Sunday, May 2, 2021

Rough Interlude Study, Week 8

Hi week 8 and I am back with more regular work and scheduling: consistent coding for Pdooll and preparation for shows (one of which will be/was this Saturday, May 1st, for Brisbane Street Art Festival at Superordinary as part of Submerged). Preparing for this performance of Rough Interlude pt 1, except instead of taking the Oscilloscape route and playing it all off tape, I am loading parts and snippets into Pdooll and performing it much like one would with a live set in Ableton Live: looping scenes and clips which will play continuously until otherwise prompted & scenes change.

Pdooll workings and progress and notes of performance

While working on this Pdooll performance system for BSAF,  I had some thoughts and notes on the direction Pdooll is taking and its relation to similar softwares; notably Automatonism. I've copied the notes from my log and added them below:

 Wednesday 28th of April, 2021

I went into this project study thinking that I would streamline Pdooll in a way where you could easily set up a performance system with it and away you go. However, the more I work with it (and especially recently with this upcoming performance I am prepping for), the more I realise these abstractions are more of a time saver rather than an overhaul to Pd's fundamental workflow: I am still doing lots of back end coding and logistics, but Pdooll is an easy way to save time more than anything. Presets and quickly accessible modules for sound creation.

Going into Pdooll, from the very start, I knew I wanted it to be able to fit anywhere in Pd, and therefore I needed to strike a balance between nice shiny front end and barebones coding; I didn’t want my project to be something like Automatonism, which requires large amounts of support code for a basic oscillator to function (refering to all of the hosting code: presets, save states, the whole folder structure as well). While a project like this is easy to use and works amazingly for what it is, it's hard to incorporate it elsewhere without modification. As I said, I want Pdooll to fit anywhere: no matter where you are in Pd, you can open one of the abstractions and include it in a larger patch or project without hassle. Yet, by doing so I give up some of the niceties that a project like Automatonism basks in: easy preset and project saving/recalling, more straightforward use, and a very unified workflow.

But alas, I will continue to tread this middle ground, slowly figuring out exactly where Pdooll should sit.

And as the week progressed I worked more on my live set for BSAF: fleshing out all of the four songs of RIpt1 using Pdooll and rehearsing. Notes from my log, with reflection and thoughts on the performance written Sunday the day after, are below...

Sunday 2nd of May, 2021

The BSAF performance went well, I found this Pdooll system (and Pdooll in general) to be a great interface for a larger, multi-song show; akin to performing using Ableton Live: allowing for flexibility in timing and structure while still easily managing songs with many different parts and streams running at the same time. Yet, contrasting Ableton, Pdooll allows for unlimited flexibility with routing and control over parts and instruments, I am not constrained into any one workflow like with Ableton.

Comparing last night to performing the same work on my 16 track as I did at Oscilloscape: I found Pd to be more involved and engaging for me the performer, managing to strike a good balance between managed and unmanaged sounds, giving me room to change up elements here and there without having to micromanage every part of every song. However, because of how I performed (apc controller and laptop) there wasn’t as much visual interest as there might have been when performing with my 16 track, and while I'm not implying that performing with my 16 track was the most engaging performance ever, but having a very obvious representation of the sound is much more appealing than a laptop and a midi controller. So, I feel that incorporating a visual/audioreactive element to this system would be ideal. One path could be touch designer, however I am more drawn to GEM, a visual external for pure data, which allows me to keep everything within Pd instead of running multiple programmes. I have another performance of this set coming up in two weeks at the Cave Inn on the 11th, so I'll see what I can do for then, but I’m not keeping my hopes up that I'll have a full visual set ready by then. Although, even a simple audio reactive visual element which gets projected and slowly evolves through the set could help engage audience much more, especially since I'll be performing with the same setup of laptop and apc.

Concluding thoughts

Conclusion of week 8, without, I realise, much information on what codings underwent this week. Next week, or week after, however, I fully intend to overview and update about any and all coding progress with ideas and thoughts on a upcoming public release of Pdooll, alongside, hopefully, videos of performances, both Oscilloscape and BSAF, to demonstrate and showcase my full workings up until now.

Until next time,


No comments:

Post a Comment