug Software angeboten wird - mir steht durch Max der Weg jetzt schon offen:


Dies ist mein "Dashboard" des neuen, MPE-fähigen Seaboard RISE. Ausser den Kurven für die 5 Touch-Parameter habe ich auch die Idee mit den Kurven des mitgelieferten Software-Synths Equator in mein Patch übertragen. Mit diesen, stärker editierbaren Kurven lassen sich die Daten nach Wunsch verbiegen, um genau die "richtigen" Werte für die entsprechenden Parameter zu erzeugen. Zur Kontrolle zeigt der gelbe Punkt die aktuelle Position an.

live video

imgAs with so many others, video moves into into the focus of my works too. Of course I work in this medium, as well as in the audio field, preferably in real time. Through the use of video, the space can be be experienced very different during a concert. the video creates a whole new situation and one sense liberates the other. The whole, however, goes a bit towards three-dimensional chess and requires time for recess. Certainly video in the near future will extend its role and perhaps finally in a dehyped existence it may be able to convey its charm..

live visualising

imgFor live visualization of DJ sets I occasionally get together with friends of the techhouse/minimal Music. In the photo you can see the DJ's Manon and Pascal Feos. A hot night on the "Schiff" in Basel. The visualization of the music is done with a live camera what the character of visualization significantly strengthened..