Noise Machine Update

After being more or less stumped for a long while about what kind of a thing I actually wanted to make, I’ve taken on a new strategy for hypothesizing.  Rather than prioritizing the physical layout of the noisemaker, I’ve simply decided to try and think of my favorite kinds of noises and how I might be able to sounds similar to them.  Lately I’ve found myself very attracted to a few very specific sound design techniques, so I’m planning on making some kind of a device that applies these techniques to every sound that passes through it, with the idea that I’ll like every sound that comes out (or at least prefer it to the original).  The specific techniques I’ve been into lately are a very quick delay between the right and left channel to create the illusion of a widened signal, a grain delay that modulates pitch with time, and a plate reverb that only affects frequencies below roughly 7000 hz.  My biggest question is where I should get my “source” sounds.  As of right now I’m leaning towards incorporating a microphone so that I can just record any sound I want and process it on the go, although it could also be interesting to try and build a basic analog circuit feeding into it.  Another question is how should the thing look?  I like the idea of it being as small as possible, but I’d like to keep a connection to Max if possible, so should I try to find some wireless way to do that?

Jake Berntsen


2 thoughts on “Noise Machine Update

  1. I am not sure what noises or techniques you are talking about, but here are some questions that might help you conceptually:

    How do your noises make you feel?
    What are the noises characteristics?
    What environment do you hear your noises in?
    Do you want your noises to spark interaction? (might help for the “source sound” question), or do you want your noises to live on their own?
    What is the significance of building circuits vs. using Max? (that might help for the “look” of your machine)

    -Mitsuko Verdery

  2. If you’re comfortable from switching Max/MSP to PureData, that can dramatically size down your machine to a Raspberry Pi.
    My suggestion is that you can still prototype your idea in Max/MSP in the creative process, and then convert it to PureData by finding corresponding objects. I’ve used PD and Pi before, so if you decide on this path and would need help with any of these, I’m happy to help out. 🙂


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