Rhythmic MIDI Sampler

A video walk through that shows how to utilize Logic Pro X functions to create a MIDI sampler and to generate rhythmic MIDI material to drive the sampler in just 3 minutes. Listen to my track “Informatics” on Spotify: that uses the technique.

Kyma: Encapsulation

While teaching Data Sonification at the University of Oregon, we talked a lot about inference preservation, communication of idea, filtering and bias of data, and by extension, tool building as a process for supporting sonic hypotheses. To that end, I wanted to empower students with their own work inside Kyma, so we spent a class […]

Samuel Pellman’s Tower of Voices

By Jon Bellona and Ben Salzman. (Note: This post is a part of a presentation with Ben Salzman at the 2018 Kyma International Sound Symposium in Santa Cruz, CA.) [Above photo: Nancy L. Ford] On Music faculty at Hamilton College since 1979, Samuel Pellman devoted his life to making music with students and turning them […]

Challenge Song: Massive Attack “Teardrop”

My Audio Recording Techniques III (Spring 2018) course had ten weeks to select and recreate a recorded song of their choice. They voted on producing a recreation of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop.” The goal was to get the song as close as they could to the original recording.  They recorded, mixed, and mastered (and played parts!) […]

Max/MSP Package: Korg Nano

Ever since Cycling 74 introduced the idea of packages in Max 6.1, I’ve been pretty excited. Previously, there wasn’t a great way to distribute and install tools, objects, externals, media. And if you wanted to use anyone else’s tools, you had to wade through the murky collection of application directories and dump in single files–an unfailing way to […]

Photoresistor Theremin

Tired of software, longing for the touch and feel of circuits, I’ve been looking for something to satiate my sonic hunger. And, I wanted to get my hands dirty. So, I placed a small order of electronic parts with Additionally, ever since having discovered that the cigar store in Staunton, VA sells nice wooden cigar […]

Spectral Smoothing inside Kyma

Lately I’ve been having fun with the spectral analysis tool inside Kyma. This post is to document a quick introduction to Kyma’s Analysis Tool. Specifically, I will document how basic smoothing of frequency and amplitude augments the sonic character of a slow playback via an analysis file. After performing an initial analysis using Kyma’s Analysis Tool (Cmd-1), […]

Qwerty keyboard as Kyma Tool controller

Tools help us carry out particular tasks and functions. Hammers drive in nails. Saws cut wood. In the digital realm, we also use tools. Faders control volume, buttons trigger sounds. However, in software, things are not always so clear cut. Faders don’t have to control volume, and buttons don’t have to trigger sounds. The examples of […]

Sample Selection in XY Space

Selecting a portion of an audio sample is something that we do often. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) like Logic and ProTools or even Sample Track Editors like Peak and Audacity allow users to select a portion of audio. The process of selecting audio with a mouse for out-of-real-time control (and in the comfort of one’s […]

Wacom tablet: data zooming function

Over the last few months, I’ve been interested in data zooming, where a finite range of data (say 0-1) can be magnified and explored in greater detail. We are all familiar with the paradigm. In Microsoft Word or Photoshop, for example, you zoom the view (e.g. 125%) and in the same amount of screen real estate, […]