In this first part of the report we introduced Chaosynth: a cellular automata-controlled "granular" synthesiser which generates a large amount of short sonic particles in order to form larger complex sound events.
The cellular automaton used in Chaosynth to control the production of the sonic particles is called ChaOs; it mimics a neurophysiological phenomenon. From the many possibilities to map the behaviour of ChaOS onto the parameters of the synthesis algorithm, we have implemented only one, which is capable of producing interesting sounds. We are however aware that instead of providing a system which uses only one mapping possibility, we could provide the means for user-specification of other mapping possibilities. We are currently studying how to provide this facility.
The author has composed a number of electroacoustic music pieces using Chaosynth's sounds, including Olivine Trees. Olivine Tress is inspired by Van Gogh's painting, "Olive Trees" (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh). The varied and individually identifiable brush strokes of this painting inspired the composition of the sounds of this piece; colour relates to timbre and length of brush stroke relates to the duration of individual sounds.
A new and improved version of Chaosynth is commercially available for Windows 9x (PC) and MacOS platforms. A beta/demo version for Windows 95 (for IBM-compatible platforms) is available in the accompanying CD-ROM of the book Computer Sound Synthesis for the Electronic Musician (Focal Press). Please contact the author for more information.
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