Friday, September 16, 2011

Evil Tonelab, the prequel.

I'm currently working on a project called Evil Tonelab.
It's a modular system built with MaxMSP, and using Alex Harker's dynamicdsp~ objects, and it's aimed at sound designers, live musicians, remixers, composers, loopers, controllerists, bedroom DJ's or just plain old Maxheads - anyone who likes to make evil tones, in fact.
It's loosely based on Framework, an open-source patch that Leafcutter John shared a few years back, which used scripting to load bpatchers into a serial chain of signal processors.
What I've done is extend this so that they can be chained in any order via a matrix, added separate modulator patches and (Midi) input patches, plus a whole load of other stuff.
And by using dynamicdsp~, you can in theory, do all this on the fly without breaking the signal chain.
As I'm writing this up for my Masters in Music Engineering & Production, I'll be needing to do some user testing, so I'm putting together some tutorial videos for Youtube, and also just recording loads of screencasts of me jamming with it, and of course giving a good workout to that QuickRecord patch.
Below is a Youtube overview and a few QuickRecords - no post edits, just the live noodling. Some are (sort of) musical, some are more sound design, and at the most they might employ a couple of Apple Loops to get them started. They are all 100% Tonelab with no other patches involved - it starts to get more interesting when you involve other patches of course, so I'll upload some examples of that later.
If you search unde 'Evil Tonelab' you'll find a few more Youtube videos, again, most of which are just live doodling at the moment.
It's not quite ready for release yet, and I'll be announcing more about it here, of course, and via the Max forum, but anyone wishing to get in on the action early, please mail eviltonelab_at_btinternet_._com (underscores removed, etc.).
Tonelab is, and will always remain, free, and my hope is that folks will create their own modules in Max and share them here - I've built some templates, and there'll be manuals & Youtube tutorials, so it should be pretty straightforward to contribute.
Big thanks to Leafcutter John for the inspiration, Alex Harker for dynamicdsp~ and a host of other Maxers whose ideas I may have built upon, been influenced by or just plain plagiarised.

Evil Tonelab - it's not Ableton Live.

Some Quickrecords: