Feeding back

I’ve been revisiting an idea I had developed last summer for a live show. I had Mary Hubbell (soprano) singing into the electromagnetically prepared piano (through my analog board) while I accompanied her with feedback through the same board. The analog board worked decently enough, but now I have 8 magnets/channels. I can rig up two boards and sort of jerry-rig an 8 channel outfit, but it wasn’t as flexible as I needed it to be. I drew up a schematic of what I wanted it to be able to do and realized that the functionality was all present in ChucK and TouchOSC. Ultimately, I’d like to have an analog version of the layout, but for now this was quick and cheap and it works pretty darn well.

By the way — working with feedback has worked much better than working with digital oscillators. The tuning of the oscillators had to be quite precise to get the best out of the strings, and using feedback tunes the system naturally. Finding ways to manipulate the feedback has been the tricky part.

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