Analog Inputs for Expressive Control

Analog Inputs for Expressive Control

Unlike digital inputs which have 2 states (i.e. on/off, high/low, 1/0), analog inputs allow for continuous* control over a range of values.  This allows for more subtle control of sound parameters than simply turning a sound on or off.

Elements of Music

Music has a lot of richness and variety for us to enjoy. Much of that has to do with the development of instruments over centuries. Strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion comprise the traditional orchestra families. Each produces sound in unique ways and have different playing techniques which contribute to a wide range of timbres and means of expression.

In addition to the variety of instruments and sounds – compositional aspects have an enormous effect on how we experience music.

What are some elements of music?

Here’s my list: pitch, harmony, scale, melody, rhythm, dynamics, timbre

Others can be defined but for now lets use this list to consider how these elements might map to sound parameters – as we might think about controlling them with computers.

Elements of Music Related Sound Parameters
pitch (notes) frequency (rate)
harmony (more than one note) frequency ratios, or series of intervals played together
scale series of intervals, a collection of notes
melody sequence of pitches
rhythm tempo, patterns, loops
dynamics change in volume, articulation envelopes
timbre waveform, synthesis technique, filter

Much of these are enabled by instruments with a wide range of sounds. These include the more obvious things like: low to high,  soft and LOUD. But also enable playing which emulates more expression, and even emotion. For instance can you imagine music being sweet or angry; smooth or bouncy?

Create expressive controllers with Sound Clippys board

Read hardware inputs and map them to sound using the Interface Objects

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