Group Diary: create a 3min piece where every member controls a different aspect of the sound (note the longer duration for group diaries)
This is the first group diary and the first experience with your new “ensemble” of four or five people. Your main task this week is to start developing a way of working with your ensemble. Don’t leave this to the last minute, working with people takes time.
This is a good time to start thinking about how you could use networks to assist with collaboration by sending information in between the individual laptops in a laptop ensemble. This could involve audio and video data (e.g., connecting via Zoom, Teams, or other tools) or control data.
Network connections are used to connect musicians together from different locations, to connect devices together in one studio, and to connect different pieces of software on one computer. This week you’ll explore how to use networks for collaboration in your laptop music making.
One important concept is the that in terms of what you might send over the
network, most data streams can be considered either “control” data or “signal”
distinction is present in Pd,
~ suffix on signal objects and the “thin” vs “thick” cables. These
different types of data streams require different tradeoffs (and therefore
different tools) when sending them over the network, so this week’s
Resources section has subsections for each type of data stream.
Goals for this week
explore the history (and present) of networked music to see what artists have been doing when they’re connected together, and find out about systems for sending musical data over networks
with your group, design and carry out a collaboration workflow which allows you to deliver a 3min diary entry by the week 5 workshop slot
N.B.: option two could involve using hi-tech network connections, or could involve lo-tech collaborative solutions, or could be in the middle. In any case you will have to use some creativity to develop a collaboration workflow that works for your group.
Charles’ 2020 presentation on network music making
3-new-interfacesfolder in the ComputerMusicIntro project has some cool patches for getting started with OSC, MIDI, etc.
Control data: Open Sound Control (OSC) & MIDI
OSC is a great way to send control messages between different audio programming environments.
Here are a couple of YouTube videos which explain things further:
Andrew Johnston’s Pure Data and Open Sound Control
cheetomoskeeto’s Pure Data: 23 Open Sound Control 1
For example code, look at the
3-new-interfaces/5-OSC-in-pd.pd patch in the
Pd didn’t have OSC built in until relatively recently (v0.46), look at the
oscparse objects which need
work. Older videos will show how to import special libraries for OSC—not
MIDI is the other main standard for this stuff, which is a bit older & less flexible, but it’s supported by every piece of musical hardware under the sun.
For example code, look at the
3-new-interfaces/1-MIDI-in-pd.pd patch in the
Signal data: sending audio over the network
If you want to send audio signal data (i.e., a stream of bits that’s meant to be interpreted as an audio signal and sent to a DAC at some stage) then there are few different options as well.
SonoBus is an easy to use application for streaming high-quality, low-latency peer-to-peer audio between devices over the internet or a local network.
JackTrip is a bunch of tools for live performance of music over the internet, including the JackTrip audio conference server and instructions on a remote setup for Live Music Performance using Jacktrip & Aseqnet
The Mumble open source voice chat server is fairly easy to set up for doing live audio linkups with a number of people, but we don’t know how well it might work for music. It’s designed for voice, so the quality might limit what we can do with it.
JamRTC (pre-alpha) is an attempt to create a simple prototype for doing jam sessions using WebRTC.
how is your group going to meet & chat? if it’s going to be online, then you should get it set up for your first discussion ASAP—if you need us to create a separate Teams channel for you then just ask
which parts of the collaborative workflow need to be synchronous, and which parts could be async? do you want to collaborate sequentially, or in parallel?
what’s the collaborative songwriting process of your favourite bands (or art collectives), and are there ideas you can poach from them?
what does networked music even mean? did it exist before computers? when looking for famous examples, how far back can you go? if you find anything cool, drop a link in the #inspo channel on Teams
remember that you can send control messages over the network, or audio, or both, or a signal that’s somewhere in between, or something else entirely—be creative!
think about the specific network music context you’re dealing with; is it lots of musicians in the same room connected via ethernet to the LAN, or is it a couple of musicians on opposite sides of the globe trying to improvise together in real-time? Can you design your piece to minimise the challenges or emphasise the opportunities provided by this specific networked context?